Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Monthly Archives: August 2018

How we are coping post-Bezukhov

It is 8 weeks since we lost Bezukhov.  I think of him all the time & miss him.

Dalai, Perry & Lennie are coping well without him.  There are some videos at the end of this post.

Dalai, Perry & Lennie

Dalai appears to be ‘top bird’.  He always thought it before, but I think Bezukhov’s presence put a question mark over it.  Lennie still runs around after Dalai.  Perry is easy-going & just goes with the flow & if the flow means that Dalai calls most of the shots, then so be it.

At the time of Bezukhov’s death, both he & Dalai shared the Silver Villa & Perry & Lennie’s home was the New Villa.  Since Bezukhov’s passing, Perry & Lennie spend all day in the Silver Villa with Dalai but come bedtime, things revert to how they were.

I have been prepared for them all sharing overnight but this has not happened yet.  It seems that Dalai still wants his own space at bedtime.  He does tend to retire to bed quite early & has his last feed early too.  Bezukhov liked to get in several feeds before the cover went over but was mindful of not disturbing Dalai.

Perry, Lennie, Dalai & Tweety Pie

As the evening draws in, Dalai usually gives a sign that it is time for his visitors to return to their own home.  He will vacate the Silver Villa & most of the time both Perry & Lennie follow him out, which gives me the opportunity to close up the Silver Villa & then allow Dalai back in alone.  I was concerned that maybe I was unconsciously causing this situation so experimented by not closing up the Silver Villa.  What resulted was that Dalai got increasingly tetchy as his bedtime rapidly approached.  He would beak anyone who sat on the same perch as him & generally made himself unpleasant to be around!  One evening, I heard a shriek as Perry flew out & landed on the plant pot stand.  When I went over to investigate, I noticed Dalai had a blue feather in his beak!  His solo bedtime was overdue!

So things are sorting themselves out.  Reflecting on how things have been, I wonder if myself & Bezukhov were the most strongly bonded, given that the others have been coping much better than I have.

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Final review of Bezukhov’s health issues

Followers of this blog will know that my dear Bezukhov had various health issues over the years.  I thought a final review would be appropriate.


The first major health challenge began in mid-2014 when Bezukhov started to have ‘Vacant Episodes’.

These ‘episodes’ were handled in a variety of ways, detailed in the many posts over the years.  When they appeared to stabilise, the vet & I decided to cease all medication (early part of 2016) with the proviso to only administer medicine in an extreme circumstance.

I have previously posted lists of his episodes to date, with the last post being in December 2015 (click here to view).  For completeness, I have updated the list & here it is:

 

As I logged each episode, I spent much time trying to find a pattern as that may give a clue as to the cause.  All I know is that he seemed to have a spike in May/April time & the winter months were more stable.

Without knowing the real cause it is difficult to treat.  However, I believe it may have been a liver problem & early medication was focused on that & ongoing supplements (milk thistle & Aloe Vera Detox) continued to target this.  Given that we were unable to stop the episodes completely, we aimed to get them to a manageable/stable level & to reduce ‘cluster’ episodes, i.e., multiple ones in a short space of time.

The worst day was “Black Wednesday”, the 22nd of April 2015, when he had 4 in one day, 3 of which were within 90 minutes.  You can see the days where he had multiple episodes in the list above (figures in brackets).  The chart below shows an overview by month & year:

 

I greatly feared that Bezukhov’s end would be by a seizure & desperately hoped he would not suffer a prolonged one.


In the last few years, Bezukhov introduced a new health problem – his very own Extreme Moult Experience.  Though it is not uncommon for birds to have a severe moult, I was aware that Bezukhov’s first extreme moult happened not long after we lost his best buddy Cagney.  Was it a coincidence that his next two extreme moults happened around Cagney’s anniversary?  Bezukhov was a very sensitive bird which is why I wondered if there was a connection.

Fortunately, he tended not to have episodes during the Extreme Moult Experiences, which is just as well as I was already worried enough.  I feared during these experiences that he would just starve himself to death & I desperately hoped his end would not be that way.


In the end, it was something entirely different that took him.  A tumour.

The vet thought it was aggressive & grew very quickly (they can double in size each day), using up his body’s energy.  She suspects that the mass started on the outside of the small intestine & probably started growing inwards, explaining the initial lack of droppings & then the very dark ones later on that eventually contained fresh blood as the mass expanded.


Bezukhov was a fighter.  As you can see from what I have written above, he fought through many health problems.  The vet, who had looked after him from 2014, said that Bezukhov was possibly the most determined bird she had ever met.

Bezukhov was sensitive too & reacted emotionally to his surroundings, but he pushed on through all the changes & traumas in his life, possibly the most significant being the loss of his best buddy Cagney, with such grace & dignity.

He truly was remarkable.  I am grateful to have been a part of his life & feel honoured that he chose to trust me.

 

 

Remembering Raspy on her birthday

Happy birthday my beautiful girl.

Here is a video of Raspy eating vegetables from about 8 years ago:

 

Always in our thoughts.

xxx

 

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Remembering Atilla on her birthday

Happy birthday my beautiful girl.

Here is a video of Atilla eating dill from about 8 years ago:

 

Always in our thoughts.

xxx

 

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Bezukhov’s last week

We happily celebrated Bezukhov’s 8th birthday.   We did not know that just hours later things would take a bad turn.

The following morning, on the 28th June, as I uncovered them, I noticed Bezukhov was not himself.  He was quiet & was not eating.  There seemed to be an absence of overnight poops too.  I was concerned enough to call Ms Independent Vet (IV).

After a thorough examination, she suspected he was constipated & could feel a mass that suggested that, along with dried poops just inside his vent.  She administered fluids (orally & by injection under the skin).  Additionally, she gave him an anti-inflammatory injection & a vitamin B boost.  At best, this was simply constipation that would clear within 48 hours.  At worst, something else, something sinister, was causing the constipation.

During the day, I offered lots of different foods: fennel, apple, spinach, basil, celery & millet.  Fennel is his go-to food when not well so it was not a good sign that he refused it.

The following day, he managed a few seeds & a tiny piece of celery leaf & basil.  He seemed quite weak & was constantly fiddling with his bottom area.  At bedtime he ate about 15-20 seeds & also had a slurp of water.

On the 30th, he had slightly more seeds & carried on drinking his water.  He had pooped overnight.  The poops were green & sludgy, so really not good, however it suggested that any blockage was clearing.  He continued to gradually improve, so much so, that the next day (1st July) he started chirping a little & had a brief flirt with Dalai.  He felt well enough to fly over to the playgym & also the window perch.  His poops were still a mess but at least he was pooping.  He was still, in the main, lethargic.  I was still offering all the vegetables listed above, along with broccoli & cucumber.

 

However, the next day (2nd July), he seemed to take a few steps back.  Ms IV visited & thought he seemed a lot better & brighter than when she last saw him (4 days previous).  Though I agreed that he was better than on the 28th, I explained that he was better the previous day so had got worse again.  She said his insides felt clearer & less blocked.  His poops were still of concern & she wondered if perhaps the constipation had caused bacteria to grow.  I was to collect his poops over the next few days in case it was helpful to send them for testing.  She gave him another anti-inflammatory injection & something for nausea.  She also prescribed antibiotics in water for a few days (given that he seemed to be drinking again, which he was not before).

It was all very confusing & worrying…  Read more of this post