Friday, December 26, 2008

My Little Flash

Flash, the little cockatiel pushed on me at a bird fair by a rather unscrupulous breeder, doesn't like me much. He'd rather die than allow me to pet his head or touch him -- unless he needs transportation across the room.

That's okay; I love him anyway.

I took him in for his annual well-bird exam, and the vet found a little spot on the hock of his right foot. It looks like a little scab from a burn, but it isn't on the part of the foot he uses or sits on. He has a heated perch but the temperature is so low I don't see how he could have burned himself on it or how he could have sat on the perch in such a position to injure that part of the foot, and temperature of the perch is different from the base to the tip so he has total control over where he stands. And he doesn't use the heated perch much. I've never seen him favor his foot or show any sign of discomfort at all.

Anyway, we don't know what it is. The vet told me to watch it and if it didn't look better in a few weeks, come back in. Then the blood work came back, and the vet said there was an increase in some kind of enzyme that denotes tissue damage. She thinks it's probably from the place on his foot, but I have to take him back in a couple of weeks to be sure.

Naturally, Flash isn't what you'd call willing to let me look at his foot, but I persist. Usually I can sneak a look at the place by twisting my head and looking kind of upside down at it without touching him (it's visible from the back when he's in a normal stance), but sometimes I have to pick him up. And then give him an extra treat for the "trauma" of it all. I feel guilty because I didn't know he'd hurt himself, and because I don't know what caused it.

Flash has a crooked beak, which makes his little face look off-center, as you can see in the picture. It doesn't affect his eating at all. I don't care -- I'd love him if he had two crooked beaks.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Keep us updated on this little guy. You've been having some bad parrot luck lately. Here's hoping 2009 treats you guys better!