During quarantine, I introduced Moriarty to vegetables, with varying success. Actually, truth be told, not a lot of success! He was not scared of what I was offering, but did not really eat anything with any gusto. Post-quarantine he has expressed more than a passing interest in apple. I am hoping that more time spent with Perry & Lennie will encourage more vegetable eating.
Trying the baby corn
Moriarty trying baby corn
Moriarty trying baby corn
Moriarty trying baby corn
First bite of broccoli:
The salt lick has been popular with all birds I have introduced it to & Moriarty was no exception:
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.
Dalai & Perry like sugar snap peas (Lennie not so much) but tend to ignore them if they are not peeled. They also eat more when I present a peeled portion of pea on my finger.
Peeled sugar snap pea
Perry, with Lennie behind
Lennie, with Perry behind
I have been reflecting on those who were here before. Cagney loved a pea. He would expertly hull the pea & eat the treasure inside. Phineas also loved a pea but would eat the casing too. He would chomp down & it was all gone in a second. Some earlier posts on peas are here:
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).
I found this draft post that I wrote some time ago in 2015, in the Cagney/Bezukhov/Phineas era. I thought it would be nice to publish it under ‘Remembering Phineas‘….
Off & on, I have offered the Toyboys & Phineas kale. Nice, curly, green kale.
Cagney & Bezukhov initially showed interest as it is green & leafy. They would even go as far as to nibble it so the smell clearly did not put them off (unlike mint). However, a little nibble is all they would partake of before apathy set in & it was completely ignored.
Phineas has also shown an interest in the curly green vegetable. He also has a nibble but his nibble is larger & more sustained than the Toyboys, almost to the point that I have wondered if he actually likes it.
When I give the boys corn, it is usually baby corn. It has been some time but I decided to treat them to ‘proper’ corn. A big chunk of sweet corn with juicy nuggets for them to get their beaks into.
My memory fails me as to whether Phineas has actually had the big corn before. If he has, it was a long time ago & there is no record of it! The last blog post on the proper corn was Juicy Corn, that shows Cagney & Bezukhov tucking in.
After the initial shock of seeing a big, bright yellowy ‘thing’ on the landing platform, Phineas took a brief swipe at it as he passed. He must have got the taste of it as it did not take long for him to tuck in. Then it seemed he could not pass by without indulging in some.
The Thomas bath is often in use but not as a bath. I usually put something leafy in with water to entice either Cagney, Bezukhov or Phineas to have a bath. They may go over to it & nibble at whatever goodies are there, but never have a bath. Recently though, Bezukhov had a paddle.
That day the bath had dill. It was a rare moment that Phineas was not guarding his dill (all the dill, wherever it is placed) & Bezukhov took the opportunity to put both feet in the water. He had a little shake, as if to imitate having a bath but in reality only his feet got wet. Anyway, I took the hint – it was time for a celery misting.
This misting, a few days ago, was enjoyed by all. I let Cagney & Bezukhov have their go before I let Phineas out. Both toyboys were eager; Bezukhov started dancing in the wet celery leaves before I even started spraying water over them. Cagney, who can sometimes go ages without a bath/misting, was also keen. I felt that he wanted to wash his recent vet & hospital visits out of his feathers.
Once the toyboys had finished, I let Phineas out for his turn. He was a bit confused as he was torn between having a wash under the spraying water or eating the celery. He managed to do both (video below).
Every now & then I give the toyboys & Phineas some carrot. I usually peel off very thin slices & offer it by hand. Bezukhov normally has a very dainty nibble. Cagney has a little more, but Phineas chomps his way through it rapidly.
Sometimes I grate the carrot & mix it in as part of their vegetable medley. On these occasions, I have noticed the carrot disappears first.
Phineas is definitely the culprit (isn’t he always?!)