Mario’s rehabilitation….

Mario’s recovery has been nothing short of spectacular. I must admit when he came to us I really was not sure he would live. He had not been eating properly for three weeks before his surrender and initial trip to the vet. It’s sad to see so many pet birds not receiving proper nutrition and Mario was a prime example. For the most part, I think there is still a great deal to learn about the nutritional needs of these birds. Mario was only 8 yrs. old, but he had been fed seed and fruits and veggies since he was young. His mother followed the instructions and guidance she was provided when she adopted him, but it proved to be inadequate. Eventually, the lack of necessary vitamins and minerals takes its toll on the body and infections or disease can take over. There are a few other birds that I will be writing about in the future that have come to me with similar issues…some are recovering nicely, while others are still building a healthy immune system.

Another important and essential aspect to Mario’s recovery is the psychological and emotional aspect of his life. I have mentioned the extreme flailing and distress encountered when it was necessary to hold and medicate him. He would also swing back and forth – while hanging upside down in his cage. I think behavior was probably the most disturbing to me. I discussed it with Dr. W. who said it was like those lions you see at the zoo…you know the ones that pace back and forth in their enclosures. It was sad to see him behave this way, but it was part of the package… and I am sure he is not the first parrot to exhibit this behavior. It was also impossible to get Mario to ‘step up’ onto anyone’s hand. He would bite relentlessly- out of fear. About five months ago I decided it was time for me to just ‘take the bite’ and get him to step up on to my hand. Within a few days he was doing so with minimal biting. Next was petting his head, which has actually been much easier than I would have thought. Mario LOVES his head scratched and will sit for as long as I will have him, enjoying that scratching….He stills exhibits the swinging behavior, although not as frequently. I am hoping to get some video to post here so you can see him in action.

He's a curious boy....

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