Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

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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

Head-shaking

Perry was exhibiting some strange behaviour last week.

On the afternoon of Tuesday 12th March, he started doing some random head shaking movements.  He appeared quite distressed.  It looked like he wanted to vomit but nothing came out (see videos below).  After each head-shaking episode, he sat very still & seemed to breathe heavily.  I was alarmed enough to ring the vet, however, she was not available that day.

Perry

I arranged to visit a local vet early evening instead.  However, an hour or so later, Perry seemed to be fine, so (stupidly?) I cancelled the vet visit.  Naturally, not long after I did that, he was exhibiting the same odd behaviour again but the local vet was now fully booked.

As it looked like he may be having breathing problems I thought it would be a good idea to nebulise him with F10 (as I have been doing with Dalai).  It seems though, that Perry is more highly strung than Dalai & was so stressed covered up in the travel cage that he vomited.  I vowed never to subject him to such a horrific experience again!

So, I continued to monitor him the rest of the evening, & overnight.  The next morning I was able to get an appointment with the usual vet, who visited early afternoon.  That morning, I saw Perry do the head-shaking thing again, though only once.  Did this mean he was getting better?

The vet gave him an examination & also viewed the videos I had taken of Perry’s behaviour.  She could not see any obvious reason for what was going on.  His temperature was fine, as was his heart rate.  Unfortunately, during the examination, she found a small lump on his lower belly, that he has been starting to pluck.  It is not visible unless the feathers are parted.  This is clearly something we need to keep an eye on.

It was possible that Perry had a seed husk or something that had gone down the wrong way & it was irritating him.  It was also possible that Perry had an ear infection, & it would not hurt to have some antibiotics, so the vet prescribed 5 days of Enrobactin in water.

So, we have now finished the antibiotics and Perry seems fine.  Since the morning of the 13th, I have not seen any more of the head-shaking.  Hopefully it was just a one-off happening & we are now back to our version of normal.

 

 

 

Update on Dalai

Dalai

Following on from my last post on Dalai’s health, he finished the 10 day course of antibiotics (3rd-12th November).  During that time I monitored his droppings & they gradually improved.  He continued to be unsociable, preferring to be in his cage on his own.  He had moments when he wanted to come out but was only out briefly & mostly wanted to just stretch his wings.

He carried on with his moult, losing a tail feather & further wing feathers.  He had lots of pin feathers on his head.  I felt that he wanted a bath but did not want to bother coming out to have one, so a few times I held up a sprig of wet basil & he had an awkward bathe in the wet leaves, as he was trying to do it whilst balancing on his swing!

He had a set-back on the morning of November 16th when his poops were just white splats with no dark bits.  However, by the afternoon they recovered.

The vet provided AviPro Plus, a probiotic to support their gut.  I put this in Dalai’s & Perry & Lennie’s water from the 20th-30th November.  Dalai’s droppings improved & as a bonus, Lennie’s did too (they have always been a bit… not right!)

Dalai ready for F10 nebulising

On the 23rd November, after a further consultation with the vet, she confirmed that videos I sent showed Dalai was definitely tail bobbing (there was slight evidence of this earlier).  We decided to give them all medicine for chlamydia (I refused any invasive tests & also did not bother with the fecal test as a negative result does not necessarily mean they do not have chlamydia).  Whilst awaiting the medicine (it needed to be ordered), the vet suggested I nebulise Dalai a couple of times a day with F10 SC disinfectant to help with any respiratory problems.

The first ‘steaming’ session was on Friday 23rd November at 2pm.  Dalai was difficult to catch in the Silver Villa & when I did grab him he screeched & screamed!  He never did that when the vet grabbed him!  He was not best pleased when he found himself in the travel cage, under a cover, with a bowl of hot water.  (To be clear, the water was outside the cage).  I did this again on the following occasions:

  • 24th November – 10:30
  • 25th November – 10:30, 17:00
  • 26th November – 10:30, 17:30
  • 27th November – 10:00, 17:30
  • 28th November – 10:30
  • 29th November – 10:15

Each time Dalai screeched & screamed when I grabbed him.  After the last two ‘steamings’, he seemed a bit brighter & livelier.  After his steaming on the 28th, he stayed out for a bit & even gave Perry’s head a little preen.

The medicine for chlamydiosis (Ornicure) arrived yesterday, & treatment has commenced.

In the meantime, here is a slideshow for the poop aficionados amongst us.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

And some prettier photos:

 

Bezukhov’s last week

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).

It was all very confusing & worrying…  Read more of this post

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.

 

 

Grapes, tomatoes & medicine

As previously reported (click here) Cagney was taken into hospital on the afternoon of Saturday 22nd August, specifically for a barium x-ray.  This would entail an overnight stay.

I returned home from the vets, without Cagney, feeling wretched.  I could not have felt worse.  Actually, I did feel worse, when Bezukhov looked at me & saw that I had not brought home his best buddy.  His expression was a mixture of confusion, betrayal & sadness.

Bezukhov visiting Phineas

Bezukhov visiting Phineas

I was undecided whether to let Bezukhov & Phineas out for a fly as I did not want to confuse things further.  Plus, I was expecting to go out again later.  In the end, Bezukhov was flying madly about the Manor so I relented & let him out.  He immediately went over to Phinny’s cage to chat to him.  In the meantime I waited for the phone call from Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV).

She rang around 7pm that evening to say Cagney had had the first stage of the barium x-ray & the next part would not happen for another 4 hours so I could visit him anytime before then.  I packed an overnight bag for him with his brand of seed, pellets, sugar snap peas & grated carrot.  I also packed a water bottle & seed pot that fitted the travel cage.  We (myself & my mother) arrived at the hospital around 20:30.  We were shown into a visitors room whilst the nurse went to get Cagney.  He looked very much the same but very, very sleepy.  We talked to him & told him what Bezukhov & Phineas had been up to.  He started to preen a little & then, much to our delight, ate some millet.  I like to think that our visit was welcome.  We had to leave eventually but as he was having treatment during the night I knew he was being looked after.

The next thing was to wait until the morning to hear how the tests went.

In the morning, I let Bezukhov out early.  He seemed troubled to be in the Manor on his own & needed to be out.  I also let Phineas out as he had spent the previous day locked up.  Occasionally they have a little flirt (initiated by Bezukhov) but under normal circumstances it does not go far as Cagney investigates & interrupts proceedings (vice versa – if Cagney flirts with Phineas, Bezukhov interrupts).  Without Cagney’s presence, the flirting was continued unhindered to the point that Bezukhov regurgitated to Phineas!  Evidence shown in this video:

A vet rang later that morning to say that Cagney was doing well.  The barium x-ray did not show up any obstruction.  However, Cagney was now passing faeces.  He had eaten a little & was preening.  She suggested he have antibiotics & metacam (anti-inflammatory) to help bring his temperature down.  I could pick him up that afternoon after a consultation with another vet.

It was a relief to see Cagney again.  He looked well considering all he had been through.  There were halved grapes pushed through the cage bars which was possibly another ordeal as grapes are scary.  At the bottom of his cage was half a cherry tomato.  That would have been the first time he has seen a tomato.  There was a curly green leaf, possibly kale, too.

The vet confirmed that he is to take antibiotics daily & metacam orally once a day.  They gave Cagney metacam when I was there which meant his next dose would be 24 hours later at 5pm.  I said I prefer to give the medicine in the morning so they said it would be better to wait until the morning after.  They suggested I book a follow-up visit with Ms EHV for the Tuesday.

Finally, after a very long 24 hours, I could take my lovely toyboy home.

To be continued

 

 

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.

Read more of this post

Sick as a parakeet

Will the worry the Toyboys & Phineas give me, ever end??

Today, Cagney vomited.

Cagney sleeping

Cagney sleeping

Once would be fine as this could be due to a number of minor reasons.  My first thought was a stuck seed that needed dislodging with a bit of help from contorting the body & elongating the throat.

However, this happened about 3 times.  Each time the seed was quite dry – I did not see much, if any liquid/mucus.

There were other warning bells alongside this.  Cagney had been sleepy, almost lethargic, most of the afternoon.  He was also quiet & was not chirping or grumbling.  They had broccoli today – first time in over a week – & Cagney did not have any, even when it was offered by hand.  He also refused pellets.  The thing that finally made me decide a vet visit was necessary was the thought that I could actually catch him & put him in the travel cage.  That surely meant this was not a minor thing & required some expert advice.

Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV), who has been treating Bezukhov, was not available for another two days, so I decided to go to Mr Exotic Vet (EV) who had last treated Thomas.  His evening appointments were fully booked but they managed to squeeze me in, given the worrying symptoms Cagney was displaying.

As predicted, I caught Cagney in no time (he seemed quite weak) & put him into the freshly prepared travel cage.  He was initially most put out & I guess, surprised too.  Phineas was the first to fly over.  I think Phinny’s prowling of the top of the travel cage put Bezukhov off visiting, so he shouted across to Cagney from the Manor.

Fortunately, Cagney was only in the travel cage for about half an hour before we had to go out.  I did worry that Phineas expected to come with us & had visions of me walking down the road carrying Cagney in the travel cage, with Phineas, still monitoring, on the top….

Of course this did not happen, but as I took Cagney out of the room, I looked back & saw a very confused Phineas & a very confused Bezukhov.  Cagney has always been in the middle of them.  No wonder they were confused.

At the vet’s, Cagney lived up to his ‘Mr Popular’ nickname.  Read more of this post

‘Episode’ update

Bezukhov

Bezukhov

Droppings

Droppings

Following on from my previous post, More medication (continued), the final day of administering of medication was as difficult as the other days!

 

  • Day 8 of medication (Wednesday, 21st May)

AM: Caught Bezukhov in the Manor. Due to all the wriggling, a very small amount was given.  1/10
PM: Very quickly caught Bezukhov in the Manor.  Managed to give him some medication.  5/10

Previously, the last day Bezukhov had an ‘episode’ was Thursday, 8th May.  Unfortunately, he had another one on the 29th May, three weeks after.  Since the last vet visit, he has had Calcivet in the water.  They appear to be moulting again & Bezukhov has lost another tail feather & a couple of wing feathers.  Maybe his immune system is compromised because of the moult.

I sent an email to Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV) for advice.  She suggested that we should test his droppings so I collected a few poops each day, for three days.  The samples were given to the vet yesterday, so we now await the results.