Monday, May 2, 2011

Tragedy (barely) averted

Max could have died Saturday. 

Saturday timeline:

6:15-6:45 Max is just fine.  We have the greys out with us as we eat breakfast.  Around 6:45 we put them back in their cages as we have to run.

8:45 We return home from running.  Max is in the far back corner of her cage, playing with her rope perches.  She refuses to step up.  I think, "it took her 9 years, but Max is starting to show some more typical hormonal behaviors -- namely nesting with the rope perches and refusing to step up."

 8:45-11 We're at home; Max is the only parrot who won't come out of her cage.  She is really consumed with her rope perches.  I hope she's not forming an egg.

11-5 We're gone for the afternoon, volunteering at the parrot rescue.

5-6:30 We get home.  Although Max dances excitedly when she first sees me, she still refuses to step up and is playing with her rope perches.  We eat dinner and even that isn't enough to get her to come out of her cage.

6:30 After dinner, Thomas pulls Max's cage out from the wall to get a closer look at her and tell her to come out.  He realizes her foot is stuck in a toy!  That's why she hasn't been coming out of her cage -- not because she didn't want to, but because she couldn't.  And it took us hours to notice anything was wrong.

Thomas got her unstuck and we surveyed the damage.  She is not herself.  We immediately give her a bowl of water and she drinks a lot.  She perches on the water bowl, tucking the leg that had been stuck close to her body.  She puffs up her feathers:
Max wouldn't eat anything at first, not even her favorites: cashews, peanut butter, cheese, or yogurt.  It's close to bed time and since she needs rest, I put a bowl with seed, pellets, and nuts in her cage.  I check on her frequently throughout the night and she finally begins eating around 8 pm.

The offending toy, which had been in her cage for over a year with no problems:
I'm still not entirely clear on how her foot got stuck.  As soon as he realized what had happened, Thomas sprung into action to release her and didn't spend time analyzing what had happened.  I'm also not sure why Max didn't scream or do something to alert us to the fact that there was a problem.  I'm certainly not blaming her -- she's a wild animal and they are known for hiding their illnesses -- but had she done her danger call at 8:45 when we got back, we would have found this hours earlier.

I'm kicking myself for not investigating further when Max didn't step up to shower with us at 8:45.  Max always steps up out of her cage.  Instead of just blaming hormones, I should have looked closer at the situation.

We are so lucky everything turned out OK.  She is back to normal, is not favoring her leg at all, and you'd never guess she'd gone through an ordeal just days ago.

I had left the bowl of seeds, nuts, and pellets in her cage Sunday.  Calypso discovered them at some point and went inside her cage to eat.  He's very sweet, but not the brightest, so I was very pleased that he noticed the treats and figured out a way to get them.
The weekend turned out to be a little more adventurous than I would have liked.


phonelady said...

wow adventure is right jeeze ..

Stephanie Taylor said...

Aw, I'm so glad everything turned out ok!

Michelle said...

I had an event very similar with one of my birds years ago. My conure, Zeek, got his foot caught in one of his toys, but it looked like he was just playing. Hours later he was still in the same position so I investigated further. He had bitten off all of his nails and caused damage to his digits on each toe. Horrified, I rushed him to the vets where he was examined and patched up. The nails on that foot, to this day, still grow in the oposite direction.

Like Max, Zeek shows no signs of emotional damage from this toy entrapment. He is a happy bird who will celebrate his eighteenth birthday this year.

I actually own the exact toy that Max got caught up in. I will be careful while using it with my birds....if I let them have it at all

D. Richard said...

I see the toy but dont understand the
what had max caught , Her nails in the twine , I should probably have my flock's nails trimmed .
Sidenote . Linus is out , Cage left open when I am there , He flew to my shoulder while I was washing up . He is pretending nothing happened.
I am still cautious

The Homeless Parrot said...

So glad she's ok!

Beloved Parrot said...

I'm glad y'all rescued her in time! But like you, I have to wonder why she didn't alert you there was a problem.