Most of the birds that come to Phoenix Landing are not rescues. They come from families that, for any number of reasons, can no longer care for them. These families are patient and rely on us to find the best homes possible for their companions.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with a green wing macaw that we took in on Sunday, October 13th. Mimi is a rescue in every sense of the word.
She was found outside in the Virginia Beach area and placed at a shelter. After two weeks of treatment, they asked for our help. Mimi, to put it bluntly, is in horrible shape.
We cannot know her life up to a few weeks ago, but here is what we do know. Our kind volunteer Lisa Marie was able to bring Mimi up to Northern Virginia. When we spoke on Sunday and Lisa Marie described Mimi’s condition, I insisted she take her to the 24 hour emergency vet immediately. Mimi’s breathing was labored and she could not hold her head up.
But the worst thing was the wound on her wing and back.
Horribly infected and surrounded by necrotic tissue, it had a strong odor. She was obviously in a tremendous amount of pain.
At the emergency vet, her prognosis was not good. She was severely dehydrated, so much so that she could not produce mucus, a symptom of the upper respiratory infection the vet also suspected she had. She was incredibly weak. She had a fracture on her wing. At slightly below 1000 grams, she was underweight for a green wing.
We hoped she would make it through the night.
She did and she has not stopped fighting.
She has been moved to Stahls Exotic Animal Veterinary Services (SEAVS) in Fairfax where she has had supportive care for pain management, a broad spectrum antibiotic, wound care, and tube feeding as necessary. Fortunately, she has been eating on her own.
We are honored to help this bird on her path to healing and are committed to doing everything we can. By next Monday, October 21st, we should know more about her chances long term. Her vet Dr. Crum says she has a 50/50 chance of survival.
But there are still so many outstanding issues.
If she becomes stable enough for surgery, she will need lots of work to close the wound. She will also need laser therapy to speed her recovery.
If she responds to the antibiotic and does not have or develop sepsis she may survive.
If she can keep her wing, she will have to heal from her ulnar fracture.
If her thickened beak indicates a chronic liver issue, we hope it can be managed.
But after all she has been through, and even on a large dose of painkillers, she is still engaged with the world.
Though we can’t be sure, we suspect that her former owner simply opened the door to let her fend for herself. Birds who have lived in captivity cannot survive in the outdoors. Please spread the word about this myth.
The cost for Mimi’s care is already in the thousands. If she survives, she will require many follow up visits, and her future is uncertain.
We would greatly appreciate your financial support towards the cost of her medical bills. The kind members of the Parrot Posse Facebook group have pledged to match any donations made for her, so your gift is automatically doubled.
To contribute, please click the Donate button in the upper right.
We will post updates about her progress.