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).
We continued giving him medication twice a day. The morning slot was usually around 10-11am. The evening slot was more fluid & largely dictated by whenever the opportunity presented itself. In his last week Perry was having it around 7-8pm.
Perry continued to eat well, but never did return to eating from the seed pots. During the daytime when he was mostly in Moriarty’s cage, I would offer either millet spray, or seed in the little red pot. He continued to eat various vegetables & apple, when offered. He would nap during the day, sometimes quite heavily, usually sitting on the branch perch on the far left hand side. When he woke up, he would jump to the big horizontal perch, at which point Moriarty would appear to give him kisses. It was usually the time I offered food & also water.
When Perry retired back to his & Lennie’s cage in the evening, he would initially snooze on the branch perch, & Lennie would often take the opportunity to gently preen him. After a snooze, he would make his way to the triangle perch, where he would eat from the pegged up millet. Perry was always a late eater, known in the past for snacking from the seed pot at midnight. He continued with his late eating, often chomping away at the millet until 11pm. I would leave a part of the cover up so I could spy his movements – if he moved to the left hand side of the triangle perch, that usually indicated he wanted some water, which I then offered.
Mostly, Perry would roost on the far right hand side of the big horizontal perch, that had multiple layers of vet-wrap to soften it for his feet.
Perry was good at conserving energy. In the mornings, the routine was to get Moriarty out first & whilst he was greeting Perry & Lennie through the bars of their cage, I would give his cage a quick clean. The last task was to take his seed pot into the kitchen to ‘dustbust’ the breakfast seed husks away. When I returned it, that was when Perry usually started to stir as he knew I would open their cage up next. He knew there was no point jumping about until I had done that seed pot!
Previously, I would open the little door & he would make his way into Moriarty’s but in later months, with mobility being hampered, he would step up & I would transport him myself into Moriarty’s. I would lock them both in for a morning flirt & bonding session, whilst I sorted out Lennie’s cage, at the same time, thanking Lennie for looking after Perry overnight & telling him he did a good job.
Then it was time for Perry’s morning medication. He was very much inspired by Moriarty also eating the vegetable that I hid the medicine on, so there was much chicanery going on with getting Perry to eat the ‘loaded’ piece of vegetable & making sure Moriarty did not. A similar feat went on in the evening, with Lennie inspiring Perry to eat the food.
Certainly I could not have looked after Perry as well in his later months without Lennie & Moriarty’s assistance.
On Perry’s last night, I checked on him, via the baby monitor, before turning my bedroom light off at 2am. I saw him, with his back to the camera, on the mid-height rope perch which suggested he had either had a seizure & had recovered (hence being on the perch) or had clumsily fallen. I watched for a few minutes, then saw him give himself a shake then make his way up to the top perch (under the cover). All seemed to be okay at that point. I woke at around 4am & checked the monitor again. This time, Lennie appeared to be on the mid-height perch (seemed odd) but after about 15 minutes, he too made his way back up. Once again, I thought all was okay & went to sleep. I found Perry the next morning, laying peacefully on the floor.
On reflection, I wonder if something had happened to Perry at 4am (hence Lennie being on the lower perch) but he was not visible due to his position being obscured by the double thickness of the cage door frame & door itself. Or maybe not. Either way, there did not appear to be any major disturbance aside from a fall. A seizure episode would have likely knocked all seed/feathers from the cage floor, but there was no evidence of this. I choose to believe his end was peaceful & calm.
I will leave you with the last video I took of Perry, six days before he left us:
It is with great sadness that I report the passing of our very, dear friend, Perry.
He died in the early hours of this morning. I found him laying peacefully at the bottom of the cage. All was well the previous evening.
Our hearts are broken. Perry was as near perfect as you can get. He got on with everyone. Everyone loved him. He was easy-going. There was no drama with Perry (even during times of crisis, he still remained low-key). He had no complaints & demanded nothing, even through all his health issues. Perry was open-hearted & free with his love & friendship, with no ill-will towards anyone.
It was an honour to know him.
He will be missed. He is already missed.
I will end with a quote attributed to Charles Dickens, “The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.” So, until we meet again dear Perry… ♥
***Warning: Some gory photos are included in this post.***
As described in my previous post, Perry has an abscess. When part of it burst, I contemplated a vet visit, though suspected we would have a continuation of the ‘wait & see’ approach. Unfortunately, during February, Perry’s seizures increased, which is what made me decide to book the vet visit on the 14th of February.
Perry has been on anti-seizure medication (Epiphen) since October. His seizures stopped. Initially, he continued to have ‘pre-seizure’ symptoms like head-twisting/tilting, head tremors & unfocused eyes, but even those stopped after awhile. He has continued to have some mobility problems but is much improved.
After a couple of days of being unable to get Perry to take his medication, he had a seizure two nights running (11th/12th December). This indicated to me that the medication was definitely working & it was not coincidence. He then had another seizure on the 24th December, then nothing until February. Between the 1st and today (date of posting 17th February) he has had 9 seizures. On two of those occasions he had 3 seizures during one evening – cluster events. Worrying. This is despite him still taking the medication.
The vet thinks an increase in medication would help, but appreciates the difficulty in administering small doses, i.e., how can a small amount be reliably increased by an even smaller amount?!
The vet examined Perry’s abscess. She tried to wiggle a section off, but it was not quite ready to fall, so that is expected to fall in days. The rest of it should also come away at a later date. No action to be taken – just let it heal naturally, hopefully without any major incident. The lump on Perry’s belly that the abscess is on, is bigger, which also made the vet wonder if it may be pressing on nerves that are triggering the extra seizures. Given we expect the lump/abscess to reduce, we decided to wait a few weeks for it to fall away & see if that has any impact on the frequency of Perry’s seizures. If so, then we carry on with the anti-seizure medication as normal. If not, then we will consider increasing the medication.
***Warning: Some gory photos are included in this post.***
Two years after the drama of Perry’s abscess, he has developed another one. There was speculation on the last vet visit (6th December) that a newly balding lump on his belly could develop into an abscess, so it was not entirely a surprise.
It was on the morning of the 28th of December that I noticed some blackening on his belly lump. It looked suspiciously like the previous abscess. I sent some photos to the vet & she agreed it could be the same thing developing. The only options at that point were:
Do nothing & wait for it to burst,
Soften the black ‘scab’ area with warm water & try & squeeze it gently to see if anything comes out or
Surgical intervention under anaesthetic.
I opted for the first one. A week later on the 4th January, I sent more photos to the vet & she thought it looked less inflamed & ‘nice & clean’. Not that this suggested we were out of the woods. Over the days & weeks it has gradually changed. The area is quite large, & seems to be developing at different rates. Part of it is under his feathers, so more difficult to monitor.
We had another vet visit a couple of days ago on the 6th of December. It was booked primarily to give Perry’s beak another trim, but with Perry’s catalog of ailments, there were other things to review.
A few days prior to the visit, a balding patch on Perry’s belly was showing a visible lump. Though the area has been looking ‘patchy’ for weeks, the recent changes meant the vet visit was timely.
On examination, the vet said the lump was hard & was sat on top of a soft (probably fatty) lump. There is no way of knowing what it is without doing something invasive, so as usual, speculation was the only thing to do. Given Perry’s history of a burst abscess, it is possible another one may be developing. Currently, it looks stable & the skin in that area looks healthy. It does have an impact on Perry’s mobility & balance. I continue to monitor it.
Perry had his beak & a few toenails trimmed. His weight was 47 grams so he is maintaining weight, which is good as he still does not eat from any seed pots! He has evidence of slight bruising on his legs which would be from his occasional falls. The vet said he actually looked better than the last time, when she was particularly alarmed by his heart rate.
We continue to give him Epiphen to manage his seizures/mini-strokes. I have adjusted the routine slightly in that I now give him a smaller amount twice a day rather than half a drop once a day. He has it on a thin slice of celery in the morning between 10-11am & in the evening on a slice of apple at around 9pm. Most of the time he co-operates! Because the dosage is even smaller to spread it out during the 24 hours, I literally dip the syringe into the medicine & dab it onto a plate, where I can soak it into the celery or apple. To make sure I know which end I have done, I cut a tiny notch in the slice & this also differentiates it from the other slice given to either Lennie or Moriarty.
So, we carry on. Dealing with each day as it comes.
Perry still occasionally has ‘manic’ moments when he flies & jumps around the cage erratically. Most of the time he lands reasonably well on a perch but a couple of times he accidently landed on the see-saw swing, that he has not been on in years. Moriarty was so excited, on both occasions, that he immediately joined Perry & jumped on the other side.
I managed to get some evidence with photos & an 8 second video!
Since the last visit from the vet on the 11th of October (click here for that post), we have settled into a routine to support Perry & his health issues.
Perry’s anti-seizure medication is given to him every morning. The time varies slightly depending on his mood & whether he takes it quickly. The dosage for Epiphen is basically half a drop, a very small & challenging amount to administer. Fortunately, it is able to go on food, so I use either celery or apple, & Perry, for the most part, eats it. To measure out the medicine, I first syringe one drop out onto a plate, then try to get a smaller drop out (that I can compare to the full drop). I then dip thinly sliced celery or apple into it. Most of the time I offer the medication when Perry is alone & the others are distracted, but sometimes I offer it when Moriarty is around, as if he eats, then Perry may follow too (if he is being a little reluctant). In that situation, I make sure the celery/apple slice is a long strip so one end is ‘loaded’ & the other is free so Moriarty can eat it (if he wishes) & hopefully encourage Perry to eat his end.
The medication for Perry’s heart issue (Frusol) arrived in the post a week after the vet visit (we have postal strikes happening). It is to be given orally 2/3 times a day, but I decided, for now, not to give it to him. Coincidentally, I had bought passionflower extract as it is supposed to be good for epilepsy, but read that it is also good for the heart. I had not used it because I was unsure of dosage, but when the heart problem was diagnosed, & I did not yet have the Frusol, I decided to start putting a few drops in his water.
Perry’s water is now like soup – it comprises of chamomile tea, turmeric, milk thistle, Calcivet (5 days) & passionflower extract. I offer it to him roughly every 2 hours & he usually takes a glug or two. He has stopped drinking from the water bottles, hence my offering it to him. He has not eaten from a seed pot in many weeks now, so most of the time I am holding up millet to him (he refuses regular seed), or, if he is on his own, I peg it up but he will only eat it if he happens to be near it. Perry was never a fast eater, but now he eats very slowly, sometimes taking ages chewing/cracking each seed. Other than millet seeds, he also eats celery, apple, fennel, & small amounts of basil & lemon balm.
During the day, Perry mostly spends time in Moriarty’s cage, whilst Lennie stays ‘home’. Moriarty flits between Perry & Lennie. However, at bedtime, Perry & Lennie sleep overnight together, so at some point in the evening, Perry returns to Lennie.
Lennie always gives Perry a nice welcome & more often than not, it is accompanied with a head preen. Lennie gives a good head preen too – gentle & thorough. Moriarty also preens Perry’s head during the day but he gets distracted after a few seconds, so I am sure Perry appreciates Lennie’s efforts. It certainly looks very sweet & touching.
I have taken some photos but as the preening usually occurs around 7-8pm in the evening when lights are low, I did not want to ruin the mood by using flash, hence the bad quality! I felt the recurrent scenes were worth recording though.