We have had some drama here, courtesy of Lennie.
On Friday 20th August, I noticed Lennie was not eating the evening millet. Normally they have red millet but I was unable to buy any online so got some nice, fresh-looking ‘normal’ millet from a local pet shop. I wondered if Lennie just did not like the change in colour, however when I offered a bobble of red millet (leftover bits in the bag) he refused it. I thought that as he was moulting he was probably just ‘under the weather’.
As the weekend progressed, his poops turned a deep green, with a bluish tinge. This can indicate lack of food. I was offering all sorts of food but he just was not eating anything, in fact he was physically moving away. Either that, or he was so sleepy he did not even notice me waving a basil leaf, piece of celery or broccoli in front of him. Occasionally he would go to the seed pot & rummage around but he was not eating, he would just pick up a seed & drop it. I got an appointment with the vet on the Monday afternoon (23rd).
This was a trip to the clinic, so Lennie had to endure the travel cage & a taxi ride which fortunately was pretty quick at around 30 mins, but we had to allow extra time in case of traffic. (It would have been an arduous trip on public transport via three buses).
When we arrived, I said to the vet, who knows us well (!), “I think he has a touch of the Bezukhov’s“, in reference to dear Bezukhov’s Extreme Moult Experience when he was moulting & also not eating. The vet took Lennie into the consulting room for examination (I was not allowed in). His weight was 53g, which, on the face of it, is actually not too terrible, but it was an astonishing 20g weight loss from his last weigh-in. He has a fatty lump covering his front but the vet could feel his keel bone behind it & could tell he had lost considerable weight. His temperature was normal & his heart sounded fine.
It was decided to give Lennie a crop feed & book him in for another check (home visit) in two days time, allowing a day to recover from the stressful trip. I got a lift part the way home, so we just got on one bus, which was very noisy. When we got home, Lennie was so relieved after nearly 4 hours in the travel cage that he perked up considerably & jumped out the travel cage before I had positioned it in front of his home. Because he was still weak, I kept him on his own for a bit, but let Perry in at bedtime to preserve normal routine. His crop feed would mean he probably would not want to eat anything until the morning.
The following morning he was still lethargic. Perry went & sat with Moriarty so Lennie was able to sleep in peace. I did not start offering food until the afternoon, when he finally ate a tiny bit of baby corn! In the evening he attempted a tiny bit of millet when Perry was eating some. So Moriarty was not left out, I offered him a bobble of millet (outside the cage) & noticed that Lennie wanted Moriarty’s bobble – he did not eat it, when I pushed it through the bars, but I thought it was a good sign that he did not want to miss out.
On the Wednesday (25th), the vet came. She could feel a little food in his crop, but not much, so gave him another crop feed. He probably would not want to eat anything until the evening. However, not long after she left, I let Perry in with Lennie & he started eating millet & Lennie joined him. I thought that Lennie must have found a little space in his crop!
I was hopeful all would be well.
That evening, I let him out with the others & he went & sat in Moriarty’s cage & had a mooch about. At 7pm, I noticed he was trying to vomit. He kept extending his neck like he wanted to get something out, but nothing was coming. He was like this all evening. He did expel some seeds, but not much considering how long he was retching for. He did not know what to do with himself & at one point was on top of the cage. In between vomiting he tried to sleep but he was hunched over, his tail was bobbing & he was breathing heavily. As it was getting late, I caught him to put him home to bed. He was covered over around 10pm when I could see he was still trying to vomit. This was bad as he was meant to be eating during the evening, not vomiting.
The next morning, Thursday (26th), Lennie still was not eating. He would pick at seed but not eat it. It was not until around 13:30 that he actually ate a little millet. Fortunately, the vet had a cancellation, so we had another visit from her. She suspected that the seed he ate soon after the crop feed may have upset him. His weight was the same. We decided to give Lennie another crop feed, but this time a reduced amount, so if he wanted to eat, there was room in his crop, but if he did not want to eat, at least he had something in his crop.
We were now moving into Bank Holiday weekend territory, with reduced/no vet services available.
On the Friday morning (27th), Lennie slept a lot & ate a tiny bit of seed, but at least was not vomiting. As the day progressed he had a little baby corn, broccoli, seeded grass (gratefully received from follower rosebudgie!) He was still having long naps but was now having a little grumble (he had been pretty silent through all this) & even sat on one foot.
As the days progressed he started eating a little bit more. On the Saturday & Sunday I noted down every time he ate something & he was pretty regular, eating something, however small, roughly every hour. His moult was also progressing which must have also contributed to him gradually feeling better. On the Sunday evening he spent some time in Moriarty’s cage. On the Monday (30th), ten days after this all began, he had a bath! This was surely a great sign! He was also interacting more with Moriarty again (Moriarty having been too boisterous for him to cope with).
That brings us to today, where he is back to eating normally & behaving in his normal manner. I do hope this will not be a regular occurrence as it was with Bezukhov!