Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Killing Elephant

November 2006: I found myself needing something small and helpless to care for. Enter Milo. She stood out among the other birds in the cage at the D&B, and I had to have her. I thought she was a male, but turns out I was wrong. Isn't she a beaut?

In the wild, parakeets flock together by the thousands, so Milo got lonely. She would just sit there on the perch all day long, barely moving. Even two parakeets together are lonely, but at least they're not completely alone. So in March I couldn't stand seeing such a lonely thing, so got her a she-friend, whose name is "Ele" (short for "Elephant", named by nephew Ethan.) Milo was beside herself with joy. Here they are together.

Last week I almost killed Ele. I thought I'd wait to write about it just in case she actually did die, but she's still alive.

Long story short: I clipped their wings (you have to do it every few months or so if you don't want them flying around the house). I thought while I had them there I would go ahead and clip their toenails. If they get too long they get their feet caught on things. Don't clip their toenails too short, or you might hit a vein and they will bleed. I hit Ele's vein but she only bled a little and it appeared to stop--so I didn't think much of it. Until I came home a few hours later and found bird blood all over the perches in their cage. Aaaaah!!!!

I ran and googled for help. They said use corn starch or flour. They also said that a bird can die after losing just a few drops of blood. Ele had lost much more than that. That's when I started to panic. She wouldn't stay still to let the cornstarch work--she just kept bleeding.

I took her to the vet (first time in my life--taking a pet there!) who said she wasn't sure, but it looked like not just her nail but part of her toe had been cut off too!!! Aaaaaah!!! That's right around when I started to cry. She had me come in the back while she worked on Ele, because "birds often die when they are in trauma like this, and I need you to be here to witness it. For vet liability issues." Aaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!! "I killed my parakeet."--that's all I could think, and the tears ran down. But I knew I had not clipped that much off--I'm very careful when doing that.
About 5 traumatic minutes later Tana, the vet, got the toe cleaned she said that actually it did look like just the nail had been cut after all. She applied "bloodstop" and the bleeding immediately stopped. She sent some bloodstop along with me and wished me luck. I'll admit I was grateful that she didn't charge me anything. The whole way home I wondered if Ele would die because of all she'd been through. So far so good. She's still chirping as annoyingly and loudly when "Amelia" is attempting to nap.

Here they are after a bird bath, looking like wet dogs!

10 comments:

Celia Fae said...

Poor birds! You are never allowed to cut my nails. Ever. Do you really use those giant scissors?

I'd like to see the bird blood on the perch. And I can't believe your vet didn't charge you!

Courtney said...

Trust me--I'm almost as traumatized as the bird. I scrubbed the perches as soon as I was in the mental state to do so. Unfortunately I wasn't thinking of my blog at the time. That's a good thing, right?

She wasn't the head vet--more like the assistant, and no one else was there. She took pity on me. I'm pretty sure my unstoppable tears had something to do with her not charging me, though it wasn't my intent (like it was in high school when I would get pulled over by a cop.) But after admiring Amelia and finding out I was a foster parent, she said she for sure wouldn't charge me! So cool. I'm sending her a card.

Nortorious said...

Oh! Poor little birds. I did that to my dog once and it hurt me much more than it hurt him.
I want a bird. I would name him Bard.

mamasuisse said...

Your title led me to believe Ele had died, but I'm glad the story has a happy ending. I'm also glad you clip their wings. Birds flying around the house totally freak me out.

Wendy said...

Poor little Ele. I'm glad she didn't die.

janelle said...

Such a traumatic pet story! I clipped one of Ava's nails and all of Zach's past the quick when they were newborns and felt sick after I saw the blood seep out from the nail. So sad for you! I'm glad the tears unintentionally got you a freebie. Cool vet.

Andrew & Rachel said...

Oh Courtney...I'm so glad Ele is okay, and you too! I was crying right along with you...I LOVE your blog!!!

brittany said...

oh, my! first of all, I am SO sorry that I gave you the wrong recipe!!!!!! That makes me so sad! all that work to make dinner and it didn't turn out right because of me. you'll have to try it again with the revisions when you're up for it. How funny though, that soup would only have 1 1/2 cups of liquid...

and your poor little birdies. it is so cute that you have little birds for pets. and I can tell you're a conciencious (sp) pet owner. I still haven't even gotten my cats fixed. I m a terrible pet owner.

Ellie said...

I think you should change her name to Giselle.

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