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Collar on Ernie


E_collar.JPG (60708 bytes)It was sad when in October, 2004, Dr. Stahl decided we had to put a collar on Ernie, but Ernie's condition was very bad.  He was not moving, looked depressed, and acted very lethargic.  The collar had to be used otherwise Ernie would pick on his wound (under his right wing) and the infection would start all over again.  With such a large collar, it was hard for Ernie to eat, drink, and preen himself.  I helped him eat by cutting his food into small pieces and hand feeding him.  I used a special spoon for feeding him paste-like foods and for water.  Doing this several times a day proved to be challenging especially when I had to go to work...  

E_eat.JPG (55813 bytes)Ernie was depressed as you can see in the picture above. Click on any of these pictures to see a larger view. I knew that for Ernie to be happy, I had to devise a way for him to eat and drink on his own.  I tilted the feeder rings so the dishes were at the correct angle for Ernie's collar (as seen in the second picture.)

Wood_near.JPG (36621 bytes)To do this, I made two pieces of wood (suitably sized,) and nailed them together as seen in the picture on the left.  This wood filler is to raise the food so it is just a little below the top of the dish. 

Wood_in.JPG (36277 bytes)When the wood filler was placed in the feeding dish, the deep dish became much shallower, so we could place a small amount of food for Ernie to eat.  Sometimes we made cooked food (such as scrambled eggs,) and in such cases, we covered the wood filler with plastic wrap in order to keep it clean.  The water dish was tilted in the same manner and filled with water to the top (no need for the wood insert in this case.)  Ernie was thus able to eat and drink on his own.  Now, several weeks later, Ernie is doing well and back to normal...

We would like to thank our expert vets, Dr. Scott J. Stahl for saving Ernie, and Dr. David A. Crum who saved our rabbit, Honey Bunnie when she stopped eating.  The staff assisting these two doctors are very skilled, wonderful to talk with, and very helpful on the phone and in person.  Dr. Stahl is on the left, and Dr. Crum on the right.  Please visit the website for the Stahl Exotic Animal Veterinary Services to find more about our excellent vets and their great staff.  In our experience, these two doctors and their staff are the finest in the Washington, DC Area.

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Please feel free to send me, Fawzi Emad, any corrections, observations, comments or questions.  Thank you!  (The tail feather on the left is from Koko, our Blue-Front Amazon Parrot.)