Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dunnie's eye surgery and recovery Part 1

David and Dunnie after the lid removal, before the big surgery :-)

Dunnie is a 6 year old cockatiel, my oldest son's best friend!  She was rolled out of the nest a few times by her father (placed back in the nest by my son) then after being hatched she was thrown out of the nest a few times and placed back in the nest by my son. He just couldn't understand why her father would do such a cruel thing. Explaining nature did not help. He fed her food from the pet store until she was weened. Except for having to eat parakeet seed rather than cockatiel seed and take vitamins she is a typical healthy bird. She looks like a runt, her feathers aren't all grown in correctly but she has had a very happy, healthy, and spoiled life. So much so that if she lifts her head and doesn't receive a neck rub she will peck whomever is within pecking distance. Not lightly either, lol. I refuse to get into her cage due to this, however she weets at my son, rubs up against him lovingly and so on. He has had birds as a form of therapy since the age of 5. His psychiatrist suggested this when he noticed his interest in birds rather than people.

Last summer Dunnie was having a problem with her eye. After several visits to the veterinarian for what was deemed as an eye infection Dunnie scratched her eye with her nail tearing her eye lid completely off. She had to have a small emergency surgery to repair this. To my son there is no such thing as small when it comes to her. This was a very stressful time in our home.

At this time the medical costs had came to about $300. The following visit showed that the infection in Dunnie's eye had not been cured and she would need to have her eye removed. The cost being $500. to $1,000. That is a very large chunk of our total income. There were things to think about. What if she didn't make it through the surgery? What if we fell too far behind in paying our everyday bills, groceries etc Christmas was totally out of the question if we went this route. My son seen this as a 'no brainer', we would take the chance! I too, after hearing his explanation, decided we would take our chances and deal with the consequences. A lot of grieve was given to me uninvited, of course. It came down to this is my son and my finances therefore, my choice.

Dunnie's regular veterinarian Dr. Selene from the Veterinarian Hospital here in town suggested we go to a specialist. The other choice would be him performing the surgery although he could not be sure how high her chances would be of survival. He would be much cheaper though and no traveling. That decision took about 3 minutes. We called and had an appointment within the hour. Her new veterinarian was to be:

Laura Wade, DVM, Dipl. ABVP (Avian)
Specialized Care for Avian & Exotic Pets
10882 Main Street, Clarence, NY 14031
(716) 759-0144 fax (716) 759-0146

Dr. Wade is the most intelligent, sweet, kind and understanding doctor I have ever met, be it for animals or humans. She was very thorough, patient and explained every step of everything she did. She encouraged us to call her anytime and phoned us several times to check on Dunnies healing process. I totally. recommend. her. In a week or two I will have a review about her and her staff.

Dunnie went in 4 days later in the early morning for her surgery. All went well and 6 hours later she was on her way home. But then... To be continued...

This is a picture of the fungus they removed from Dunnie's corneal scab.


  1. Somethings in life are not quantifiable in monetary terms and the help that Dunnie gives to your Son falls into that category, looking forward to the next installment

  2. Sorry you guys had to go through that, but I'm glad you decided to take the chance with the surgery. Dunnie sounds like an awesome bird. But now you have me waiting anxiously for part 2!

    Our cat had a life-threatening bladder infection and we had to decide to pay rent late so we could save his life.

  3. I'm sorry to here the little guy is not well. Hope everything works out, and I agree that some things don't come down to the dollars and cents. Pets are family - I'd do it for my kids and my pets.