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#258925 - 09/29/15 01:34 AM Diary of a phobic IRN with PBFD  
Joined: Mar 2005
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wishfull Offline
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Scruffy, the normal green Indian Ring neck parrot suffering from PBFD, arrived here yesterday, 27th September 2015. I was first alerted to this bird's need for a home about 3 months ago, but at the time I was still adjusting myself to the fact that I now had the most dreaded avian disease of all, PBFD, in my home. I needed time. Time passed, and, and my acceptance of the facts, and my confidence and belief in myself grew, and I finally felt ready to offer this poorly bird the home that no one else could, or would offer him. I tentatively asked if he was still in need of a home. Of course he was. Who would want an extremely nervous, unfriendly, never-been-handled, diseased little parrot, who had barely any resemblance to his species, except perhaps for his beak? No one it seemed, only me.
'Scruffy' arrived after an extremely long journey, shaking and cowering in the back of the little cardboard box that he had always ran into for cover when when anything spooked him. I soon realised he was more than nervous, he was absolutely phobic. The slightest movement terrified him. Any exploration of his new, spacious cage came to an abrupt halt at the slightest movement in the room. He will just fling himself from the top of his cage to the floor, and scramble as fast as his practically featherless little body will let him into the cardboard box, the only place he feels he may just be safe. Even the wild birds I have nursed have not displayed such intense terror as this poor creature displays.
Of his history, I know he has spent 12 months in isolation. He was handed over to his previous carer by a vet nurse, after being abandoned/dumped at a veterinary clinic. Unable to keep him at her own home because of his condition, and the fact it presented such a risk to her other birds, his then carer kept him at her elderly parents home. He always displayed his terror, but having relatively very little interaction, it never eased. No one knows what went on before he was dumped at the vets, but whatever it was, it has left it's mark on him.
I hope, in time, some of his terror will ease. I hope, with good care and good diet and good housing, that his condition will allow him to live long enough for his terror to ease, and for him to learn that he is not going to be harmed, that the only things to come his way will be good things. I hope he realises in time that the disabled human who will spend almost all day every day, and every minute of the night in the same room as him, close by his cage, is a human he can learn to trust.
I think it is going to be a long journey.

Last edited by wishfull; 09/29/15 01:36 AM.

If you can't see the bright side of life, polish the dull side.
#258933 - 09/30/15 05:02 PM Re: Diary of a phobic IRN with PBFD [Re: wishfull]  
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Scruffy seems to be settling in rather well. He is not as fast to make one of his ceiling to floor dives if I approach his cage, but his posture tells me one wrong he and he WILL dive. I am trying to avoid this at all costs. I am learning from him as I go along. Although he is not used to being misted, I have discovered that he does seem to like it. By 'like it' I mean, he looks ready to dive, but doesn't. He even lifted one stubby little wing up slightly during his first misting, and also seemed to like the hair dryer on him afterwards. I only use dryer on a gentle heat, and only close enough to gently ruffle what feathers he has. I have noticed a couple of times, the softest persistent rattling noise coming from his cage when he is on his upper perches. I think he may have been feeling a bit cold, so today, I slowly and carefully slid his cage across the room and placed it in front of the radiator.The radiators here only ever get warm, not hot, and can be turned down also, so hopefully he will feel nice and warm, but not over heat. I will pay extra attention and listen carefully for more faint 'rattling'.
Do IRN's tend to tremble? Does anyone know? I am hoping now he is in a warmer place that the trembling will stop, providing it WAS trembling/shivering what caused it.
He does tend to pace up and down his perches sometimes, repeatedly pace. This concerns me as I am assuming it's a sign of frustration, so I need to find out the cause. Obviously being caged wont help, although it is a lovely spacious cage for him. Maybe he just wants to come out? I think I will place a duvet on the floor and open one of his drop down doors and see what happens. Am just a little bit wary because he gets so terribly frightened so easily.I don't want him to suddenly feel dreadfully out of his depth and panic and possibly even harm himself, BUT, maybe an open door is what he has been needing most? I think I will try it...
here is my beautiful boy after his first (possibly first in his life) misting.
Isn't he just the most beautiful little thing?
Today is his fourth day here, we both have much to learn!


http://i1258.photobucket.com/albums/ii52...ittle%20002.jpg


If you can't see the bright side of life, polish the dull side.
#258937 - 10/01/15 02:36 AM Re: Diary of a phobic IRN with PBFD [Re: wishfull]  
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Awww... He's gorgeous! Much better looking than I expected from your description! I'm sure he will come around and be much less stressed. Thanks for the "wordy" (long) updates. I love to read what you write. Take care.

--- Michelle


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#258938 - 10/01/15 02:01 PM Re: Diary of a phobic IRN with PBFD [Re: Birdfriend]  
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Thank you Michelle, I think he is stunning, and yesterday, I did indeed take the plunge... I opened his drop-down door,and after about ten minutes contemplation, plus a bit of millet to feed his courage, he was out! HOW he loved being out of his cage! As long as I sat very still at first, he fearlessly and joyfully explored his new surroundings. After 20 minutes or so, if I moved very, very carefully, slowly, and quietly, he only started a bit, but he was still ever watchful and ever wary. He was in no hurry however, to return to his cage for quite some time. He had been caged for around 12 months, and his joy at the freedom the opened cage door offered him was relished and taken advantage of in every way he possibly could. After about 1 1/2 hours, he made his own way back to his cage and climbed up and in. Sadly for Scruffy, I have a workman here today, so I dare not open his door until the work has been done. I can not risk him being startled to the point where he either harms himself in panic, or sees his new found freedom as a threat. Or both! However, I want for him to view his cage as his safety net, his own little haven, but never as his prison.
A prison can never be a home.
Here is Scruffy conquering his first mountain:
http://i1258.photobucket.com/albums/ii526/SilentTearsAnimalRescue/scruffy%20mountaineering.jpg

And here, he is positively posing on the summit of another mountain that he managed to conquer:
http://i1258.photobucket.com/albums/ii526/SilentTearsAnimalRescue/outonwindowbox.jpg

Here, he was feeling a little coy:
http://i1258.photobucket.com/albums/ii526/SilentTearsAnimalRescue/verycutesidewayson.jpg

And what parrot carer does not LOVE the 'Peekaboo!' pose!
http://i1258.photobucket.com/albums/ii526/SilentTearsAnimalRescue/peep_1.jpg

I have a question here, and would be glad of opinions please.
My vets were made aware of Scruffy's imminent arrival, and the fact that he is a positive tested PBFD bird. He has not been to the vet for over a year, so I am keen to get him in, have a full bloods work up done, and a full health check. However, although I realise that there is a certain urgency in this, I am also thinking that maybe a little more time to settle down here and time to allow his confidence to grow a little before subjecting him to what is bound to be quite a traumatic experience for him.
Am I right to give him a little more time, or should I just get him straight in regardless?

Last edited by wishfull; 10/01/15 02:04 PM.

If you can't see the bright side of life, polish the dull side.
#258942 - 10/02/15 03:42 AM Re: Diary of a phobic IRN with PBFD [Re: wishfull]  
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Wow! That's great! Those are big steps! I think IRNs are pretty watchful and wary by nature. Not your "social butterfly" species by nature.


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#258943 - 10/02/15 05:14 AM Re: Diary of a phobic IRN with PBFD [Re: wishfull]  
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I always take new birds in right away. I prefer to get it out of the way, then start working on building trust. Plus, as you know, it's best practice to get a new bird seen as quickly as possible, even healthy ones.


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

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#258944 - 10/02/15 09:08 PM Re: Diary of a phobic IRN with PBFD [Re: wishfull]  
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wishfull Offline
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Thank you Birdfriend and EchosMom smile I'm afraid the photo's tend to 'cheat' a little in what they portray (as in, me being up close and personal, lol) Full zoom on my not-very-good camera, then cropped down on Paint. Still, they are rather sweet arn't they smile
EM, yes, I agree fully with what you say, will be on the phone tomorrow to get a full checkover and screening done. Thanks for that, I just wasn't sure which way to act for the best because I have never had a bird as terrified as him. Fearful, nervous, ''Do-NOT-think-about-touching-me'' birds, but he so often acts way beyond that. I have been reading up on differences between phobic birds, and wary birds, and birds who can be nervy and more easily startled by species, IRN seems to come quite high on the list for that one as you say Birdfriend. He is seeming to be a little calmer with me now, so long as I keep a respectful, considerate distance, or move like a tortoise when I have to approch, touch, and invade his cage space. Most times he will back away to the furthest point, poised and ready to fling, but I'd say 7 x out of 10 he does manage NOT to fling. I am having to be a lot more blunt with visitors now as in ''He is very, very frightened, please don't approach his cage or I will be asking you to leave''. I tried at first with, ''He's very very frightened'', only for people to strut right over and stick the (to him) massive great faces right by his cage bars causing him to fling down! And you can hear his terrified panting from inside his little safety box. I simply will not tolerate him being scared like that when there is no need.
At the moment, he is on his top perch just looking across at me. I have had his doors open all afternoon but he has chosen not to venture out this time. Time to put him a variety supper mix in, cover him up, and let him settle for the night smile


If you can't see the bright side of life, polish the dull side.

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