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10 September 2007 @ 01:03 pm
 
Since I have asked for introductions, I should be the one to start.

Most people call me Emmy, it's shorter then my name is. I am a vet tech and working towards being an avian vet soon, although I am not currently working. I have six cockatiels (Andrew, Tammy, Autumn, Billy, Apollo, and Diana), a Yorkshire Terrier (Elvis), an Australian Shepard (Prada, although she is technically my fiance's I love and care for her too), two cats (WussyBoy and Dallas, also my fiance's but loved and cared for by me), and three desert tortoises (Henrietta, Humphrey, and Jojo). Autumn, Tammy, Apollo, Elvis, and Henrietta are disabled. I have fostered animals with physical or behavioral problems until they were healthy enough for adoptions.

Please excuse my spelling, I know it is far from the best and if Firefox spellcheck doesn't recognize what I am trying to type I usually leave it as it is. Feel free to correct words if you would like, I am not insulted by it (just please don't do that for others unless they state that you can).

I know a bit personally about physical, neurological, and psychological disorders. I have Tourettes Syndrome, Pervasive Development Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS, an autistic disorder similar to aspergers), ADHD (forgetful/inattentive type), OCD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety. I was born with a weak heart, a lower back spinal deformity (spinal stenosis of L5 and S1 pinching my spinal cord), and strabismus/amblyopia (cross eye/lazy eye) that eventually lead to blindness in my "bad eye" and poor vision, photosensitivity, and no night vision in my "good eye". I also have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) left untreated for eight years, Chron's disease, and an as yet undiagnosed degenerative nerve disorder causing weakness, loss of movement and feeling in my legs, seizures, pain, fatigue, and forgetfulness. It is thought to be MS but MRIs are inconclusive and I have not yet had a spinal tap, though I am having a nerve biopsy the 12th.

I have had experience with an African Gray with severe hypocalcemia, an Umbrella Cockatoo with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a budgie with end-stage liver disease, hyperthyroid, and osteoporosis, a mutt who was allergic to everything, including dog dander, a Pekingese puppy with a heart murmur and liver shunts, and a desert tortoise who was taken from the wild as a baby and raised for ten years by a young boy as a water turtle with a diet of only iceberg lettuce, causing lung problems, a shell and claws with the strength of wet tissue paper, stunted growth, and most internal organs stuck against the top of his shell and poorly developed. The tortoise and budgie were kept as comfortable as possible by me for 8 months in the tortoise's case, and 6 in the budgie's case, and the mutt was owned by the state who decided that her care was too expensive and euthanized her. All of the others were later adopted by wonderful owners and are still living happy, healthy lives.

Autumn, my "Queen cockatiel" has arthritis and a nervous disorder caused by severe hypocalcemia (lack of calcium). She no longer has seizures, but is still uncoordinated and often "star gazes", a symptom of a nervous problem in birds where their head tips backwards and stays like that for a while. Her arthritis only gets worse as she gets older, and she is 18 now. Due to raised kidney enzymes, I am unable to use common pain medications to treat her arthritis without causing kidney disease. Apollo, my crazy bird, is missing one of his feet from something that happened long before I got him. His stump causes him no pain, and he gets around amazingly well. Tammy, my "baby" was thrown from a high nest as a chick and the breeder did not see her until she seemed to be dead. She had a shattered right wing, dehydration, malnutrition, something wrapped around her left leg, multiple wounds from the fall, multiple infections from being left there, and only dirt and parasites were found in her crop from a desperate attempt at survival. She was four weeks old when I found her, and despite the opinions of four different vets, she pulled through! She is four years old now, and still skinny, uncoordinated, and has some pain in her right wing, but is otherwise amazingly healthy. I say she has "perpetual chick disorder" because her injuries seem to have left her at a chick state, including begging for food when stressed and screaming when scared. Amazingly enough, she can fly! Diana had liver disease when I adopted her, but she is perfectly healthy now.

The bird cage is set up to accommodate them the best I can, with multiple rope perches, perches wrapped in vet wrap to make them soft and easy to grip, and platforms for them to rest on. There is one heated perch and that does wonders for Autumn's arthritis and for keeping her warm during the winter. All perches, toys, and food dishes are connected by ladders or rope perches. There are more food dishes then there are birds to prevent other birds from pushing the disabled birds out of the food dishes. All of the food dishes are up high and two are placed so that while sitting on a platform they would only have to lean over to eat. This is best while Autumn is having very bad pain days. In their old cage I removed the grate and put dish towels under the newspaper to prevent injury in case of a fall, but there is no way to do that in their new cage, so there are cheap towels placed over the grate as padding. Their cage is wide enough that they do not bump their wings during a night fright. There is "white noise" from an air filter at night and there are no hanging toys to bump into near their sleeping spots to prevent night frights. They all get a bit of warm mushy food (baby food vegetables, pureed fruit or vegetables, or cooked sweet potato or pumpkin) on a spoon at night, which keeps Tammy calm and also works wonders for stressed, sick, or anxious birds. Their food never includes colors or ethoxyquin, and this simple change stopped Autumn's seizures altogether. I make sure Autumn gets mild exercise via flying or flapping every day. I add ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper, glucosamine sulfate, MSM, ground flax seed, and red palm oil to their food daily for the pain relief from ginger, turmeric, and cayenne pepper, the joint and nerve aid from the oils in flax seed and red palm oil, the joint and muscle aid from the glucosamine and MSM, and the anti-inflammatory effects of ginger. These supplements are supported by my vet, please do not add them without talking to your vet first, especially if your bird is on any medication.

I gave Tammy hemp seeds or walnut pieces to add weight to her once she was past the critical stage to aid her to a healthy weight. When she was out of an incubator but could not yet perch and her right wing was still bandaged, she was kept in a long, short cage with ferret ramps to get around on and food placed on paper towels that were held on with metal-free clothespins. I used 1/2 capful Aloe Detox by Lily of the Valley, 1/2 tsp of lemon juice, or 1 tbsp of organic apple cider vinegar in Diana's water to treat her liver disease, a diet low in fat and high in vitamin B, light exercise, fresh wheat grass in her food, and a supplement mix that I would lightly sprinkle on her wet food that contained 1/2 tsp milk thistle, 2 tsp barley grass powder, 1 tsp turmeric, 2 tsp wheat germ, and 1 tbsp ground flax seed.

Elvis, my Yorkie, had severe social anxiety and idiopathic epilepsy when adopted, but the anxiety was mostly treated until he was about 14. With He is 16 now, and has many problems that plague old dogs, such as kidney disease, arthritis, and senility. He eats Royal Canin kidney treatment food with a splash of salmon oil and 1/4 chewable antacid every other day, and this helps with both his kidney disease and senility. DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone, available at your vet) dispensers are in every room of the house to keep him calm, and there is a blanket or pillow for him to "claim" in all of his favorite rooms. He gets one glucosamine sulfate/chondrotin supplement mixed with a soft treat such as cheese, meat, or peanut butter on the day he does not get a crushed antacid. He is almost impossible to give pills to, but will accept it if it is wrapped in food. I just need to hold his mouth until both treat and pill get swallowed. The supplements so far keep his arthritis under control and nothing else is needed. He gets Phenobarbital once a month, but when his seizures were worse immediately after adoption (I think due to low quality food and hypoglycemia, but I can't be positive) he needed it once a week. After a seizure, which are rare now and happen less then once every three months (yay!), he gets 1/2 tsp of honey in his mouth.

Henrietta was found by my dad after being hit by a construction truck, her shell was broken and many of the organ kept near the center of the shell, mainly her lungs, were damaged. Her shell was wrapped in vet wrap for two months and healed on it's own with the help of a very good diet sprinkled with a calcium supplement, but she was too attached to humans to be released. She is now mostly healthy, but still has a few problems with her lungs. Her burrow is pointing down to prevent it from flooding, and has a tarp over it to prevent water from seeping through the dirt and wood it is made out of because she gets an upper respiratory infection every time she gets too wet. She is only offered a bathing dish for a half hour once a week because she will soak in it the entire time it is out there, even if it is out there 24/7. Besides, with the water content in the diet she gets, the fact that food is available twice daily, and the fact that she is indeed a desert tortoise, she doesn't even need a bathing dish once a week!

Now, the fun part: Pictures!

Tammy
Tammy looking cute

Autumn
Autumn on the windowsill soaking up sun

Apollo
Apollo also on the windowsill, trying to mimic outside birds

Elvis
Elvis napping in the sun with his beloved plush pig

Henrietta
Henrietta after coming through the open back door to have her neck pet

Peter, the sick budgie talked about earlier, getting preened by my cockatiel Jesse
My beloved fearless Peter, the sick budgie I talked about earlier. Never once did he act like he was sick, he was always very happy and energetic and inspired everyone. His best friend was Jesse, my baby cockatiel who is preening him in this picture. I know both of them are happy across the Rainbow Bridge together right now.

I hope this wasn't too long and boring!
 
 
Current Mood: chipperchipper
 
 
 
picklebootpickleboot on December 1st, 2007 04:30 am (UTC)
not boring at all! i am going to do my intro right now! no pictures though- sorry about that, my camera is acting up.