Giving heart medication to a parrot takes a bit of ingenuity…. and a lot of patience…and it also usually involves a mess and wasted food and some wasted medication… Good thing the medication isn’t terribly expensive, because his first prescription, which was supposed to be three months worth, lasted a month before we had to refill it.
When we discovered that Gizmo, our 30 year old feathered-monster-who-rules-the-house, has a heart murmur and was going to have to go on heart medication our own hearts sank. How does one get medication into something like this. Cats and dogs are easy. Pill pockets worked great for Loki (he didn’t realize he was a cat); most dogs won’t notice a pill hidden in Cheeze-whiz or peanut butter. And even if none of those work for cats and dogs, at least you can pin it down and shoot a pill or a shot of liquid medication down their throats without too much difficulty.
But a parrot…. Even a small parrot is roughly equivalent to a small shark. A big parrot can have a bite strength of up to 500-700 lbs per square inch. A small parrot, like this one, can still have a powerful bite and it gets concentrated into that pointy bit. Trust me, when this little fellow gets his knickers in a twist, his feathers puff out, his eyes pin, his wings come up, and he’s intimidating.
So we had to get creative.
We tried pasta, apple, crackers, bread, peanut butter, banana….. but he figured out that all of those things were….different from normal; or he likes it one day and not the next.
We thought we had it solved with Leslie Stowe raincoast crisps, but then he decided he didn’t like wet stuff on them.
So our latest iteration and sneaky trick is to dry the medication onto the cracker in a very low heat oven (doesn’t hurt the medication, which is just a powdered form compounded into something liquid and sweet) and offer it to him warm.
Usually works, but he “is” a 30 year old two-year-old, so there are days it goes well, and days that I want to pound my head on the counter in frustration.
Life with a parrot….
In every job that must be done
There is an element of fun
You find the fun and snap!
The job’s a game
And every task you undertake
Becomes a piece of cake
A lark! A spree! It’s very clear to see that
A Spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
The medicine go down-wown
The medicine go down
Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
In a most delightful way
~ Mary Poppins
119 Photos in 2019 – 43. Feeding time