Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: weight

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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Repeat blood test

Bezukhov had another routine visit to the vet, two weeks ago, on the 1st June.  This was to have repeat blood tests.

His previous visit was on the 16th April.  Since then, we had “Black Wednesday” (22nd April) when he had 4 seizures in one day.  I had the camera handy at one point & managed to film him having a seizure.  It pained me deeply to do that but I thought it may be useful to have a visual record for Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV).  That particular one was quite long, at about 24 seconds.

Ms EHV confirmed the seizure looked more like a vacancy episode than a grand mal seizure, although the origin of both is similar and the former is still a type of seizure.

We had another discussion over his medication with the result that we would carry on as per normal & wait to see if the next blood tests reveal anything else.  The only change we implemented is to give Bezukhov some millet immediately after a seizure.  Ms EHV said that seizures, however brief, use up a lot of energy so it may help him to eat a food with a high energy value as soon after as possible.

Bezukhov back in the travel cage

Bezukhov back in the travel cage

Bezukhov after vet visit with trimmed left cheek feathers

Bezukhov after vet visit with trimmed left cheek feathers

Reunited

Reunited

Bezukhov was a very good boy on his visit to the vet.  She examined him before anaesthetizing him in order to get the blood sample.  Other than the seizures, he appeared well.  In fact, his feathers have improved.  His belly feathers had previously developed noticeable dark tinges which Ms EHV said was due to his liver not functioning properly.  As a result of his ongoing medication & supplements & also a recent moult, his new feathers have grown in without the discolouration (see comparison photos at the bottom of this post: Dec 2014 & April 2015).

He has put on more weight & came in at approx. 56 g.  Like before, Ms EHV was not concerned as she felt a little extra weight with his condition is an advantage.

Bezukhov was a good boy & provided her with a blood sample.  She returned him to me in a still groggy state & very fluffed up.  Whilst he was ‘under’, at my request, she attempted to do something about his sticky, medicine-soaked cheek feathers.  There was not enough time to wash the syrupy Lactulose out, so she simply trimmed those feathers.  Only his left side is affected – I am not sure why, it must be the way I give him the medicine, or perhaps he has a dominant wriggling side!

When we returned home, there was the usual chirpy greetings, but I let Bezukhov rest a little while in the travel cage before letting him out.  As soon as he started getting restless, I let him out & he flew to the manor & was reunited with his best buddy Cagney.

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Weightgate

As reported in my last post, it appeared that Bezukhov’s weight had dropped in the days following his x-ray & blood test.

Bezukhov

Bezukhov

My scales showed that Bezukhov had apparently lost 6g in a few days.  I rang the vet but she had already left for her holiday.  Another vet rang back.  I explained the situation that Bezukhov had lost weight & was too weak to eat to gain more.  I had been offering Bezukhov as many different vegetables as possible to try & entice him to eat.  Cucumber was the vegetable of choice.  That seemed to be all he wanted to eat & though that was better than nothing, it would not be enough to build him up.  The vet prescribed some Emeraid Omnivore which is a critical care formula for feeding to birds.  If that did not help, then once again, hospitalisation may be an option.

Once my budgie-sitter had arrived, I dashed off to the veterinary hospital to pick up the formula.  It is a powder to be mixed with warm water.  If I say so myself, it looks like & smells like a rather appetising porridge.  Apparently some birds will eat it directly out of a bowl…. but not Bezukhov.  Naturally.  So, out came the syringe…  Unfortunately I am still not very good with administering medication by syringe/dropper.  A big lump of porridge landed on his beak.  Another on his head.  Despite being ill & weak, he could still wriggle.

Critical care formula

Critical care formula

That night both he & Cagney retired to the manor quite late.

The next day, Sunday 28th, the main aim was for Bezukhov to eat.  He ate some seed in the morning.  He was still obsessed with cucumber.  When he ate some cucumber I offered some seed & he usually had a few at that point.  He also ate a little fennel.  He preferred to be out of the manor but slept most of the day.  I weighed him again but the scales were a bit flaky, returning a value between 37-40g.  Had he lost more weight or stabilised?

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Operation “Lose Lump”

After the last vet visit, when Atilla was diagnosed with a fatty lump, I have looked into ways to help slow down or halt the growth.  Due to her weight, it’s likely she may have a fatty liver so puddings & toyboys now have milk thistle extract added to their water.

Milk thistle has been used for over 2000 years as a remedy for various types of liver disease.

Along with their new “medicine” I am also implementing a new regime whereby (on a day I am not in the office) they have vegetables only during the day.  The added bonus of this is that if I have to go out in the afternoon, giving them back their seed is a great way of getting them all back in the Manor. 😀

Raspy has put on weight too so I am hoping both puddings will benefit from the changes.