Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

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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

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

Limp toes

I am thinking of renaming this blog “The Veterinary Chronicles”…

Yes, you guessed it, we have visited the vet again.  This time it was Cagney; he hurt his foot.  The last time this happened was just before Christmas.  On that occasion he recovered quickly from the bruising he had sustained.

Cagney in travel cage hanging by dodgy foot

Cagney in travel cage hanging by dodgy foot

Cagney's right foot not gripping properly

Cagney’s right foot not gripping properly

Close up of dodgy foot

Close up of dodgy foot

Cagney after vet visit

Cagney after vet visit

A few days ago I noticed Cagney limping.  There seemed to be something wrong with his right leg.  At one point, when he was on top of the Manor, I could see under his foot & it looked red.  Later on that day I managed to grab him & attempted to smear some aloe vera on his foot.  He was very wriggly (clearly he had been taking lessons from the Master of Wriggling, Bezukhov!)  He also felt very little.  Was this because I am used to holding Bezukhov who is now quite ‘solid’ or has he been losing weight?  His right foot seemed odd too, though I could not work out why (the wriggling did not help).  As the day wore on he struggled, so much so that I rang the vet to make an appointment.

The day before the vet visit, he appeared to improve though I did wonder if he had simply worked out ways to get around without putting stress on the dodgy leg.  I decided to go ahead with the visit anyway, which was yesterday, the 21st.

Of course the visit was only to go ahead on the proviso that I could actually catch Cagney.  I was fortunate that Cagney & Bezukhov thought I was ‘going in’ to catch Bezukhov for his every-other-day medication but I surprised them both by grabbing Cagney!  I popped him in the travel cage ready for his jaunt.  With the way he was climbing around the cage it was apparent something was still very wrong with his foot.  His toes seemed floppy.

Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV) gave him an examination.  Other than his foot, all appeared well.  He weighed a healthy 47 grams (surprised me – I thought he would be be a lot less).  She trimmed his beak & his toenails.  His toenails were long though not as long as they have been in the past.  We assume he gets them caught, thereby pulling on his leg & causing an injury.  Ms EHV confirmed that the two outer toes on his right foot were affected & the ‘floppiness’ was most probably caused by stretched or strained ligaments.

She gave him an anti-inflammatory injection & said that it could take many weeks for his foot to heal.  It is also likely he will be left with some weakness in that area.  She gave me some Metacam to give him (orally) once a day for the next few days.  (I am not sure how administering of that will happen).

On our return, Cagney was welcomed with lots of shouting, although quite a lot of that was Phineas squawking as I had abandoned him before he could have his morning constitutional.  I made some perch adjustments in the Manor so Cagney has a soft rope perch to roost on.  Hopefully he will get a chance to rest his foot & his toes will return to full working order.

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Just for the record, here is a video of Cagney on the swinging perch the day before his visit to the vet.  You can see his foot is not functioning properly, although it does not stop him playing with the beads.

 


 

 

 

 

The road well trodden

My last post was about Cagney’s visit to the vet on Bank Holiday Monday (6th April).  Over the following week, Cagney gradually recovered & has returned to his normal self, although he is moulting so a little quieter than usual.

Bezukhov in the travel cage again

Bezukhov in the travel cage again

Bezukhov's slightly orange poop

Bezukhov’s slightly orange poop

Unfortunately, just 10 days after his vet visit, the path was trod again, but this time for Bezukhov.  He had a spate of seizures.  To be exact, 6, in 5 days.  Not good.  So, we went to see Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV) on the morning of the 16th April.

She had previously said to repeat blood tests at the end of May, in particular to check on his liver & gall bladder function.  However, because of the recent ‘episodes’, that were worryingly close together, she gave him an injection of multivitamins & also Laurabolin (steroids).  The thinking is that his moult had triggered the episodes & giving him a vitamin boost should help him through it.

Ms EHV specifically wanted to make sure his vitamin B complexes were topped up – they are the most likely to be low during a moult, and vitamin B is heavily involved with nerve function.

Whilst Ms EHV was handling Bezukhov for the injection, she checked him over.  Though he was looking rough, with pin feathers on his head (he also lost a tail feather recently) & sticky medicine beginning to build up around his beak, she found that all appeared well.  He weighed either 51 or 53 g (I cannot remember what she said now!) & but do recall her saying he was slightly overweight but that was to his advantage during moulting time.

On our return home, Bezukhov was chirping to the others as soon as he heard them.  He wanted to get out the travel cage pretty quickly too.  Apart from a few obligatory orange poops, he seemed to recover from the trip quickly & we all settled back into our usual routines.

I am hoping this road will not be trod again until the end of May for Bezukhov’s follow up blood tests.

Moulting Toyboys

Moulting Toyboys

 

It had to be a Bank Holiday weekend

It was Easter last week.  A Bank Holiday weekend.  Cagney was ill.

He appeared okay during the Sunday morning.  They are all moulting now so a bit of grumpiness & sleepiness was to be expected.  However, during the day I began to have more & more concerns about Cagney’s behaviour.

  • He fell off the perch; it was like he had a wing feather that was about to fall out, but it did not.  (He did not actually fall down, but in falling, did remember he had wings & flew to another perch). 
  • Later on, he almost fell off the perch – he seemed to have trouble turning around.
  • The pink bits on his pink & grey feet looked white.
  • He lost his appetite though had a few seeds when I placed them in front of him.  At bedtime, when I put their cover on, he went down for bedtime seed but did not eat a fraction of what he normally would.
  • When he was eating the bedtime seed his wings were noticeably twitching.  Click here to watch a video of the wing twitching.
  • He was very jittery when attempting to sleep, probably due to the wing twitching.

 

At 11pm that night, I rang the vets on the off chance they would have a vet on call with an interest in birds.  They did not.  However, Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV) was working the next day, Bank Holiday Monday!  What a stroke of luck!  (I will not mention the Bank Holiday rates!)

Read more of this post

Bruising, bleeding, chasing & a temporary truce

Cagney has hurt his foot again.

Cagney holding up right foot

Cagney holding up right foot

Yesterday I noticed that he was holding his right foot up.  He was limping too.  This has happened before & I think it is because his long toenails get caught in something.  I continued to observe him & was concerned enough to remove the swing from the Manor & put some padding on the bottom in case he should fall.

He seemed fine in himself & was getting about.  He even sat in Phinny’s cage for a little while but as the day progressed he seemed to get a little worse.  He had difficulty turning on the perch & could not be bothered to go all the way down to his seed pot.  Naturally, I held the seed pot up to him.  I decided that a vet visit was in order, if only to confirm it was a simple sprain & nothing sinister.

Today, Cagney visited the vet.

Read more of this post

More medication (continued)

Following on from my previous post (More medication), administering of medication continues:

  • Day 4 of medication (Saturday)

AM: Caught Bezukhov in the Manor.  Most medication given but a drop was below his beak & I think I managed to scoop it up & put it in.  Afterwards, I normally, get Cagney back in the manor so we can start the morning from scratch again, but this time Bezukhov wanted to stay out with Cagney.  9.7/10
PM: Attempted to catch Bezukhov in the Manor.  He managed to slip through my fingers about five times.  Then he continued to give me the runaround around the room.  In the end, I gave up.  The good thing was that he was clearly on good form & was not even out of breath with all the coming & going.  -1/10

  • Day 5 of medication (Sunday)

AM: Caught Bezukhov in the Manor.  Full medication successfully given. 10/10
PM: Finally managed to catch Bezukhov after he kept slipping through my fingers.  Suspect he only got a tiny, tiny bit of medication, due to all the wriggling.  1/10

  • Day 6 of medication (Monday)

AM: Caught Bezukhov in the Manor.  Most of the medication given.  8/10
PM: Another runaround session.  He had some medication though I did notice a big blob on his head.  4/10

  • Day 7 of medication (Tuesday)

AM: Caught Bezukhov in the Manor. This time I suspect there was an air bubble in the medication so when I pressed on the dropper there was a spray of medication.  I hope it is good for feathers…. 6/10
PM: Bezukhov was successful in his bid not to be caught.  0/10

Today, we also had a follow up vet visit.   Read more of this post

Episodes, hunger strike & orange poops

Yesterday, I took Bezukhov to the vet.

In the last two weeks he has had at least 5 seizures.  Seizures seems the most descriptive word for them, though it is not yet confirmed what it is.  These ‘episodes’ last just a matter of seconds & then he is completely back to normal.

Symptoms

  • Starts initially with an alarming, loud screech
  • Head tilts back
  • Temporary paralysis
  • Eyes open but vacant stare
  • Lasts for only seconds
  • Appears unaware of what has just happened & carries on as normal

On seeing these, I was reminded that he has had one or two before but I thought he had probably got a seed stuck in his throat & they were over so quickly that I thought nothing of it at the time, particularly as the gap between was so long (months/years).

It is worth noting that one of his ‘episodes’ occurred whilst he was fast asleep, head under wing.  This seems to suggest they are not stress-related.

Read more of this post

Tuesday avian vet visit

Atilla appeared to spend the night fairly comfortably, but by now her poops have turned quite green.

The travel cage was prepared with towels on the bottom & also a heat mat to keep her warm during the trip.  I waited until Cagney had fed Atilla breakfast before attempting to remove her.  It was easy to get Atilla into the small cage as she was still weak.  Naturally, the toyboys, shot out the cage as I moved Atilla.  They swooped over the travel cage & kept landing on it to talk to their leader.

The problem now was to get the toyboys back in the Manor so my assistant (my mum) was able to come with me to the vet, rather than toyboy-sit.  I took Atilla into the bedroom.  Fortunately, I received a text message from King Monty (over on the FeatheredFiends blog) who ordered the toyboys back into the Manor.  Millet helped too.

So, off we went to see Mr Avian Vet.  To say I was concerned is an understatement.

The diagnosis?  The hernia is, as expected, beginning to cause complications.  She has an infection to be treated with antibiotics.  She was given an injection with a strong solution of antibiotics & also something to remove fluid from the lump/hernia.

The prognosis?  The injection would make her sleepy for a few hours but then she should begin to pick up & start to eat again.  Unfortunately, even if/when she recovers from the infection, another will most probably occur…. so it is just a case of making sure she is comfortable…

No matter….. I was bringing my darling girl home where she belongs, at the Manor, with infatuated Cagney, with adoring Bezukhov & her relieved mama.

When we got home, Cagney was on the platform perch (closest to the lounge door) shouting (almost screaming) with a crazed look in his eyes.  His wings were shaking.  He was distressed.  We put Atilla in the travel cage on the poang chair & both toyboys just leapt about the Manor trying to get out.

Atilla sitting on the Poang chair

Atilla was still sleepy.  I was very tempted to let the boys out but at the same time, wanted Atilla to rest.  In the end, the boys settled down a little (as long as I did not excite them by standing up or walking) so I left Atilla to sleep on the poang with the electric blanket over her.

After a while she came to a little.  I poked in some millet but she was not interested.  A little later, I poked in some broccoli & this was more to her liking & to my delight she scoffed it down.  (See video below).  After this, I decided to let the boys out.  They flew straight over to her & Cagney was squeezing his beak through the bars.  Atilla reached out to him.  I opened the travel cage door & Cagney perched on my finger, halfway in (he doesn’t like small spaces!) & fed Atilla.  I think he fed her about half a ton of seed.  And she readily took it.  She then managed to get on my finger & wanted to come out, so I took her to the Manor.

Atilla remained sleepy for the rest of the afternoon & evening.  Every so often she would wake to be fed & maybe have a brief preen.  I could only hope the next day would see an improvement…