Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: weight

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

 

 

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

Three in one

Last Friday (12th) we had a visit from the vet, to check over all three, Dalai, Perry & Lennie.  I had/have concerns about all of them for various reasons, one of which may be my paranoia!

At the time the vet came, Lennie was locked in by himself so we decided he would be first up.  I had concerns that he was having trouble flying –  only that morning he had attempted a lap of the room & landed in the plant pot!  The vet checked over his wings & found some missing flight feathers on both wings.  She said his heart sounded fine, which suggested the flying problem was a result of moulted-out feathers, which should be resolved when they have all grown back in again.  The only problem with this is that I find that when a bird has a few crash landings, their confidence can be dented & they are put off flying again, which in turn makes the problem worse.  Hopefully Lennie gets over this & is flying well soon.

The big shock with Lennie is that the vet weighed him & said he was 64g!!!  She did not seem concerned as she said he was clearly not overweight but did have a full gizzard.  There is a slight chance there may be a mass behind the gizzard, so I am to keep my eye on him.

 

Perry was up next.  The last time the vet visited, she identified a lump, which has since been growing.  Sometimes, at certain angles & when he is fluffed up, the lump is not noticeable at all.  However, it is definitely there, defined & dense.  It currently appears to be isolated, i.e., not attached to anything major.  Certainly, it is not imposing on Perry’s health or behaviour yet, but at sometime in the future I may need to get a sample from it in order to work out possible treatment.  Perry weighed a very respectable 55g, lump & all.

Perry contemplating eating some vegetables

 

Dalai was last.  He has been very much under the weather & his poops had changed.  He did have a very dodgy poop that was ringed with red, but I only found one of those (believe me, I was checking ALL of them after that discovery!) & the vet said he may have strained when passing that particular one.  The day before the vet came out, Dalai dropped a mountain of feathers overnight, which then made it clear that a lot of my concerns were most probably because he was moulting (again!).  Additionally, he has developed a dark mark on his beak.  I was not aware of him having bumped/crashed into anything for it be a bruise.  The vet thought it was either a blood blister or just a pigmentation change.  Dalai’s weight was also respectable, coming in at 45g.

Dalai

 

So, for a change, the vet did not leave me with any medication.  It took Dalai, Perry & Lennie awhile to recover from all the prodding & poking & it took me awhile to recover from the news of Lennie’s weight… in fact, if truth be told, my jaw is still on the floor over it!

 

 

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.

 

 

Sensitive and Complicated

It was one week ago, with a sense of jà vu, that I noticed Bezukhov’s poops did not look right.  They were sludgy & dark green.

Bezukhov on the window perch

Bezukhov on the window perch

Bezukhov on top of the manor

Bezukhov on top of the manor

Bezukhov eating pellets

Bezukhov eating pellets

Instinct told me this was Bezukhov’s reaction to losing Phineas because the poops reminded me of just over a year ago, when we lost Cagney, & Bezukhov stopped eating (click here for post).

I knew Bezukhov was upset by the change in routine, actually, the change in everything, as evidenced by not going into the Villa (Phinny’s domain).  He would go in briefly for water or to chew on the iodine block, but not sit in there.  Also, overnight sleeping has switched, at Bezukhov’s insistence, from the Villa to the Manor.

In the days leading up to the discovery, I had noticed Bezukhov was eating more pellets (in dishes on top of the Villa) but it was not until I saw the dodgy poops that I realised he was barely eating his normal seed mix.  Behaviour-wise, Bezukhov became very loud.  He was constantly shouting & often looking out of the window.  Normally he would shout at things outside but each time I looked I could not see anything; he was just shouting for shouting’s sake.  Sometimes he would go to one of the five seed pots but would only eat one seed before looking distracted & moving on.

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The Silver Villa

Previously, I alluded to Bezukhov & Phineas having a new home.   The new home (in waiting) is the Liberta Oregon cage.

The reason I decided to buy (yet) another cage is because since Cagney’s sad passing, Bezukhov has moved into the Ferplast with Phineas.  As much as I like many aspects of the Ferplast Piano 6 cage (& it has been popular with all who have lived in it) it is an awful cage for catching a bird – as detailed in my post ‘Medication & the Ferplast‘.

Ideally, they would have both lived in the Manor but it seems it is not suitable for bedtime.  I suspect this is because at bedtime, they need to sleep at the highest spot & in the Manor this means the loft area (domed part).  The loft area itself is quite small, compared to the rest of the cage & I believe this makes it difficult to share with Phineas.  In the old days, the loft area comfortably housed Atilla, Raspy, Cagney & Bezukhov at bedtime so it must be the combination of the size & Phineas.

So, assuming the Manor will no longer be used for bedtime by Bezukhov & Phineas, & Bezukhov’s medication regime is long-term, I felt that a new cage to replace the Ferplast was the way forward.

Liberta Oregon bird cage

Liberta Oregon bird cage

After much deliberation, I chose the Liberta Oregon cage.  A pet shop about 40 minutes drive away actually had it on display so, unusually, I was able to see it ‘in the flesh’ before buying.  On the shop floor I also simulated chasing Bezukhov around it!  It has a flat top, so no confined dome area to cause problems at bedtime & more importantly, has a large front door to facilitate a more evenly matched chase.  As with all cages there are some design issues but I will address these another time.  For now, it had what I was looking for.

So, cage bought, delivered & assembled.  It was introduced to Bezukhov & Phineas on the 16th October.  I decided to ‘go for it’ & when they were both out of the Ferplast, I did a straight swap; new one in, old one out.  I arranged the furniture in the new one as near enough to the Ferplast as possible.

Predictably, they gave the new cage a wide berth.  The manor was now the place to be.  However, I took the opportunity whilst Phinny was jiggling away on my hand, to gradually move my hand (& him) into the Silver Villa.  He was too wrapped up in his jiggying to notice, but when he finished the job, he found he was in his new home.  What to do?  Find a way out of course!  On his way out, he found some millet by the door so had to stop & eat that, as witnessed in this video:

 

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