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Discussion Starter · #145 ·
We just got back from the vet!

Felix is in good shape and they recommended a fecal exam since I found him outdoors.

We had to ride on the NYC subway for over an hour each way. At first I was keeping Felix's cage covered up in a cloth bag. He seemed a little scared and pressed his beak against my finger.

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Then I noticed whenever the cloth fell down, he was super curious to see what was outside. I gradually removed more and more of the cloth. He was fascinated! He wasn't scared of the loud trains at all, just loved looking around. What a New York boid.

We went to the Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine. They had lots of birds in cages including finches and budgies, and Felix was so intrigued.

I was a little disappointed during the visit because the nurse said budgies had trouble with pellets because they were dumb. Then the doctor seemed to be handling Felix really roughly and Felix was screeching. I couldn't concentrate on the doctor's questions because Felix was so unhappy. When they weighed him, they put him in a plastic see through carrier like you might use for a gerbil. After they got his weight, they kept talking to me casually while Felix was frantically trying to get out of the container. I asked if we could take him out first.

I don't think this is the norm.... right? I don't think I've seen a cat vet make small talk while my cat is in discomfort.

But I don't think I have many other options.

They had a lone male budgie available for adoption, Chester, and brought him up in one of those gerbil carriers. Chester was super duper chill, not thrown off by seeing me, and relaxed next to Felix's carrier. Felix was super curious. The doctor said we would not need to quarantine since Chester is coming from the vet. I asked if I could return him if they don't get along, and they said yes. We are going to wait for Felix's and Chester's fecal samples to come back (Chester was also found outside) and after my Sep 2-6 trip and then I'll bring Chester home.

Chester:
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Chester looks just like Felix only older. Glad that the trip on the train did not scare Felix. Seems to me that it is the nurse that is lacking in smarts, budgies are definitely not stupid, they want to eat what is natural for them to eat and there are no pellet plants in the wild, :ROFLMAO:. After weighing Felix if they were done with the exam I would have expected them to put him back in his carrier. How long before you get the test results? I am a little surprised that they do not do them in house as it does not take much to do a gram stain test if that is what they are doing. Several years ago I had a very ill bird, I bought a microscope and with some help from my vet, I did my own gram stains at home. Sounds crazy but I wanted to look at the droppings every other day to catch the beginning of something and taking droppings to the vet every other day was not practical. Hope things work out for you and Chester, then you will have twins.
 

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Good for Felix for being such a brave little trooper.

The nurse has no idea what she is talking about -- budgies are quite intelligent! (more so than the nurse, in my opinion!)
I think I'd be inclined to ask the veterinarian exactly why he was handling Felix so roughly. That isn't something I'd be appreciative of a professional doing with my birds.
How did the doctor react when you asked about removing Felix from the container he was in for weighing?

Looking forward to your update with regard to Felix and Chester's test results. 💚 💚
 

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Discussion Starter · #148 ·
Thank you Cody and FaeryBee!!

It's reassuring that you also thought his vet visit was weird. That leads me to some more specific questions -

The vet used a towel to pick Felix up out of the carrier, instead of his hands. This made Felix scream. I think he could have used his hands?

Was there any part of the check up that is actually painful or uncomfortable for Felix so that he would have to be restrained? For cats you have to hold them down and stick a thermometer in their butts, then palpate their organs. But during that process usually the vet is trying to reassure the cat.

There are some animal hospitals here that say they treat birds. They are not on the vet list you guys showed me. Should I try them next time instead of the fancy Manhattan avian hospital that thinks budgies are dumb?

In answer to your questions, yes I think it's a gram stain test and I think the results are meant to come out within 4 days of the appointment. That's interesting that they could have done it in house. Hmm.

After I asked if we could take Felix out of the container, they let me open it up and he flew onto my head. When I tried to pick him up he flew around the room and came back to my head. I squatted and the doctor took him from my head and put him back in the cage.

In other news, Felix seems to be enjoying his large cage. When we go into the locked room for flight time, sometimes he is not interested in coming out at all. So I'll sit next to the open cage and scroll through my phone, and Felix will come in and out of the cage to play with me as it suits him. He has not been flying around the room. I hope he is getting enough exercise inside the cage.

Yesterday I was groomed:

 

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In my experience, the Avian Veterinarians and/or veterinarian technicians have not been afraid to pick up a budgie with their bare hands. They realize that being bitten is often part of the exam.
The fact that your vet had to use a towel for such a small bird is surprising to me. If he were a Macaw that would be a different story.

Yes, personally, I would look into seeing a different veterinarian. EDIT: Cody has given you excellent information in the post below!
Many exotic pet veterinarians are quite knowledgeable and the more you learn and let the person know YOU know, the better the experience will be for both you and Felix.
Just like any doctor, some Avian Vets are better than others.... 'nuf said.

Take a look at the information in these links as I believe it will answer your questions about the exam. If not, let us know and we'll try to fill in with any specifics.

The Avian Physical Examination


Understanding Avian Laboratory Tests
 

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Some vets prefer not to capture with bare hands to prevent being bitten, they have to be held during the exam and I have never seen a bird that likes it, some scream, some wiggle, some do both. It is odd to me that an exotic hospital does not have in house capability to do a gram stain test, maybe they do not have any lab techs working there as that would be the person doing the test and reading the results of the test. As far as the other vets go, if you want to try them I would call first and find out how much of the practice is with birds, and if they do in house testing, a vet does not have to be a member of the Assoc. of Avian Vets to be good with birds but you do want them to have a good deal of experience with them. Next visit, wherever it may be, it is best to leave Felix in his carrier and let the vet or tech remove him when it is time for the exam, it is not safe to have him out no matter how tame he is because as you have already experienced you can end up with him flying around the room and he will be disoriented as he is not familiar with the space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #151 ·
Hi everyone, sorry to have gone awol. I got hit with some very depressing news and it kind of threw me off.

Felix is doing well, he loves his pet sitter who has had birds before. I am on my trip now but will upload some great videos she sent me where he melts in her hands (he hates my fingers now, and I am a very boundary-respecting person!)

I hope you guys are doing well. Thank you for all your help in our early days. When I get back to NY we will be getting Felix's friend, Chester, and I am sure I will have many more questions and pictures then.

Thank you very much for the vet information.

Cath
 

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This reads like a Disney movie .
Such a great thread to read through as a soon-to-be budgie owner. Felix is absolutely precious.
I too have a cat household, so please share any tricks that you may have picked up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #157 ·
Thank you for your kind words.

I would say (like Cody has) to try to keep the cat and bird parts of the household separate.

If that is not possible then maybe find a way to supervise the cage when the cats are around and lock the cage in a different room when you have to leave.

Cody and FaeryBee helped me find a cage that the cats can't knock over. We also got the biggest one possible because Felix will not be able to spend as much time outside the cage as he would in an all-bird household. (I feel very lucky that he loves his big cage so much that he doesn't want to come out of it very much.)

I only take Felix out in a closed cat-free room.

I think it also helped that I had a birdfeeder outside my window for a while first, and the cats at first were very murderous and excited by it. Over time (months) they grew bored with it. I really think this made them less reactive to Felix.

I would never have deliberately gotten a bird with my cats, but I was sort of granted my secret bird wish by finding a bird outside. I think that birds require a bit more commitment than cats, who enjoy solitude. There is the commitment of making sure your bird is entertained and loved, and the commitment to keeping it safe from the cats.

I hope these are both commitments you are ready for. Accidents are so easy and it doesn't matter if cats seem friendly, they don't view killing as personal or bad. It's just something they do in response to stimulus. I have plenty of scars to prove it! Please be careful.

This reads like a Disney movie .
Such a great thread to read through as a soon-to-be budgie owner. Felix is absolutely precious.
I too have a cat household, so please share any tricks that you may have picked up!
 

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Thank you for your kind words.

I would say (like Cody has) to try to keep the cat and bird parts of the household separate.

If that is not possible then maybe find a way to supervise the cage when the cats are around and lock the cage in a different room when you have to leave.

Cody and FaeryBee helped me find a cage that the cats can't knock over. We also got the biggest one possible because Felix will not be able to spend as much time outside the cage as he would in an all-bird household. (I feel very lucky that he loves his big cage so much that he doesn't want to come out of it very much.)

I only take Felix out in a closed cat-free room.

I think it also helped that I had a birdfeeder outside my window for a while first, and the cats at first were very murderous and excited by it. Over time (months) they grew bored with it. I really think this made them less reactive to Felix.

I would never have deliberately gotten a bird with my cats, but I was sort of granted my secret bird wish by finding a bird outside. I think that birds require a bit more commitment than cats, who enjoy solitude. There is the commitment of making sure your bird is entertained and loved, and the commitment to keeping it safe from the cats.

I hope these are both commitments you are ready for. Accidents are so easy and it doesn't matter if cats seem friendly, they don't view killing as personal or bad. It's just something they do in response to stimulus. I have plenty of scars to prove it! Please be careful.
Yep yep
The team here has likewise helped me choose a heavy and large cage. The bird will never be out when the cats are around, but I can’t really separate the cage from their living space either.
Anyway, as you learn more, please share more :). I just hope that my bird is even half as lovey as yours ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #159 ·
Yep yep
The team here has likewise helped me choose a heavy and large cage. The bird will never be out when the cats are around, but I can’t really separate the cage from their living space either.
Anyway, as you learn more, please share more :). I just hope that my bird is even half as lovey as yours ;)
He is not so lovey now! Those were his toddler weeks. Now he is a teenager with better things to do than cuddle with me. I miss our cuddles but a little relieved he is more independent and that I can actually leave the house! I will try to find and follow your thread. :)
 

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He is not so lovey now! Those were his toddler weeks. Now he is a teenager with better things to do than cuddle with me. I miss our cuddles but a little relieved he is more independent and that I can actually leave the house! I will try to find and follow your thread. :)
I’ve been here for like 15 minutes, so no thread yet ;)
There will be though in the next month or so!
 
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