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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. In an earlier post, I had mentioned that I noticed a bare patch on the edge of Kiwi’s right wing. I assumed at the time that she had perhaps preened some of the feathers out or something of that nature and that it would resolve. It hasn’t resolved and it looks like it is now a bit bigger. As I mentioned, I have not yet been able to get an appointment with her avian vet earlier than December.

I have a mobile vet in this little rural place I now live in who will come to your home to do routine checkups, vaccinations and the like. She came by today to give our puppy his boosters and had a look at Kiwi. She seems to think it is a growth of some sort but doesn’t know what it is as she is not familiar with avian issues. She kindly said she would do a little research on it and was glad to hear I have an avian vet (which led to a good discussion on the lack of vets and the issues it is presenting). So all I know right now is that it isn’t just a bald spot but some kind of growth that seems to be getting bigger. We ruled out any injuries and as she was handling her wing, she wasn’t showing any signs of pain so that is good news. I am going to follow up with the avian vet again with this info. I will keep you posted.

Oh and I now have a folded towel in the bottom of her cage so her occasional little falls are having a much softer landing. I got the perches down a bit too and am working on that very slowly. Just lots of cuddle time for my sweet green girl. 💚
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I called the avian vet today and explained but still no openings before December 7th and no cancellation list. The woman I talked to was very new though so I will try again later this week. I’m not sure she understood the significance of what I was explaining to her, although how “vet said growth of some sort” and “she’s 19 years old” does not create a sense of urgency to anyone with even the tiniest touch of common sense is beyond me. Sigh.
 

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Still no luck? I am so sorry to hear this, Jackie. It really sucks. It is crazy to me that there are so many bird owners out there and so few avian vets available. It is really sad. There are dog and cat hospitals around every corner! Have you checked to see if there are any universities that have a veterinary school with an avian department? My vet on his website lists a few vets he recommends if he is not available. Can your vet recommend anyone? I can only imagine how upsetting and worrying this is for you. Kiwi is so special. We all love her. I am sending you some {{hugs}} and I want you to give sweet little Kiwi some scritches from her Auntie Anya. I am keeping you both in my prayers! 💚
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Anya. I don’t think I would take her to a vet school at her age but it is great thinking! It could be useful to suggest to those without access to an avian vet. I will, however, ask them if they can recommend someone. That’s a good idea and can’t hurt. When I went to them, they were the only game in town for birds. Maybe that has changed. I will also look around closer to where I now live. The vet is now 2 hours away one way (rather than 20 minutes) but Kiwi enjoys the car and I really like and trust this vet so it isn’t a problem. I told them that as well but it didn’t change anything. I will try what you suggest. It’s upsetting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So the vet that came to vaccinate our puppy has not had any success identifying what this growth could be so she is going to post photos on her vet forum to see if anyone has ideas. Still no luck getting an earlier avian vet appointment. It has definitely gotten bigger.

I have been wondering what I would do with the information I would get anyway, given her age. I still really want to know what it is and to be sure she’s not in any pain (I can touch it and it doesn’t elicit a pain reaction), but I have my doubts I would allow any invasive treatment. Not because of cost but because of her age. A vet once told me (in relation to cancer treatment for my cat) that people are concerned for the quality of life for their pets but for humans, it is often about quantity (which was why chemo treatments for pets were so much less aggressive than for people). It’s so true. I feel like anything invasive at this stage of her life would do more damage to her quality of life than just managing it so she’s comfortable. Just my musings as I chase off worry and sadness. Too soon for those emotions.

Here are the photos I sent the vet. I will let you know when I hear anything further. Would love to have your prayers, healing vibes or whatever good, positive thoughts you are able to send our way.

Bird Parrot Beak Feather Nail

Bird Hand Eye Parrot Beak
 

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It almost looks like a fatty deposit from here. Not sure what you can do in that case for a parrotlet for a person it is a very minor invasive thing that causes no pain.
 
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I do not even know what to say, I feel so bad for you. This is just so wrong. It is the not knowing that is so darn hard. If your avian vet would just look at a picture of Kiwi. He might be able to give you an idea of what it is. Still keeping you and Kiwi in my prayers. You two are covered! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I had a reply from my puppy’s vet after she posted the photos of Kiwi on her vet forum. Some are suggesting it may be xanthoma, which is what Ozzie was suggesting, a fatty deposit on the wing. It’s more common in cockatiels and budgies who have high fat seed diets or metabolic disorders. The vet forum obviously recommends she sees an avian vet. Not like I haven’t been trying that forever. Nutritional therapy can help and they recommend a pellet diet with fruit and veggies. That is her diet but I am going to monitor it (and mine) to reduce some of those fats that may be getting in there. As you may recall, she eats whatever we do so I will watch what that means. I do feed her chia seeds quite a bit - she loves them and they are a better fat than bird seed - but I may be overdoing it. I will cut those back as well. Even if my avian vet determines that is not what this is, it won’t hurt to reduce fats and take more careful note of what she’s eating anyway. The images I saw on the internet aren’t really what this looks like, so who knows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So some good news today - I was able to get an appointment for Kiwi in November 10th instead of December 7th. That’s something. It isn’t with her usual avian vet, but it is at least with an avian vet in the same place. Kiwi is doing fine, by the way. She’s certainly not showing any signs of illness or pain and is in her usual routine ir naps, eating and out time. We all know they are masters at hiding illness or pain, but there are none of the subtle signs like sleeping on both feet or fluffed out feathers. At least I have something a little closer. Keep those prayers and good vibes coming our way!
 

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So some good news today - I was able to get an appointment for Kiwi in November 10th instead of December 7th. That’s something. It isn’t with her usual avian vet, but it is at least with an avian vet in the same place. Kiwi is doing fine, by the way. She’s certainly not showing any signs of illness or pain and is in her usual routine ir naps, eating and out time. We all know they are masters at hiding illness or pain, but there are none of the subtle signs like sleeping on both feet or fluffed out feathers. At least I have something a little closer. Keep those prayers and good vibes coming our way!
Well that is somewhat better news. I do question any avian vet that will not take a sick bird immediately. That is something the vet needs to address within their organization. As fragile as our charges are it is puzzling that a exotic vet would do that. I am lucky enough to have a couple of avian vets in my area. One is appointment only and the time I needed an immediate appointment and the appointment person would not provide they did escalate it to the vet that made time in his day for us. Our second avian vet is part of a popular practice that is first come first seen schedule. They figure if it is worth the wait it is worth their attention.
 

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I am so glad that you are getting an appointment a month earlier, but I agree with Ozzie. It is a scary knowing that there are avian doctors out there are turning people away with birds that need immediate attention. Even if they kept one spot open every day for emergency situations would help. Hopefully, you can get them to move the appointment up some more! I am still keeping you and Kiwi in my prayers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks guys. If I could get through to the vet herself, I am certain it would be different. I get hung up with this one person who has been there for ages and despite my sense of urgency, explanation of the growth and that it’s getting bigger and Kiwi’s age, it doesn’t change her approach. I had one girl late in the day who had been there for a week so she had no idea what she was doing. It is so bizarre to me because in the 18 years I have been going there, this has never been the case. Quite the opposite. When Kiwi had a gastric yeast infection, I was there within an hour. I will be talking to the vet about it but now I am not seeing our regular one who has over 30 years there. I am still going to try to get an earlier appointment. I am calling at different times of the day to see if I can get around this person. Ridiculous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Kiwi’s appointment is next Thursday. I will be really happy to talk to an avian vet about this. It is definitely getting bigger.

I have been monitoring what she is eating quite carefully and she is definitely favouring those chia seeds, like almost to the exclusion of everything else. She does eat her birdie bread and a few pellets, but over the past few weeks I have been struggling to get her to eat any veggies, even her absolute faves like broccoli and romaine lettuce. She will eat kiwis but ignores other fruits and berries. And even if I feed her by hand. She just gets Hostile and grabs it throwing it to the ground. I even cut the tops Off the broccoli so it is like a bunch of little green seed (which she usually loves) and she will have nothing to do with it. I am having quite a time of it with her lately. I have reduced the chia seeds and skip days giving her any. She will nibble on other things but then dives into the chia seeds when they go back in. Lots to discuss on Thursday.
 

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Finally! Less than a week till Kiwi gets looked at! Thank God for that. I am feeling relieved about it, so I can only imagine how you are feeling! Jackie, write down those questions to ask the vet. You do not want to forget anything. I would definitely ask for his email address so you do not have to go through the yo-yo's at the front desk. Kiwi is not eating her regular food? I can understand why you do not want to be feeding her chia seeds all the time, but just be careful she isn't losing weight. That is something you might want to monitor regularly. I have been thinking of you and Kiwi and I am still keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. I know this has not been easy. Kiwi is very special on this forum and we all want her to be okay. Sending you {{hugs}}. Hang in there, okay? We are here for you.💚
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Finally! Less than a week till Kiwi gets looked at! Thank God for that. I am feeling relieved about it, so I can only imagine how you are feeling! Jackie, write down those questions to ask the vet. You do not want to forget anything. I would definitely ask for his email address so you do not have to go through the yo-yo's at the front desk. Kiwi is not eating her regular food? I can understand why you do not want to be feeding her chia seeds all the time, but just be careful she isn't losing weight. That is something you might want to monitor regularly. I have been thinking of you and Kiwi and I am still keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. I know this has not been easy. Kiwi is very special on this forum and we all want her to be okay. Sending you {{hugs}}. Hang in there, okay? We are here for you.💚
Thanks Anya. That is very kind of you. I am monitoring her weight, not to worry. I am also ensuring she is eating sufficiently even if that is chia seeds. She does still eat what I am eating, although I am noticing what she’s focusing on and what she’s leaving behind. I am just a bit surprised at myself that I didn’t notice this shift in her eating before now. She has always been such a good eater - maybe a bit fussy on how she likes her veggies - but pretty much digs into whatever I give her (with some notable exceptions - no offence kale…). It is a good lesson for people with older birds to not get complacent and to keep an eye on their dishes or how often they turn their beak up at previously liked foods. I don’t think I have been paying proper attention. This past while has been revealing and I am disappointed in myself for taking it for granted.

I should mention it has caused me to look at my own diet and be a bit abashed. I definitely need to do better. Home renos have become an excuse a bit too often over the past year and a half.

I will let you know how it goes on Thursday. I am relieved it is finally happening and will have a discussion about the situation with the vet for sure. I am not shy to have candid conversations when something needs to be addressed. And this certainly does.

Kiwi and I are having lots of cuddle time and she is lively and otherwise appearing to be normal. If her wing is bothering her, she’s not showing it. The weather here has been beautiful and warm so she has had outside time as well and had quite an animated bath yesterday. I know she will enjoy the car ride to the vet on Thursday. The vet, probably not so much.
 

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Hey, don't beat yourself up and doubt yourself as a good birdie mom! You are a great one! Truly, Jackie, you are! Kiwi is a lucky little bird to have you! She has been loved ever since you first set eyes on her. I know you take the best care of her! Things can easily be over looked at times. We have all done that. None of us have this perfect.
That is awesome that you are able to still take Kiwi outside for fresh air and sunshine! I am sure she loves it! 😎 Right now, it has been just a little too cool where I am to take Pugsley outside. I had him out last week. I bought a food cart to put his cage on and I can wheel him out to the balcony. So easy peasy! It works great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hello all. Well, we got to see the vet today and there is a lot to tell you. I will give a little 2-part update - this one will be about the growth on Kiwi's wing and the second one will be in a new thread. Kiwi is currently snuggled up in my hair, grinding her beak. It was a big day for her - 6 hours total on the road, including her time with the vet. Long day for an old girl ... and for Kiwi! LOL!

Bottom line - we don't really know what the growth on Kiwi's wing is, although it is a tumour of some sort. Kiwi was acting very odd when she was there - she literally curled up and went to sleep in the plastic terrarium they put her in to weigh her. The vet was quite concerned with her behaviour and didn't feel it was wise to take blood with her in that condition (I need to segue here to tell you I ended up with a very experienced avian vet and tech - not the newer one I thought I was booked in with, but more on that later). Make that, she was unwilling to do it for fear she might die. So she wasn't able to say for sure what kind of tumour it was, but she did say that it didn't seem to be bothering Kiwi at all so we should just keep an eye on it for now. She did say amputation would probably be the only treatment but we both agreed that was not going to happen, especially at Kiwi's age. But we are not there yet. Nor will we ever be. Not at 18.5 years old. It is possible that it is a xanthoma (a fatty tumour) but it is not clear. We will see where it all goes.

So that's pretty much it on the wing growth for now. Not much there but I did learn more on other matters that I would like to share with you, so if you are interested, read my next thread "Medical Update on Kiwi" which I will write after I get Kiwi settled for the night. Silly bird.
 

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I have been thinking about Kiwi ever since I got up this morning. I am so glad to hear she made the trip okay. What a little trooper she is! Bless her little heart! I am glad your vet is not suggesting amputation as an option. Not just because of Kiwi's age, but because our little guys are just too small for something so drastic. I'm glad she is home with her mama getting lots of love. Thanks for updating us. I admit, I was really starting to worry! You must be feeling a little emotionally drained. All the waiting and not knowing must have been terrible.You bet I will be reading your next post! Look forward to hearing what your vet had to say!
 
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