Shelby was just 12 weeks old when Jess welcomed her into her family consisting of a bearded dragon and two dogs. Knowing that the average lifespan of a macaw is 60 years, with the oldest pet macaw reported to have lived to 112, Jess was not deterred.
“It’s why I got a macaw, I wanted a lifelong pet,” shared Jess.
An avid animal enthusiast, with a particular love of birds and reptiles, Jess was seeking an interesting pet that would challenge her. Shelby is allowed to roam/fly freely in their home and also has a walk-in aviary in the lounge room.
Jess first noticed Shelby was not quite herself when, at five months old, she became less chatty, was regurgitating her food, looked underweight and had droopy wings.
After visiting another vet clinic who provided no clear diagnosis, Jess brought Shelby to Lort Smith as she knew we had an accident and emergency department and could see her quickly.
Fortunately, Unusual Pets & Wildlife Veterinarian Dr Tristan was on shift.
“When I took radiographs a surprisingly large tubelike foreign body was visible. I was able to take it out of the stomach using an endoscope.”
“Once we removed it we could see that it was a feeding tube. The carers were not missing any feeding tubes so I suspect the tube had been swallowed while still at the breeders – sitting in the stomach the whole time they have had her,” shared Dr Tristan.
It is very inappropriate for a breeder to sell an unweaned bird. Lort Smith does not recommend buying unweaned birds unless you are very experienced in caring for birds.
Jess was very surprised at what Dr Tristan had found, especially the length of the feeding tube which measured 8cm!
“I’ve been really happy with Dr Tristan and the service we’ve received from Lort Smith. He is really engaging and very informative,” says Jess.
At a recent recheck appointment, Dr Tristan confirmed that Shelby has made a full recovery, is looking much brighter and is now at a healthy weight.
“She was a very sick bird when I last saw her, and would have died had the tube not been found and removed,” explained Dr Tristan.
Jess is delighted that Shelby is back to full health, eating her favourite blueberries and causing a ruckus for her and her partner.