For about a week his poop would build up & at intervals a little bundle of 3 or 4 would drop. One morning, I noticed that none of his poops had dropped overnight & he had an enormous bundle stuck to his bottom. He was trying to remove it himself but pecking at it & kicking back at it with his foot was not budging it. I decided that an intervention was needed.
I prepared what I thought would be needed, cotton wool, warm water, savlon/vaseline.
Poor darling – I had hoped I would be able to prise it off pretty quickly, but it was stuck fast. It needed quite a bit of soaked cotton wool to soften it enough to release it. It came away in one big bundle. There was one small piece left behind that needed a bit of extra work. It was stuck to a feather & I considered getting the scissors to cut it off but fortunately a bit of extra water managed to set it free.
Lennie was a bit put out by the ordeal & needed some time to recover, but the good news is that since then his poop has been falling free.
The day had to come. It could not be avoided. My trusty & loyal handheld vacuum cleaner stopped working.
For those in bird-keeping circles, you will know the importance of having a handy & quick way of hoovering up seed, husks, feathers, poop & dander! Not to mention remains of chewing sessions on various materials.
On Wednesday, the 20th October, Lennie was showing similar signs to two months back – a loss of appetite & very green poops.
I rang the vet but the earliest home visit appointment I could get was for the Monday but because I was concerned, they said the vet would ring me back. When we got to speak the following morning, she had already arranged to fit in a home visit later that day, the 21st.
Unlike last time, this time Lennie had a high temperature. The vet gave him an anti-inflammatory injection & a course of antibiotics. She said it may take 48 hours before there were any signs of improvement. That would take us to Saturday, where if need be I could take him to her clinic in the morning. The vet also pointed out that she could feel a strange mass under his fat in the belly area, that she suspected may be a hernia. Whether this was causing his current problems or was unrelated, we do not know.
By the Saturday morning he really was not any better. At best he had a brief preen, but he still was not eating. Unfortunately, I could not get transport arranged in time to go to the clinic. I had feeding formula left from the last time Lennie was ill so I attempted to feed him some but I got more around his beak & on my jumper than inside him. That evening he ate about 6 seeds which was a monumental effort from him.
On the Sunday (24th) he had a good glug of his antibiotics both in the morning & the evening so he was definitely well hydrated. During the day, he ate a few seeds & a few tiny bites of celery. He also chirped a little. These were all encouraging signs. However, he was still playing with his food a lot & not actually eating it, & was sitting hunched up. Poops were still an awful mess of green. He made another effort in the evening to eat more seeds.
We made it to the Monday. Lennie was still barely eating, though he managed a tiny bit of apple. He had been ignoring the baby corn & was chewing the stalk of the millet rather than eating the seeds.
Fortunately, the vet could confirm his temperature was back to normal. As expected, he had lost weight, about 7g from her previous visit. She gave him a crop feed for a boost. We booked another visit for the Thursday.
Over the next few days he gradually started eating more & was better in himself, & interacting with Perry & Moriarty. He even managed a bath, so by the time Thursday (28th) came, I felt confident enough to cancel the vet visit.
So, we are back to normal again. It is difficult to manage health problems when it is not clear what the cause is. We can only do our best with the information we have.
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. Continue reading “A touch of the “Bezukhov’s”?”→
In my last post on this subject (click here) I reported about Perry’s ‘turns’. We have had further developments.
On the 4th July, Perry had, what I would describe as a ‘Twitchfest’. He twitched, though not violently, off & on all day, but settled by bedtime. I was on edge the whole time, anticipating that he would get worse.
Perry’s next, more significant, episode was on Saturday, the 22nd August. At around 11am, he began twitching, & a couple of those were major enough to propel him off the perch. At one point, he was hanging from the perch by one foot. He seemed okay after about 15 minutes. However, about two & a half hours later, the twitches began again, but this time they were throwing him off the perch, on average every 30 seconds (sometimes the frequency between was longer, sometimes shorter). Lennie was sensible & went into Dalai’s cage, so I locked him in there for the duration.
For about an hour the twitches continued, at varying levels of intensity. Each time his movement was from his left to the right, so I could predict where he would go/land. Sometimes he would have a few minutes where he was just twitching & able to stay on the perch. He pooped throughout, but a watery substance. Through it all, he did not make a sound. He was completely aware & scared as he clearly did not know what was happening to him. The times he landed on the bottom of the cage he immediately made his way back up. By 3pm they were subsiding & he was able to preen & behave a bit more normally, by which time, Lennie joined him again.
Things had settled down by the Monday, but nevertheless, I spoke to the vet, & she suggested adding calcium to their water as they were both still moulting.
The next episode was Saturday the 12th September (I am starting to dread Saturdays!). He seemed extra quiet that morning & when I offered him a spinach leaf, he had to turn his head at a strange angle to eat it. This alerted me & I decided to dust off the quarantine cage & prepare it for possible hospitalisation purposes. Later that day, he spasmed, fell to the cage floor & was rolling around. I carefully picked him up & put him in the spare cage. He came out of the spasm & I placed him on a perch, where he was very still. His balance was very off & he fell off the perch a few times but at least did not have far to fall in the newly set up cage, & the bottom has extra padding. Occasionally, he would turn his head from side to side & his eyes were flickering.
As previously posted, we lost our dear Dalai on the morning of Wednesday, February 26th.
I have mentioned before that Dalai had been moulting. He had the usual moult in October time & recovered well from that. His next moult was over Christmas which was unexpected. This was followed by another one in February, also unexpected. It is thought these successive moults may have weakened his system in some way.
Each time, he was a bit grumpy but that was normal behaviour for him. When he seemed particularly fed up (not bothering to come out when I unlocked him in the mornings) I would feed him a bobble of millet or six.
On Friday 21st, I he spent a large part of the day in Perry & Lennie’s cage, returning to his own quite late. I recall thinking that the expression in his eyes did not look quite right, he looked tired. The following day he barely ate. On reflection, he must have reduced his food intake in the week prior, but this was difficult to gauge given they share all the seed pots. His daytime sleeping was interspersed with manic moments of activity (walking upside down across the ceiling of his cage). I worried that he would not survive the night & kept checking at intervals.
Leading up to this, his poops were fewer, but bigger, but I was not overly concerned as this change had happened during his previous moults so I assumed the change was temporary.
Because it was the weekend, our usual vet was not available so I spent a frantic time trying to find an exotic vet working the weekend. We ended up going to the Veterinary Hospital on the Sunday to see a vet with an ‘interest in birds’. I knew Dalai would have lost weight & because, by now, he was not eating at all, I wanted access to a feeding formula. On Sunday, the hospital has a process similar to A&E triage, which meant Dalai may be in the waiting room for hours. I said I did not want this as it would be stressful for him. They would not release any feeding formula to me without a consultation but agreed to let us wait in a private room to reduce stress. As it happens, we were seen as soon as we arrived.
As expected, Dalai had lost weight & on her scales weighed 35g. The vet said he was dehydrated & to orally administer Critical Care, dissolved in water, for a few days before considering a feeding formula. It was an expensive visit for what seemed like little support & care. Continue reading “Dalai’s last week (1 of 2)”→
The last time I posted on Dalai’s health (click here), I stated that we had commenced the 45 day treatment for Chlamydiosis. This ran from the 1st December 2018 to 14th January 2019. Treatment was the medicine Ornicure, in water for all three: Dalai, Perry & Lennie.
The medicine was made up 1 litre at a time & kept for 7 days in the fridge. Apart from ensuring the light-sensitive medicine & solution was measured & stored correctly, administration was really no problem at all. They all drank the water without any qualms.
The difficulty was all the cleaning that had to be done. The infectious element is shed in cycles so it is important to have an effective cleaning routine. Given that they have an awful lot of ‘furniture’, I decided to clean most of it once & then store it away & return it at the end of the treatment. This has meant we have been living a minimalist lifestyle!
In week one, the playgym took 3 days to dismantle & clean & at the time of writing, has not yet been returned. As I bagged up newly disinfected items, I marvelled at how many pegs they have & how many beads!
Temporarily, I replaced some wooden perches & the rope perches with easy-to-clean plastic perches. I replaced their chewy toys with plastic toys. As paper is easy to replace, I used a lot of crinkle paper & curly paper on the toys to generate interest.
They all continued to moult – each losing a tail feather during December. Intermittently, Dalai would tail bob, so on those occasions I would nebulise him in the travel cage with F10.
A few days after treatment was completed, I arranged another visit from the vet (17th January). I still had some concerns about intermittent tail bobbing. The vet checked Dalai over. His weight was either 45 or 46g. The vet said that last time she was starting to feel his keel bone so it was good he was back to a healthy weight. His temperature was also normal, compared to last time when it was slightly raised. His toenails were fine (no problematic bruising) but were a little long, so they were clipped. She detected a slight clicking which suggested there was still a lingering respiratory issue. If linked to the Chlamydia, she said it may take a little longer after the end of treatment for it to clear up. Because the vet thought Dalai was in otherwise good health & in good spirits, she suggested I continue to nebulise him with F10, as & when the tail bobbing is apparent, but to continue a few days after he improves.
Dalai’s poops have improved over time. The initial worrying green colour that prompted the vet to suggest treatment for Chlamydia, has gone. Of course we still do not know if they had or have Chlamydia, but either way, they all now appear well & happy.
Just so Perry & Lennie were not feeling left out with all the attention the vet was giving Dalai, they both had their toenails trimmed. Perry, in particular, had a very long toenail that I was concerned about. Lennie was a very difficult patient & it took the vet & the nurse ages to trim his toenails!
Over the next few weeks I will continue to bring back more of their toys & also the playgym. I am sure it will not be long before we are completely cluttered again!
Whilst Dalai’s health has been scrutinised, there was a day of strange coloured poops that demanded attention. These were not Dalai’s, so must have been Perry or Lennie’s. They occurred during the day on the 17th November & were a distinct rust colour:
Needless to say, this worried me! Fortunately, both Perry & Lennie looked fine & their behaviour was normal. Overnight, their poops were fine & I have not seen any that colour since.
I can only assume that something was consumed that resulted in the strange colour. They do have bird-safe chewy toys with orange & red coloured strips of palm & also a toy with those coloured wooden blocks, so perhaps they were the offending items. Either way, all seems to be okay now.
Following on from my last post on Dalai’s health, he finished the 10 day course of antibiotics (3rd-12th November). During that time I monitored his droppings & they gradually improved. He continued to be unsociable, preferring to be in his cage on his own. He had moments when he wanted to come out but was only out briefly & mostly wanted to just stretch his wings.
He carried on with his moult, losing a tail feather & further wing feathers. He had lots of pin feathers on his head. I felt that he wanted a bath but did not want to bother coming out to have one, so a few times I held up a sprig of wet basil & he had an awkward bathe in the wet leaves, as he was trying to do it whilst balancing on his swing!
He had a set-back on the morning of November 16th when his poops were just white splats with no dark bits. However, by the afternoon they recovered.
The vet provided AviPro Plus, a probiotic to support their gut. I put this in Dalai’s & Perry & Lennie’s water from the 20th-30th November. Dalai’s droppings improved & as a bonus, Lennie’s did too (they have always been a bit… not right!)
On the 23rd November, after a further consultation with the vet, she confirmed that videos I sent showed Dalai was definitely tail bobbing (there was slight evidence of this earlier). We decided to give them all medicine for chlamydia (I refused any invasive tests & also did not bother with the fecal test as a negative result does not necessarily mean they do not have chlamydia). Whilst awaiting the medicine (it needed to be ordered), the vet suggested I nebulise Dalai a couple of times a day with F10 SC disinfectant to help with any respiratory problems.
The first ‘steaming’ session was on Friday 23rd November at 2pm. Dalai was difficult to catch in the Silver Villa & when I did grab him he screeched & screamed! He never did that when the vet grabbed him! He was not best pleased when he found himself in the travel cage, under a cover, with a bowl of hot water. (To be clear, the water was outside the cage). I did this again on the following occasions:
24th November – 10:30
25th November – 10:30, 17:00
26th November – 10:30, 17:30
27th November – 10:00, 17:30
28th November – 10:30
29th November – 10:15
Each time Dalai screeched & screamed when I grabbed him. After the last two ‘steamings’, he seemed a bit brighter & livelier. After his steaming on the 28th, he stayed out for a bit & even gave Perry’s head a little preen.
The medicine for chlamydiosis (Ornicure) arrived yesterday, & treatment has commenced.
In the meantime, here is a slideshow for the poop aficionados amongst us.
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).