Adventure to Northview, Part 2!

I knew as soon as I came home on Friday that Taylor’s yeast infection had returned.  We have been battling this stupid yeast now for several months, and it was time to return to the vet yet again and try something else.  We also decided to take Jules, because he has had very runny poop for quite some time now.  We never took him before because it was so touch and go; one day he would be perfectly fine, the next he would have runny poop, and then he would be fine again.  We also knew that he liked drinking a lot of water and eating wetter foods, so we thought that could be the cause of his mushy droppings.  But, we figured just to be safe we’d take him in with Taylor and have him checked out.  So we made an appointment and yesterday we went on another adventure.  

The thing I hate most about Northview is getting there.  I have to drive from the south hills, through Pittsburgh, into the north hills.  I have to drive on busy highways with evil drivers and people who want to  run me off the road.  Let me admit now, I am not a very good confident driver.  I have never driven to Northview without crying on either the way there or back.  I always feel so bad for Taylor.  I’ll start screaming and crying and saying we are going to die, and he starts talking back from his carrier in a little voice “Pretty bird.  Pretty Pretty. ” and he always says it like a question, like he doesn’t know if he’s a pretty bird or not.  He always tries to make his mama feel better lol.  

So, we got to Northview in, I don’t know how, one piece.  I have a lot of trouble finding someone who can see my birds and actually know what they are talking about, but Dr. Pleban is a saint.  She’s very sweet and soft spoken and gentle with them, and she’s always seems to know what she’s talking about, which is more than I can say for many of the other places I’ve gone to.  A few tests later and we had our results.  

Both Taylor and Jules have a bacterial infection in their gut that is resulting in the smelly, nasty poop.  It’s not something that will make them really, really sick, but it makes a mess out of their feces.  We’re guessing Taylor got it from Jules, because on his last visit he had a clean stool test.  However, its only transmitted through feces, so that means that Taylor had to eat some of Jules’s poop.  Yuck!  Good thing everyone has their own cage so it won’t spread to anyone else.  Taylor also had another yeast infection.  She said that he doesn’t have as much yeast as last time, which means that our boiling water and probiotics were helping, just not enough.  She also said that due to how flabby and flacid his crop looks and feels, she believes that he has a mechanical  problem where his muscles are not fully functional in his crop. She said she has treated another cockatiel with the same condition and feels that it is something that goes along with his handicap.  Taylor is now on a maintenance medication that he will have to take for the rest of his life.    

When we went to check out, I felt like we were taking a pharmacy with us.  We have four different types of medication.  Taylor has three of them, and Jules only has one.  Both are on a medicine for the bacterial infection.  Taylor also has his medicine to get rid of his yeast infection, and then he also has his maintenance medication.  When we left, Lance had sticker shock; we paid more in our visit yesterday than we did for both birds put together.  I was well prepared; to date, Taylor has cost me roughly $500 in health costs.  He was a $40 cockatiel.  

Lance and I came home and bleached everything.  We bleached every cage, every toy, every food and water dish.  We literally bleached and cleaned for three hours.  We shouldn’t have any other outbreaks in the bacterial infection.  Most likely, Taylor picked up bacteria from a toy that Jules had had and hadn’t been washed recently or drinking out of the same water when they were out playing.  The vet also said that Taylor was probably the perfect target for the bacteria because his immune system is weaker than the other birds because of the yeast infection.  She said because white face is such a recessive gene, even though its beautiful, it can also come with other health risks, such as a compromised immune system.  We still don’t know where Jules got sick from initially, but he could have had it since we brought him home.  

So, now our babies are on the mend and everyone should be good and healthy!  

 

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The Joy of Sharing

Camp was great, especially with our feathered friends with us. One of my favorite things about camping or going out with our birds is being able share our birds and our knowledge about them. Hannah’s little brothers friends, Gary and Ryan, both enjoyed meeting  Jules, and even their mother liked to learn more about him and Bella. He climbed on them and allowed them to pet him.

Other times when we took the dynamic duo out shopping, people, ranging from pet store attendants to kids on the street, love to hold, play with, or even just look at these wonderful birds. I love watching my bird interacting peacefully and the questioning looks on the human faces. Sometimes even the pet store attendants do not know something, especially about Bella, and Hannah and I enjoy explaining it to them.

I find through these experiences that sharing birds and showing people what nice animals they are is one of the greatest joys a bird owner can enjoy. And though it is fun, it allows us a way to show people that birds are clean, nice, and well-mannered animals.   Also through proper education we try to decrease the amount of unwanted birds in this world. If every bird owner did this I believe that there would be less discrimination of birds.

Discrimination Against Animals!

Everything at camp wasnt quite that great.  We had an issue that really got me fired up.  Saturday morning, we decided to go to the camp lodge for breakfast instead of cooking our own.  So we loaded up and headed to the lodge.  However, when we arrived there, we were quickly greeted by a nasty ‘you’re going to have to take your bird outside.  This is a restaurant.”

Jules, stealing some of Lance's toast

   

I spent three weeks in Germany a few years ago and one of the things that really resonated with me was how accepted animals were in society.  Dogs were allowed in stores, on trains and buses and in restaurants.  Everywhere you went, people took their animals with them.  There were no ‘no pets’ signs on doors, nor were there any mean people telling you to ‘take your bird outside’.      

It was a camp lodge.  Not a five-star restaurant.  Not a fancy steak house.  A ruddy old camp lodge that served greasy meals on paper plates with plastic silverware.  Real classy.    

 My dad tried to reason with me.  ” its health codes.  restaurants aren’t allowed to have animals in them for health reasons.”  Well, that fired me up even more.  Because honestly, my birds are cleaner than most people.  My birds wear diapers, so they make absolutely no more mess than a human infant.  In fact, my birds are quieter than most people’s kids, cleaner than most people’s kids, and more well-behaved than more people s kids.  And I don’t see one restaurant that has a ‘no kids’ sign on the door.  I take responsibility for all my animals and their behavior, which is more than most parents can say.  Still, I am the one shunned to the patio.      

 Not to mention, this is my life style being cramped by the opinions of everyone else.  And that’s not fair.  How many years of my young life did I have to sit in the same restaurant as smokers, even though I’ve never picked up a cigarette in my life?  And that was absolutely hazardous to my health and it was just recently banned!  How many times have I had to sit next to a noisy, screaming, sticky two-year old when I have an adverse nature towards children?  And I have never once complained or said ‘get your kid outside’.  And now I am being discriminated against for having a feathered kid.    

And if anyone would have mentioned the fact that people fear birds, I probably would have decked them.  I never force people to embrace the type of animal I hold dear.  I never force them to pet my birds, or touch my birds, or even take notice of my birds.  However, I am a member of society as well, as so are my birds.  So to deny me the pleasures of my life for someone else’s fear is wrong.  For example, I have a horrible, terrible, irrational fear of latex balloons.  I hate when they pop, I hate the squeaky noise they make, I hate everything about them.  However, I cannot expect to walk into a balloon-less world because I’m terrified of them.  And I certainly don’t see any signs on the restaurant door saying ‘no balloons’ because they bother me.    

 Needless to say, I did not purchase a breakfast and instead sat at the cigarette covered patio table and ate Lance’s toast, fuming about the discrimination I had just faced.      

 $%@& you, food industry owners and pet haters.

Camping with the Fids!

Lance and I just got back from a weekend camping trip!  However, when we go camping, we take some of our birds with us!          

all packed up and ready to go!

   

Bella and Jules both have travel carriers that we can put them in if we want to go somewhere or if its time for them to go to bed.  It’s also unsafe to ride with your bird out of the carrier on the car ride, so both birds are strapped into the car with a seat belt in the backseat in case of a crash.  Think of your bird as a toddler.            

Birds like a routine, so constructing one is very important to their well-being.  For example, Lance and I wake up and take the birds out.  We offer them their pellets and seeds twice a day, and water four times a day when out of the cage.  While they are in their carriers, they each have a dish of pellets and dish of water.  They usually stay out for the majority of the day, spending the hottest part either bathing, or inside the air-conditioned trailer.  When evening comes and the bugs come out, the birds go to bed early.  Mosquitos can give your bird a disease.            

Bella and Jules enjoying breakfast

   

Camp for us is mostly just relaxing.  We don’t really do anything fun to record, but sit around and talk and play with our fids. My brother and sister and dad ride dirt bikes, and we went on a day trip to Cabellos, but for the most part we just sat around.            

Traveling with your birds is also a good way to educate people about parrot ownership and about what great pets birds can be.  You’re always sure to draw a crowd when you have a bird.          

Bella spending some quality time with her daddy