Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: vet

Last vet visit of 2021

We could not let the year go without another visit from the vet.

At least this time it was not an emergency.  We actually had an appointment booked for January, but I rang on the off chance there was a cancellation, so the visit was brought forward to the 30th December.

Perry

Perry’s beak has been getting long.  As the end nestled into his feathers it was not always noticeable but when I did see it, I got increasingly alarmed at its length.  He was still able to crack seeds though I wondered how long he would be able to do that for.  Also, as time went on, Moriarty was less appreciative of the head preens Perry was giving him!

By chance, the day before the vet visit, was a bad one for Perry with respect to his ‘turns’.  My last post on them was October 2020 – Update on Perry’s health.  This year, he has continued to have them at intervals: 16th March, 7th April, 6th June, 26th November, 29th December.  Obviously, these are only the ones I have witnessed.  Each has been of varying intensity.  Fortunately, each time he has recovered well & despite having two episodes (11:30, 16:10) the day before the vet came, she said he was looking well.

So, yesterday Perry’s beak was trimmed & is now back to normal.  This is one less thing for me to worry about… & I have had a lot to worry about!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy 𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟚. 

Across the budgie realm, I hope all chirps are happy, all flirts & kisses are reciprocated, seed & vegetables are plentiful & all naps are accompanied with peaceful chattering.

**•.¸♥¸.•*´💖 *•.¸♥¸.•*´*

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

 

Lennie unwell again

On Wednesday, the 20th October, Lennie was showing similar signs to two months back – a loss of appetite & very green poops.

Lennie unwell, with Moriarty & Perry

Lennie ate some spinach

Moriarty & Lennie interacting

I rang the vet but the earliest home visit appointment I could get was for the Monday but because I was concerned, they said the vet would ring me back.  When we got to speak the following morning, she had already arranged to fit in a home visit later that day, the 21st.

Unlike last time, this time Lennie had a high temperature.  The vet gave him an anti-inflammatory injection & a course of antibiotics.  She said it may take 48 hours before there were any signs of improvement.  That would take us to Saturday, where if need be I could take him to her clinic in the morning.  The vet also pointed out that she could feel a strange mass under his fat in the belly area, that she suspected may be a hernia.  Whether this was causing his current problems or was unrelated, we do not know.

By the Saturday morning he really was not any better.  At best he had a brief preen, but he still was not eating.  Unfortunately, I could not get transport arranged in time to go to the clinic.  I had feeding formula left from the last time Lennie was ill so I attempted to feed him some but I got more around his beak & on my jumper than inside him.  That evening he ate about 6 seeds which was a monumental effort from him.

On the Sunday (24th) he had a good glug of his antibiotics both in the morning & the evening so he was definitely well hydrated.  During the day, he ate a few seeds & a few tiny bites of celery.  He also chirped a little.  These were all encouraging signs.  However, he was still playing with his food a lot & not actually eating it, & was sitting hunched up.  Poops were still an awful mess of green.  He made another effort in the evening to eat more seeds.

We made it to the Monday.  Lennie was still barely eating, though he managed a tiny bit of apple.  He had been ignoring the baby corn & was chewing the stalk of the millet rather than eating the seeds.

Fortunately, the vet could confirm his temperature was back to normal.  As expected, he had lost weight, about 7g from her previous visit.  She gave him a crop feed for a boost.  We booked another visit for the Thursday.

Over the next few days he gradually started eating more & was better in himself, & interacting with Perry & Moriarty.  He even managed a bath, so by the time Thursday (28th) came, I felt confident enough to cancel the vet visit.

So, we are back to normal again.  It is difficult to manage health problems when it is not clear what the cause is.  We can only do our best with the information we have.

Lennie eating baby corn after a bath

 

Obligatory poop pictures:

 

 

Health check for Perry

A couple of weeks ago, on Monday 27th September, we had a home vet visit arranged for Perry.

I almost cancelled it as he has been relatively fine, but given he has various ailments I thought it best to go ahead just to check there was nothing lurking.  It is also true that I am still traumatised by all the drama with Perry’s health last December/January time & wanted an update on where he was lump-wise.  Given that observation is a major help in diagnosing anything in birds, I have recently noticed that Perry has been wanting to eat seeds from my hand & this happened last winter, prior to the drama, so that also added to my concerns.

Perry

On the day, the vet checked Perry over.  His weight was about 60g, which is clearly overweight, but pretty stable for him.  His original (hard) lump is still there & feels about the same size, which is good as that suggests it is either not growing or growing slowly. The area that burst before must have, coincidentally, grown over the original lump.  The skin is pink and healthy looking so there is no evidence there was a big scab there!  The vet said Perry has a layer of fat over his chest & also over the hard lump.

So, though Perry’s poops are terrible & he is still drinking a lot of water, we agreed to do nothing, given any tests would be invasive. He does seem to like his naps & does sit very fluffed up at times, but then a few moments later he is running up & down the perch flirting with Moriarty!

 

A touch of the “Bezukhov’s”?

We have had some drama here, courtesy of Lennie.

Lennie with pin feathers

On Friday 20th August, I noticed Lennie was not eating the evening millet.  Normally they have red millet but I was unable to buy any online so got some nice, fresh-looking ‘normal’ millet from a local pet shop.  I wondered if Lennie just did not like the change in colour, however when I offered a bobble of red millet (leftover bits in the bag) he refused it.  I thought that as he was moulting he was probably just ‘under the weather’.

As the weekend progressed, his poops turned a deep green, with a bluish tinge.  This can indicate lack of food.  I was offering all sorts of food but he just was not eating anything, in fact he was physically moving away.  Either that, or he was so sleepy he did not even notice me waving a basil leaf, piece of celery or broccoli in front of him.  Occasionally he would go to the seed pot & rummage around but he was not eating, he would just pick up a seed & drop it.  I got an appointment with the vet on the Monday afternoon (23rd).

This was a trip to the clinic, so Lennie had to endure the travel cage & a taxi ride which fortunately was pretty quick at around 30 mins, but we had to allow extra time in case of traffic.  (It would have been an arduous trip on public transport via three buses).

When we arrived, I said to the vet, who knows us well (!), “I think he has a touch of the Bezukhov’s“, in reference to dear Bezukhov’s Extreme Moult Experience when he was moulting & also not eating.  The vet took Lennie into the consulting room for examination (I was not allowed in).  His weight was 53g, which, on the face of it, is actually not too terrible, but it was an astonishing 20g weight loss from his last weigh-in.  He has a fatty lump covering his front but the vet could feel his keel bone behind it & could tell he had lost considerable weight.  His temperature was normal & his heart sounded fine.  Read more of this post

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

 

 

A bath, the travel cage & a raisin

We had a little drama a few days ago.

Part of our morning routine is that I offer Perry the bath with plain water to drink, first thing.  Subsequent offerings are usually supplemented water.  The first offering is plain water as sometimes Lennie is tempted to have a bath in it & I would rather he did not bathe in expensive vitamin water!

Perry after his bath

Perry’s lump after his bath

Perry minus 7mm of lump

The morning of Tuesday 15th December, Lennie decided it was bath time (fine – as it was plain water!) & unusually, Perry was also inspired to have a bath too.  They both had very thorough baths.  However, Perry’s bath meant that the area around his lump was wet & exposed & revealed a black lump.  To say I was horrified would be an understatement!

A part of me thought that Perry must be okay as otherwise he would not have had the energy to have a bath.  But a black lump?  There was no way I could put a positive spin on that.

Perry was a bit quiet after his bath but it was a very vigorous one so it made sense he had worn himself out a bit.  He perked up a bit later & ate & drank.  By then, I had already booked a visit to the vet for that evening.  Our usual mobile vet was not available so we actually had to visit the local vet ourselves, resulting in Perry having a short stay in the travel cage.

Though the local vet is only a few streets away, this particular evening the main road was unexpectedly closed which meant the traffic was diverted into the side streets that would normally have been quiet (& my preferred route).  Perry’s travel cage was well padded & I threw an extra fleece over it for added warmth & protection.  I walked as quickly as possible but the noise of traffic, from beeping horns & revving engines was very unpleasant & I feared for Perry’s stress levels.

On arrival at the vet’s practice, I quickly peeked inside to check he was okay (I had heard him fall off the perch) & he was clinging to the side.  On unveiling him to the vet, I quickly noticed that part of his lump was on the cage floor!

It turned out that 0.7cm of his lump had developed into dead tissue & his moving around the travel cage had dislodged it.  It was a clean break.  The vet examined Perry & said the remaining 2cm of lump looked stable.  It looked round & not misshapen (apparently a good thing).  She thought he looked in otherwise good condition, with bright eyes & good quality feathers.  He is overweight at around 60g, part of that will be the remaining lump & obviously a result of less exercise due to reducing mobility.  No treatment necessary.

It was such a relief to get him home.  Lennie was also happy to have his mate back.

For the record, I did take a photo of the piece of lump that fell off but not until a couple of days later when it had shrivelled somewhat & looked like a raisin… I will spare you all that vision.

 

Update on Perry’s health

In my last post on this subject (click here) I reported about Perry’s ‘turns’.  We have had further developments.

On the 4th July, Perry had, what I would describe as a ‘Twitchfest’.  He twitched, though not violently, off & on all day, but settled by bedtime.  I was on edge the whole time, anticipating that he would get worse.

Perry

Perry’s next, more significant, episode was on Saturday, the 22nd August.  At around 11am, he began twitching, & a couple of those were major enough to propel him off the perch.  At one point, he was hanging from the perch by one foot.  He seemed okay after about 15 minutes.  However, about two & a half hours later, the twitches began again, but this time they were throwing him off the perch, on average every 30 seconds (sometimes the frequency between was longer, sometimes shorter).  Lennie was sensible & went into Dalai’s cage, so I locked him in there for the duration.

For about an hour the twitches continued, at varying levels of intensity.  Each time his movement was from his left to the right, so I could predict where he would go/land.  Sometimes he would have a few minutes where he was just twitching & able to stay on the perch.  He pooped throughout, but a watery substance.  Through it all, he did not make a sound.  He was completely aware & scared as he clearly did not know what was happening to him.  The times he landed on the bottom of the cage he immediately made his way back up.  By 3pm they were subsiding & he was able to preen & behave a bit more normally, by which time, Lennie joined him again.

Things had settled down by the Monday, but nevertheless, I spoke to the vet, & she suggested adding calcium to their water as they were both still moulting.

New cage set up L to R: hospitalisation cage, ‘home’, Dalai’s cage

The next episode was Saturday the 12th September (I am starting to dread Saturdays!). He seemed extra quiet that morning & when I offered him a spinach leaf, he had to turn his head at a strange angle to eat it.  This alerted me & I decided to dust off the quarantine cage & prepare it for possible hospitalisation purposes.  Later that day, he spasmed, fell to the cage floor & was rolling around.  I carefully picked him up & put him in the spare cage.  He came out of the spasm & I placed him on a perch, where he was very still.  His balance was very off & he fell off the perch a few times but at least did not have far to fall in the newly set up cage, & the bottom has extra padding.  Occasionally, he would turn his head from side to side & his eyes were flickering.

Read more of this post

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: