Which Size Cup?

Which Size Cup?baking-149263_640
During a recent conversation with a client, I recommended she measure the pellets offered and make sure they are no more than 1/4 cup (for a rabbit).  She asked me “which size cup?”.  I was very confused.

Sometimes I feel the most difficult part of the job is communication.  I didn’t know how to respond to the client – finally I suggested a dry measuring cup. She still seemed confused and was happy to learn that measuring cups are standard sizes.  I recommended she go out to a store with kitchen supplies and get a fresh set.

“Whenever You Assume, You Make an Ass out of You and Me.” 
I’ve been told stories, by dog and cat vets, that when asked to bring in the cup used to measure their pet’s food an owner brought in a 7-11 big gulp!  That is, technically, a cup – if you assume cup is referring to the container rather than the measurement.

But really, anything you do for a while becomes natural.  It seems like everybody does the same thing…until you find someone who doesn’t.  Boy that keeps you on your toes.  I shocked my father one year when I asked him for advice on a CPA – I needed some help with my taxes.  He stared at me…”how have you been getting your taxes done?”  I used to do them myself…he asked how I learned.  After a minute, I informed my father that my mother sat me down when I was 15 and told me what to do.  After that, I was responsible for my own taxes.  He never knew…

At least we each learned something that day – she learned how measuring cups work and I learned that some people haven’t been taught how measuring cups work.

Bands…What Are They Good For?

Can a Band on a Pet Bird be Good?

blauaras-406776_1280

Sure – there are some times when a band is very useful

  1. International Travel may require unique identification and some birds are too small for microchips.
  2. Identification in a breeding situation ensures that birds are not mixed up – which is especially important if there are subtle health issues.
  3. A band, if the number is known, is a way to prove the bird belongs to you.

So Why is a Band ever Bad?
When it is unnecessary.

  1. Larger birds can be microchipped.
  2. Birds that have left a group situation no longer need their bands.
  3. Since there is no central database for bands they cannot be used to track down an owner.

Why Should You Remove a Band?
The main reason – to prevent injury.  We see birds who damage or break their legs because the band got caught on something.  They can irritate or annoy birds causing them to bite at the band.  If the leg is injured it may be difficult or impossible to remove the band without causing further injury.

Jackie’s Band Problem
Here is Jackie – a cockatiel.  She came in for an injured leg.  You can see that the skin of her leg has swollen around the band:

Luckily we were able to remove the band and with supportive care the leg has healed well…if a little different from her other leg!

It could have been much worse – the pressure can cause damage to the bone.  In Jackie’s case, she didn’t need surgery to repair the leg since there was no exposed bone and she still had good blood flow to all the digits.  Her smallest toe was damaged – it is likely permanently pushed forward due to the swelling.  Maybe it too will heal with time.