Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Tag Archives: vet

Update on Dalai

Dalai

Following on from my last post on Dalai’s health, he finished the 10 day course of antibiotics (3rd-12th November).  During that time I monitored his droppings & they gradually improved.  He continued to be unsociable, preferring to be in his cage on his own.  He had moments when he wanted to come out but was only out briefly & mostly wanted to just stretch his wings.

He carried on with his moult, losing a tail feather & further wing feathers.  He had lots of pin feathers on his head.  I felt that he wanted a bath but did not want to bother coming out to have one, so a few times I held up a sprig of wet basil & he had an awkward bathe in the wet leaves, as he was trying to do it whilst balancing on his swing!

He had a set-back on the morning of November 16th when his poops were just white splats with no dark bits.  However, by the afternoon they recovered.

The vet provided AviPro Plus, a probiotic to support their gut.  I put this in Dalai’s & Perry & Lennie’s water from the 20th-30th November.  Dalai’s droppings improved & as a bonus, Lennie’s did too (they have always been a bit… not right!)

Dalai ready for F10 nebulising

On the 23rd November, after a further consultation with the vet, she confirmed that videos I sent showed Dalai was definitely tail bobbing (there was slight evidence of this earlier).  We decided to give them all medicine for chlamydia (I refused any invasive tests & also did not bother with the fecal test as a negative result does not necessarily mean they do not have chlamydia).  Whilst awaiting the medicine (it needed to be ordered), the vet suggested I nebulise Dalai a couple of times a day with F10 SC disinfectant to help with any respiratory problems.

The first ‘steaming’ session was on Friday 23rd November at 2pm.  Dalai was difficult to catch in the Silver Villa & when I did grab him he screeched & screamed!  He never did that when the vet grabbed him!  He was not best pleased when he found himself in the travel cage, under a cover, with a bowl of hot water.  (To be clear, the water was outside the cage).  I did this again on the following occasions:

  • 24th November – 10:30
  • 25th November – 10:30, 17:00
  • 26th November – 10:30, 17:30
  • 27th November – 10:00, 17:30
  • 28th November – 10:30
  • 29th November – 10:15

Each time Dalai screeched & screamed when I grabbed him.  After the last two ‘steamings’, he seemed a bit brighter & livelier.  After his steaming on the 28th, he stayed out for a bit & even gave Perry’s head a little preen.

The medicine for chlamydiosis (Ornicure) arrived yesterday, & treatment has commenced.

In the meantime, here is a slideshow for the poop aficionados amongst us.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

And some prettier photos:

 

Advertisements

Friday vet visits

The last two Fridays, the vet has visited.

Dalai has not been himself, so on Friday 26th October, I called the vet in.

After the obligatory chase around the Silver Villa, the vet examined Dalai.  He was very keen to bite her & also attempted to bite her stethoscope.  Nevertheless, she managed to ascertain that his heart rate was fine & his temperature was also fine.  He weighed a healthy 45g.

Dalai

A few days previously, I had noticed some strange dark marks on his toenails, which I pointed out to her.  She noticed a red mark on the bottom of his beak, the part underneath that the top hooked part covers.  She seemed to think the two things might be related.  She asked if he had been in a fight but I said Perry or Lennie would not dare to upset him.  The marks on his toenails looked like bruising to her.  At best, the bruising would disappear within a couple of weeks & all will be well.  (Afterwards, I recalled that about a week previously, he had gone into the wall & landed on the floor, possibly due to a feather working its way loose).

Since that visit, he started moulting his little feathers & has been extra grumpy & also sleepy.

On the Wednesday morning (31st), I noticed some deposits of vomit.  Dalai was particularly under the weather & sleepy this day.  I kept him locked in by himself for most of the day & at intervals offered him millet, seed & baby corn, of which he appeared to enjoy the corn most.  His poops were rather sludgy & not to his normal standard.

There was little change over the next two days.  There was one moment on the Thursday evening when he was heaving & vomited but only one or two seeds came out.  The next day, Friday 2nd November, I called the vet out again.  She came in the afternoon, but that morning, I found that Dalai really fancied broccoli, so I held it up to him several times & he ate quite a lot.  He also came out a couple of times & unusually, went into Perry & Lennie’s cage, where he ate some of their seed.  He was back in his own home by the time the vet arrived.

Dalai was active enough to fly out the cage whilst the vet was trying to catch him.  Unfortunately (for him) he landed back on the side of the cage near me, so I managed to catch him.  His temperature was higher than the previous Friday but still in the normal range.  He had lost some weight, probably about 2 grams.  His poops were awful & he appeared to have a slight tail bob.  The vet prescribed antibiotics (Enrobactin) in the water for the next 10 days.  She also wondered if he has chlamydia.  The trauma from when he got his bruising may have triggered it.  Poop needs to be collected over the next 7-10 days for a test, if I choose to go ahead with it.

In the meantime, I continue to monitor Dalai.

 

Final review of Bezukhov’s health issues

Followers of this blog will know that my dear Bezukhov had various health issues over the years.  I thought a final review would be appropriate.


The first major health challenge began in mid-2014 when Bezukhov started to have ‘Vacant Episodes’.

These ‘episodes’ were handled in a variety of ways, detailed in the many posts over the years.  When they appeared to stabilise, the vet & I decided to cease all medication (early part of 2016) with the proviso to only administer medicine in an extreme circumstance.

I have previously posted lists of his episodes to date, with the last post being in December 2015 (click here to view).  For completeness, I have updated the list & here it is:

 

As I logged each episode, I spent much time trying to find a pattern as that may give a clue as to the cause.  All I know is that he seemed to have a spike in May/April time & the winter months were more stable.

Without knowing the real cause it is difficult to treat.  However, I believe it may have been a liver problem & early medication was focused on that & ongoing supplements (milk thistle & Aloe Vera Detox) continued to target this.  Given that we were unable to stop the episodes completely, we aimed to get them to a manageable/stable level & to reduce ‘cluster’ episodes, i.e., multiple ones in a short space of time.

The worst day was “Black Wednesday”, the 22nd of April 2015, when he had 4 in one day, 3 of which were within 90 minutes.  You can see the days where he had multiple episodes in the list above (figures in brackets).  The chart below shows an overview by month & year:

 

I greatly feared that Bezukhov’s end would be by a seizure & desperately hoped he would not suffer a prolonged one.


In the last few years, Bezukhov introduced a new health problem – his very own Extreme Moult Experience.  Though it is not uncommon for birds to have a severe moult, I was aware that Bezukhov’s first extreme moult happened not long after we lost his best buddy Cagney.  Was it a coincidence that his next two extreme moults happened around Cagney’s anniversary?  Bezukhov was a very sensitive bird which is why I wondered if there was a connection.

Fortunately, he tended not to have episodes during the Extreme Moult Experiences, which is just as well as I was already worried enough.  I feared during these experiences that he would just starve himself to death & I desperately hoped his end would not be that way.


In the end, it was something entirely different that took him.  A tumour.

The vet thought it was aggressive & grew very quickly (they can double in size each day), using up his body’s energy.  She suspects that the mass started on the outside of the small intestine & probably started growing inwards, explaining the initial lack of droppings & then the very dark ones later on that eventually contained fresh blood as the mass expanded.


Bezukhov was a fighter.  As you can see from what I have written above, he fought through many health problems.  The vet, who had looked after him from 2014, said that Bezukhov was possibly the most determined bird she had ever met.

Bezukhov was sensitive too & reacted emotionally to his surroundings, but he pushed on through all the changes & traumas in his life, possibly the most significant being the loss of his best buddy Cagney, with such grace & dignity.

He truly was remarkable.  I am grateful to have been a part of his life & feel honoured that he chose to trust me.

 

 

Bezukhov’s last week

We happily celebrated Bezukhov’s 8th birthday.   We did not know that just hours later things would take a bad turn.

The following morning, on the 28th June, as I uncovered them, I noticed Bezukhov was not himself.  He was quiet & was not eating.  There seemed to be an absence of overnight poops too.  I was concerned enough to call Ms Independent Vet (IV).

After a thorough examination, she suspected he was constipated & could feel a mass that suggested that, along with dried poops just inside his vent.  She administered fluids (orally & by injection under the skin).  Additionally, she gave him an anti-inflammatory injection & a vitamin B boost.  At best, this was simply constipation that would clear within 48 hours.  At worst, something else, something sinister, was causing the constipation.

During the day, I offered lots of different foods: fennel, apple, spinach, basil, celery & millet.  Fennel is his go-to food when not well so it was not a good sign that he refused it.

The following day, he managed a few seeds & a tiny piece of celery leaf & basil.  He seemed quite weak & was constantly fiddling with his bottom area.  At bedtime he ate about 15-20 seeds & also had a slurp of water.

On the 30th, he had slightly more seeds & carried on drinking his water.  He had pooped overnight.  The poops were green & sludgy, so really not good, however it suggested that any blockage was clearing.  He continued to gradually improve, so much so, that the next day (1st July) he started chirping a little & had a brief flirt with Dalai.  He felt well enough to fly over to the playgym & also the window perch.  His poops were still a mess but at least he was pooping.  He was still, in the main, lethargic.  I was still offering all the vegetables listed above, along with broccoli & cucumber.

 

However, the next day (2nd July), he seemed to take a few steps back.  Ms IV visited & thought he seemed a lot better & brighter than when she last saw him (4 days previous).  Though I agreed that he was better than on the 28th, I explained that he was better the previous day so had got worse again.  She said his insides felt clearer & less blocked.  His poops were still of concern & she wondered if perhaps the constipation had caused bacteria to grow.  I was to collect his poops over the next few days in case it was helpful to send them for testing.  She gave him another anti-inflammatory injection & something for nausea.  She also prescribed antibiotics in water for a few days (given that he seemed to be drinking again, which he was not before).

It was all very confusing & worrying…  Read more of this post

Toenails & Grass

I had noticed Bezukhov’s toenails getting long.  Also, Dalai had recently got his toenails caught in the chewy toy a couple of times.  This prompted me to book a vet visit (15th May).  Ms Independent Vet (Ms IV) came with her assistant & agreed that a toenail trim was a good idea.

 

Cleverly, she decided to catch Dalai first.  Given the number of times she has gone into the Silver Villa to catch Bezukhov, I am sure Dalai assumed he was safe, so was taken by surprise when she grabbed him!

After Ms IV had trimmed Bezukhov & Dalai’s toenails she had a look at Perry & Lennie & suggested she do theirs too, which I agreed to.  The two of them kicked up an almighty fuss – this was the first time the vet had gone into their territory so they were pretty surprised.

As luck would have it, about an hour later the postman delivered another parcel of juicy wild grass.  This went a long way to helping them get over the ordeal!

 

Once again, many thanks to generous follower rosebudgie!

 

Dalai’s dodgy day

Dalai

The morning of the 5th January, Dalai presented me with some very dodgy overnight poops.  There was also evidence that he had vomited during the night, with seed stuck to the bars & the ttmss swing had gunk smeared all over its mirror.  He looked okay but did have some gunk stuck to the feathers on his chest.

Whilst I cleaned the Silver Villa up, I observed his behaviour.  Though he looked relatively fine, he seemed subdued.  He attempted to eat some breakfast but heaved a little though no seed came up.  He certainly had not eaten any yellow food the day before or anything that would suggest the change in poop colour.  I rang Ms Independent Vet (IV) for advice.  As she was not able to visit until later that day, we decided to see how he was for the next few hours before deciding on a visit.

To make sure Dalai did not lose any weight I encouraged him to eat by offering red millet which he ate each time.  His poops gradually improved.  The white bits became white again but the dark bits were dark green.  When we reviewed the situation later on, it was thought the problem (whatever it was) was passing & we would leave it another day before intervening, if necessary.

Dalai’s clean bottom

The following day, Saturday, he improved further & was well enough to flirt again with Perry & to chase Lennie away (he had already managed a flirt with Bezukhov the previous day).  His poops continued to improve such that on the 3rd day I could not distinguish between his & Bezukhov’s overnight poops.  By the Sunday, he was back to his normal self & causing his normal amount of trouble.

Without an examination or any tests, we can only speculate as to what the problem was; it is possible he chewed on something that disagreed with him or he could have caught a short-term virus.  More worryingly, there was also discussion that he could have had an internal bleed or there could be a blockage of some sort.

However, right now, all is well & all is normal.  I like normal.

Obligatory poop photos & a messy mirror:

 

Extreme Moult Experience

So, right on schedule, we had the annual Extreme Moult Experience.

This is the 3rd year running this has happened.  It began when Bezukhov suffered this affliction in October 2015 (click here to read that story).  Last year, Bezukhov upped the stakes by introducing compulsory crop-feeding to keep him going (click here to read that story).  This year, Bezukhov pulled out all the stops & managed to scare us all.

Not counting the final follow-up visit, we had clocked up 16 vet visits/crop feeds in 14 days.   In total, there were 17 vet visits in 17 days which clearly averages as 1 visit a day.  Astounding statistics.

On the 19th September, Bezukhov dropped many large feathers, including his remaining tail feather.  His smaller, fluffier feathers were also beginning to fall off him.  When offered millet, he declined.  His poops were also going a dark green colour.  It was time to call in the vet.  When the vet examined him on the 20th, she said his head was inflamed where pin feathers (not yet noticeable) were about to come through.  Instead of sensibly gradually moulting out his feathers, he decided to drop them all at the same time & grow new ones.  His body was clearly not able to cope with this, hence his lack of appetite (& subsequent dramatic weight loss) & extreme lethargy.

 

Knowing the pattern from previous years, although his weight was initially healthy at 50g, the vet began with a crop feed in an attempt to ‘get ahead of the game’.  You can see from the table below, that things did not go as well as we had hoped.

 

The main complication this time was that Bezukhov was repeatedly vomiting.  He had a crop wash on the 26th September to rule out reasons other than an extreme moult.  This came back clear, but we were still left with the vomiting problem.  It was thought it might have been a side affect to the antibiotics, in which case we would have to wait a few days until after the last dose to see if this was the case.  His weight continued to fall, despite having crop feeds.

Thursday the 28th September was the worse day of all.  He looked terrible & I feared he would not last the night…. but last the night he did & his further loss of 2g, to a critically low (for Bezukhov) 38g, explained his worsening state.  It was at this point we increased the crop feeding to twice a day.  On the Friday, he thankfully vomited less & from the Saturday all but stopped.  This was indeed a good sign & we hoped it would be the turning point, which indeed, it was.

You can see from the table above, that Bezukhov’s last weight was 41g that he had kept stable for a few days.  He still needs to put on weight but is now in much better spirits & eating by himself so we are hopeful that he will be his slightly tubby self soon.

 

 

Remembering Phineas: The unanswered question

This post is a slight departure from my usual posts.

Phineas

Phineas

Phineas

Phineas

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.

phinny-logo2

 

Relapse

An unwell Bezukhov

An unwell Bezukhov

One day feather loss

One day feather loss

Medication

Medication

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.

Read more of this post

Sensitive and Complicated

It was one week ago, with a sense of jà vu, that I noticed Bezukhov’s poops did not look right.  They were sludgy & dark green.

Bezukhov on the window perch

Bezukhov on the window perch

Bezukhov on top of the manor

Bezukhov on top of the manor

Bezukhov eating pellets

Bezukhov eating pellets

Instinct told me this was Bezukhov’s reaction to losing Phineas because the poops reminded me of just over a year ago, when we lost Cagney, & Bezukhov stopped eating (click here for post).

I knew Bezukhov was upset by the change in routine, actually, the change in everything, as evidenced by not going into the Villa (Phinny’s domain).  He would go in briefly for water or to chew on the iodine block, but not sit in there.  Also, overnight sleeping has switched, at Bezukhov’s insistence, from the Villa to the Manor.

In the days leading up to the discovery, I had noticed Bezukhov was eating more pellets (in dishes on top of the Villa) but it was not until I saw the dodgy poops that I realised he was barely eating his normal seed mix.  Behaviour-wise, Bezukhov became very loud.  He was constantly shouting & often looking out of the window.  Normally he would shout at things outside but each time I looked I could not see anything; he was just shouting for shouting’s sake.  Sometimes he would go to one of the five seed pots but would only eat one seed before looking distracted & moving on.

Read more of this post