Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Tag Archives: medicine

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

 

 

Bezukhov’s addendum

Last year, Bezukhov wrote an informative post on “How to Avoid Taking Your Medicine” (click here to read it).  This is an addendum to that post.  Apparently, another key method has come to light & Bezukhov wants it documented.  Here is what he has to say:


 

Hello millions of followers & fans.  It’z Bezukhov here.

I hope you all found my post on how to avoid taking your medicine helpful.  The first & most important method of avoidance dat I wrote about was to ‘Stay Free And Avoid Kapture‘.  As my human usually traps me in the Manor, my area of ‘staying free’ iz very limited.  Kapture iz, I am most annoyed to say, inevitable.

However, there is another technique dat kan be deployed to seriously undermind the authority of the human: ‘Feet Clamp‘.  This iz where you stay still but firmly clamp your feet around the perch.  It sounds too simple to be effective, but effective it iz.  The human kannot move you away or pick you up.  They kan try to pull you up off the perch but stay strong, & you will go nowhere.

Your human may den have to use their other hand to prise your toes from the perch.  Remember to do The Clamp on the highest perch so your human has to do all this on tiptoe.  S/he will give up soon enough.

I think this technique iz a worthy addition to my original post.  I just had to share.

Whilst I am in a sharing & confiding mood & I have your attention, I would like to give public thankz to my best buddy Cagney.  In the last week or so, he has got increasingly displeased at the way our human harrasses me every 48 hours & has rebelled.  The times when Mama has her hands around me, but kan’t move away as I am clamped to the perch (see above), an impetuous Cagney leans across from his perch & viciously attacks ¹ her hand to get her to let me go.  I am very grateful for his support at such a time.  Thankz Caggers!

I also grudgingly give thankz to Mama for allowing me this platform to express my thoughts & opinions.

Wishing you all plentiful seed.

Over and out. x

 

[1] ‘Viciously attacks’ can be interchanged with ‘gently nibbles’ (Cagney has no idea how to bite), onesweetiepea (ed)


 

 

 

Snap!

Last week, during one of our every-other-morning medication battles, I heard Bezukhov‘s tail snap.

Ouch!

What's that doing there?

What’s that doing there?

During the struggle, his tail obviously got into a position I did not think it was in & as I moved him towards my chest, I heard the loud crack of it breaking.  I quickly smoothed it down as I could see it sticking out at an alarming angle.  When he had successfully avoided taking the majority of his medicine I put him back in the Manor & hoped the tail damage was not too great.

Over the next few days his tail continued to stick out at strange angles.  Bezukhov would twizzle his bottom & it would stick out sideways.  Then he would have a little preen & it would be put back in place again.  It was also floppy which was particularly noticeable when he was flying as it would hang down.

It must have been hanging by a thread as it finally broke off.  You can see by the photo below that the break was about along the tail, as compared with a previously moulted tail.  Fortunately, his other tail is still fully intact.

Broken tail

Broken tail

I said ‘Sorry‘ to him countless times for breaking his beautiful tail.  Hopefully he does not hold it against me…

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

Are we friends?

With the ongoing medicating saga with Bezukhov, I have been worried that he would grow to dislike me.

Giving him medicine every other morning at least gives us a break & also prevents an association between ‘waking up’ & medicine or even ‘going to bed’ (if he thinks ahead) & medicine.

Yes, I iz forgiving.

Yes, I iz forgiving.

Nevertheless, on those mornings he cannot be happy with me chasing him around the Manor, grabbing him, grabbing him again, grabbing him once again, waving a medicine-firing implement around & leaving him with sticky stuff around his chin & most probably a nasty taste in his beak.

Fortunately for me, Bezukhov has a forgiving nature.  It helps that medicine time is specific.  He knows that once I put him back in the Manor (or not, if naughty Cagney has snuck out!) that I am not going to harass him for the rest of the day.

However, for a short time afterwards, maybe 10 minutes, 30 minutes or even an hour, he needs his recovery time.  Apart from the obvious upset of being grabbed etc., I think he also needs to recover from the loss of face of actually being caught in the first place.  During his recovery, at intervals I go up to him & ask, Are we friends?  At the same time, I blink slowly & hope he will respond in kind.  He usually does, eventually.

Recovery is definitely over when he eats his seed.

Everything is back to normal then.

I am forgiven.

We are friends again.

 

 

Poor Patient Compliance (PPC)

Previously, I had posted about Bezukhov’s second x-ray.  At the time, a blood sample was also provided.  We had the results of these a few days after.

Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV) said that Bezukhov’s blood results were “largely promising“.  However, she noticed one of the parameters that tells us about the gall bladder and liver function has “steadily increased over the last few blood tests“.  With this in mind, she prescribed two types of medication: one to support the gall bladder & the other to support the liver.

The medicine to support the gall bladder is Destolit.  Worryingly, it is untested in birds; the tablets are made for dogs & cats.  The tablets need to be cut very small (1/8ths), mixed in 0.5ml of water/juice, of which 0.02ml is to be administered.  (It was originally 0.01ml of ¼ tablet, but that is basically half a drop & I found that impossible to control).

Bezukhov still has Aloe Vera & Milk Thistle in the water & that is to continue indefinitely.  The additional medication for the liver is Lactulose.  He had this previously.  It is a sticky, syrupy medicine which is difficult to remove once it gets onto the feathers.  (Cagney did attempt to clean him up but with little success – it took Ms EHV to use the opportunity when Bezukhov was still groggy from anaesthetic to properly clean his cheek & chin feathers).

As for frequency of administering the medication, Ms EHV described Bezukhov as having “Poor Patient Compliance”, (i.e. he refuses to take his medications).  With that in mind, she was not going to prescribe Clavaseptin (antibiotic to support the liver to be taken twice a day).   This leaves us with the Lactulose & Destolit.

Ideally, they are to be taken once a day.  However, as this may potentially be a long-term solution, we agreed that a more manageable once every other day should still be effective.

After much discussion of the above, the new medication regime for Bezukhov began on the 22nd February.

 20150206_122749_sh21

 

 

 

 

 

Sticky feathers

Bezukhov has had sticky cheek & chin feathers from when he had to take his medicine (Lactulose).  During his last two visits to the vet, when under anaesthetic, she has attempted to clean off the syrupy medicine.  She was largely successful & Bezukhov was gradually beginning to look like himself.

Since then, when cleaning up, I have come across the odd sticky feather:

I am sure he will be very glad when they are all gone.

 

Guest Post: How to avoid taking your medicine

How to avoid taking your medicine

by

Bezukhov

They say that ‘prevention iz better dan kure’.  For this post, I translate that saying into, ‘freedom iz better dan kapture’.  The single most important thing you kan do to avoid taking your medicine iz to ‘Stay Free And Avoid Kapture‘.  Once I am free of the Manor and able to go where I please in the rest of the world ¹, then it’z all bets off…. No medication today!

A tip to avoid kapture in the Manor iz to go to the far reaches where the human’s short featherless wings can’t reach.  This tip also works out in the rest of the world ¹, where a safe place iz on top of the Manor which iz too high for the human’s short featherless wings and short legs.

Bezukhov 1      Human 0

If you have fallen at this first hurdle and have been kaptured, there are still other ways to avoid taking your medicine.  My main method kan be summarised thus: ‘Wriggle, wriggle, wriggle… wriggle like the wriggliest wriggly worm would wriggle‘.  In essence, to keep moving means your beak iz never in the same place for longer dan a millisecond, thus avoiding the medicine-loaded firing implement ².  A kunning plan, doncha fink?

Bezukhov 1     Human 1

Sometimes, the human in question, will attempt to use a kloth of some sort to kontain you.  This kan be a challenge.  I find this next method quite effective, ‘Rotation‘.  It’z a subset of wriggling really, but deserves its own mention.  Wriggling in a rotating way means that when the human adjusts the kloth to find your head, it’z often facing away from the human, thereby making administering of medication impossible (unless the human is a kontortionist which my one izn’t).  The human will then have to temporarily put the medicine launching device ² down in order to use both hands to adjust the kloth to get you in the korrect position but this iz another opportunity to wriggle.

 

Bezukhov 2     Human 1

Read more of this post

A helping beak

One of the medication’s (Lactulose) I have to give orally to Bezukhov is like a syrup.  Unfortunately, the combination of my lack of expertise in administering medication by syringe/dropper & Bezukhov’s propensity for wriggling, has resulted in the sticky syrup landing on his feathers & not in his beak.

Ignoring Bezukhov’s desperate desire to leave my grip, I usually try to wipe as much medication away from his cheek & chin feathers before letting him go.  The medicine is very sticky though & remains on his feathers.

What he really needs is a best buddy who can preen the goo away…