A blog about my beautiful budgies.
Tag Archives: feathers
6 November 2021Posted by on
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.
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!
11 January 2021Posted by on
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.
11 October 2020Posted by on
4 April 2020Posted by on
Four weeks ago, on the 7th of March, I woke to find a disturbing crime scene.
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.
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.
19 November 2019Posted by on
As you know, from my earlier post (click here: Three near-flightless birds), we are having a pretty bad moult season. Since that post, Lennie has lost more flight feathers resulting in one wing being, well…. not much use as a wing.
It has not stopped him from feeding Dalai:
To add to that, Dalai decided to grow his beak…
…that the vet trimmed down yesterday. She also investigated a strange thing beside his beak that I had noticed a few weeks ago. At first I thought it was a stuck seed, then I wondered if it was a strange feather. The vet confirmed it was fleshy & attached to him, similar to a skin tag. She whipped it off pretty smartly. Hopefully, whatever it was, it will not grow back.
27 October 2019Posted by on
13 June 2019Posted by on
When I mentioned to the vet that the birds were moulting again, she said they were clearly ‘seasonally confused‘. What a good & descriptive phrase! It may well apply to humans too, particularly in the UK, with our extremely changeable weather!
Here, we have had a series of mini-moults. It is never long before there is another flurry of feathers. Right now though, they are going through a ‘proper’ moult, with tails lost, wing feathers lost & pinny heads. Not to mention a bit of grumpiness.
However, despite looking like he has been pulled through a hedge backwards, Lennie is the one who tends to stay upbeat through it all, possibly irritating both Dalai & Perry more than he usually does!
14 December 2018Posted by on
I joined Instagram recently (@onesweetiepea) & took part in the Instagram challenge #12daysoffolksy.
Folksy is the home of British Craft, where you will find thousands of beautifully designed creations – all made by clever hands crafting away across the UK. They set up an Instagram challenge to help promote Folksy, promote its sellers (& others!) & to have a bit of fun!
I am a new Folksy seller & you can imagine that some of my items are inspired by birds or bird-related (link to my shop is at the bottom of this page). Naturally, I used some of the chosen themes to ‘promote’ my birds! Day 10 was ‘Feast’, so I posted a picture of Dalai, Perry & Lennie feasting on red millet:
I was delighted to find that they won a prize for the best animal-themed post for Day 10! They had more red millet to celebrate!
The eagle-eyed amongst you will have recognised the above photo from a previous post in 2017. (Click here to see that post). The slight sadness in this is that the red millet was in celebration of Bezukhov’s 7th birthday & you can see him in the photos in the original post. So, I feel he deserves a mention too, given that had he not had a 7th birthday, they would not have had that millet & therefore the photos would not have been taken & the prize not won! So we give big thanks to our dearest, departed friend, Bezukhov.
You can also see in the photo that Dalai had his troublesome feather!