Frightful Night-Terror
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Frightful Night-Terror Expand / Collapse
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Posted 7/20/2009 1:09:25 PM
Fledgling

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Let me start off by saying I am posting this simply to share an experience and to help other learn from it.  Please keep judgmental responses to a minimum.  Thanks!

Quick summary/update since my last post months ago:  Anya (our cockatiel) has been very healthy and happy for several months.  We switched vets due to a bad experience with our last one.  Our new vet, although very expensive, is also board certified.  Additionally, the facility is open 24 hours.  At her recent well-bird checkup, all looked good.  The bloodwork showed a slight deficiency in calcium and protein, but we have a follow up in 3 months, and the vet did not feel that we are feeding her wrong.  She was probably malnourished when we bought her.  Now on with my story...

Last Wednesday night Anya had a Night Terror.  It was only her 2nd time since we got her.  The first time was several months ago.  We woke up around 3:30 to find her terrified and thrashing about.  We turned on the light and sat and calmed her down.  Once she relaxed enough, I opened her cage to let her out.  She had broken a couple of blood feathers and was bleeding.

We called the vet, but our primary vet is on maternity leave, and the nearest avian vet was a long way off considering the hour and travel time.  The blood wasn't too bad and actually stopped pretty quickly.  I put a little styptic powder on her to help stop the bleeding.

***I have since learned that this is very bad to do.  Its ok on their nails, but can seriously burn their skin.  She suffered a minor burn under each wing from this error, but the vet has since said that she is healing ok.  Please learn from my mistake.  You should only apply pressure for 10-15 minutes using a tissue.

Anyway, we cleaned her up and decided that her blood feather was not severe to warrant the middle of the night trip to the vet.  She went back to sleep and all was well.

We checked on her again in the morning, and when we got home from work.  She seemed fine.

Two days later (Friday), we came home late from a movie and she was covered in blood.  The poor thing must have re-injured her broken feathers and there was blood all over her perches, in her food, in her water (so much so that it was dyed red).  I was terrified, as I don't know how much blood they can lose, but I didn't want to learn.

We immediately took her to the emergency room with no thought.  The vet on staff knew enough about how to treat broken blood feathers, and already had access to her files, etc.  She stopped the bleeding, removed the broken feathers, and calmed both Anya, and us down.

We got her to bed around 3am, and she was lethargic all the next day (as you can imagine).  By the end of the weekend, she was back to her old self and we were able to give her a bath.  The amount of dries blood in her feathers was really sad, but now she is looking pretty as ever.

We have always been back and forth on the nightlight issue.  We have decided on a "compromise".  We put one in the room, a small one in a big room, at the other side, and half hidden.  This allows for enough darkness to let the birds sleep without being cranky, yet does not leave them in total darkness.  We hope to never have to go through that again.

If anyone has any other stories of cockatiel night terrors, please post here.  I would love to know if there is a tried and true way to reduce them.

We learned a great deal from our first true "emergency" test, and will obviously do things much different next time.  I hope this helps someone else be a little more prepared for their first emergency.

Post #215086
Posted 7/20/2009 1:49:51 PM


Fully Fledged

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No judgement here!  A lot of caring for birds comes down to trial and error.  I never left a night light  until I had a budgie that had night frights on a regular basis.  I now have a small night light for them which is kind of off to the side and not shining on any of them directly and it has worked wonders.  No more night frights!

Kermit's Mom (Robin)
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Post #215089
Posted 7/20/2009 2:26:10 PM


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K&T Dad... I feel your pain and terror!! We have experienced this about 4 times and it never gets easier. Most of the time our WHOLE flock goes into a night terror. Luckily we have not had to deal with this very often at all. The main fright was due to the fact we had changed all their cages around. The next day they were changed back. I really am sold on the night light thing. We have two in the bird room and the kitchen light is on as well. Our Tiel really hasn't had any besides when the whole flock did. You guys did great in this hectic time and it is great you shared this with us all. You learned through dealing with the process and others have learned because you shared this valuable experience with us! I am raising my glass to everyone for a "Fright" free night for all!


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Post #215091
Posted 7/20/2009 2:28:56 PM


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K&T Dad... Oopse forgot! Just to add to this.. It is a very good idea for all bird owners to have a Birdie first aide kit handy that includes any vets numbers and addresses


See our Flock! www.buffaloparrot.com
Buffalo Parrot Squawk Forums

1. Senegal Parrot(Kito) 1. Pacific Parrotlet(Tupi)

5. Peach Faced Lovebirds(Tarzan & Jane, BP, Chance & Baby)

2. Cockatiels(Miah)RIP & (Squiggy) 1. Green Cheeked Conure(Chico)

1. Lineolated Parakeet(Chile) 1. Bourke's Parakeet(Aussie)

1. Black Capped Conure(Julio) 1. Budgerigar(Anni)

2. Indian Ring Necked Parakeets(Taj & Mahal)

1. Scarlet Chested Parakeet(Sydney)









Post #215092
Posted 7/20/2009 3:16:08 PM


Fledgling

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I know birds have really good vision, but I'm wondering, does anyone know how good their night vision is? I know there is generally ample natural light at night to navigate as long as you are in the open, but at what point does the amount of light become too much for a bird to go into REM sleep? Do birds even do that?

Oh, Charlie!
Post #215095
Posted 7/20/2009 6:32:52 PM


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No judgmental responses here. Well here's the deal. teils do not have very good night vision. There perception is on moving shadows. And of course being prey birds, everyone and everything is a possible predator. They can react to lightning or fluttering of a moths wings or moving curtain. Perhaps the headlights of a passing car. A steady small light source really does cut down night terrors. My fids sleep in my bedroom, and as much as I hate it, I have a night light on for them. (to me it's like Vegas billboard glare) But I love them, so I do it. I too agree with K&TD, about keeping an emergency kit. Here is a great, informative thread on Avian Emergency Kits.
http://board.birdchannel.com/Topic177982-35-1.aspx?Highlight=emergency+kit

Jim, have you consider using cornstarch for light bleeding?




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Post #215098
Posted 7/20/2009 6:33:40 PM


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Oh man I am sorry to hear of your frightening ordeal. 

I have heard of using nightlights too and I do have them in my house for the kids so as they get older I will keep them to prevent my birds from having frights.  I figure it can't hurt and since they are already used to them being there...

Good luck and I hope all continues to be well.

Post #215099
Posted 7/20/2009 6:59:59 PM


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I'm an advocate of having a night light in a room with a bird. Also, if I am walking around when it is dark I quietly reassure Pepper that it's me and he's safe.

A few summers ago Pepper had a night fright, which I believe was caused by a stainless steel toy part falling to the grate. The image below is what I collected the next morning from what had been his just cleaned cage:



Good luck in avoiding night frights in the future and being prepared to deal with them if one occurs.



http://www.senegalparrot.net

Post #215101
Posted 7/20/2009 8:33:46 PM


Big Talker

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Oh gosh night frights not a fun one at all.  Last one that occured in my house occured with mystic.  Lets say i was not awake at all.  Made so many mistakes with taht one oopsies!  So she was thrasing around so i uncovered her and opened her door then decided to kinda grab her to calm her down (yea i was an idiot)  Then i took her out where she escaped from me and flew aroundf my room a couple of times.  Oh and of course i forgot to turn on the light.  yea well then she flew to the floor and i was able to get her back in her cage.  Her night fright was over but things couldve gone smoother by alot  Yeesh idiot me lol

Erica

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Post #215109
Posted 7/20/2009 8:51:48 PM


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Erines, It's all about the journey. Mystic lived, and you are wiser.



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Garth-"M'boy"-Germ Shep R.I.P


Post #215110
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