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#260635 - 07/26/17 05:37 PM Updates  
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 533
AJMontyBird Offline
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AJMontyBird  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 533
British Columbia, Canada
I haven't been around the forum much for the last year or so, so I thought I'd pop by and give a quick update! After a couple hiccups and yet another move, I'm happy to report that Monty and Lucas are going stronger than ever! Everyone's happier with the new place and job, and it definitely shows. I've been largely working evening shifts (after 5), which has me at home with the birds for the bulk of their waking hours. They definitely like the change! Her highness is even gracious enough to let me go back to sleep after her 6 am feeding, produced that I turn on her radio. She wakes me back up by 9/whenever she gets bored enough. In the case of overnight shifts, I can hit The "snooze" button by offering her additional activities, though I imagine I'll never get a full 8 hours!

Monty had been picking pretty extensively at her feathers for the last two months, particularly her lower abdomen, legs, back, and under her wings. These sites have never had many feathers to begin with in the five and a half years she's been with me and at first i didn't pay much attention to it, especially since she was in the middle of a moult anyway. But then she started getting really quiet and just wanted to sit on my lap. I brought her to the vet right away (only 3 months after her wellness exam and bloodwork!), and one skin slide later Monty was diagnosed with a yeast infection to her skin that the vet suspects has been there for awhile. We're about 3 weeks in to treatment with a topical spray, a better humidifier, and extra baths, and Monty's back to her usual self! Though looking especially scruffy. Patches of skin that have always been bare are starting to show signs of possible growth, so I wonder if she's had a yeast infection all along and it took a flare up for us to catch on? It must be such a relief not to be itchy anymore!

Beyond that, not too many changes for the birds beyond the unintentional adoption of a baby European starling that was brought to our clinic. The wildlife park won't take baby birds during the peak season, let alone starlings, and the poor bugger was slated for euthanasia. Long story short: rehab won't take starlings, a single baby is unreleasable due to the mechanics of imprinting, and they're legal to keep as pets in Canada. I didnt have the heart to kill an otherwise healthy baby (I wish people would stop bringing us babies - It's usually a death sentence!), so I raised Benjamin Button as a pet. He's a very happy, surprisingly affectionate bird!

Cheers,

~Amanda

P.s. touch screens are awful. Sorry about any typos or out of place words! Especially with Monty wanting to get in on the action.

#260636 - 07/27/17 10:16 AM Re: Updates [Re: AJMontyBird]  
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BE2Cassie Offline
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Amanda looks like things are going well for all. Would love to see a picture of Benjamin Button. They are supposed to be quite the talkers once they start. Do you have a picture that you can post a link to?


Nancy & Cassie BE2
#260637 - 07/27/17 05:36 PM Re: Updates [Re: AJMontyBird]  
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AJMontyBird Offline
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AJMontyBird  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 533
British Columbia, Canada
I don't have any current pictures on me right now and am on vacation with Monty at the cabin, but I'll try to get a more recent pictures when I get home! Benji's in the middle of his first moult, and he looks like a new bird every week. He's about 9 weeks old now, and was about 5 in this picture: http://i1149.photobucket.com/albums...3-4d71-9eaa-161fa337dc95_zpsld9x3hri.jpg He has full juvenile plumage in that picture, and has since grown out near half of his adult feathers.

Benji's a real riot to have around - definitely no regrets! The one sort of downside is his aversion to touch. He adores people and wants to be on and around them, but you're in for a solid peck and a telling off if you try to touch him anywhere other than his chest or feet and he can be a nightmare to get back in his cage! He's fully flighted and incredibly acrobatic - good luck catching him if he doesn't want to be caught! Thankfully he usually only gives me the run around for a few minutes, then he'll step up and allow me to put him back. He tends to be more compliant if I place a fresh bath, salad, or new toy in his cage first and make a big deal of it. I'm still figuring out what'll work as training treats, especially since he isn't very food motivated. He seems to prefer toys and verbal praise more than anything else at this point.

He'll definitely be a good talker - He's already mimicking Lucas' impressions of Monty, making conure noises, mimicking the birds outside (he does a pretty good robin!), and trying to say "good bird" and "pretty" amongst a lot of nonsense chatter! I'm really impressed with him, even if all the research I've done says that starlings learn most of their vocalizations in the first 3 months.

Sorry if I'm rambling - I've become very, very fond of this little bird and an advocate for starlings in general over the last two months. grin


My flock: Monty (LSC2), Lucas (GCC), Benjamin Button (European Starling), Lucy (Lovebird)
#260638 - 07/27/17 09:55 PM Re: Updates [Re: AJMontyBird]  
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BE2Cassie Offline
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He's very cute! I look forward to hearing more about his antics.


Nancy & Cassie BE2
#260657 - 08/16/17 04:17 AM Re: Updates [Re: AJMontyBird]  
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bellesmom Offline
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Glad to hear everything is going well for you and your flock. Benji is adorable, looks like he knows he is handsome.


#260658 - 08/21/17 09:11 PM Re: Updates [Re: bellesmom]  
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Thanks for the great update. It's good to hear that you are settling into a new routine. Better late than never for Monty's yeast problem. You must be very happy about that and he surely is. Thanks for the picture of Benji. Sounds like a real clown. Hope things continue to go your way! :-)

#260659 - 08/27/17 09:51 PM Re: Updates [Re: AJMontyBird]  
Joined: Jan 2012
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AJMontyBird Offline
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AJMontyBird  Offline
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British Columbia, Canada
Things took a steep downturn when i got back home on the 31st of July, and I haven't had the energy to post. Clearly I jinxed myself by saying that things are going well.

Benjamin was in starvation condition and severely dehydrated when I got home, and was on the bottom of his cage fluffed up, listless, and extremely thin (he was ideal weight 8 days previous). My housemate, who had agreed to take care of Benji and Lucas while I was away, had not followed my care instructions and starlings, being primarily insectivores, have an especially high metabolism. He was being fed less than half of what he needed, his water was not being changed ("I couldn't figure out he to remove the covered one". You know, the only one that stays clean for more than half an hour), his cage hadn't been cleaned, and his refrigerated/frozen food mix had gone bad! I have no idea how this happened. I had made sure to have extra in the freezer, and there was none in there. I don't know if my housemate forgot the food out of the fridge a few times and took the frozen portion or what, but something went sideways. It's even more upsetting given that I called every evening to make sure everything was alright! I made him some fresh food (which he ate an alarmkng amount of) and took him to the vet the next morning. Lucas wasn't harmed.

In 8 days, he lost 25% of his body weight. Granted, a lot of the weight loss was water weight.... but there was considerable muscle wasting. With lots of TLC and good food, he's about back to normal... though his moult (which he was in the middle of) went a little funny and feathers in his head are falling out much faster than they're growing in. I had a long talk with my housemate, and he's appropriately chastened... though he'll never be looking after my birds for more than a day ever again!

Four days after I got home, Monty had a grand mal seizure at 7 in the morning lasting somewhere between 10-15 seconds. I was panicking a bit too much to get an accurate count. I deal with seizures at the vet clinic I currently work at on a pretty regular basis, but having it happen to one of my own pets -let alone Monty! - was completely different. Immediate afterward her left wing and leg weren't operating correctly (limp, weak), but these symptoms faded by the time I got her to the clinic a couple hours later. She has since had multiple blood panels, fecals (one of which was sent out to test for giardia dna), an avian bornavirus culture, a two-view b-day, and a heavy metal toxicity screen. All tests were inconclusive or negative, though she continued to be extremely lethargic and inappetant. She had slightly elevated white blood cell numbers, but it's very possible that was due to stress or even her lingering yeast infection. Over the last week she's improved dramatically and is both regaining her appetite (I changed her pellet brand in hopes that she was bored of her current ones; it worked!) And her overall energy. She's still a little reserved and has had a couple falls at night (i moved her to her carrier to sleep after the second one). The falls do not appear to be seizure activity, and have only occured when she's lacking sleep. I tightened up the sleep routines and try not to be on the computer after birdie bed time, and she hasn't had any more falls since.

We still don't know exactly what went wrong, but Monty seems to be out of the woods now. I'll keep a close eye on her, and if she starts to backslide I'll see about an ultrasound, a barium swallow study, and possibly a CT scan. These are high stress procedures that i'd prefer to avoid, given that the experts say that her radiographs look normal. I'm inclined to think at this point that her symptoms were stress induced, possibly with a side of smoke inhalation (it's been very smoky in the valley, with all the wildfires).

And speaking of smoke and wildfires... in the midst of all of this, a quickly growing grass fire started up and started rapidly expanding barely 500 feet from my residence on our neighbour's property just down the hill and we were forced to evacuate. I wasn't home at the time, and it was a real nightmare scenario. Thankfully I was able to get back within 20 minutes to get the birds out of the house and away from the smoke, though it took some convincing to get pasture blockade at the end of the street. I keep my room unlocked for just this reason, and no one tried to get my babies out of there. It makes me spitting mad just to think about it. Between this, the Benjamin issue, and general drama with my landlady, I think it might be about time to find a new place to live.

It's been along month.

~Amanda


My flock: Monty (LSC2), Lucas (GCC), Benjamin Button (European Starling), Lucy (Lovebird)
#260660 - 08/29/17 12:22 AM Re: Updates [Re: AJMontyBird]  
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BE2Cassie Offline
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I'm sorry to hear things have been so bad. But happy to see that Monty is bouncing back to normal. That must have been so terrifying for you. BC sure has had more than it's fair share of fires this year. Hopefully you'll get lots of rain soon.


Nancy & Cassie BE2

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