Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: medication

Lennie’s feather problem

During the vet visit on the 16th June for Perry’s ‘turns’ (click here to read), I also asked the vet to check Lennie’s wing feathers.

The last time the vet checked his wing feathers was a year ago when he was already having problems flying.  At the time, it was thought a severe moult had caused the problems.  Since then, Lennie has grown wing feathers back again but also lost some, never getting to a point that he could fly properly.  The feathers he dropped also looked of poor quality.  In addition, we had the ‘crime scene‘ with a suspected broken blood feather.  It seemed appropriate to ask the vet to take another look.

Prior to her physical examination of him, I showed her many of the feathers he had lost.  She identified stress bars & also evidence of chewing.  Stress bars were not too surprising as Lennie is a bit of a worrywart.  The chewing was more concerning & raised lots of questions, primarily, was he chewing because there was something wrong with the feather or was he chewing on a healthy feather & if so, why?

On examining Lennie, apart from his strange feathers & whopping weight (a staggering 73g!) he appeared healthy.  She took some sample feathers for him to be tested for Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) which fortunately came back negative.

When the vet returned the following day to check on Perry, as a precaution, she gave them both treatment for (feather) mites, which I followed up on the 13th July.

 

Without further tests, it is difficult to establish the root cause of Lennie’s feather problem.  It is possible he has a psychological issue given he suffers from stress & anxiety.  Even if his feather problem is resolved, his weight gain will not help with his flying ability.  So, this continues to be a problem to monitor…

 


Sample of feathers:

 

Fever

Not long ago, I posted that Perry had a ‘scary turn‘.  Unfortunately, this happened again (almost 4 weeks later).

Perry

On the evening of Monday, June 15th, at around 9:20pm, Perry had another series of ‘turns’, similar to before.  He seemingly lost control of his body & was hurling himself around the cage.  At one point he made a strange, tinny, sound.  When the worst of it was over, he settled on the perch.  However, around midnight, when the lights were dim & their cover was over, he once again fell off the perch & when I turned the light up & investigated, the same thing was happening.  This time, there was less falling (or propelling himself) off the perch but he was twitching, mostly with his head going to one side.  I could see his body wanted to follow the direction his head was taking.

I dimmed the lights again & put the cover down (halfway) in hope that the darkness would be less stimulating & more calming for him.  He was restless until around 2am, when he appeared to settle.  Nevertheless, I slept overnight in the same room to make sure he was okay.  Lennie, understandably, was stressed by his friend’s behaviour & sat on the swing to keep out the way.  We made it through the night without further incident.

You will not be surprised to hear that the vet visited the following day (Tuesday).

She asked many questions about the form Perry’s ‘turns’ took.  I will note the questions below, because at a time when you feel helpless, you could actually observe something that will be key to diagnosing the problem.  When the vet examined Perry, the first thing she noticed was his very high temperature.  It was critical to bring this down within the next 48 hours.  She gave him an injection (Meloxidyl) & also left me with medication (Loxicom) to give orally twice a day for two days.  In case the temperature was caused by an infection, she also put him on a course of antibiotics (Baytril).  She arranged to visit the next day to check his temperature. His weight, similar to last time, was 54g.

Lennie

(Whilst she was here, I asked her to look at Lennie’s wing feathers but I will leave that for another post.)

After the visit & into the next day, they were both very, very quiet & not going to the seed pots to eat (Lennie was stressed), so I offered millet & seeded grass at regular intervals, which they ate.

Thankfully, when the vet took Perry’s temperature about 24 hours later, it was normal!  This was such a relief!  I was to continue with the Loxicom as a precaution, & he still had antibiotics in the water.  The vet said that it may take him a few days to recover as the high temperature had put a strain on his body.

It is possible the temperature had nothing to do with Perry’s ‘turns’, but it obviously needed to be taken care of.  A possibility is that his lump pushes on a nerve that triggers the ‘turn’.  At best, the ‘turns’ are caused by an infection in the kidney that is pumping out toxins, in which case the antibiotics will sort it out.

It is now a few days since the vet came & I have not witnessed any more incidents.  Perry & Lennie are eating by themselves again & gradually getting back to normal.

 

~~~~~

Questions to bear in mind when your bird is having a seizure:

  • Was he/she aware of his/her surroundings during the seizure/s.
  • Did his/her head turn in a circle or to one side?  If to the side, which side?  Was it always the same side?
  • Did he/she make a sound during the seizure & if so, what kind of sound?
  • Did he/she poop or vomit during the seizure?

 

Dalai’s last week (1 of 2)

As previously posted, we lost our dear Dalai on the morning of Wednesday, February 26th.

Dalai preening

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.

Dalai preening

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. Read more of this post

Head-shaking

Perry was exhibiting some strange behaviour last week.

On the afternoon of Tuesday 12th March, he started doing some random head shaking movements.  He appeared quite distressed.  It looked like he wanted to vomit but nothing came out (see videos below).  After each head-shaking episode, he sat very still & seemed to breathe heavily.  I was alarmed enough to ring the vet, however, she was not available that day.

Perry

I arranged to visit a local vet early evening instead.  However, an hour or so later, Perry seemed to be fine, so (stupidly?) I cancelled the vet visit.  Naturally, not long after I did that, he was exhibiting the same odd behaviour again but the local vet was now fully booked.

As it looked like he may be having breathing problems I thought it would be a good idea to nebulise him with F10 (as I have been doing with Dalai).  It seems though, that Perry is more highly strung than Dalai & was so stressed covered up in the travel cage that he vomited.  I vowed never to subject him to such a horrific experience again!

So, I continued to monitor him the rest of the evening, & overnight.  The next morning I was able to get an appointment with the usual vet, who visited early afternoon.  That morning, I saw Perry do the head-shaking thing again, though only once.  Did this mean he was getting better?

The vet gave him an examination & also viewed the videos I had taken of Perry’s behaviour.  She could not see any obvious reason for what was going on.  His temperature was fine, as was his heart rate.  Unfortunately, during the examination, she found a small lump on his lower belly, that he has been starting to pluck.  It is not visible unless the feathers are parted.  This is clearly something we need to keep an eye on.

It was possible that Perry had a seed husk or something that had gone down the wrong way & it was irritating him.  It was also possible that Perry had an ear infection, & it would not hurt to have some antibiotics, so the vet prescribed 5 days of Enrobactin in water.

So, we have now finished the antibiotics and Perry seems fine.  Since the morning of the 13th, I have not seen any more of the head-shaking.  Hopefully it was just a one-off happening & we are now back to our version of normal.

 

 

 

Update on Dalai: 45 days

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 17/1

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!

Dalai

 

Update on Dalai

Dalai

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!)

Dalai ready for F10 nebulising

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

And some prettier photos:

 

Preparation for emergency evacuation of your birds

Being a paranoid parront, I would like to post advice on how to quickly & safely evacuate your birds/pets in an emergency.

There is already plenty of good advice already written on the internet, so I will post some links. From what I have read, the key is PREPARATION because if there was a real emergency you would likely be stressed yourself & less likely to think straight, so anything that helps you (& your birds) through the ordeal can only be of benefit.

The following link is well written & has some good ideas. Their main ‘trick’ is use of a pillowcase to catch up birds & also keep them safe: www.birdtricks.com/blog/how-to-evacuate-parrots-when-you-only-have-seconds/

This link also has some good points: www.beautyofbirds.com/evacuation.html

Personally, my plan would be to get my flock into the small travel/hospital cage (I also have an even smaller carrier if I have time to consider separating them). I have prepared a canvas bag that has in it: food (seed & millet); seed pots & water bottles; reminder note & headlamp.  The reminder note is so I can grab any medication that may be in the fridge.  Every time I receive a new order of seed or millet, I refresh what is in the emergency bag & date it.  At the same time I check the headlamp still works in case the batteries need changing.  A point to note is that I have chosen a canvas bag with long handles so if need be I can hang it around my neck if I need my hands!  The emergency bag is kept on the shelf underneath the Silver Villa.

 

The travel/hospital cage is kept underneath the playgym so that is also in close proximity.  I actually decided to keep it close in case Bezukhov has a major seizure, however even if this were not the case, it would still be handy to keep there for other emergency reasons.

For some reason I cannot remember (!) I have two pillowcases draped over the back of my futon that is directly in front of the new Villa, so they are handy if needed.  Alternatively, they could be folded up & kept with the spare/emergency cage.

My mother lives nearby so if need be, I can walk to hers & deposit the flock there for safety.

If anyone else has any other advice/tips/tricks/ideas then feel free to share here!

Perry, Lennie (hidden at back), Dalai & Bezukhov

 

Extreme Moult Experience

So, right on schedule, we had the annual Extreme Moult Experience.

This is the 3rd year running this has happened.  It began when Bezukhov suffered this affliction in October 2015 (click here to read that story).  Last year, Bezukhov upped the stakes by introducing compulsory crop-feeding to keep him going (click here to read that story).  This year, Bezukhov pulled out all the stops & managed to scare us all.

Not counting the final follow-up visit, we had clocked up 16 vet visits/crop feeds in 14 days.   In total, there were 17 vet visits in 17 days which clearly averages as 1 visit a day.  Astounding statistics.

On the 19th September, Bezukhov dropped many large feathers, including his remaining tail feather.  His smaller, fluffier feathers were also beginning to fall off him.  When offered millet, he declined.  His poops were also going a dark green colour.  It was time to call in the vet.  When the vet examined him on the 20th, she said his head was inflamed where pin feathers (not yet noticeable) were about to come through.  Instead of sensibly gradually moulting out his feathers, he decided to drop them all at the same time & grow new ones.  His body was clearly not able to cope with this, hence his lack of appetite (& subsequent dramatic weight loss) & extreme lethargy.

 

Knowing the pattern from previous years, although his weight was initially healthy at 50g, the vet began with a crop feed in an attempt to ‘get ahead of the game’.  You can see from the table below, that things did not go as well as we had hoped.

 

The main complication this time was that Bezukhov was repeatedly vomiting.  He had a crop wash on the 26th September to rule out reasons other than an extreme moult.  This came back clear, but we were still left with the vomiting problem.  It was thought it might have been a side affect to the antibiotics, in which case we would have to wait a few days until after the last dose to see if this was the case.  His weight continued to fall, despite having crop feeds.

Thursday the 28th September was the worse day of all.  He looked terrible & I feared he would not last the night…. but last the night he did & his further loss of 2g, to a critically low (for Bezukhov) 38g, explained his worsening state.  It was at this point we increased the crop feeding to twice a day.  On the Friday, he thankfully vomited less & from the Saturday all but stopped.  This was indeed a good sign & we hoped it would be the turning point, which indeed, it was.

You can see from the table above, that Bezukhov’s last weight was 41g that he had kept stable for a few days.  He still needs to put on weight but is now in much better spirits & eating by himself so we are hopeful that he will be his slightly tubby self soon.

 

 

Relapse

An unwell Bezukhov

An unwell Bezukhov

One day feather loss

One day feather loss

Medication

Medication

We have had a difficult time with Bezukhov.  After I posted that Bezukhov had become unwell (click here to read that post), the hopeful signs of improvement stopped.  On the 29th September, Bezukhov began a heavy moult.  Almost overnight there were feathers everywhere.  He lost mountains of small fluffy feathers, several larger feathers, including flight feathers & a tail feather.  At the same time, his poops got worse again.  He also stopped eating.

He was extremely lethargic & I was sufficiently worried to call in Ms Independent Vet (IV) who visited on the 30th September.

Once again, she suspected the problems were a continuation of stress from losing his friend Phineas, but now with the added complication of going into a heavy moult.  She weighed him & he was only 44g, so a loss of approximately 14g in 9 days.  His temperature was very high, but otherwise she could not find anything else obviously wrong.  She gave him an injection of anti-inflammatory to help bring down his temperature & also antibiotics to guard against infections whilst his immune system was low.  I was to orally give him the anti-inflammatory (Loxicom) twice a day for the next 3 days & antibiotics (Baytril) once a day for the next 7 days.  She also advised that I steam/nebulise him with F10 as she thought his breathing was a bit laboured.  She also gave me Emeraid, so I could syringe feed him to get his weight back up.

Of course giving Bezukhov medicine is a challenge.  Despite being unwell he still managed to do his very best to avoid taking anything orally.

I was marginally better at giving Bezukhov the medicine than the Emeraid.  Some birds will apparently eat Emeraid when offered as it is a nice smelling (& probably nice tasting) porridge-like substance.  I did offer him some on my finger but he refused so I was left with having to syringe feed him.  I tried my very, very best to give him the food but he pulled out all the stops & thwarted me at every twist & turn.  I managed to get a few drops inside him now & then.  Ms IV advised that I give him the Emeraid morning & evening but because I could hardly get any inside him, I added another battle session in the middle of the day.

Despite my best efforts, Bezukhov got worse.

Read more of this post

Vet visit & medication review

My last report on Bezukhov’s medication situation was at the end of February, when it was agreed with Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV) that all medication would cease.

On the 3rd of March, Bezukhov had his last dose of Destolit.  I would like to say he has not had any more ‘episodes’ but he has.  On the good side, he went for another 6 weeks without any ‘episodes’, but after those rogue 2, he had a clear month then recently had 7 within 5 days.  It was this sudden increase that prompted me to take him back to the vet to review the situation.

Bezukhov in travel cage

Bezukhov in travel cage

Bezukhov in travel cage

Bezukhov in travel cage

So, on Friday 24th June, Bezukhov, once again, visited the vet.  Ms EHV gave him an examination.  He weighs quite a bit now (60g!) but Ms EHV did not think this was a cause for alarm.  He looked, on the face of it, in good health.  He further demonstrated this by breaking free of her grasp & flying around the consulting room.  He landed behind the tap of the sink & Ms EHV quickly retrieved him.  

As I expected, she suggested we run another blood test to see if his recent spate of ‘episodes’ were linked to a downturn in the liver or gallbladder function.  If so, we would return to the previous medication he was on but most probably never come off it.

Because I had reservations about him being put under the anaesthetic in order to obtain the blood sample, Ms EHV suggested an alternative.

The alternative is to give medication when, & only when, Bezukhov has an ‘episode’.  The logic behind this is that we wish to avoid cluster ‘episodes’.  We accept that he may have the odd ‘episode’ here & there & as long as they are brief & the space inbetween is relatively long, then there should not be any long-term health implications.  However, if he has several in one day, or worse, in one hour, then the health risks increase.

So, the new medication (Hypnovel/Midazolam) is to be administered after the 2nd ‘episode’ of the day.  This is by no means an answer but hopefully something that will help to manage the situation with as little stress as possible.

With luck, I will not need to use the new medication, or at least not use it for awhile.