Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Tag Archives: blood feathers

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

 

Crime Scene

Four weeks ago, on the 7th of March, I woke to find a disturbing crime scene.

Blood everywhere.

But fortunately two birds looking fine & strangely innocent.

The more I looked, the more blood I found.  It was all over the cage bottom, dripped & smeared.  It had spattered & sprayed on the floor outside the cage, up to 26 inches away (night-time cover only goes part the way down the front).  There was no sign of blood on their back cover & only a couple of drops on the inside of the top cover.  One drop managed to land sideways in Dalai’s cage on his platform perch.  Some drops were on the rope perches (lower to mid-level) but otherwise nothing on the perches.  Some drops of blood were on a seed trough.

 

Absence of significant blood on the perches ruled out a toe injury, plus there was no sign of bloody toes or feet.

Perry’s wing feathers were bloody but it is possible he had a (night) fright & may have fallen in the blood & smeared it, otherwise, there were no other visible signs of blood on Perry.  When cleaning, I found one wing feather that had splatters of blood but had that dropped before or after the bloodbath?  There were no visible signs of blood on Lennie.

 

My instinct is that it was a burst blood feather, but there was no sign of the offending feather itself.

Perry & Lennie were fine that morning, if a little quiet.  Millet helped.

Lennie & Perry preening

 

We were lucky – this could have easily had a bad outcome.  Please all, be prepared for such an event.  Check that your first aid kit is well equipped for an injury resulting in blood loss.  There are lots of resources on the internet advising what to do in such a situation.  If you have a trusted vet, then have a chat with them & see what their advice is.

 

Two weeks in the life of a blood feather

Bezukhov has been going through another moult.  This time his head feathers have been completely overhauled.

Here he is at the beginning, looking fine, even though he had lost 3 spot feathers in one go:

This slideshow shows progress over the two weeks:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

Rosy-cheeked

Yesterday, Phineas was being his normal self, regurgitating, eating, regurgitating, preening, regurgitating & regurgitating.  I went & sat at the other side of the room for a few minutes but when I returned to him he had a splash of red on his cheek.  It looked like a beetroot stain but I knew it was not as they had not had beetroot (nothing can escape my powers of deduction!)  I could only assume it was blood!

A panic set in as I tried to work out what had caused it.  There was no fight as I was there the whole time & Bezukhov was in the manor whilst Phineas was in the Silver Villa.  Did he catch it on something?  If he did, there would be blood over something else.  I looked over the cage but did not see any blood elsewhere.  In the meantime, Phineas was being his normal self.  It clearly was not bothering him at all.

I decided that a small blood feather on his cheek must have burst.  Fortunately, there was no drama (Phinny missed a trick there!) & life has (thankfully) carried on as normal.

 

 

Spring moult

The boys have just been through a spring moult.  Lots of the big feathers have been shed by Cagney, Bezukhov & Phineas, including flight & tail feathers.

Bezukhov suffered the most.  At times, the pin feathers looked extremely uncomfortable & even painful.  Poor boy.


The good news is that he is now back to looking handsome again.

 

Progress on pinnies

Bezukhov is still looking rough.  The pin feathers on his head are looking fat & uncomfortable.  Yesterday it looked like he had a red patch on his head but when I looked closer I could see it was just the blood in the feathers.  Poor boy.


Blood feathers

Poor Bezukhov has some blood feathers.

I understand that blood feathers & pin feathers are much the same thing in that blood feathers are usually pinnies.  Pin feathers do not always have a visible blood supply though, as it can have receded but the feather still be in a waxy coating.

Blood feathers sounds more appropriate in this instance as it is possible to see the blood supply.  It looks very uncomfortable.