Meet Mario….

I had been fascinated with Greys, but after adding Favian I never thought I would have a small flock. As I previously mentioned, having worked with a Rescue, the crash of the economy brought many birds in and very few were being adopted.  One thing I have noticed about African Greys is they do seem to prefer a calm and quiet environment. This was the main reason they greys came to live with me.  One particularly dramatic case was that of Mario. His owner was a single young woman who had struggled with health issues and could no longer care for him. She was also concerned because Mario had stopped eating a few weeks before she had made the decision to give him up. He was a sad sight. Plucked, hanging upside down in his cage and afraid of everything (except his owner). It was traumatic for everyone as we tried to catch him and move him into a carrier. He ran, flailed and screamed and then began to hurt himself as he tried to run away from us while he was in his cage. We finally managed to catch him, get his cage into our car and we were off.


Mario was the most extreme case that I had personally seen since dealing with African Greys. He spent a great deal of time hanging upside down in his cage, swinging from side to side. He was, however, an exceptional talker. From that first night we heard him talking even though we had no idea what he was saying.  I awoke the next morning to find Mario hanging on the side of his cage in the exact same place and position he had been the night before. He had not eaten anything. I thought I would let him settle in for a few days before giving him a shower and taking him to the vet. However, it very quickly became clear that would not be possible. He began pacing, swinging and climbing all over the inside of his cage. He was also chewing on himself as if his skin was driving him crazy. It wasn’t until I gave him a quick shower that he was actually able to relax and take a nap.  Monday morning I phoned the vet and made an appt. to bring him in ASAP. I was extremely worried about him and thought if we didn’t get him some help quickly he would surely die.

Dr. W. ordered a feather picking panel. He also strongly suspected a yeast & bacterial dermatitis and Vitamin A deficiency. He noted the obvious behavioral issues, as Mario was swinging upside down from the inside of his carrier. While he was there they also gave him a syringe full of food. We left with food, an anti-inflammatory, sulfa drug, antibiotic and a list of additional treatment items. I was so overwhelmed at the thought of trying to catch this little guy twice a day to treat and feed him. I prayed he would get better and we would find a way to help him that would cause the least amount of stress. We were also now waiting for the test results to see exactly what was wrong with Mario…….


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