Sunday, November 2, 2008

Little Miss Lola

Lola was brought into a chain petstore, on a lady's shoulder, without even a cage or any favorite items. According to the lady, she had had her for eight years, but did not have enough time for her any more, and so Lola had started plucking.

I put Lola in quarantine, and immediately noticed several things. One, her balance was horrible, so bad she stayed in a horizontal position. She was loosing weight, and had a head tremor. Her feathers were extremely dark and greasy, along with her plucking problem on her chest and under wings. She also had seizures, which are not fun at all for either of us. During these seizures, her left side would go completely limp, and she would jerk all over before collapsing. Although showers did help the feathers, somewhat, the rest needed something more, obviously.

She was diagnosed with heavy metal poisoning. As I did not want to put her through chelation immediately, having been through it myself and knowing how awful it is, I decided to try alternative liver support and aloe detox. After about two weeks of this, Lola was already bit better, and I continued it for another 4 weeks. After that was over, I put her on high doses of probiotics to build up her system. The difference these supplements made, along with a healthy diet, sunlight, and exercise, was amazing.

I also got her over to a very healthy diet, which was not very hard, as she was willing to try almost anything. She also soon learned to love toys, though she did not move around much, and tended to stay in one place. She could not fly, so as I waited for her wings to grow out and her strength to return, I slowly worked on getting her a little bit more exercise every day.

After quarantine, I introduced her to Frank. He was immediately interested in her, as she was in him. However, after she found out that he would not answer her calls, and did not know how to act around other birds, she began to get annoyed. I put their cages next to each other, and left it at that for a while. They soon began to enjoy being together, and talked to each other all day. I let them out on the playgym together frequently, when I was there to supervise. Slowly, very slowly, they became friends, in their own way. Eventually, as they wanted to share a cage, I put them together in a flight cage.

Lola is now a much happier bird, as is Frank. They spend all day playing hard, (so hard, in fact, I am replacing toys daily as they are destroyed) as well as yelling their opinions to the world, in human and quaker. Lola is also becoming a very good flyer, though she still has a bit to go.

She no longer plucks, so we are now just waiting for the feathers to come in. The first few feathers came in black, and caused a lot of swelling and pain (and were removed by her, along with some mutilating, another long story), so the follicles were obviously damaged. However, she is getting better with continuing detoxing every few months, and has feathers growing in almost everywhere except for one small area that may never get any, I don't know.

Lola loves attention from people, and is now so bonded to Frank, they both insist on being in the same room all the time. Her favorite activity with a person is, and I think always will be, cooking. She loves sitting on your shoulder as you mix things up, and just gets so excited with each new item you add, and so disappointed when I take her back to her cage (I don't let her in the kitchen if I am heating something on the stove or am opening the oven, so she has to leave before I start that.)

I know I have been incredibly lucky getting my birds to accept mates, and though it has certainly taken a lot of work to get them to that point, it is completely worth it to see how happy they become.

Lola, being her chatty little self.

A little relaxation time never hurt anyone, right?

Playing on the little bird gym,
and getting some special treats out of the foraging bowl.

Lola, in her own "urban" jungle.

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