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About Chrysocome

  • Birthday 28/02/1987

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  1. A microbial culture is when they grow the bacteria on a plate then do tests on it to figure out what type of bacteria it is. They usually also let it try to grow in different antibiotics to figure out what antibiotics are effective and which aren't. Hannah, what kind of water containers do you use and how do you wash them? I've been finding that the bacterial infections of the gut (and crop) tend to come from those who rinse out the water container with hot water only. It's my recommendation (as well as that of an avian specialist I spent time with in Brisbane) that you actually use detergent, then blast it with hot water before making sure all the detergent is gone.
  2. Thanks guys, I'm having a blast. Cheekfood, yes cockatoos are native. The whole thing breaks my heart too, as most of them who are brought in are usually hurt enough to be caught easily, and therefore the injuries are often quite bad. Oh, I know that Ratzy; now I realise that sentence doesn't read well. I deleted a line and I probably should have started a new paragraph but I had to rush out - that'll teach me not to try and post on forums five minutes before the end of my lunch break. My point was that the clinic went to great lengths even on common birds and were willing (and able) to absorb the costs. At most clinics (that have anything to do with birds), that kind of thing is usually reserved for pets and rare/endangered animals.
  3. I haven't popped in here for a while but this caught my attention so I thought I'd pop in my two cents. I'm a vet now. Wildlife is not simple - it's a case by case thing, what we do really depends on the injury. It's not as if we can fix it now and then let it go later in the week. It's a bit more complicated. In this case "broken wing" can cover a heck of a lot of things. In many cases I think I would have done the same - but again it depends. Broken ulna, hairline fracture, mild sprain - these I save as they heal completely. Broken humerus, dislocated joints, open wounds, loss of skin - these not only cost a lot (and yes unfortunately we have to talk about costs, because realistically who is going to pay for an extensive surgery? If you've ever had a surgery performed on your animal you would know how much it costs. The boss would let me pay for it out of my salary but if I did this for every wild animal I see but I'd be a poor person very quickly. And we always have paying clients waiting - we can't neglect them either) - and sometimes when they heal, they heal with strictures, loss of motion/meanouvreability, and are often very slow to get there. After that, someone has to rehabilitate it in order for release in the wild - usually the clinic has a wildlife carer in contact - but it's not like the bird can be given to any member of the public to keep. At my clinic the policy for wildlife is: it must be able to survive its injury AND survive in the long term in the wild. Yes we could save its life in the immediate period (if someone will pick up costs - which sometimes we do or the person who brought it in will). But a bird that can't fly well may face the following ends: it can't feed itself so it starves to death, or it is easily attacked by a predator - in most vets' eyes, this is a far worse death than passing away quietly in warmth and quiet. But not every bird will face that. It really is a case by case judgement call. Those are my thoughts, as an individual, and perhaps to give a little bit of insight to what happens in my clinic at least. I should probably add that I try my best to save what I can - that's my call. Some things my boss won't let me save even though I did try for a while - pest species and so on (it's actualy illegal). I mean, I've been to specialist avian clinics who will put metal pins inside the bones of common old magpies. But I still think I'm fairly lucky at this clinic; we go to reasonable lengths to save wildlife and yes we pay for it. Some places won't even see (or know what to do) with pet birds, let alone wild ones needing extensive expensive surgery.
  4. That's such wonderful news, so happy he's doing so well! How is his cere looking?
  5. I agree that now isn't the time; I'd wait a until he'd been well for a few weeks at least. Nutritional disease is often slow and can be healed with time. But whatever unknown is going on with Cosmo may not be able to tolerate him starving himself because he doesn't recognise the pellets. How I convinced by birds was this: I took the pellets and let them soak in some water until it quite mushy. I mixed their dry seed through it and added a mixture of chopped fresh veggies. Veggie patties for the birdies - they went for it They were trying to get the seed and veggies and got a taste of the pellets while they were at it. I slowly took the seed out (but I am not a believer of 100% no seed). Since the recommendation is to feed the pellet dry, over many weeks I decreased the water content until there were dry pellets and dry seed. They gradually recognised that the food was a bit different but it was still edible. Some other ways that have been used are to put the pellets on a mirror on the ground, or put a mirror next to the pellet container. They see the budgie in the mirror picking at it and want some for themselves. Or if Cosmo is humanised and will eat what you eat, pretend that you're eating it I don't like the method you've described, since it can be very dangerous if they don't recognise the pellets as food. I personally think it's cruel to starve them into eating it. Especially when they've been sick. I wouldn't drastically decrease seed in one day like that; I'd start with a ratio that slowly changes the other way.
  6. The others will give you good advice on seed. I'm going to jump in on pellets if you choose to use them. Reputed brands are Harrisons, Roudybush and Dr Macs. My impression from working at five different avian vet clinics is that although correctly formulated, the birds don't like the taste of Paswells. My birds like Harrisons and Dr Macs, won't touch Passwells, and I never tried Roudybush because it's hard for me to get here (although it appears to have the most detailed research out of all of them). Make sure that whatever you choose (seed or pellets), that you give daily, varied vegetables, and make sure that they are eating them (not just playing with it).
  7. I'm so amazed. It's now time for the Grand Finals. Two exams down, four to go. And then... I'll be a veterinarian. How quickly it all goes.
  8. On the subject of galahs getting around and hybrids.... Galatiels!
  9. Yeah, I do the exact same thing but draw up what I need through the needle. It works the same way. 1ml in needle + 3ml in syringe. Push plunger down = 3ml in bird + 1ml in needle. I suppose it doesn't matter greatly in this case as most of the drugs we use in birds don't require exact dosing we don't use massive crop needles.
  10. Let's say you've drawn up exactly 3ml according to the syringe and then put the (empty) needle on. Let's say the capacity of the needle is 1ml (it's not, but it's easier to understand). When you push the plunger down to "2ml", 1ml goes into the needle yes? It doesn't just fall out of the needle; the liquid will stick to inside of the needle and it stays there unless you push it out. So according to your syringe you've pushed 1ml out of the syringe, you think it's gone into the bird when in fact 1ml is sitting in the needle and hasn't entered the bird at all. It will only leave the needle if you push it out with the plunger. When you push the plunger down all the way to "0", your syringe says that 3ml has left the syringe: 2ml goes into the bird, 1ml stays in the needle. Does that make sense? I can draw a picture if it's easier.
  11. I hate calling it a needle because of the connotations people have with it, I prefer calling it a crop tube. I like to remind people that it's basically a stomach tube. Only just read this bit. If you do this you will underdose unless you suck up some air and push out the last bit of medicine sitting in the tube. If you draw it up with the tube on, you push exactly what you need through and the excess stays in the tube when you take it out of the crop. Does that make sense? Otherwise, if you draw up your dose then put the crop tube on, you'll find some medicine stays inside the tube when you take it out of the crop. This is especially a problem if it's a small amount of medicine you're giving - you may find a proportion of it stays in the tube if the amount you're giving is too small. Of course it's a different story if you draw it up with the tube on and push the last bit out of the tube with air. As you said this will be an overdose.
  12. Fantastic Riebie, how did it go?? While up visiting bird clinics in Brisbane I came across a great idea about making budgies work for seeds in bowls, for people starting out, birds who are really afraid of new things or people who couldn't spare a lot of time. The idea was to have something else in the bowl that they had to work around to get to the seed. The original idea was recycled newspaper cat litter. I checked how much it cost and with how things are at the moment, I couldn't spare $11 for a massive bag of cat litter (and I didn't want to explain it to my parents!). I got back to Melbourne and dug around in my room. I found plastic beads. I've posted a "how to" thread in the main part of this forum section :rofl:
  13. I had an idea while cleaning out my room today... Background on captive foraging A bird's activity in the wild is divided into three categories: 1) foraging (looking for food), 2) socialising (interacting with flock members and mates) and 3) maintenance (preening, bathing and resting). As you might know from threads on captive foraging in this section of the forum, budgies in the wild would spend something like six hours of their day flying vast distances looking for food. Food isn't usually freely available either, they might need to dig or rip up things in order to get to the food. When they're not doing that, they socialise with their flock members and rest during the day. Pet birds take about five minutes to climb down to the food bowl, pick out their favourite seed (usually the most fattening because they taste the best), eat more than is required of their activity for the day, then go back up on their perch. They spend the remaining six hours of the day doing... what? They may do behaviour 2 (socialise) and play with their toys, other budgies or with people, but can they really do this for six hours? The other behaviour they can choose to do is to 3 (maintenance - preen and rest). So they spend much of their day not doing much, getting very bored (and birds can't actually tell you they're experiencing this), which eventually leads to mental stress and/or obesity. (Can you imagine having nothing to do but sit in a room, play with the same old toys and maybe chat with a friend once in a while - all day - for your entire life?). It is well established that obesity leads to liver disease and shortened life span. The idea of captive foraging is to increase the time they spend looking for food, like they would be in the wild. It's natural and good for them. This reduces boredom and increases their activity. It gives them something to do and it simulates a natural environment. It is also very rewarding and fun for an owner to help set this up. Anything we can do to increase their foraging activity (even if it just means they spend longer picking out their favourite seed) can help them. So here is my idea. You will need: A packet of plastic beads. OR a packet of glass marbles, or glass pebbles (the ones for decorating vases or fish tanks), or recycled paper cat litter. Pretty much anything that's safe to chew on and takes up space. That is all. I used beads. They cost me all of $1 at the reject sjop. Make sure they're too big for your budgie to swallow. Pony beads or bigger are best. Step 1. If your bird is a neophobe and won't go anywhere near anything new, put a single bead into their food bowl. That's all. See how they react to it. If it takes them the whole day to get used to it being there that's okay. Leave it like that for a few days if you like. Step 2. If your birds are like mine and will investigate anything new, put a few in their food bowl. Choose colours they're familiar with - mine love broccoli and carrots, therefore ...and a sunflower seed as a bribe! Step 3. Every day, put a few more beads in. Put in new colours slowly. Keep it the same until your birds get used to the change. It can take hours to the whole day. If your birds are really fearful of new things and you want to take it slow, change the bead number very slowly - even weekly - instead. Step 4. This is your goal. The aim is to have the volume of beads far outweigh the volume of seeds. They still have their normal amount of seed in there, but now there are beads in it too. So what's the point? In order to get to the seeds, your budgie has to shove all the beads aside, constantly. It can't just dive into the bowl and have free acess to all it wants. It has to spend time working for its food. Anything we can do to get them foraging- working for their food and making them spend longer looking for it- will keep their minds occupied for a bit longer. If you're worried about your budgies chucking the beads out of the bowl and making a mess (I'm not, since this gives them something to do!) try using marbles, which they can't actually pick up. Simple and effective. :rofl:
  14. Budgies in the wild live in a huge flock. There is safety in numbers. A bird separated from the flock is easy prey for predators to hunt. The flock is safety. They don't really understand being by themselves if they've grown up with all their friends (in the aviary and then the pet store). Birds in a flock call out to each other so they know they're still safe. This is probably what's happening to your budgie, he is alone and he thinks he's in danger without all the members of his flock. That's why he is "in love", or rather he want his flock so he can feel safe. It happens to all new budgies if there's one already in the house, it makes no difference if they are both males or both females or not. Despite this we MUST quarantine. It may feel cruel or seem a waste of time, but trust me it can save both bird's lives! By quarantining we can find out if the new bird is sick and get it treated, and it won't have passed it onto the old bird that you probably love a lot. As others have stressed quarantine is extremely important.
  15. There are three bird-specific clinics with registered bird vets in Victoria. They are: Burwood Bird and Animal Hospital Dr Patricia MacWhirter and Dr Phil Sacks 128 Highbury Road Burwood 3125 http://birdclinic.net/ 03 9808 9011 Melbourne Bird Veterinary Clinic Dr Colin Walker and Dr Corrie Pinkster 1 George St, Scoresby, Victoria 3179, Australia http://www.auspigeonco.com.au/ + 61 3 9764 9000 Springvale Animal Hospital Dr Matthew Gosbell and Dr Ruth Barrett 570 Springvale Road Springvale South VIC 3172 Phone 03 9546 5022 http://www.sahvet.com.au/ The following places will also see birds, they're not specialists but know more about birds than regular dog-and-cat vets: Melbourne School of Veterinary Science Dr Tina Knight 250 Princes Hwy Werribee 3030 03 9741 3500 Templestowe Veterinary Clinic 288 Manningham Road, Lower Templestowe 3106 (03) 9850 5046 They're all I can think of.
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