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Skarila

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Parrot of the Month 🏆
Apr 19, 2021
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Hungary
Parrots
✻Csillam the rescued budgie
✻Pascal the Emma's (Venezuelan) Conure

Previous owned:
✻Archibald the cockatiel (fostered 6 months)
✻RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
✻RIP -Sunny the budgie
A big apology for mine and Pascal's disappearance for the last half a year (or way more..). Life has been absolutely crazy here, with personal issues and simply moving away from everything and everyone. But I believe it is time to slowly come back to my loving parrot loving family here.

For those who do not know, Pascal is an Emma's conure, a little colourful stinker that is now just over 2 years old, and I have him over a year now. I got him from an aviary, a completely wild bird afraid of humans. Now he is an absolute snuggle bug who adores me and my partner. (mostly loves snuggling on my partner's neck).

Pascal is everything I would've wished for. He doesn't shout excessively, he doesn't bite (I don't remember when was the last time he bit to the point of breaking skin), doesn't nip... And does adorable sounds like kissy sounds and his new "beep beep" (which sounds more like "pshhp pshhp" but it's cute nevertheless). I can pick him up as ever I like, and interacting with him is fairly easy. I am very happy and proud that I can read his body language so easily, and that I am aware of his fears and whatnot. I would've never thought that an aviary bird who was terrified of people would've turned into such a loving pet. Heck, I cannot even go to the restroom without him. He HAS to come with me. He loves the tiny confined space and will snuggle on the neck, silly bird.

Some of you know, mostly don't, Pascal had terrible blood test results. We still are not sure what is the cause. He was already at the blood check twice, third one should come along next month. Liver and Pancreas markers are high, red and white blood cells are very low. Whatever type of died we would've put him on it's not good. He already went through antibiotics (baytril) and antifungal treatment, so after it I must have the blood check again. Weirdest part is that there are NO symptoms whatsoever. He is very active, with a big appetite. Weight is good and he is strong. The avian vet is also bit baffled. Best thing I can do is keep up with the diet the vet suggested (low fat, high protein) and hope for the best. Otherwise no one would ever assume that this bird has any illnesses or issues. At least his GI tract is ok - smears came back negative and his bacterial flora is back to being normal, so at least something.

Also the stinker doesn't use one side of his beak so he needs beak trimmings every few months. Whatever he chews, he chews it on ONE side. My partner and I are gently trimming it now ourselves from time to time. He is angry on us for 20 minutes then comes back for more snuggles.

So yes. Pascal is the old Rascal, very playful, funny and social. I this year I didn't notice the typical hormonal behaviour aside of bit more shouting and maybe trying to mount the poor budgie from time to time. I guess we skipped the "terrible twos" with him. Or maybe next years will come back worse. Hopefully not. In last few months he is this calm well behaved bird. If he is shouting and panicking (alarm shouting and flying frantically around the room) I can easily calm him down by walking up to him and whispering. There is usually a good reason if he is shouting. He also learned if he wants something from us, he comes to us and starts giving kisses... kiss on the hand, kiss on the cheek.... He will do it until he gets his treat or whatever we are eating. And this is something I encouraged rather than screaming for treat. Kissing sounds instead of shouting, sounds good, no? Also I noticed he will frantically kiss the hand if he doesn't want to be touched. If I ignore it, he will drag his beak along the hand or fingers which resolves to nipping, so I tried moving away the hand before he tries to nip, and it works. I never thought I'd ever have such a gentle conure. His solution for all his problems - kissing. What a loving bird.

So...that's about it. Looking forward to come back here once again!

And what kind of a post would it be without a pic of the sock muppet.
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Oh @Skarila, welcome back to you and my very favourite Hungarian nephew, Pascal, it's so good to see you both again! I’m sorry to know that his mysterious health issues are continuing but it sounds like you are managing them extremely well :) And he's certainly looking as beautiful as ever!

Very glad to see you back, Skarila, I hope you and your gorgeous little sock muppet are back to stay! ❤️
 
Very good to see you and Pascal around again. I am sure we can't imagine the turmoil going on in the part of the world these days. As far as mating season's rollercoaster ride of hormones, some years are better then others and vice versa. Salty's puberty was rather mild but the next few mating seasons were very rocky indeed. This year's so far is again very mild. SO just expect the unexpected!
 
What a beautiful little bird!

I wish I could help with advice about his blood test results. The first things I thought of were wondering about egg laying issues. BUT your Pascal is a boy.

Maybe you could help him by learning about pancreatitis and using that information? That is what I would do.
 
Welcome back, Skar! It's so wonderful to see you and beautiful Pascal again!
Sending many prayers that his bloodwork will improve, and I'm so glad he doesn't seem affected by whatever is going on.
Seeing you back again made my day:)
 
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Thank you all for the kind and warm welcome and for Pascal's quick recovery! (not sure if that's a good expression, but you know what I mean!)

@HeatherG Well, the liver/pancreas marks were a bit better on the 2nd bloodwork so I guess we were doing something right. The vet was quite baffled, he openly said it will be difficult to adjust his diet. He is way more concerned about the very low level of red and white blood cells. Ideally we should put him on fattier and diet rich in protein but because of the liver and pancreas he said that higher fat is not an option now, meaning I still need to keep him on pellets low in fat, but are also low in protein. Oh, only seeds the vet allowed is the milk thistle. He said it's good if he munches on them, eventhough a tincture might be a smidge better (the ingredient which helps the liver is mainly in the husk of the seed).

Issue comes that this stinker hates peas and beans. Or anything that's rich in protein and that's a struggle. The vet openly said it must be a plant protein and not animal, meaning no lean meat and no eggs. He doesn't even want to eat sprouts at all... he loves his greens, but doesn't want to touch any type of sprouts. I have to figure out if I can get something like pea powder or something like that as a vegan option of extra protein because...darn it Pascal, just eat your peas!!!

While there are other ways of tests and examinations, the vet said - we can do the x-ray and all - but Pascal is tiny! The chances to find anything valuable from an x-ray is very low (like a slightly enlarged pancreas/liver) since he is such a small bird. And I believe he did say there's a type of endoscopy he could perform but it comes with extremely high risk for such a small bird, so we must rely on the blood tests for now. Until Pascal is being active and eating, and just being himself, we will not take such drastic measures.
 
Thank you all for the kind and warm welcome and for Pascal's quick recovery! (not sure if that's a good expression, but you know what I mean!)

@HeatherG Well, the liver/pancreas marks were a bit better on the 2nd bloodwork so I guess we were doing something right. The vet was quite baffled, he openly said it will be difficult to adjust his diet. He is way more concerned about the very low level of red and white blood cells. Ideally we should put him on fattier and diet rich in protein but because of the liver and pancreas he said that higher fat is not an option now, meaning I still need to keep him on pellets low in fat, but are also low in protein. Oh, only seeds the vet allowed is the milk thistle. He said it's good if he munches on them, eventhough a tincture might be a smidge better (the ingredient which helps the liver is mainly in the husk of the seed).

Issue comes that this stinker hates peas and beans. Or anything that's rich in protein and that's a struggle. The vet openly said it must be a plant protein and not animal, meaning no lean meat and no eggs. He doesn't even want to eat sprouts at all... he loves his greens, but doesn't want to touch any type of sprouts. I have to figure out if I can get something like pea powder or something like that as a vegan option of extra protein because...darn it Pascal, just eat your peas!!!

While there are other ways of tests and examinations, the vet said - we can do the x-ray and all - but Pascal is tiny! The chances to find anything valuable from an x-ray is very low (like a slightly enlarged pancreas/liver) since he is such a small bird. And I believe he did say there's a type of endoscopy he could perform but it comes with extremely high risk for such a small bird, so we must rely on the blood tests for now. Until Pascal is being active and eating, and just being himself, we will not take such drastic measures.
Those results are concerning.

I have also fed milk thistle seeds to my elderly Quaker, Lucy, who had liver damage from an egg laying incident at about 10 yrs of age. I assumed they would taste bitter so I sampled them and they don’t! Why don’t you use milk thistle tincture? Is it not available in your country? ( no idea if that’s a stupid ?)

Yes, I know you can buy pea protein powder and other vegetarian protein powders so maybe you could mix that with his chop or porridge or make some sort of warm glop that you hand feed him from a spoon once a day? Like combine the pea protein with something palatable or sweet like pumpkin, squash, apple, banana mush? Or scrambled or mashed tofu, warm? Tofu scramble with hot pepper seeds?

I made up a low allergen diet for a bird I’d adopted who plucked terribly and it seemed to help his skin condition. So it is possible.

I know birds can have ultrasound/CAT scans but that does involve being anaesthetized. It is good that your vet at least can’t feel a bulging or fatty liver.

Pascal is SUCH a pretty bird and I am happy you are taking good care of him.
 
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Those results are concerning.

I have also fed milk thistle seeds to my elderly Quaker, Lucy, who had liver damage from an egg laying incident at about 10 yrs of age. I assumed they would taste bitter so I sampled them and they don’t! Why don’t you use milk thistle tincture? Is it not available in your country? ( no idea if that’s a stupid ?)

Yes, I know you can buy pea protein powder and other vegetarian protein powders so maybe you could mix that with his chop or porridge or make some sort of warm glop that you hand feed him from a spoon once a day? Like combine the pea protein with something palatable or sweet like pumpkin, squash, apple, banana mush? Or scrambled or mashed tofu, warm? Tofu scramble with hot pepper seeds?

I made up a low allergen diet for a bird I’d adopted who plucked terribly and it seemed to help his skin condition. So it is possible.

I know birds can have ultrasound/CAT scans but that does involve being anaesthetized. It is good that your vet at least can’t feel a bulging or fatty liver.

Pascal is SUCH a pretty bird and I am happy you are taking good care of him.
Not a stupid question. Honestly wasn't thinking too much about the tincture, plus i wasn't sure how much to put into what... Plus Pascal adores the seeds so much that he will go crunch on the leftover husks. Who am I to take away his hapiness?

Oh, do you think those vegan protein powders (without tastes and aditives) would be good? Like, do you think i should just sprinkle his chop or slightly mix in with his pellets? I wonder if getting vegan protein powder (which is like a blend of rice, pea, beans and pumpkin protein) would be better than getting pure pea protein powder...
I am usually against dietary supplements but ... He just ain't eating his protein rich veggies xD you wouldn't believe but he hates mush food. Only crunchy. Only mush he loves is banana because it is sweet, but according to vet i need to steer away from sweet fruits. Berries are ok, though.

What kind of low alergen diet did you feed your bird?

Also yeah, every blood test means giving him anasthetics and i tremble every single time. I hate it.
 
I was only suggesting the protein powder because if he won’t eat the whole high protein legume that is your only other option I think. If no eggs or lean chicken or baked fish can be used.

I don’t know if a mixed powder would be better than single. you could try a protein powder from something he WILL eat, or try each powder type singly. I just thought that protein powder would be disguisable in some other type of food.

I had figured he would Love warm glop from a spoon. That is how I kept my first Quaker well for years. Warm baby bird food mixed with squash or pumpkin or human baby food, fed from a spoon, because she was so tiny and unwell. Sadly that bird had probably come from the breeder with aspergillosis and did not make it.

What about feeding freeze dried peas in the shell, or edamame, since he likes crispy? Or some kind of baked bird cookie? Or Quinoa if you can get it and vet says ok? That is a small seed that people bake and cook like rice.

Low allergen diet: I am trying to recall what I fed that bird; it was a long time ago. I remember there was boiled popcorn, cranberries, brown rice, bean, pumpkin, greens…. there were several ingredients but I don’t remember them all.

Quakers are hard to draw blood from and so my vet wax anaesthetizing Lucy each time. And I didn’t like it either. I am sorry you and pascal are having a rough time. Do you have ANY idea what started this pancreatitis? I know a young woman who got that from drinking; but I doubt your bird is into liquor. Poor guy.
 
Ok—another idea. I feed my Quaker Harrison’s high potency pellets. Are those an option for your bird? They have had increased fat and protein.
 
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Ok—another idea. I feed my Quaker Harrison’s high potency pellets. Are those an option for your bird? They have had increased fat and protein.
Vet suggested only 20-30% mixed into the daily maintenance. I have the High potency with the cayenne pepper and he loves those. He thinks those are treats...
 

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