Well, this will be quite a long post! Despite Perry’s chilled personality, he managed to collect quite a few health issues over the years.
The first significant problem was encountered in March 2019, when the vet noticed a lump during an examination, prompted by some weird head shaking that went away quickly of its own accord. (Click here for that post).
Later that year, in October, Perry exhibited some mobility problems. On examination the vet noticed some bruising on his upper leg. His lump was still there, but growing outwards. (Click here for that post).
The first seizure witnessed was in May 2020 (Click here for that post). I had hoped it was a one-off but they returned the following month, which is when the vet was consulted (Click here for that post). The seizures carried on & the vet did various tests, with one of them indicating that he was borderline Diabetes – perhaps the reason why his water intake had increased. (Click here for that post).
Perry remained relatively stable until a one-off drama in November 2021 with a broken blood feather & lots of blood! (Click here for that post). Beak trims for Perry began during 2021, which suggested a liver problem (also a possible cause of the seizures).
Unfortunately, the frequency of Perry’s seizures increased over the summer of 2022. By October, I had decided to give him anti-seizure medication. There are potential side-effects to this, so I had to weigh up the pros & cons. Around this time, the vet also suspected Perry had heart failure. (Click here for that post).
Last week, on Wednesday the 2nd of March, we had another visit from the vet.
It appears that Perry is working his way through an avian medical encyclopedia & I told the veterinary nurse that I had lost track of what letter he is up to. She suggested that he might be at ‘L’ for leg.
So yes, he has a problem with his leg.
About a week prior to the visit, I had noticed Perry holding his left foot up & barely using it. I could not see any visible signs of injury. He could rest it on the perch but only lightly. As the days progressed it got a little better in that he could lift it to scratch the side of his head, which suggested there was no problem with the actual foot. My concern was that perhaps one of his lumps was beginning to press on the leg & causing the problem.
The good news is that the problem is not lump-related. He must have caught his leg/foot & sprained it as his knee joint is swollen. Otherwise, all appears fine with his foot. The vet gave him an anti-inflammatory injection to expedite recovery, but basically we just have to wait for it to heal, which could take 2-4 months.
To help with any pain or inflammation, I have been putting cayenne pepper & turmeric in his water, that he seems to like. I noticed the cayenne pepper does not dissolve fully, so I wait for it to settle & then skim off the top, without bits, to put into his water. Before giving it to him, I taste the water to check for ‘pepperiness’. I also put a spoonful or two in my own drink!
Whilst the vet was here, she gave Perry a little makeover by trimming his beak (it was longer than it was the last time she trimmed it) & his toenails. She also weighed him & he was 55g, which is a bit less than his last weigh-in but nothing to be concerned about.
In this video you can see, about halfway through, how long his beak was:
With a little extra help, Perry is still ‘out & about’. I just hope he will put aside the avian medical encyclopedia for a bit!
All initially seemed fine on the morning of the 2nd November. Normally, I would let Perry in with Moriarty where they could get their morning flirt out of the way without interruption from Lennie. This went ahead as usual but I noticed it ended quicker than usual, & Moriarty wanted to go & say good morning to Lennie. This meant Perry was on his own in Moriarty’s cage.
Not long after, I noticed the tip of his beak was red.
Now was the time for some intense observation.
I thought I saw a flash of something dark around his preening gland area. I wondered if he had a broken blood feather. Sure enough it was not long before, I started seeing spots of blood on the bottom of the cage… Then bigger drops.
I rang the vet hoping there was a cancellation for a home visit, which there was not. She was already out doing home visits but would be back at the clinic in about an hour or so, so they suggested I make my way there. I immediately covered Perry in corn flour. He was bleeding as I was doing this (the place looked like a crime scene afterwards). I could not quite work out where it was coming from so just pressed my finger in certain places & if it came out red, I shoved corn flour in that area. There seemed to be a spot below the preening gland that was bleeding. I put him in the travel cage. Fortunately, the corn flour temporarily stopped the bleeding. The cab ride would be at least 30 minutes, so I put some corn flour in my bag in case it was needed on route. We got to the clinic about half an hour before the vet. It was not until about 5 or 10 minutes before she took him in, that I saw a drop of blood on the bottom of his cage – so the corn flour held up well.
It seemed like forever that Perry was in with the vet. The longer he was gone, the more worried I was getting.
It turned out the bleed was from a broken blood feather on the left side of the main tail. The feather itself was not in situ & to date, still has not been found. (It is possible there was not blood on it when it came out, so I may have missed it).
There was quite a big hole left by the feather & the area was inflamed & bruised. By that time, the bleeding was heavy so the vet cauterized the feather follicles to stop it. She also removed some of the surrounding feathers. She gave Perry an anti-inflammatory injection & also made sure he was well hydrated. The vet said several times that it was absolutely the right thing to bring him as soon as we did.
Perry in travel cage on return from the vet
Perry preening in travel cage on return from the vet
We finally got home early afternoon. Perry started chirping to Lennie & Moriarty as I brought him into the lounge. I left him in the travel cage for about an hour as he seemed comfortable there (knowing he was back home). Moriarty was going mad, wanting to give him a kiss but I think he too calmed down a bit just seeing that Perry was home again. Both Moriarty & Lennie were locked in Perry & Lennie’s cage. Whilst Perry was resting I took the opportunity to clean up Moriarty’s cage. When Perry started to stir a bit, I offered my finger & he came out, so I put him into Moriarty’s cage. To try & get some normality back, I let Moriarty in at intervals so as not to tire Perry out.
Perry was quiet for the rest of the day but in the evening had some water & also tucked into some millet. I checked on him during the night & he was stable. The vet nurse rang first thing in the morning to see how he was. Importantly, there was no further blood loss. The anti-inflammatory was due to wear off 24-48 hours after administration, leaving the sore, bruised area which will take a little longer to heal. So far, Perry has continued to recover well.
Perry out & about with Moriarty
Perry chatting with Moriarty
I would like to end this post by recommending that all who have birds should have a tub of corn flour in their medicine cabinet. You never know when it might come in handy. Without corn flour Perry may not have made it to the vet. Lastly, I would also like to say a big thank you to my vet who immediately understood the gravity of the situation & responded as quick as she could & was a star!