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#190401 - 01/18/09 05:37 AM Noelle  
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(Noelle’s history can be read here) and here http://www.mytoos.com/noelle.shtml

January 16, 2009

Yesterday marked Noelle's 3rd week here, and was also her 3rd visit to my AV.

Her weight is steadily climbing which is great news and her chest wound is healed. She has been fussing with her bandages less and less these past few weeks and is not mutilating, but has caused (in my AV's words) trauma to her skin from yanking at the bandages.

A dear friend of mine (THANKS MELANIE!!!) offered to make Noelle a sweater out of a sweat shirt sleeve (what she uses for her U2) and was kind enough to send it overnight to me UPS so I could take it with us today. My thinking was that we could put the sweater on over the new dressing. My AV looked at the "dress" as he called it and suggested that since she was doing so well, we bypass the bandage and go straight into the sweater. He was also very impressed with the design of the sweater and says Mel should go into production.

Of course it's still a wait and see situation, but it is clearly evident to me that Noelle is enjoying the softness and less restrictive sweater, vs the almost fully body bandage. Instead of coming home and immediately going for the inner gauze "stuffing" when bandaged, she happily chewed some wood and other toys, ate well and wasn't fussy with herself, or the sweater all. For the first time since she’s been here she was able to sleep with her head tucked between her wings as she buried her beak in the softness of the sweatshirt.

All was well until this morning and I noticed her persistently fussing with one spot on the sweat shirt. I diverted her attention a couple of times, walked into the kitchen for a few seconds and when I came back there were two tiny spots of blood. She didn’t pierce the sweatshirt, but because of her skin being so traumatized, she made herself bleed. So today made vet visit #4 – and 2 in less than 24 hours. If it hadn’t been the weekend, I most likely would have taken some time to access what was going on, but my AV closes Saturday’s at noon for the weekend, so I either took her in this morning, or waited until Monday. So I acted on the side of caution.

Dr. M checked the area and she was not mutilating, but was after a tiny scab which she pulled off. He really doesn’t want to put the bandages back on, nor did he think it was necessary and thinks that her new “dress” is much comfortable and is certain that with time and patience, it’s all she will need. Today he applied a topical medication containing some antibiotic cream as well as hydro-cortisone. He said that we cannot use the cortisone very often and it must be sparingly, but he felt that it would relieve the skin irritation, and it has seems to have helped. He also has a new topical ointment coming in made from Noni-extract and he said as soon as that arrives, he will send me home with some to use as needed. If worse comes to worse I have some ideas to sew a pocket in the front of her sweater, where I can insert some type of a comfortable breast plate. My AV and I discussed materials and if we will try that inserting a piece of x-ray film, which is flexible, but durable.

Personality wise, she is sweet, forgiving, outgoing and is quite happy with the new play top cage she has now. She’s found her spot within the flock, and it’s amazing to watch the flock dynamics. All the other ‘Toos, especially Echo are showing such empathy for her - including my 2 G2’s who think they rule the roost.

I had a dome top cage for Noelle, but since she’s only been in her day-cage a total of two times, she needed a play top, so the new cage was delivered earlier this week. (The cage my friend gave me was a bit too small for an M2.) My son came over to help me assemble it, and he also anchored some hooks in the alcove ceiling to hang her toys. She is quite pleased with the new arrangement.

I’ve been making lots of “deposits into her bank account”, which are much needed to offset the necessary withdrawals of the frequent vet visits. She has become a celebrity at my AV’s, all the staff and VT,s have to stop in for a visit, despite the fact that she hisses at most of them – LOL! She’s all bluff though. And in the waiting room she attracts quite a bit of attention as well (in her carrier) because anyone that takes a glimpse in the carrier has to stop and tell her how beautiful she is, and of course asks me “what happened to her?” Ahhhh, gotta love it when someone opens the door and walks in for my “speech” on the plight of captive birds. I also asked Dr. M and got permission to place MT’s business cards at the front desk in the lobby. I am going to Office Depot this week to some nice grade business card paper.

Here is a picture I took a today. (The dark spot on her sweater is where the 2 tiny drops of blood were, but my AV misted it w/a little bit of peroxide , which made it take on a brown tone, so I can easily identify if there is fresh blood again.)


Noelle




Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress
#190408 - 01/18/09 05:56 AM Re: Noelle [Re: EchosMom]  
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Aw, what a sweetheart! I love the dress. She is coming along so well. What a great addition to your family.
Sharon


You have two choices: accept things the way they are, or have courage to change them. J Kanani


#190418 - 01/18/09 09:34 AM Re: Noelle [Re: Ladyhutch]  
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Hummm, I wonder if it just wasn't the "designer label" that was bothering her in her new dress and she just had to remove it... crazy I wonder if the smell of the bandages didn't bother her too (I hate the smell of all that wound dressing stuff) and to put her head under her wing to sleep sick.

She really looks like she's in her happy zone. Like being on one of those all inclusive Bahama's resort package vacations. "Yes, I will have another grape and you may peel it and quarter it!"

I love hearing that the rest of the feathered flock knows that she has special needs for right now and supporting her as only they know how! Please God, watch over EM's Critter Paradise


Man has turned Earth into a hell for animals.
Arthur Schopenhauer
#190419 - 01/18/09 12:51 PM Re: Noelle [Re: Brandy's mom]  
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She looks so content in the pic with the fuzzy face feathers. Looks like she is going to settle in very nicely with you and your flock. It's so heartwarming to hear of the empathy of the other birds. Nice job! Nancy


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#190421 - 01/18/09 01:03 PM Re: Noelle [Re: BE2Cassie]  
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Noelle is just beautiful Janet. She looks like a little princess sitting there in her ball gown. It amazes me how much birds can sense what is going on and realize that Noelle has special needs and they are ok with it. Is Echo still playing nurse with her? Good luck and keep us posted. Sharon

#190424 - 01/18/09 01:53 PM Re: Noelle [Re: umbimom]  
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It is wonderful to hear that Noelle is doing so well in her new home, and getting along with the rest of the flock. She couldn't have ended up in a better place.

I'm sure she will forgive all the vet visits, and I find it interesting that you are on a first-name basis with your vet- LOL!

#190429 - 01/18/09 06:18 PM Re: Noelle [Re: bambu101]  
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She looks absolutely stunning in her new dress! I can't wait to see her next "Fashions for Noelle" designs.She will be one of the best dressed birds at mytoos. wink

It really is great to hear her settle in so well and making such good progress. You definitely are her lifesavor. I am so glad she found her way to you.


Jan

Sometimes damaged goods are the best gifts the world has to offer
#190433 - 01/18/09 06:28 PM Re: Noelle [Re: Janny]  
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Just read through Noelle's story and up to now, she couldn't be in better hands right now thats for sure and I'm so thrilled thats shes doing well getting settled in. Her new outfit makes her even more beautiful than before. smile


I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.

~ Sonja & Katie U2 ~
#190444 - 01/18/09 08:00 PM Re: Noelle [Re: EchosMom]  
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It is so wonderful to hear how nicely she is settling in. She looks so peaceful and content in that pic. It is so amazing how the other birds just seem to know and understand. Your home should be deemed "Echos Haven".


Deborah
A Too is not a pet, it is a choice for life!


#190486 - 01/19/09 03:59 AM Re: Noelle [Re: FeatheredAngels]  
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Thanks for sharing Noelle with us, I agree with the others she does look so peaceful and content in her new home where she is both loved and respected!

She is a beautiful girl!

Best wishes to you and all of your flock!

Cathy

#190499 - 01/19/09 06:31 AM Re: Noelle [Re: birdsrule]  
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I make a bet when she tucked her head under her wing and felt that softness of her new dress, she sighed a BIG "thank-you" as she dozed off. Good job Janet. You're amazing

#190581 - 01/20/09 04:33 AM Re: Noelle [Re: Winter's mom]  
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She's so adorable with her feathers fluffed up...I'm sure she appreciates the love in her "flock"!


Gail
#190677 - 01/21/09 06:27 AM Re: Noelle [Re: Bird Mom]  
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Thanks so much everyone! She's such a good girl!!

Well I had to make another withdrawal yesterday. She made more little nicks in her skin which dotted her sweater with blood, which made her fuss with it. She needed added protection on her chest. So I cut a piece of soft, supple plastic from a pencil bag, and used a piece of the sweatshirt I cut the sleeve out of to make a litle pouch for it. I cut the fabric large enough that I could fold it over the plastic, hand sewed the sides and top closed, then fastened it to the inside of the sweater with Stitch Witch.

With my oldest daughters help we put her new "dress" on, and NO, she was not the least bit happy about it. But hey, we gotta do what we gotta do sometimes. I am pleased to say that the breast plate working, she's seems comfortable in it, and we were forgiven almost instantly. She was a little leary of me for awhile today - can't say I blame her, so I just went about my business and stopped briefly to talk to her while I was doing my chores around the house. She warmed up real quick and by this afternoon all was forgotten.

Here's a picture of her in her new pink dress. smile

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v232/Echosmom/003-5.jpg


Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress
#190679 - 01/21/09 11:03 AM Re: Noelle [Re: EchosMom]  
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grinAwww, she looks so Pretty in Pink It's really so! her color!

Question: Since it seems that she's going to be a Bare Naked Lady is she going to need an extensive wardrobe? I think I understand that for now her dress is am 'out of sight, out of mind' protection for her wound. In the the long term is her dress something that will be needed for skin protection and to give some degree of insulation that the feathers would furnish?


Man has turned Earth into a hell for animals.
Arthur Schopenhauer
#190680 - 01/21/09 12:57 PM Re: Noelle [Re: Brandy's mom]  
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Did she go to the Birdy Innauguration Ball? She is dressed for it


Pat

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#190681 - 01/21/09 02:11 PM Re: Noelle [Re: Cleo's Mom]  
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She always looks so happy in her pics with her fluffy face. Pink is definitly her color! Very inventive with the pouch! Nancy


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#190685 - 01/21/09 03:39 PM Re: Noelle [Re: BE2Cassie]  
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I'd like one of those little sweaters just in an extra, extra, EXTRA large. LOL My apartment is very cold these days since the temps have been minus 18-35 C.

She looks very relaxed. I will operationalize that to say her feathers are fluffed up around her beak, eyes droopy = relaxed.

Now was she relaxed, Janet?

Bev


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#190693 - 01/21/09 05:23 PM Re: Noelle [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Originally Posted By: Brandy's mom

Question: Since it seems that she's going to be a Bare Naked Lady is she going to need an extensive wardrobe? I think I understand that for now her dress is am 'out of sight, out of mind' protection for her wound. In the the long term is her dress something that will be needed for skin protection and to give some degree of insulation that the feathers would furnish?

You are absolutely right, for now it's out of sight, out of mind protection. And it gives her something to chew on besides herself. I discussed the warmth issue with Dr. M and he said that it wouldn't be an issue, especially here in Florida. She has a long history of plucking and mutilation, as is evidenced by extensive follicle damage and prior mutilation scars, so we are up against several things. Breaking the cycle and because her skin is so traumatized it is more prone to tearing. When I had the first dress on her, everytime she even slightly pulled/snipped at it, a little tiny dot of blood would show through where she had nipped her skin.

My AV and I are hopeful that between her environment and diet correction, combined with the natural remedies,close monitoring, lots of TLC, loads of enrichment, and being part of a flock, there will be at least some breaks when she won't have to be outfitted. But we also acknowledge the possibility that she will always need to wear a protective dress. Time will tell.

Nancy, I just happened to come across the soft plastic pencil bag when I was cleaning out one of my desk drawers, and thought, Hmmmmm, this might work, thanks to the Stitch Witch.

Bev, you are 100% correct - Noelle was very relaxed in the picture.


Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress
#190710 - 01/21/09 08:24 PM Re: Noelle [Re: EchosMom]  
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It is also important to note that avian skin is very thin, only a few cells think!

Quote:
The epidermis has a deep layer of dividing cells, stratum germinativum, and a superficial layer of keratinised cells, stratum corneum. Stratum germinativum is separated from the dermis by a basal layer whose cells continually divide. These cells enlarge and form an intermediate layer, homologous to the prickle cell layer in mammals. The cells are held together by desmosomes but spaces between the cells are permeated by tissue fluid. As these cells mature and are carried towards the surface of the skin, they flatten to form the transitional layer that occupies the same position in the epidermis as the stratum granulosum of mammals. In birds the keratohyalin granules within these cells cannot be seen with light microscopy. Once flattened the epidermal cells become keratinised and die forming the horny stratum corneum. In feathered areas of the body this layer is only two or three cells thick. In other areas, such as the feet, this layer is much thicker and can be greatly modified.


The Structure of Avian Skin and Feathers - Harcourt-Brown

#190720 - 01/21/09 10:26 PM Re: Noelle [Re: Charlie]  
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Janet - If anyone can grow feathers on a bird, you can!! And even if not, her health and happiness are all that matters, and she has the look of one contented bird! I love her new pink dress - the color is very becoming!! Do I see a new career for you? You and Kim (aka Kim & Lily) could start an avian fashion business - both of you are so very inventive!

Annette


The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step - Old Chinese Proverb
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