Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Yesterday we did physical exam and restraint of the bird. On the face of it, this sounds pretty terrifying to most vet students (although reptiles is usually what gets people). I think most vet students imagine a savage, wild-eyed macaw with a lust for human blood that they will have to tackle bare handed and thereby establish a certain machismo in front of a panel of observing veterinarians. Instead we got 35 quail in a dog carrier from poultry sciences and some parrots. Doing physical exams on the quails was a little like trying to do a physical exam on our hedgies, there isn't a whole lot of cooperation going on. Quails are like bars of soap I discovered, from the minute I pulled them out. You can't squeeze them too tight, because birds keel over if you do that, but in attempting to be gentle, the happily slip through your fingers and flap about 5 feet off directly in front of zoological medicine faculty who were pretty convinced beforehand that this sort of thing was your bag. It was definitely an adventure, but worthwhile for listening to a 500 beat per minute heartrate alone.

After we got done with the quail and a station on getting case histories from owners, we went parrot wrangling in a sweltering small room. The parrots, which were some relative of puerto rican parrots, really aren't socialized, which is good to start off one. The made small tooting noises and looked so cute until the door to their cage was opened. Parrots, like cats, can become the spawn of satan when a veterinarian is involved. To combat this problem, you are given a towel and told to throw it over them, avoid their biting head, and burrito the beast in fine egyptian cotton. I gave it a shot and got one after three tries and his cage mates running in circles around my arms. Mine didn't struggle once burritoed, but a friend of mine's screamed bloody blue murder once restrained. I like parrots, if only for the fact that they are mischievous little guys and they have decent reasoning skills.