Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

At 11pm on Saturday the 3rd of September, I peeked under their covers, as was routine, to check all was okay before dropping the big cover down further.  Perry & Lennie’s cage liner on the bottom had been changed about 2 hours earlier, so I was surprised it did not look clean.  When I looked closer, I realised it was blood.

Everywhere.

I spotted Lennie’s tail feather laying across the seed pot.  He had lost his other one a couple of days earlier, which seemed odd to me as it had only just grown in.  He had lost both tail feathers just weeks ago (click here to read that post) so I was not expecting the new ones to drop so quickly.  I assumed this was a blood feather problem.  Had the bleeding stopped or was it ongoing?  I took the cage liner away to reveal the clean one underneath so it would be easier to check.

blood splattered bottom cage liner
Blood splattered cage liner
Lennie’s fallen tail feathers

Then I saw a big clot drop.  I knew I had to take immediate action.

Three pet carrier cages
Carrier cages

Under the flight cage, I have three small travel cages for emergency evacuation (one each in red, white & blue).  The one on top just happened to be the red one.  Cornflour was put into a wide container.  I caught Lennie & basically covered his lower section in the cornflour, not really knowing where the site of the bleed was, & then placed him in the travel cage with a cover over.

After a few minutes I checked to see if he was still bleeding.  It was difficult to judge how much blood had dropped because the base of the travel cage was red, but I could see blood mingled in with the white cornflour that had fallen off him.  I doused Lennie again in cornflour & put him back.  He was still bleeding so I carried on dunking him in the cornflour (literally, I dunked him in & ‘bathed’ him).  I discarded the red travel cage & alternated between the white & blue one.  That way, I could wipe around the one not in use, so each time he was placed into a clean one, making it easier to judge blood loss.

Continue reading “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning”

Lennie’s May Moult

Moulting Lennie

Lennie had quite a heavy moult this May.

Fortunately, I noticed quickly that he was not bothering to go down to his seed pots so held seed up to him.  He was still eating but was just too lethargic to go & get the seed himself.  Once he knew I would give him seed, he would indicate he wanted some by bending down & looking out the main door.  We did this for about two weeks.

When I was out I left millet in the cage & the wild grass helped enormously. He was looking very tatty during this time & towards the end lots of pin feathers came through on his head.

When he started going to get his own seed it was a good indication that things were returning to normal.  I think the early seed intervention helped him power through the moult.

 

A touch of the “Bezukhov’s”?

We have had some drama here, courtesy of Lennie.

Lennie with pin feathers

On Friday 20th August, I noticed Lennie was not eating the evening millet.  Normally they have red millet but I was unable to buy any online so got some nice, fresh-looking ‘normal’ millet from a local pet shop.  I wondered if Lennie just did not like the change in colour, however when I offered a bobble of red millet (leftover bits in the bag) he refused it.  I thought that as he was moulting he was probably just ‘under the weather’.

As the weekend progressed, his poops turned a deep green, with a bluish tinge.  This can indicate lack of food.  I was offering all sorts of food but he just was not eating anything, in fact he was physically moving away.  Either that, or he was so sleepy he did not even notice me waving a basil leaf, piece of celery or broccoli in front of him.  Occasionally he would go to the seed pot & rummage around but he was not eating, he would just pick up a seed & drop it.  I got an appointment with the vet on the Monday afternoon (23rd).

This was a trip to the clinic, so Lennie had to endure the travel cage & a taxi ride which fortunately was pretty quick at around 30 mins, but we had to allow extra time in case of traffic.  (It would have been an arduous trip on public transport via three buses).

When we arrived, I said to the vet, who knows us well (!), “I think he has a touch of the Bezukhov’s“, in reference to dear Bezukhov’s Extreme Moult Experience when he was moulting & also not eating.  The vet took Lennie into the consulting room for examination (I was not allowed in).  His weight was 53g, which, on the face of it, is actually not too terrible, but it was an astonishing 20g weight loss from his last weigh-in.  He has a fatty lump covering his front but the vet could feel his keel bone behind it & could tell he had lost considerable weight.  His temperature was normal & his heart sounded fine.  Continue reading “A touch of the “Bezukhov’s”?”

Indoor Bath

Perry & Lennie have been choosing to stay in their cage.  This may be because they have been moulting (again!) which can make them a little lethargic.  Or it could be because they both have problems flying.  But I think the main reason is that their primary purpose for coming out was to see Dalai & now I imagine they ask themselves, why bother if he is not around?

I have been lenient on this front as I miss Dalai too.

However, with their moulting and constant preening, I felt they were missing out on having a bath.  The Thomas Bath is situated on the far side of Dalai’s cage.  Whilst they might occasionally pop into Dalai’s cage to avoid the cleaner (me) for a few minutes, they are nowhere near venturing on top of the cage.  Anyway, I thought I would bring the bath to them & perhaps hold it up near their door.

When I showed them the bath, Lennie looked particularly excited.  He was normally the one having lots of baths, whereas Perry was happy with one in a blue moon.  Because of Lennie’s look of interest, I decided to rig the bath up on their main door so that when it closed the bath would be between two perches.  This done, I was pleased to see they were not startled to see an indoor bath but, in fact, were rather pleased.

Indoor bath

 

I took the videos below. Unfortunately the cage bars are in the way, but you can get an idea of how it unfolded.  Surprisingly, Perry was the first to jump in so I guess his blue moon was long overdue.

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Perry & Lennie after their bath

 

 

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. Continue reading “Dalai’s last week (1 of 2)”

Love Your Pet Day, 2020

Today is ‘Love Your Pet Day’.  Of course every day is ‘Love Your Pet Day’.

My three feathery companions are all well.  They are moulting again (how is that possible?!)  Dalai has been extra grumpy because of that.  Perry is in good spirits despite his ever-growing lump.  Lennie is coping with his difficulty in flying by eating, but he has not thought that strategy through!

There is no discrimination on “Love Your Pet Day” as I also think of those long gone: our dear Raspy, her sister Atilla, handsome Thomas, incorrigible Phineas, cheeky Cagney & lastly, dear Bezukhov.  Today has been so rainy & Bezukhov loved to watch the rain…

Bezukhov

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.

 

 

Three in one

Last Friday (12th) we had a visit from the vet, to check over all three, Dalai, Perry & Lennie.  I had/have concerns about all of them for various reasons, one of which may be my paranoia!

At the time the vet came, Lennie was locked in by himself so we decided he would be first up.  I had concerns that he was having trouble flying –  only that morning he had attempted a lap of the room & landed in the plant pot!  The vet checked over his wings & found some missing flight feathers on both wings.  She said his heart sounded fine, which suggested the flying problem was a result of moulted-out feathers, which should be resolved when they have all grown back in again.  The only problem with this is that I find that when a bird has a few crash landings, their confidence can be dented & they are put off flying again, which in turn makes the problem worse.  Hopefully Lennie gets over this & is flying well soon.

The big shock with Lennie is that the vet weighed him & said he was 64g!!!  She did not seem concerned as she said he was clearly not overweight but did have a full gizzard.  There is a slight chance there may be a mass behind the gizzard, so I am to keep my eye on him.

 

Perry was up next.  The last time the vet visited, she identified a lump, which has since been growing.  Sometimes, at certain angles & when he is fluffed up, the lump is not noticeable at all.  However, it is definitely there, defined & dense.  It currently appears to be isolated, i.e., not attached to anything major.  Certainly, it is not imposing on Perry’s health or behaviour yet, but at sometime in the future I may need to get a sample from it in order to work out possible treatment.  Perry weighed a very respectable 55g, lump & all.

Perry contemplating eating some vegetables

 

Dalai was last.  He has been very much under the weather & his poops had changed.  He did have a very dodgy poop that was ringed with red, but I only found one of those (believe me, I was checking ALL of them after that discovery!) & the vet said he may have strained when passing that particular one.  The day before the vet came out, Dalai dropped a mountain of feathers overnight, which then made it clear that a lot of my concerns were most probably because he was moulting (again!).  Additionally, he has developed a dark mark on his beak.  I was not aware of him having bumped/crashed into anything for it be a bruise.  The vet thought it was either a blood blister or just a pigmentation change.  Dalai’s weight was also respectable, coming in at 45g.

Dalai

 

So, for a change, the vet did not leave me with any medication.  It took Dalai, Perry & Lennie awhile to recover from all the prodding & poking & it took me awhile to recover from the news of Lennie’s weight… in fact, if truth be told, my jaw is still on the floor over it!