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Old 03-12-2018, 09:19 PM
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Re: Radio Free Blue & Gold: All Gus, all the time.

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So Gus picked a big scab off his back where the cream was applied. Horrid and fascinating. Almost an inch long, with two holes in it from feather shafts, and shaped like his hump! His back skin is nearly healed up. Back to the drawing board.

On the plus side, he has been allowing me to not only take him to the poop tree, but return him to his cage. And he asked and asked to be picked up from inside the cage yesterday which usually I don’t do because IT’S A TRAP! But he was asking so intensely that I risked my arm, and he only gave me a halfhearted pinch. Enough to make a bruise but more of a hold-your-arm-closer-and-stop-quivering pinch. Then he let go and stepped up. I Ubered him over to his spot, set him on the branch, and he immediately turned to beak at me like I was planning an attack. Dude...if I was going to eat you, wouldn’t I have done it on the way to the tree?

Don’t know what goes on in that little head, but I imagine it’s a combination of ouch-ouch-ouch-my-back-hurts and memories of a world where humans were not friends. Will just keep piling up nuts and treats and sweet talk and love. We may not be able to fix the physical hurt, but I hope time will fade any bad memories.
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  #282 (permalink)  
Old 03-12-2018, 09:29 PM
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Re: Radio Free Blue & Gold: All Gus, all the time.

You know Gus's thread is one that I ALWAYS read the updates on. Thank you.
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:52 AM
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Re: Radio Free Blue & Gold: All Gus, all the time.

Quote: Originally Posted by wrench13 View Post
You know Gus's thread is one that I ALWAYS read the updates on. Thank you.
You're not the only one, Al. Always glad to hear updates on the Gus man and his impressively determined mama.

So glad the raw patch on his back is almost healed. Poor guy.
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Old 03-20-2018, 12:45 PM
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Re: Radio Free Blue & Gold: All Gus, all the time.

I am now a macaw special education teacher! Gus has never figured out how to forage inside of wrapped paper for treats. So ... I saved a tiny paper bag. Made sure I had his attention. Dropped a whole almond (in shell) and a pistachio into the bag, twisted the top shut, and offered it. He grabbed it, held it down with a foot, and ripped a couple chunks out. Then got .... distracted. Started watching us - we were cleaning house, so there were EVIL BROOMS deployed. I poked at the bag, he lunged me off and ripped another piece, looked as if he were trying to remember something, then went back to showing his wings to the broom. I snatched the bag back, opened the hole he'd ripped, made a big show of dropping the nuts back in, then tossed it back up on top his cage. This time he tore into it and found the nuts. Yippee! I don't know if he will remember, but maybe a couple more rounds of this will get him "Hooked on Phorage" and we can have a lot more fun with toys.
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  #285 (permalink)  
Old 03-20-2018, 05:07 PM
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Re: Radio Free Blue & Gold: All Gus, all the time.

Nice! Once he has gotten the hang of it from watching you, he'll probably really get into the fun of it.... You know, as long as there aren't any evil broom monsters about.
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:04 PM
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Re: Radio Free Blue & Gold: All Gus, all the time.

I like that idea. Gonna try it with the Rb, who is most definitely in need of remedial foraging!!!!!!!! Thank you!

Me, too: I love Gus's story. You know, when I do a portrait of a bird, I claim like, 2% of ownership; they're part of me. Ask our forum members. With Terry, since there were two birds in the portrsit, I levied a surcharge: she had to accept 2% of the Rickeybrd.

Team Gus, go!
Radio Free B&G, broadcast on!
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:26 AM
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Re: Radio Free Blue & Gold: All Gus, all the time.

Me too! Nigel has had to learn to play and forage! He hated the foraging wheel and destroyed it by unscrewing it from the cage and watching it drop to the floor several times. He attacked it each time i rehung it until finally he beat the wheel.

RIP wry expensive useless toy.


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  #288 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2018, 10:54 AM
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Re: Radio Free Blue & Gold: All Gus, all the time.

Gus is still in remedial foraging class. I put the nut in the bag, he looks at me funny, rips a hole, looks at me again like "what was I doing again?" so I put the nut in and laid the bag flat. He put his head in partway and quit. Took a few tries of making a big show of dropping in the nut before he was willing to go fish it out. He's also getting very slightly less afraid of letting me carry him to the bathroom.

I stopped at the vet's to discuss the failure of the pain cream. While googling, I ran across some studies where a similar ointment or steroid cream caused allergic dermatitis in humans, and it turns out the guilty component is propylene glycol, an ingredient in the carrier. Some people are very allergic, and it seems Gus is one of them. So we have a prescription for Meloxicam for a month, and I am to find some plain lidocaine gel at a local pharmacy for short-term relief. Will reconnoiter with Dr. Vaughn in a month to explore next steps - possible gabapentin. If Gus were human, he would get surgery, but that isn't a good option for him.

Oh! Some sort of good news! The vet says Gus didn't develop his spinal problem from bad nutrition - he was hatched that way. He says the cause was probably "malpositioning" in the egg. He said when he first examined young Gus and felt the spine for the first time, he shuddered. Knowing that, I feel less bad about being a human, and better for Gus. I imagine a lot of people would have had him put down at once, or got what they could out of him as a breeder. He's a luckier bird than I thought.
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  #289 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2018, 12:04 PM
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Re: Radio Free Blue & Gold: All Gus, all the time.

Sometimes I put Levi's favorite treats or just leave some greens in the plastic containers that the organic greens come in. He can see them, hear them and pick up the container toss it around for a while before he eventually gets the top off or bites wholes through the plastic. It does keep him busy for awhile.
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  #290 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2018, 02:52 PM
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Re: Radio Free Blue & Gold: All Gus, all the time.

I believe Gus *IS* a lucky bird. He has you for a parront and us for a community, and himself as a shredder!
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