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February 2004
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Cheese Emergency

This morning as I was sitting in my bedroom, I looked over at Cheese and Skittle’s cage. They had not been making noise or anything, but the perch was suddenly bright scarlet instead of the normal wood color. I went over. It was clear that one of them was bleeding. A *lot*. I banged on the bathroom door where Brandy was taking a bath, and while she was getting out I determined that while they both had some blood on them, it looked like it was Cheese that was bleeding. From his foot.

I was completely freaking out. I caught Zuri and put her in her cage right away. Zuri had been checking out the little birds, and there was at least a chance that Zuri had bitten Cheese. Brandy doesn’t think so though, because for the most part Zuri harrasses the little birds and looks in, but doesn’t try to grab them or anything, plus they just step a couple steps away from the side and Zuri can’t reach them. Or Cheese could have just caught it on something on the cage. It happens. No way to tell. Whatever it was, the bird hadn’t screamed…. I was in the room, I heard nothing. Just looked up and saw blood. :-(

Brandy caught cheese and first told me to get some kind of funky pencil that I had never heard of, must less had, then toilet paper. While she was trying to find the wound on Cheese and start applying pressure, I caught Skittles just to triple check Skittles wasn’t injured too. Skittles seemed fine.

While Brandy was applying pressure to try to stop the bleeding, we called the local bird vert and they told us to come right in. We got Cheese into a little box full of toilet paper and started rushing to the vet. I was so scattered, Brandy was afraid I was going to run over her as she was getting in the car.

Cheese was still bleeding in the box. It was his left foot for sure. We got to the vet and it seemed like forever doing paper work and then waiting for the vet. And Cheese was starting to get sleepy. We were trying to keep her awake. Budgies don’t have very much blood to begin with, and Cheese had lost a lot. Birds in this kind of situation often bleed to death. Brandy wispered to me that she didn’t think Cheese was going to make it.

The vet confirmed that the foot was cut open. Pretty badly. Not just that. The bone was broken.

The vet first gave Cheese intravenous fluids to counter the blood loss. The needle was practically bigger than the bird. The vet tech held Cheese’s head and pulled the feathers back, and the vet injected a whole bunch of saline.

Then he took little tiny pieces of surgical tape and splinted up the toe that was broken and wrapped it tight. Both to prevent any more bleeding, and to set the broken bone.

The vet said that Brandy had done good stopping or slowing down most of the bleeding, and the fluids and split should be enough, and that Cheese should recover. The splint needs to stay on for two weeks. For now Cheese needs to be in a seperate cage, although he should be back to himself in a couple days. In the mean time, he’ll probably be really quiet compared to normal.

On the way out as I was paying the $90 for the vet visit, Brandy talked to Cheese: “You are one lucky bird you know, that is four times more than you cost!”. :-)

We took Cheese home, stopping on the way to get a mini cage where he could hang out seperately, but not have too much room to get rambunctious.

Anyway, everybody is home now. I was very worried and had to work hard to keep it together for awhile, and sort of collapsed as soon as I got home. But it looks like Cheese is going to be OK. If we can just keep him from eating the splint on his foot.

Whew!