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 Not a pigeon ...

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Matilda
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PostSubject: Not a pigeon ...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:37 pm

but an interesting article from Vetafam, about how birds pretend to be well even when they are not. The poor bird in the article was so ill he didn't have long to live yet the only sign was in his droppings.
Often I hear...but the bird was just fine yesterday...when actually the bird was not fine yesterday, just pretending.


In the Clinic - Major Mitchell hen
A Major Mitchell’s cockatoo came into the clinic with a history of having not eaten for several days and having milky droppings. The bird was a little depressed but still in good body condition and was quite alert.

The concerning thing was the bird was passing urates and urine but absolutely no faecal matter. Although birds often pass urates and urine separately from the faeces it does not take long for some sort of faeces to be passed. On the floor of the cage was a fair amount of white milky urate but no faeces; what the owner had seen was urate – not faeces but still “droppings”. Sometimes our terminology causes confusion!

When the bird was examined it had a slightly swollen abdomen and a mildly increased respiratory rate. Otherwise the bird was relatively normal.

I took a blood sample, and arranged for an X-ray, as I was concerned the bird might have had an intestinal blockage due to chewing things. It was a pet bird and was notorious for chewing things around the house.

The blood sample was normal, but the X-ray showed some extensive changes in the abdomen of the bird. The bird’s liver was enlarged, the gut was pushed up into air sac spaces and there was evidence of distension of part of the gut. These are not good signs! After talking to the owners, and telling them the chances were not good, we decided to go ahead and operate to see if it was possible to save the bird.

Surgery showed the bird had a mass of adhesions in its abdomen with the centre being a burst abscess in the pancreas. The adhesions had stopped the gut from working and the bird was doomed. The changes in the abdomen were so severe it defies belief that the bird could have looked so well.

This case is a classic example of how birds hide the signs of severe illness right to the end. The abscess and adhesions must have been forming for at least 7 – 10 days, with total blockage occurring 2 – 3 days before the bird was presented at the clinic. There was absolutely no way this poor bird could recover from the extensive damage in its gut.

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AZWhitefeather
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PostSubject: Re: Not a pigeon ...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:16 pm

Interesting article.

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Keeping us safe from the predators that share the sky.

If we become ill or injured in any way,
Please lead us to safety where we are welcome to stay.
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Not a pigeon ...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:09 pm

It's really scary when we realise how ill a bird can be before it shows definite signs!
Very interesting article, Charis.
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Matilda
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PostSubject: Re: Not a pigeon ...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:15 pm

I think it's a good reference article to give to the people that are in disbelief when they realize their bird is very ill or dead, given the bird looked fine the day before. I suspect that when I tell them their bird has been ill for some days and just pretending, they question that.

My Romey has been ill for some months. She has a tumor behind her liver. The tumor is large enough to cause egg binding problems and so I have been giving her hormone shots to keep her from laying.
Yesterday was shot day and after she received it, she acted in obvious distress with labored breathing and weakness. Moments before, she had acted fine., although I tend to think she is a great pretender and actually marginal. It was a sad moment for me.
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Irene
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PostSubject: Re: Not a pigeon ...   Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:13 pm

Dear Charis,

I just read your article, it is very sad but it is important for us to know about birds' behaviour in order to understand their situation better...! It is difficult indeed to imagine how birds pretent to be well when they are so ill... How can they manage to hide their pain and continue to move, fly and eat...? I remember you had explained to me their strange behaviour, but it still amazes me how good actors they can be...! So we can never 'trust' them completely... I'm very sorry that your Romey has a tumour, I have no words... it's just so sad... But I'm sure that in your hands her life will be prolonged to the maximum and she will have all the love and care that she will need! My best wishes for her!

Irene
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Matilda
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PostSubject: Re: Not a pigeon ...   Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:28 pm

Thank you, Irene. I appreciate your kind words.
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Not a pigeon ...   Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:27 pm

I'm so sorry to hear that Romey has a tumour. Very sad I remember you said she was ill and egg laying would have been problematic. I go to pieces so fast when mine are ill, it's amazing to me how you manage to put so much time and effort into helping every bird and worried carer that you come across! Pigeon angel
I agree with Irene, Romey is in the best possible hands!

It must be very frustrating to meet with disbelief when people won't understand that their bird needs urgent care. And when they waste your time with their Doubting Thomas way while you can inwardly hear the clock ticking and the time for action almost past. God bless you for your patience and your perseverance, and for having the courage of your convictions to always do what's best for the animals.
I sure hope next time people will listen. Fingers crossed
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Matilda
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PostSubject: Re: Not a pigeon ...   Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:34 pm

Thank you, Teresa.
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EgypSwiftLady
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PostSubject: Re: Not a pigeon ...   Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:23 am


Charis so sorry to hear about Rommey, she couldn't be in any better hands than yours.

I have the same problem with not only birds but the reptiles & other exotics we have taken in.

We invested in a close circuit camera to help watch the quarentine animals, I've found that if the animal doesn't know you are watching they will act naturally making it easier to pick up on a problem.
But even having a camera on 24/7 doesn't guarantee catching the signs of an illness.

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Matilda
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PostSubject: Re: Not a pigeon ...   Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:27 am

Robin...a camera is a great idea!
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AnnieBirdy
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PostSubject: Re: Not a pigeon ...   Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:48 am

I do hope Romey is coping well with her treatment and even more so, responding to her treatment, it is so heartbreaking watching, and knowing that your precious friend is facing struggle.
It is so true about birds hiding illness. Even when fit and healthy, they are prey animals, so when ill, they will indeed disguise it/hide it as they become even more vulnerable. Even their own flock can turn against them and try to drive them out, as a sick bird can slow down an entire flock, thus making the entire flock more vulnerable.
My thoughts and prayers go out to you and Romey with strong positive thoughts for healing.
Be well, sweet Romey, be well
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Matilda
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PostSubject: Re: Not a pigeon ...   Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:45 am

For now, she is hanging in there, Annie. The last shot was very hard on her which was an indication of just how iffy she really is.
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AZWhitefeather
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PostSubject: Re: Not a pigeon ...   Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:01 am

Sending positive thoughts to Romy.

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Cindy

A Pigeon's Prayer
Please watch over us while we fly,
Keeping us safe from the predators that share the sky.

If we become ill or injured in any way,
Please lead us to safety where we are welcome to stay.
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AnnieBirdy
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PostSubject: Re: Not a pigeon ...   Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:14 am

Which species is she Charis? She certainly sounds a little fighter
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