Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Tag Archives: lump

Bizarre drama

Nine days ago, on the 26th February, the lower, scabby part of Perry’s lump fell away.

He had been fiddling with it all day.  It was far more noticeable than before & looked pretty bad.  I started ringing for vet availability as I had a feeling something was going to happen, perhaps more bleeding.  I had the cornflour at the ready.

In the evening, part of the scab began to prise away.  At this point, Perry was relentless & totally focused with ‘sorting it out’.  I watched with horror as I saw this black thing dangling between his legs, catching on the perch & getting in the way of his movements.  The expression on Lennie’s face most probably mirrored my own as he stared incredulously at what was unfolding before him.

Perry carried on & within about 15 minutes, the whole thing fell off!

Fortunately, it was completely dry, with no blood or gunk.  It was a clean break & clearly the natural time for it to separate with Perry’s body.

It measured 1.2 cm wide x 2.3 cm long x 1.0 cm deep.

Perry was fine afterwards.

After a chat with the vet on the phone, when she said it was very bizarre, we agreed there was nothing to do at this point, but once again, to wait & see.  The lump itself is obviously still there, & it is possible another blister may form, so we are still on the roller-coaster.

For the interested among you, here are some gory photos:

 

Perry must feel so much better for not carrying that lump of dried blood & dead tissue around.

Perry

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

 

 

Holiday Emergency

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.

Perry

 

 

A bath, the travel cage & a raisin

We had a little drama a few days ago.

Part of our morning routine is that I offer Perry the bath with plain water to drink, first thing.  Subsequent offerings are usually supplemented water.  The first offering is plain water as sometimes Lennie is tempted to have a bath in it & I would rather he did not bathe in expensive vitamin water!

Perry after his bath

Perry’s lump after his bath

Perry minus 7mm of lump

The morning of Tuesday 15th December, Lennie decided it was bath time (fine – as it was plain water!) & unusually, Perry was also inspired to have a bath too.  They both had very thorough baths.  However, Perry’s bath meant that the area around his lump was wet & exposed & revealed a black lump.  To say I was horrified would be an understatement!

A part of me thought that Perry must be okay as otherwise he would not have had the energy to have a bath.  But a black lump?  There was no way I could put a positive spin on that.

Perry was a bit quiet after his bath but it was a very vigorous one so it made sense he had worn himself out a bit.  He perked up a bit later & ate & drank.  By then, I had already booked a visit to the vet for that evening.  Our usual mobile vet was not available so we actually had to visit the local vet ourselves, resulting in Perry having a short stay in the travel cage.

Though the local vet is only a few streets away, this particular evening the main road was unexpectedly closed which meant the traffic was diverted into the side streets that would normally have been quiet (& my preferred route).  Perry’s travel cage was well padded & I threw an extra fleece over it for added warmth & protection.  I walked as quickly as possible but the noise of traffic, from beeping horns & revving engines was very unpleasant & I feared for Perry’s stress levels.

On arrival at the vet’s practice, I quickly peeked inside to check he was okay (I had heard him fall off the perch) & he was clinging to the side.  On unveiling him to the vet, I quickly noticed that part of his lump was on the cage floor!

It turned out that 0.7cm of his lump had developed into dead tissue & his moving around the travel cage had dislodged it.  It was a clean break.  The vet examined Perry & said the remaining 2cm of lump looked stable.  It looked round & not misshapen (apparently a good thing).  She thought he looked in otherwise good condition, with bright eyes & good quality feathers.  He is overweight at around 60g, part of that will be the remaining lump & obviously a result of less exercise due to reducing mobility.  No treatment necessary.

It was such a relief to get him home.  Lennie was also happy to have his mate back.

For the record, I did take a photo of the piece of lump that fell off but not until a couple of days later when it had shrivelled somewhat & looked like a raisin… I will spare you all that vision.

 

Home adjustments

Perry’s mobility is gradually being compromised by his growing lump.  With this in mind, I made a few adjustments to their cage to help him get around easier.

Lennie back home, Perry still in Dalai’s cage

The first hurdle was for Perry & Lennie to vacate their home so I could go in & make the changes, so I was on alert waiting for an opportunity.  As ‘luck’ would have it, on the 24th October, I was scraping some poop off a perch with my fingernail (a not unusual occurrence) & Lennie decided this was a scary thing & shot out the cage.  He landed over by the window.  He made it back to the nearest safety, which was Dalai’s cage, in two stages, which, although it does not sound great, I was quite encouraged by, given his flying problems.  I then got Perry & put him in Dalai’s cage also.

It was a relief to have full control of their cage & the first thing I did was give it a thorough clean!  The main change I made was to have a perch run the full length of the cage at the top, hopefully giving Perry an easy walk from one end to the other & therefore easier access to the top level.  I also moved the water bottle from the salt lick perch up there.  The only slight issue is when he has to jump down to the seed pots but I have also lowered the triangle perch that he jumps down from.  There is also a rope perch at mid-level that I also adjusted.

Perry & Lennie

The bottom was already padded, but I added more padding.  Most of the time, if he falls, he usually lands on the sisal rope perch that is stretched from the bottom-level to mid-level, but occasionally the padded bottom comes in handy.

The added advantage of the extra long perch across the top-level is that it makes a cross-junction with the branch perch.  I did not realise at the time, but that is a particularly good thing as sometimes Perry struggles to turn 180 degrees on the perch, so the cross-junction allows him to turn 90 degrees at a time.

All the changes were well & good but would be useless if not accepted by Perry & Lennie.  Lennie was the first to venture back in & managed to avoid the long perch for a bit.  However, by the time Perry strolled in, Lennie had broken in the long perch.  I may make some further adjustments later on, but for now, all seems well.

Perry & Lennie

 

Update on Perry’s health

In my last post on this subject (click here) I reported about Perry’s ‘turns’.  We have had further developments.

On the 4th July, Perry had, what I would describe as a ‘Twitchfest’.  He twitched, though not violently, off & on all day, but settled by bedtime.  I was on edge the whole time, anticipating that he would get worse.

Perry

Perry’s next, more significant, episode was on Saturday, the 22nd August.  At around 11am, he began twitching, & a couple of those were major enough to propel him off the perch.  At one point, he was hanging from the perch by one foot.  He seemed okay after about 15 minutes.  However, about two & a half hours later, the twitches began again, but this time they were throwing him off the perch, on average every 30 seconds (sometimes the frequency between was longer, sometimes shorter).  Lennie was sensible & went into Dalai’s cage, so I locked him in there for the duration.

For about an hour the twitches continued, at varying levels of intensity.  Each time his movement was from his left to the right, so I could predict where he would go/land.  Sometimes he would have a few minutes where he was just twitching & able to stay on the perch.  He pooped throughout, but a watery substance.  Through it all, he did not make a sound.  He was completely aware & scared as he clearly did not know what was happening to him.  The times he landed on the bottom of the cage he immediately made his way back up.  By 3pm they were subsiding & he was able to preen & behave a bit more normally, by which time, Lennie joined him again.

Things had settled down by the Monday, but nevertheless, I spoke to the vet, & she suggested adding calcium to their water as they were both still moulting.

New cage set up L to R: hospitalisation cage, ‘home’, Dalai’s cage

The next episode was Saturday the 12th September (I am starting to dread Saturdays!). He seemed extra quiet that morning & when I offered him a spinach leaf, he had to turn his head at a strange angle to eat it.  This alerted me & I decided to dust off the quarantine cage & prepare it for possible hospitalisation purposes.  Later that day, he spasmed, fell to the cage floor & was rolling around.  I carefully picked him up & put him in the spare cage.  He came out of the spasm & I placed him on a perch, where he was very still.  His balance was very off & he fell off the perch a few times but at least did not have far to fall in the newly set up cage, & the bottom has extra padding.  Occasionally, he would turn his head from side to side & his eyes were flickering.

Read more of this post

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?

 

Severe moult, long beak and a strange growth

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.

 

 

Poorly Perry

Perry not feeling well

Last Sunday (6th October), Perry seemed a bit quiet & not his usual self.  The next morning he was no better, in fact he was worse.  He was very quiet with not a peep out of him, not even when Dalai called to him (before I unlocked their cages).  He sat in the same spot for some time, sleeping although not fluffed up.  He did not go down to his seed pots either.

I let Lennie out so he & Dalai could play & Perry could continue to rest.  Millet was gratefully received by Perry & he was able to eat quite a bit without having to fight Lennie for it.  When he jumped to another perch he seemed to stumble a bit so I wondered if perhaps his lump was starting to impact on his leg.  With these concerns, I rang the vet & booked an appointment for the following morning (Tuesday 8th October).

By about midday, Perry decided he wanted a change of scenery & wanted to come out.  For the rest of the day he sat in with Dalai & Lennie, still very quiet.  When the others were otherwise engaged, I would slip Perry some millet.

Although Perry had improved by the next morning (eating by himself & more vocal), I kept the vet appointment.  The vet examined him & noticed bruising on his upper left leg, opposite to the lump.  We assume this is why he was off-colour & also why he had improved.  His lump is still growing & is currently growing outwards & downwards.  The vet thinks it will affect his leg at some point & start causing mobility problems.  Whilst he is coping fine now, I will gradually start to adapt his cage & hopefully they will accept the changes without any fuss!

Perry

 

Silly walk

Dalai’s toenails were getting long.

I kept putting off doing something about them, hoping he would sort them out by himself but he did not.  He let them get so long that he was having difficulty walking across bars & had to lift his foot up each time to make sure the curly part of his nail was free.  He was starting to look silly walking across the bars & was also face planting when his timing was not quite right.

 

Perry also had a long toenail; it was so long it started to curl in the opposite direction.  He sorted that out himself though.

AFTER: Dalai’s toenails

For Dalai, though, the vet was called & she visited last Thursday (15th).

It was a relief to me when she cut his toenails down to a manageable level.  I had taken a couple of toys out of his cage, in case he got his toenails caught in them, but now they could be returned.

As the vet was here, she thought it would be a good idea to cut both Perry & Lennie’s toenails too.

Perry was first – he managed to fly out the cage during the chase but was caught quickly.  The vet checked out his lump & confirmed it is still growing.  After his toenails were cut, he was put back in the cage.  Lennie decided to do the same & also snuck out the cage but once again, he was caught quickly.  He is a real wriggler, so it took a little longer to cut his toenails.

When the vet returned Lennie to the cage, she noticed Perry was bleeding, so she grabbed him instantly & a styptic pen was used on the offending toenail to stop the flow.  We observed him for awhile to make sure he was okay.

 

 

Though the visit was ‘only’ to cut toenails, I felt quite upset afterwards.  It is never pleasant when they have to be caught & it was distressing to see Perry bleeding & knowing that too much blood loss can be problematic.  I am grateful the vet acted so speedily.  The confirmation that Perry’s lump is still growing was also a blow as I was hoping it would be the type that would just slow down & stop.  At some point I will need to make a decision as to what the next step will be.

Until then, all is well & all toenails are the correct length!

Lennie, Dalai & Perry