Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Tag Archives: stress

Lennie’s feather problem

During the vet visit on the 16th June for Perry’s ‘turns’ (click here to read), I also asked the vet to check Lennie’s wing feathers.

The last time the vet checked his wing feathers was a year ago when he was already having problems flying.  At the time, it was thought a severe moult had caused the problems.  Since then, Lennie has grown wing feathers back again but also lost some, never getting to a point that he could fly properly.  The feathers he dropped also looked of poor quality.  In addition, we had the ‘crime scene‘ with a suspected broken blood feather.  It seemed appropriate to ask the vet to take another look.

Prior to her physical examination of him, I showed her many of the feathers he had lost.  She identified stress bars & also evidence of chewing.  Stress bars were not too surprising as Lennie is a bit of a worrywart.  The chewing was more concerning & raised lots of questions, primarily, was he chewing because there was something wrong with the feather or was he chewing on a healthy feather & if so, why?

On examining Lennie, apart from his strange feathers & whopping weight (a staggering 73g!) he appeared healthy.  She took some sample feathers for him to be tested for Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) which fortunately came back negative.

When the vet returned the following day to check on Perry, as a precaution, she gave them both treatment for (feather) mites, which I followed up on the 13th July.


Without further tests, it is difficult to establish the root cause of Lennie’s feather problem.  It is possible he has a psychological issue given he suffers from stress & anxiety.  Even if his feather problem is resolved, his weight gain will not help with his flying ability.  So, this continues to be a problem to monitor…


Sample of feathers:


Remembering Phineas: The unanswered question

This post is a slight departure from my usual posts.





I have an overriding question, that I have been unable to get a firm or satisfactory answer to, & that is, “Did Phineas get adequate care during his overnight stay at the veterinary hospital?

Why can I not get an answer?  It is my word against the hospital’s.  All I need to know is what actually happened whilst Phineas was waiting for his delayed operation.  Was he eating?  Did he eat enough?  Was he stressed or did he settle down?  Was he being attended to?  Did anybody care?

Phineas went from being absolutely doted on & adored, to effectively being abandoned (by me) for 24 hours, whilst he stayed overnight at the veterinary hospital because the priority of his operation was downgraded, hence it being put off until the following day.  Personally, I will always regret not bringing him home as soon as I heard of the delay.  I understand that things were not clear cut (i.e., initially being told the operation would be the next morning, not the next afternoon) & that I was advised it would be disruptive to bring him home & then back again, particularly as he had (allegedly) settled.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Had I really thought about it…… how could Phinny have been remotely ‘settled’ in a strange place away from all that he knew & loved?

20130808_135808_sh21Would he have survived the operation had he not been so stressed leading up to it?

If anyone reading this is in (or will be in) a similar situation where their bird needs to be kept overnight, I urge you to do all you can to make sure you feel confident your bird is genuinely comfortable.  Do not just accept the words of a member of staff who is a stranger to the bird but question them until you are satisfied.

If any veterinarians or veterinarian staff are reading this, I would like to state, obvious though it seems, that birds require care and a skill set that is quite different from non-exotic pets, & the owner’s knowledge of their bird could help you greatly in administering the best care.

In memory of my beautiful friend, Phineas.  I am so sorry… I will always regret not bringing you home that evening.



More than a moult?

Bezukhov has not been right.  He has been moulting so has been under the weather, however today, after some very dodgy looking poops, I decided his problem may be more than his moult.  I quickly arranged an afternoon visit to Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV).

It is always difficult to know when a vet visit is necessary.  Is he just moulting?  Will the stress of taking him to the vet make him worse?  Will he be okay tomorrow?  Is he hiding something very serious?  Is he actually worse than he looks?  I usually base my visits on my gut feeling & if I am worried to the extent that I cannot do anything else then that is the time to take him!


So, Bezukhov & Ms EHV met again.  She could see how rough he looked, with his feathers all over the place, not to mention the feathers around his beak that are saturated with sticky medicine.  All clinical signs appeared fine, but the most noticeable thing was that he has lost weight.  This I was expecting, as he lost his appetite but it appeared to return today, although I wondered/worried if the need to eat a lot was a symptom of something else.  Ms EHV weighed him – he was only 38g.  That is a 10g+ drop from last time & potentially a drop that has happened since we lost Cagney just over 4 weeks ago.

I explained how difficult life has been for him since that time, his loss of appetite, his loss of routine, having to build a new relationship of some sort with Phineas, the continuing medication saga & a new home (yes, I am behind with my posts – I did say a new home!)

Ms EHV believes his problems are stress related.  The first thing we must do is make sure he does not lose any more weight.  As he appeared to be eating more today & the difficulty of eating alongside Phineas seems to be settling, we are hopeful he will begin to put on weight.  Once he does, his poops should start to improve.  I am to monitor him over the next few days & if he does not put more weight on, then he is to have blood tests to see if something else is going on internally.


We did have a first in the consulting room – whilst Ms EHV was examining Bezukhov he managed to get free of her hand.  He was flying round & round the room, up by the ceiling.  He finally came down & landed on top of the cage but neither myself or Ms EHV caught him so off he went again, round & round the ceiling until he eventually descended & landed on the back of the chair behind me.  I managed to scoop him up.  He was okay but it really was not one of his best ideas…