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General Health Care Remember to use common sense and consult with an avian veterinarian.

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2017, 07:18 PM
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Re: Good and Bad News from the Vet

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Your vet is amazing, and you just caused another angel to earn his wings!
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Old 04-25-2017, 01:30 AM
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Re: Good and Bad News from the Vet

I'm terribly pained to learn of Alice's condition. So sorry she was abused, but you are giving her the best time of her life. Hope she has some quality life remaining.
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Old 04-25-2017, 01:04 PM
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Re: Good and Bad News from the Vet

Thanks you two . She's been unwell since I adopted her when she was only 2 or 3 months old. She's definitely a silly little bird. Sometimes she starts screaming in what appears to be a panic, only to do some goofy vocalizations that are akin to laughter, in my opinion. She has a bit of a mischievous side, too, as she'll sometimes go after Ziggy and try to bite his toes.

What's nice is that since I've "released" the kākāriki into the aviary, Alice has been spending quite a bit of time with them, just standing on the perch with them with her eyes closed. She and the kākāriki seem quite calm around each other, so I'm sure she takes at least some comfort in their presence.

I'm going to put a small water dish with dandelion root extract in the cage with her, as she's currently been drinking from an "unmedicated" dish. The dandelion root extract seems to help with cancer, as Ju's had testicular cancer for almost three years now and is still really healthy, and Lara had what the vet believed was a large tumour in her lower abdomen and cancer in her hip. Lara was given a couple months if not weeks to live, but this was last summer, and she's really healthy now. I can't see her tumour anymore, and tumours don't just tend to disappear.

Dr. Morris is a great vet who's only interested in the wellbeing of his patients, and doesn't care about the money (I think we can all agree that $50 for a beak and nail trimming, Ria's examination, and Alice's examination, x-ray, and fluid extraction is amazing). Every time we go there, he lets me get hands on experience, listening to my kiddie's heart, showing me how to hold them to prevent flailing and biting, etc.

Really, I appreciate everyone's kind words. I'm going to do what I can to have her hang on for as long and as happily as possible. Extra grains for the magnesium to help her heart, spinach for the iron to combat the anemia, making sure she drinks water with dandelion root extract to combat the cancer, and turning up the heat to make it easier on her sick little body.
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Old 04-25-2017, 04:17 PM
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Re: Good and Bad News from the Vet

I don't think anybody could do better for little Alice! So glad you didn't submit her for euthanasia as offered.
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:51 PM
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Re: Good and Bad News from the Vet

Well, Alice had a really good day on Saturday. She was very alert and active. She was actively foraging for food and spent way more time out of the cage than she normally does. She seemed really happy and was curious about what the others were doing. Honestly, I haven't seen her this happy and active in a long time.

Yesterday, Alice did spend some time on the heated perch, hunkered over in pain (not unbearable pain, but it definitely didn't feel too good). However, she spent a fair bit of time out of the cage, watching the others and looking for food. When I was cleaning their aviary, Alice actually flew down onto the floor to look for food! She's been quite withdrawn lately, but the fact that she put herself in such a vulnerable position while I was in there was amazing! She was actually behaving like a normal budgie!

I guess cranking out the heat in there is really helping, eh? Before, she was spending most of her time with her eyes closed, not moving and in discomfort. Now she has a lot more energy! Oh, and her poor little tummy and bum isn't black anymore! They turned black after the vet appointment due to bruising, but now they're pink again! Hopefully she'll continue to improve, and maybe live longer? Like I've said, my sick birds are living longer than the vet or I would've thought possible.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 05-01-2017, 03:56 PM
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Re: Good and Bad News from the Vet

Quote: Originally Posted by Teddscau View Post
Well, Alice had a really good day on Saturday. She was very alert and active. She was actively foraging for food and spent way more time out of the cage than she normally does. She seemed really happy and was curious about what the others were doing. Honestly, I haven't seen her this happy and active in a long time.

Yesterday, Alice did spend some time on the heated perch, hunkered over in pain (not unbearable pain, but it definitely didn't feel too good). However, she spent a fair bit of time out of the cage, watching the others and looking for food. When I was cleaning their aviary, Alice actually flew down onto the floor to look for food! She's been quite withdrawn lately, but the fact that she put herself in such a vulnerable position while I was in there was amazing! She was actually behaving like a normal budgie!

I guess cranking out the heat in there is really helping, eh? Before, she was spending most of her time with her eyes closed, not moving and in discomfort. Now she has a lot more energy! Oh, and her poor little tummy and bum isn't black anymore! They turned black after the vet appointment due to bruising, but now they're pink again! Hopefully she'll continue to improve, and maybe live longer? Like I've said, my sick birds are living longer than the vet or I would've thought possible.
You are giving Alice (and others) the gift of compassion, normalcy, and the ability to act out as close to natural behaviors as possible! I'm pretty sure you are sufficiently perceptive to know when a more intimate housing of Alice will be necessary.
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Old 05-01-2017, 04:48 PM
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Re: Good and Bad News from the Vet

Nothing to contribute, just that I'm watching and rejoicing in every good day.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:33 PM
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Re: Good and Bad News from the Vet

Sorry I haven't posted an update in a while. Everyone's still alive, so that's good. I've been doing some research on heart disease and water belly, and cranking out the heat like I've been doing (it's at least 80F in the aviary) apparently helps to lower the body's oxygen requirement, thus helping to relieve some of the stress on her heart (not to mention less energy being spent on trying to maintain a body temperature of 114). I also read that increasing the pH of her blood will help her hemoglobin transport oxygen. Improving the oxygen absorption will further help her heart, since, in theory, it won't have to beat as fast. Her poor heart seems like it might be even worse than Charlie's was when he was dying. You wouldn't believe how fast it's been beating. Her colour's still good, so at least her body's getting enough oxygen, but at this rate her heart's going to wear itself out.

Right now, I need to focus on helping her heart maintain strength and elasticity, encourage more effective oxygen transportation, reduce her body's oxygen requirements, and just try to get her heart to slow down. The annoying thing about trying to feed them an alkaline diet is that everything you'd think would be acidic is actually alkaline, and everything you'd think would be alkaline is actually acidic. For example, lemons, tomatoes, and apple cider vinegar are good for raising alkalinity. And for some reason, grains are slightly acidic! How the heck does pH work!? I used to keep fish (they were happy, had quality food, enrichment, live plants, a weekly gravel-vacuuming and water change, kept with compatible tankmates...but then the piscine tuberculosis struck...TB is like psittacosis, PBFD, and AGY mixed all into one terrible fish disease.), so I thought I understood pH. It seems like digestive pH is completely different from "acidic" food that destroys your teeth. So...acidic in the mouth, alkaline in the blood?

I'm also wondering if she doesn't have cancer, but instead has "water belly" like Charlie had. Dr. Morris said that blood came out of her mass, but I'm wondering if it was actually blood proteins being forced out of her liver due to high blood pressure resulting from her heart problems. I'm going to take her in again when Dr. Morris comes back from vacation. If her breathing gets worse, her pain increases, or if her tummy gets more swollen before he returns, I'll take her elsewhere.

I've also decided to quit giving Ria her antibiotics (I'm taking her to see Morris again once he's back). She's been taking antibiotics since March 20, so either we're dealing with an apocalyptic disease, or the stuff just isn't draining from her face. A few days ago I noticed she had dark debris in her left nostril (the same nostril that was infected), so I think she might have rhinoliths or something that need to be removed. In addition, I think she might even need to have the swollen area lanced so the pus can drain. There's no way the sinusitis bacteria survived all that medication. She sneezes/coughs constantly for ten minutes after taking her medicine, so I question whether we're doing more harm than good at this point.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 05-16-2017, 11:06 AM
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Re: Good and Bad News from the Vet

Thanks for the update, seems you are doing the very best possible!

Has your vet considered giving Alice heart-specific meds to slow and strengthen the beat? This link details the saga of Angel, my Eclectus with heart issues. The use of Pimobendan likely bought her many months, though I didn't see the need for a necropsy when she passed. Similar initial symptoms; fast and irregular heartbeat and fluid retention.
Heart Disease: A cautionary tale.
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:26 PM
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Re: Good and Bad News from the Vet

Oh, I didn't know Angel had passed. I remember you posting about her heart problems, as Charlie had died from heart failure not long before you took Angel to the vet. I'm glad to hear the medicine helped her enjoy her last months. I'll definitely have to talk to the vet about Pimobendan.

Either the avian vets here in Ontario don't have a lot of knowledge or experience, or they have some sort of bias against small birds. I know birds can die of fright, but it seems like every time I bring a budgie to an avian vet (I've seen at least four avian vets), they bring up the fact that they could die from fright, and are really reluctant to do testing (for example, x-rays). I have to convince them to do any "invasive" tests, like crop swabs, cloacal swabs, or x-rays. When Charlie was sick, one of the avian vets I took him to said he was "old" and his body was probably shutting down. She said there was a good chance of him dying of fright if they did an x-ray, and she told me that analyzing the fluid in his abdomen would be a waste of money because he was small, old, and probably just dying.

I don't know, I just feel things would be different if I had big macaws or cockatoos, because then the vets wouldn't just see a small, "fragile", $15 bird. I'd argue that budgies can be even tougher than large, predatory animals like dogs. Dogs are afraid of vacuums, scared of vets, and terrified of thunder. Budgies love vacuums; are nervous about vets, but are more angry with the vet than anything; and sleep through thunderstorms. And when you clip a dog's nails, they flail and yelp. A budgie just swears at you and bites. Afterwards, the budgie will just give you a look as if to say, "What the heck was that about!? Ooh! Spray millet!"
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