11 October 2016
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An unwell Bezukhov
One day feather loss
We have had a difficult time with Bezukhov. After I posted that Bezukhov had become unwell (click here to read that post), the hopeful signs of improvement stopped. On the 29th September, Bezukhov began a heavy moult. Almost overnight there were feathers everywhere. He lost mountains of small fluffy feathers, several larger feathers, including flight feathers & a tail feather. At the same time, his poops got worse again. He also stopped eating.
He was extremely lethargic & I was sufficiently worried to call in Ms Independent Vet (IV) who visited on the 30th September.
Once again, she suspected the problems were a continuation of stress from losing his friend Phineas, but now with the added complication of going into a heavy moult. She weighed him & he was only 44g, so a loss of approximately 14g in 9 days. His temperature was very high, but otherwise she could not find anything else obviously wrong. She gave him an injection of anti-inflammatory to help bring down his temperature & also antibiotics to guard against infections whilst his immune system was low. I was to orally give him the anti-inflammatory (Loxicom) twice a day for the next 3 days & antibiotics (Baytril) once a day for the next 7 days. She also advised that I steam/nebulise him with F10 as she thought his breathing was a bit laboured. She also gave me Emeraid, so I could syringe feed him to get his weight back up.
Of course giving Bezukhov medicine is a challenge. Despite being unwell he still managed to do his very best to avoid taking anything orally.
I was marginally better at giving Bezukhov the medicine than the Emeraid. Some birds will apparently eat Emeraid when offered as it is a nice smelling (& probably nice tasting) porridge-like substance. I did offer him some on my finger but he refused so I was left with having to syringe feed him. I tried my very, very best to give him the food but he pulled out all the stops & thwarted me at every twist & turn. I managed to get a few drops inside him now & then. Ms IV advised that I give him the Emeraid morning & evening but because I could hardly get any inside him, I added another
battle session in the middle of the day.
Despite my best efforts, Bezukhov got worse.
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22 October 2014
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How to avoid taking your medicine
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
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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
Previously, I had posted on Bezukhov’s visit to the vet.
Since then, although Bezukhov recovered initially from the visit itself, he was certainly not back to his old self. He was sleeping most of the time & alarmingly, stopped chirping. Was this a result of his ordeal or a further symptom of whatever health problem he was suffering from? Either way, it has been most upsetting. This is Bezukhov… babbling Bezukhov…. who will chat to anything, inanimate or animate.
We got partial test results back on Tuesday 13th May. These indicated an infection. The antibiotic Clavaseptin was prescribed. Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV) said it could be mixed in apple juice or water. I mistakenly thought this was something I could put in their usual water bottle but she corrected me, no it is to be given orally.
Twice a day.
[Oh deary me]
How long for?
[Oh deary, deary me]
I picked the medication up that evening so the military operation could begin first thing Wednesday morning.
Though it is often recommended to catch a bird with a cloth, I prefer to catch with my hand. With a cloth I am worried a wing may be still be opened up or they are in an undesirable position which is not immediately apparent as it is hidden by the material. That said, it is handy to hold the bird still in a cloth in order to administer medication. My method is to catch by hand, then hold close to my chest whilst draping the cloth around them. It is worth noting that the cloth used should not have too open a weave that claws can get caught in. Equally, when held to the chest, I make sure my top is smooth enough not to entangle claws.
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1 February 2014
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My previous post, The Last Two Weeks, describes the lead up to this last day with Thomas.
On the morning of the 27th January, I spoke with Mr EV again & he said I could pick up the medication Heptosyl, that afternoon. It is a powder in capsule form, typically given to dogs & cats.
Thomas was by now just chewing on beetroot stalks. It seemed the beetroot was what was keeping him going. His breathing had got noticeably worse. I had let Phineas out early on to give Thomas some peace in his own cage. However, around 2pm he sat in front of his door & made it clear he wanted to come out. I was reluctant, but opened the door….
Thomas attempted to fly to the Manor, but was too weak to do so & landed on the floor. A bad sign was that his wings were open & he appeared to not have the energy to close them. I gently picked him up. He was breathing heavily. I managed to hold him in as comfortable a way as possible. His feet were around my finger as if they were perching, with that hand cradling his body. He rested his head on my other hand.
To say I was alarmed & upset would be an understatement. I thought this was it. I repeatedly told him we all loved him & gently stroked his cheek feathers. We were like this for about 15 minutes. Then he shook himself & wanted to get up. I let him make his way to the top of the Manor. Read more of this post