Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: injury

Working through the Avian Medical Encyclopedia…

Last week, on Wednesday the 2nd of March, we had another visit from the vet.

Perry

Perry & Moriarty

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 53g, 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!

 

Corn flour is essential

Just 8 days after seeing the vet for Lennie’s health problems, I was back at her clinic.

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.

More blood from Perry

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.

 

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.

 

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!

Corn flour

 

Wait & See

When I last posted on Perry’s health (click here) I said that we were waiting to see our usual vet.  She visited on the 14th January.  After a thorough examination, the conclusion was ‘wait & see‘.

She said the following:

  • The ball of dead tissue that fell off (15th December) left a crater, which has a lining of dead tissue. (The dead tissue is where there is an absence of blood vessels which can happen as a lump grows). This can be surgically removed but it is unknown how deep it is etc.  It is normal for the dead tissue to expand & is not necessarily a bad thing. The tissue around it looks healthy which suggests it may be healthy underneath too. The best case scenario is that when ready, it will just fall away.
  • The lower wound appears to show that bleeding from the abscess/cyst/blood blister was from two areas.  There is a ‘cavern’ between them that looks like a scab.  As with the upper wound, it is hoped his body will push out the remaining blood clot when appropriate.
  • The lower part of the lump is hard & still intact & brushing against his leg, hence his mobility issues.
  • It is still unknown what is happening inside/below the lump so there could still be unforeseen complications.
  • There was no obvious reason why he would bleed again, especially given his last bleed was on the 1st January.
  • It could take Perry up to 3 weeks to recover from the significant blood loss.

There was a lot of information so my interpretation is probably not spot on, but I think I got the gist of it!

One thing I am sure of is that the vet weighed him & he was a huge 65g!  That may be all the extra millet I have been giving him.  As he is still stable & appears in good spirits, I have already begun to cut back on the millet!

Perry

 

 

Holiday Emergency

Normally, at the beginning of a new year, I like to do a review of the previous year.  However, the last few weeks have been a little torturous & we are still in uncharted waters, so instead of a review, I will bring you up-to-date with Perry’s health.

I had previously reported (click here) that on the 15th of December, part of Perry’s lump had shrivelled & fallen off.  All was relatively stable until the 26th December, when there was some overnight blood loss.

There was no sign of blood on either Perry or Lennie.  In fact, they both looked fine.  But where did it come from?  There was no sign of a blood feather.  The blood looked like it dripped rather than sprayed.  I wondered if perhaps Perry had been picking at his lump (it was going black again).  There was some evidence of blood on a small feather under his tail so perhaps it was linked to a feather?  But Perry has a lot of white feathers & there was no sign of blood anywhere else on him.  Nothing on perches or cage bars either.  He was a bit quiet but was eating & drinking.

Three days later, the 30th December, was a bad day.  Perry bled three times.  The first time I noticed his foot & leg, the side of the lump, were bloody & there was blood on a perch, but nothing on the floor.  I assumed he had picked at the lump.  I had to go out & on my return there was more blood.  A lot.  There was a big clump on the perch & a large patch below it.  Perry was all bloody near his lump & it looked like blood had congealed on his feathers & formed clumps.  Again, he was quiet but had a drink, some fennel & a little seed.  Later on, I noticed what was the third & final bleed that day.

I had agonised over whether to take him to a vet but felt any major upheaval (transferring him to the travel cage & the journey to the vet etc.) could have a fatal outcome, so decided against that.  I recognised that no action could also have a similar outcome, but I thought we would ride out the night together.

 

Perry survived the night.  He seemed relatively stable & had not bled any more.  I decided to take him to the vet that morning, the 31st December.

The vet visit was wrapped up in mad rules which caused further (unnecessary) distress, but we got through it & I was relieved to get Perry back home again.  The vet seemed to suggest that the lump was actually an abscess (on reflection, it is possible she could have said ‘cyst’ but I struggle to understand when people are wearing a mask).  She cleaned the area as much as possible – a proper clean would mean putting him under anaesthetic.  She said there was still some dead tissue left in a crater/hole but she did not want to stress him or cause him any pain by removing that part.  She plucked the feathers, so there was a round, pink area.

Perry was understandably traumatised after the ordeal but I kept him quiet & covered in his own cage (Lennie was fortunately temporarily in Dalai’s cage).  It took Perry some time to feel like eating & drinking.  I checked on him overnight & was hopeful he was stable, however the following day, the 1st January, he had another bleed.  This time the blood loss happened as I was looking at him, so I immediately grabbed him & smothered his ‘lump’ with cornflour (I had all the emergency items handy).  I put him in a small carrier for a few minutes then checked him again.  I saw an area of fresh blood so put more cornflour on.  Whilst doing this, I noticed a round black area that must have been the dead tissue the vet mentioned – it was above where the bleeding was.  As I already had F10 disinfectant lined up, I swabbed it.

 

The cornflour stopped the bleeding & at the time of writing he has had no further bleeding.  We are hoping to see our usual vet as soon as she is available, but until then, we continue to do our best.  During all this trauma I have discovered that when Perry did not feel up to eating seed, he could usually manage some fennel.  It is always handy to know what food/vegetable your pet favours when they are not well.

We have had an unpleasant start to the New Year & there is still huge uncertainty around Perry’s condition.  However, against all odds (significant blood loss & severely limited veterinary services due to holidays etc.), Perry continues to eat & drink & I am eternally grateful we have got this far.

Perry

 

 

Crime Scene

Four weeks ago, on the 7th of March, I woke to find a disturbing crime scene.

Blood everywhere.

But fortunately two birds looking fine & strangely innocent.

The more I looked, the more blood I found.  It was all over the cage bottom, dripped & smeared.  It had spattered & sprayed on the floor outside the cage, up to 26 inches away (night-time cover only goes part the way down the front).  There was no sign of blood on their back cover & only a couple of drops on the inside of the top cover.  One drop managed to land sideways in Dalai’s cage on his platform perch.  Some drops were on the rope perches (lower to mid-level) but otherwise nothing on the perches.  Some drops of blood were on a seed trough.

 

Absence of significant blood on the perches ruled out a toe injury, plus there was no sign of bloody toes or feet.

Perry’s wing feathers were bloody but it is possible he had a (night) fright & may have fallen in the blood & smeared it, otherwise, there were no other visible signs of blood on Perry.  When cleaning, I found one wing feather that had splatters of blood but had that dropped before or after the bloodbath?  There were no visible signs of blood on Lennie.

 

My instinct is that it was a burst blood feather, but there was no sign of the offending feather itself.

Perry & Lennie were fine that morning, if a little quiet.  Millet helped.

Lennie & Perry preening

 

We were lucky – this could have easily had a bad outcome.  Please all, be prepared for such an event.  Check that your first aid kit is well equipped for an injury resulting in blood loss.  There are lots of resources on the internet advising what to do in such a situation.  If you have a trusted vet, then have a chat with them & see what their advice is.

 

Poorly Perry

Perry not feeling well

Last Sunday (6th October), Perry seemed a bit quiet & not his usual self.  The next morning he was no better, in fact he was worse.  He was very quiet with not a peep out of him, not even when Dalai called to him (before I unlocked their cages).  He sat in the same spot for some time, sleeping although not fluffed up.  He did not go down to his seed pots either.

I let Lennie out so he & Dalai could play & Perry could continue to rest.  Millet was gratefully received by Perry & he was able to eat quite a bit without having to fight Lennie for it.  When he jumped to another perch he seemed to stumble a bit so I wondered if perhaps his lump was starting to impact on his leg.  With these concerns, I rang the vet & booked an appointment for the following morning (Tuesday 8th October).

By about midday, Perry decided he wanted a change of scenery & wanted to come out.  For the rest of the day he sat in with Dalai & Lennie, still very quiet.  When the others were otherwise engaged, I would slip Perry some millet.

Although Perry had improved by the next morning (eating by himself & more vocal), I kept the vet appointment.  The vet examined him & noticed bruising on his upper left leg, opposite to the lump.  We assume this is why he was off-colour & also why he had improved.  His lump is still growing & is currently growing outwards & downwards.  The vet thinks it will affect his leg at some point & start causing mobility problems.  Whilst he is coping fine now, I will gradually start to adapt his cage & hopefully they will accept the changes without any fuss!

Perry

 

Rosy-cheeked

Yesterday, Phineas was being his normal self, regurgitating, eating, regurgitating, preening, regurgitating & regurgitating.  I went & sat at the other side of the room for a few minutes but when I returned to him he had a splash of red on his cheek.  It looked like a beetroot stain but I knew it was not as they had not had beetroot (nothing can escape my powers of deduction!)  I could only assume it was blood!

A panic set in as I tried to work out what had caused it.  There was no fight as I was there the whole time & Bezukhov was in the manor whilst Phineas was in the Silver Villa.  Did he catch it on something?  If he did, there would be blood over something else.  I looked over the cage but did not see any blood elsewhere.  In the meantime, Phineas was being his normal self.  It clearly was not bothering him at all.

I decided that a small blood feather on his cheek must have burst.  Fortunately, there was no drama (Phinny missed a trick there!) & life has (thankfully) carried on as normal.

 

 

Limp toes

I am thinking of renaming this blog “The Veterinary Chronicles”…

Yes, you guessed it, we have visited the vet again.  This time it was Cagney; he hurt his foot.  The last time this happened was just before Christmas.  On that occasion he recovered quickly from the bruising he had sustained.

Cagney in travel cage hanging by dodgy foot

Cagney in travel cage hanging by dodgy foot

Cagney's right foot not gripping properly

Cagney’s right foot not gripping properly

Close up of dodgy foot

Close up of dodgy foot

Cagney after vet visit

Cagney after vet visit

A few days ago I noticed Cagney limping.  There seemed to be something wrong with his right leg.  At one point, when he was on top of the Manor, I could see under his foot & it looked red.  Later on that day I managed to grab him & attempted to smear some aloe vera on his foot.  He was very wriggly (clearly he had been taking lessons from the Master of Wriggling, Bezukhov!)  He also felt very little.  Was this because I am used to holding Bezukhov who is now quite ‘solid’ or has he been losing weight?  His right foot seemed odd too, though I could not work out why (the wriggling did not help).  As the day wore on he struggled, so much so that I rang the vet to make an appointment.

The day before the vet visit, he appeared to improve though I did wonder if he had simply worked out ways to get around without putting stress on the dodgy leg.  I decided to go ahead with the visit anyway, which was yesterday, the 21st.

Of course the visit was only to go ahead on the proviso that I could actually catch Cagney.  I was fortunate that Cagney & Bezukhov thought I was ‘going in’ to catch Bezukhov for his every-other-day medication but I surprised them both by grabbing Cagney!  I popped him in the travel cage ready for his jaunt.  With the way he was climbing around the cage it was apparent something was still very wrong with his foot.  His toes seemed floppy.

Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV) gave him an examination.  Other than his foot, all appeared well.  He weighed a healthy 47 grams (surprised me – I thought he would be be a lot less).  She trimmed his beak & his toenails.  His toenails were long though not as long as they have been in the past.  We assume he gets them caught, thereby pulling on his leg & causing an injury.  Ms EHV confirmed that the two outer toes on his right foot were affected & the ‘floppiness’ was most probably caused by stretched or strained ligaments.

She gave him an anti-inflammatory injection & said that it could take many weeks for his foot to heal.  It is also likely he will be left with some weakness in that area.  She gave me some Metacam to give him (orally) once a day for the next few days.  (I am not sure how administering of that will happen).

On our return, Cagney was welcomed with lots of shouting, although quite a lot of that was Phineas squawking as I had abandoned him before he could have his morning constitutional.  I made some perch adjustments in the Manor so Cagney has a soft rope perch to roost on.  Hopefully he will get a chance to rest his foot & his toes will return to full working order.

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Just for the record, here is a video of Cagney on the swinging perch the day before his visit to the vet.  You can see his foot is not functioning properly, although it does not stop him playing with the beads.

 


 

 

 

 

Bruising, bleeding, chasing & a temporary truce

Cagney has hurt his foot again.

Cagney holding up right foot

Cagney holding up right foot

Yesterday I noticed that he was holding his right foot up.  He was limping too.  This has happened before & I think it is because his long toenails get caught in something.  I continued to observe him & was concerned enough to remove the swing from the Manor & put some padding on the bottom in case he should fall.

He seemed fine in himself & was getting about.  He even sat in Phinny’s cage for a little while but as the day progressed he seemed to get a little worse.  He had difficulty turning on the perch & could not be bothered to go all the way down to his seed pot.  Naturally, I held the seed pot up to him.  I decided that a vet visit was in order, if only to confirm it was a simple sprain & nothing sinister.

Today, Cagney visited the vet.

Read more of this post

Gallery of battle scars

My blood drawn

My blood drawn

My blood drawn (again)

My blood drawn (again)

Phineas with injured toe

Phineas with injured toe

Close up of Phinny's toe

Close up of Phinny’s toe

Thomas & his bloody eye

Thomas & his bloody eye

Thomas & Phineas

Thomas & Phineas

Following on from my previous post on Fight Combinations, I have attempted to limit having only Phineas & Thomas out together.  If Cagney is snoozing in the manor then all is relatively calm.  However, when Cagney moves, both Phineas & Thomas want to be in prime position & this is when a fight can happen.

Most of the time Thomas flies away but he is not scared of standing up to Phinny  & at times he proves this.

Other times, it appears that Phineas is flirting with Thomas & starts to get a bit excited & possibly a bit aggressive.  Unfortunately, Thomas has no interest & this sometimes sparks another altercation.

Either way, I have to keep my eye on the two of them.

Though I have tried to limit their “fighting times” & also supervise them in the hope of averting a clash, there are times a full blown battle occurs.  Under normal circumstances, Thomas would flee my hand but I know a fight is bad when he does not.  In these instances I slip my hand between the two boys & usually get a hard bite (from Phineas) for my trouble.

I have spotted Phineas with a red blob on his toe which must have come from another scrap.

By far the worst outcome so far has been a scratch above Thomas’s eye.  Blood poured down from it & initially it looked alarming.  Fortunately, it was just a superficial wound.  Despite him rubbing it a lot (most probably to get the blood out the way) it was clear his eye was not damaged & he was still flying & landing fine so vision was also not affected.

Apart from the fights….

….all is good.

(Click on photos to enlarge)