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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Your Budgie's Health > Emergency Room > Follow-up Center


Follow-up Center Threads made in the Emergency Room forum will be moved here by staff as a way to follow-up with members after their budgie emergency. This keeps the E.R. for only the most current emergencies.
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  #1  
Old 03-21-2018, 09:12 PM
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Unhappy Ollie pulling out own feathers (self mutilation)

Hi to everyone,

It has been a long time since I've come on here since there's been a lot going on in my life, which has directly affected my bird's routine also, I feel ashamed of this, but it's the truth.

My partner & I have two dogs. Our 3 year old staffy/cattle dog slipped a disc in his back some time in January, he was completely paraplegic and could not express his own bladder at all and had trouble doing so also with his bowels. He was diagnosed with IVDD- weeks followed and because we could not afford the $5k surgery that gave him his best option we decided to nurse him 24/7 to see if he will improve on his own at all, if we gave him time. He did, thank god. Within weeks he began to use his legs again, though during all that time we would express his bladder and bowels manually, periodically, for him.

Fast forward to today, he is on 3 pain medications, walking, running, jumping, toileting himself without any of our help, and also lives inside because it's what the vet ordered during all of this time. Because of him being so close to us during all this time he has developed major separation anxiety when we leave the house. But we are working on this and he is getting better, spending more time outside.

Ollie & Daisy went from living in the lounge room during the day and our bedroom at night, to the lounge room 24/7, to now the kitchen area. I used to have their cage open every single day, for them to fly in and out of it most the day, and have their cage outside every few days at least, depending on weather. Because of Patch living inside and constantly caring for him, and because of their cage being in the kitchen area, I didn't open their cage door nearly as much. I would, but they wouldn't feel comfortable to fly out so after days I stopped trying. Daisy has always been the more vocal of the two, but lately it's like Ollie doesn't have a voice.

I woke up this morning to see that his chest is looking terrible..... he's plucked out so many of his feathers and I believe it's because of all this change, the stress of seeing Patch everyday (even though Patch leaves their cage alone and goes near it in passing) and also me not having time to connect with them and talk to them daily like I used to + not giving them daily fly time like I used to. This would've happened in the last week sometime. I obviously see, feed and change their water daily but honestly my sleeping hours have been so wacky because i'm heavily pregnant, when I come to do all of this the area isn't the best lit as it's the evening.

I feel so so so incredibly terrible. But moving past how I feel, I NEED to take care of Ollie and Daisy better. This whole time over these last few months I say so often to my partner I feel so bad for neglecting them and it's like they're (mostly Ollie) scared of me again like in the beginning.

I need info and advice, guys. Please help. There's just no way I can take him to the vet right now with all the money we are spending on Patch's medications each fortnight, we don't have the means.

I have their cage open in the lounge room right now and Ollie had a little fly about in the room, his flight feathers don't look affected. I'm going to give them time to fly in the lounge room like they used to everyday and starting tomorrow take their cage out daily again.

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  #2  
Old 03-21-2018, 09:52 PM
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Iris,

What an ordeal you have been through! I can understand why you have had little time for your birds. It sounds like you already know some things to do to get your birds back to their healthy, happy selves. Firstly, could you shut your dog in the bedroom for an hour or so each day so that your birds can have regular out of cage time? Also, I would go back to the beginning with bonding. Start by talking with your birds, singing to them. Even if it is only as you walk through the kitchen or each time you go in there to get a drink. Do this throughout the day. Then you can start trying to get closer to them. Give them plenty of space when their cage door is open so that they don't feel pressured by your presence. I would also suggest that you might want to partially cover the cage, even during the day, to give your birds more of a sense of safety from the dog.

Hope something in these suggestions is helpful. Best of luck with Ollie and Daisy!
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Old 03-21-2018, 11:20 PM
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I hope your bird stops pulling his feathers out. It makes me feel bad to see how a bird looks with a lot of feathers pulled out by himself. I have never really found a cure in a hurry with birds I have had with this problem. Do hope he find something else to do but pull his feathers out. Good Luck also with your dog.
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Old 03-22-2018, 12:55 AM
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Hi, it’s good to see you back, but I realize you’ve been going through a lot lately.

Wow, what a wonderful mum you are to your four legged family member . It’s because of you and your partner that he is back to being independent again. What an amazing story with a good ending.

I will have to admit, that I, along with many good bird moms (and dads) out there too, have been in a postition where it felt like just too much and not enough time in the day. I think more “good” animal caretakers than want to admit, have been there. We do the best that we can, and in doing that, we need not to feel guilty. I know it’s hard though.

In my many years of bird keeping, I really haven’t heard of Budgies (as a species) plucking. Obviously it can happen with any Psittacine species, and I’m sorry Ollie is an individual inclined to do it.

Even though it might be an inconvenience to do this, is there a way you can get a baby gate and partition off part of the room so that Patch can’t walk so close to the cage? That might help if it makes Ollie nervous about him just getting too close even without showing predatory behavior. Others will be along with more suggestions too. Please keep us posted about Ollie.

Ps.. best wishes also for your growing two legged family .
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Old 03-22-2018, 06:53 AM
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I am so sorry to hear that!

As someone with both a dog and a budgie I can completely understand the struggle of balancing spending proper time with each of them, especially when one of them becomes ill.

You've recieved great advice so far, and although I don't know a lot about plucking or how to fix it, I'm sending love hoping Ollie feels better soon!
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Old 03-22-2018, 07:47 AM
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I'm so sorry to hear all you've been going through.
You've done a great job with Patch and I'm glad he's improved so much -- well done!

I'm sure being pregnant is taking its toll on you on top of worrying constantly about your furry and feathered babies.

The suggestions you've received thus far with regard to helping Ollie recover have been excellent.
Ollie is obviously plucking due to stress so finding ways to alleviate his stress by developing a "new" regular routine for him and Daisy will go a long way in alleviating the problem.

If possible, do try to spend at least 1/2 hour or so each day interacting with Ollie and Daisy on a regular and consistent basis. Split the time up into increments of 10-minutes at a time a few times a day if that would be easier for you.

Maybe you could move Ollie and Daisy's cage into your bedroom in the evening and give them out of cage time there away from Patch?

Sending may prayers, lots of positive and healing energy and love for your family and a full and speedy recovery for Ollie.

Please keep us updated on his condition when you have time to do so.

Blessings

You can offer room temperature Chamomile Tea (unsweetened) for them to drink which may help with calming Ollie a wee bit.
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Old 03-22-2018, 01:37 PM
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I'm so sorry for all you have been going through... I don't really have any other suggestions, but I would definitely try to work on getting Ollie and Daisy into a new routine, and try to limit Patch's access to the cage.
Good luck with all of your family!
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Old 03-22-2018, 04:55 PM
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I'm sorry to hear that it's been such a rough time lately! You're absolutely amazing with everything you've done for Patch and I know how much you care about Ollie and Daisy, too

You've been given great advice and I really have nothing else to add! Best wishes Keep us posted on how things go!
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Old 03-22-2018, 06:44 PM
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Here is a link you may find helpful:

Feather Pickers/Pluckers/Chewers

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Old 03-31-2018, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdmanca View Post
I hope your bird stops pulling his feathers out. It makes me feel bad to see how a bird looks with a lot of feathers pulled out by himself. I have never really found a cure in a hurry with birds I have had with this problem. Do hope he find something else to do but pull his feathers out. Good Luck also with your dog.
Thanks, I hope so too. I am not looking for a quick cure but something substantial that will benefit him in the long run, and am willing to put that effort in. And thanks, our dog is doing great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmolBirb View Post
I am so sorry to hear that!
As someone with both a dog and a budgie I can completely understand the struggle of balancing spending proper time with each of them, especially when one of them becomes ill.
You've recieved great advice so far, and although I don't know a lot about plucking or how to fix it, I'm sending love hoping Ollie feels better soon!
Thank you, Deanna! Ollie's already been much happier and I think we've worked out a good routine for both the birds & dogs, since Patch is well enough to spend time outside now

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunterkat View Post
I'm so sorry for all you have been going through... I don't really have any other suggestions, but I would definitely try to work on getting Ollie and Daisy into a new routine, and try to limit Patch's access to the cage.
Good luck with all of your family!
Thanks Katherine, I've 100% been putting effort into this new routine we have for the dogs and birds. The dogs are let outside in the morning and spend all day out while the birds are in the bedroom or lounge room with us with the cage open. They already are so much happier, Ollie's been quite vocal! Then in the evening the dogs come in to cuddle with us watching tv.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarlingWings View Post
I'm sorry to hear that it's been such a rough time lately! You're absolutely amazing with everything you've done for Patch and I know how much you care about Ollie and Daisy, too
You've been given great advice and I really have nothing else to add! Best wishes Keep us posted on how things go!
Hi Starling! Thank you so so much. It honestly was a really dark time. The first vet we took Patch to said basically; surgery or put him down. We almost organised it all, but got a second opinion, and the little guy started showing signs of improvement, even though there was only a 20% chance of that which declined with each day that passed. He's doing so amazing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenwing View Post
Iris,
What an ordeal you have been through! I can understand why you have had little time for your birds. It sounds like you already know some things to do to get your birds back to their healthy, happy selves. Firstly, could you shut your dog in the bedroom for an hour or so each day so that your birds can have regular out of cage time? Also, I would go back to the beginning with bonding. Start by talking with your birds, singing to them. Even if it is only as you walk through the kitchen or each time you go in there to get a drink. Do this throughout the day. Then you can start trying to get closer to them. Give them plenty of space when their cage door is open so that they don't feel pressured by your presence. I would also suggest that you might want to partially cover the cage, even during the day, to give your birds more of a sense of safety from the dog.
Hope something in these suggestions is helpful. Best of luck with Ollie and Daisy!
Hi Goldenwing! Thanks for your suggestions. It's not possible to shut Patch in the bathroom even if he is with our other dog, Xena. His separation anxiety with us is so crazy. But we started putting them both outside together when we were home for a few hours at a time and built that time up., then we started doing that once we left the house. Thankfully, now Patch is happy to be outside all day with Xena so I've been able to start this new routine with the birds where I bring them into whichever room I'm in and leave their cage open for hours so they can get some out of cage flying time! It's very fortunate that Patch is doing well enough to be outside unsupervised now.

As you suggested I think it's super important too to go back to the beginning with bonding with Ollie & Daisy. They already seem to be more comfortable with me since their cage has been next to me during the day with whatever I'm doing, making sure I talk to them a lot but to give them space. Since the dogs are outside during the day, I don't cover them, but when the dogs are in towards the evening I do cover them. Thanks so much for all your advice. I really appreciate it
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