Veterinarian Helps Parrot Fly Again With A Feather Transplant

A veterinarian with a heart for a special parrot has helped him to fly again. The parrot suffered from a ‘severe wing trim’ so she gave the bird prosthetic feathers.

The 12-week-old Green Cheeked Conure Wei Wei was brought to The Universal Pet Vets in Brisbane, Queensland. She needed help because her feathers were cut too short.

Wei Wei would attempt to fly but would only fall to the ground. Dr. Catherine Apuli, 31, had a closer look at the trim and decided that a prosthetic pair of wings made from donated feathers would be just what the parrot needed.

Wei Wei was not only able to fly but he was also flying only hours after the surgery took place.

Catherine said, “The bird had a severe wing trim, which means that the flight feathers were cut too short and too many feathers were cut.”

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She went on to say, “As a result of the wing clip, the bird was sustaining heavy falls to the group, which has the potential to injure the bird – in Wei Wei’s case, she was falling heavily and the owner noticed she was painful on her feet.”

Dr. Apuli continued, “Primary flight feathers – the big feathers at the ends of the wings – which have been traumatized may result in pain, bleeding, unwanted aggressive behaviours and self-induced feather plucking.”

She continued, “The imping procedure was performed to prevent further physical injury and to regain flight for optimal mental and physical health. The feathers were donated to the clinic; each feather was then cleaned, sterilized and dried prior to preparation. The base of the feather was cut to allow the entry of a wooden toothpick where it is secured in place with glue.”

Dr. Apuli then added, “The bird was then placed under a light anaesthetic to ensure that Wei Wei did not move whilst the feathers were placed correctly and the glue dried for this painless procedure to be performed. Wei Wei was then placed in our heated hospital room for a couple of hours before encouraged to fly. She flew very well after a few attempts and appeared quite excited that she could suddenly fly.”

“Now that Wei Wei had learnt to fly, she can safely land and manoeuvre herself through the air. She no longer falls to the ground and so does not hurt herself,” Dr. Apuli said.

I guess you never know what can happen until you try.

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