Tuesday, February 27, 2007

parrot blogging

Okay, here is an update, and why I've been busy!

We were going along, treating Aziza for her respiratory infection....the vet mentioned that she was probably not helping things by being so hormonal, so we started her on hormone injections to help calm things down. I took her in for her second injection right at the scheduled interval on February 17th, and informed them that she hadn't been acting herself the preceding few days, so they took a blood sample to see if there was something else going on.

During the day, she wasn't voiding any stool, only some urates, and this had me worried, and then in the evening, she appeared to be straining to pass something - she had these bouts where she looked like she was pushing, accompanied by a wheezing noise, followed by panting. I put her to bed at 9 pm, hoping this would induce her to sleep and stop whatever it was she was doing (I wasn't sure what it was about at that point).

I woke up around 11:30 pm, and there she was, making that wheezing sound every 3-5 minutes. I wrung my hands for an hour, and then decided that there had to be some kind of obstruction keeping her from voiding, so it was time to take her to the emergency vet.

Turns out, she was trying to lay an egg! It must have been forming even as she got her second hormone shot. The vet at the emergency care gave her some meds to help her form and pass the egg, which still had not happened by the next afternoon. But she was comfortable enough to bring home. The next day, she still had not laid the egg, so I called my regular vet, and took her in that afternoon. The vet then spent two days and evenings trying to coax the egg out of her, all with no luck. So...she had to have it surgically removed on Wednesday the 21st, which fortunately went well.

I got her back on Thursday morning, and she did well until Friday afternoon, when she started to look not-so-hot; the vet suggested a stronger painkiller, since nothing else adverse seemed to be going on. So we tried that, and that seemed to do the trick. The last few days she has been fighting more and more against being medicated, and today seems to be acting more like herself in other ways as well. Her appetite has been good throughout, so I am hoping we can get her weight back up to normal fairly soon.

Her sutures come out on Saturday, and she'll be getting another hormone shot as well - we may double up for awhile, just to make sure she doesn't try to make another egg.

I guess I'm not completely surprised I didn't recognize her symptoms at the time, though it's a bit of a "d'oh!" monent in retrospect. Though my grey Kianga laid eggs twice (in 2003 and 2006), she hasn't had any trouble with it - she sits on the bottom of her cage, and in the morning there is an egg; I haven't heard so much as a grunt out of her!

The vet gave me Aziza's egg to put in her cage, so she can see it there, so she won't think it was lost and needs to be replaced. I took some pictures of it, so maybe I'll post one later.

Also, because the surgeon said that Aziza's oviduct looked like she wasn't getting enough viatmin A, I'm playing with diets again, trying to make what I feed my birds more varied, fresh, interesting, and nutritious, and adding what supplements I can. I had been feeding them a bean and rice mix in the mornings, then an amended corn bread in the evenings, always with pellets underneath. But they mostly ignored the pellets, and a lot of the bird bread would be discarded because they would pick out the "good stuff." Now, I am mixing the mashed up bread with bean mix, adding some chopped fruit, and mixing that all up with some mash-style parrot food. I may start baking the pellets in with the cornbread too. This mix is more uniform; it may be a little less interesting (but I'm thinking maybe not, since the reaction to it has been very favorable), but hopefully they will eat more of the different components and get a better balance of nutrients. I don't want Kianga to go through this problem if she decides to lay this year, since I have changed their diets a lot in the past 8 months.



Anonymous Jill said...

I enjoyed visiting, and sometime, if you want to talk about diet, I will be happy to share things that I know, or links with you. My vet told me that most parrots become deficient in vit.A so for years I have been using Daily Essentials 3 on their warm food.
Parrots are wonderful, aren't they?
I have a grey, among many cockatoos and some green birds.
another url for you is parrotfestival.org

7:32 PM, March 02, 2007  
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