Friday, January 9, 2015

Einstein's Sex Change!

I'm a Boy!

For 17 1/2 years, my humans "thought" I was a girl!  They thought this because my very first veterinarian told them. He told them, my head shape was round, indicative to a female. Males are known to have more of a square shaped head. He said that my vent area also indicated I was a female. The fact that I am closely bonded to Jeff was another indication that I was a female.  Marcia later read an article about feather coloration. Since my tail feathers have a hint of grey and I have three bands of grey on the underside of my wings she was convinced I was female.

All these years it really didn't make a difference to my humans if I were a male or female, so they just never got me tested. I'm 17 going on 18! I've not laid an egg! That's a fact that might need to be explored! Don't you think?  

Sexual maturity for an African Grey is about 6-7 years, although it can happen earlier, and I've heard of some producing their first egg in their 20's. So, my humans became concerned that the possibility of egg binding might be concerning enough to have me DNA sexed.

Worry no more! I'm a boy!

What should you take away from this story? Have your parrot DNA sexed! The earlier the better and don't rely on myths and unscientific observations.

I think this is very funny! :> It's going to take Marcia and Jeff years to wrap their heads around this revelation!   I have a feeling they will continue to call me a "her" or a "she" around the house for a long time! 

One thing is for sure... I'll always be a "GOOD GIRRRRRL!"

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A New Year! A New Discovery!

December 29th was a very pretty day in Texas. It was so pleasant that the humans packed me up for a road trip! I like to go for car rides! Weeeeee! It's always fun to go outside too!

We drove for an hour, then the car stopped. Marcia opened my car door, and Jeff carried me in the door.  WAIT! NO! I don't like this place! Yup! It was a veterinarian's office! Totally unfamiliar to me, I've not been to this clinic.  Marcia begins filling out the paperwork. I'm not sick! I'm perfectly fine! I want to go home!

Soon, a nice lady walks up wearing a white jacket and begins to talk to my humans and looks down at me in my carrier. Yikes! This lady in the white jacket is Dr. Osfosky! Dr. Osofsky is a Board Certified Avian Veterinarian and is the only Board Certified Avian Vet in the North Texas Area. I had never been to a bird vet with such credentials before! You see, a vet with the letters, "Dipl ABVP" means she made a choice to undergo a long and difficult process of additional studies and examination to become a specialist in avian care. It takes several additional years of study to receive this certification. OK, I'm impressed and I'm sure she is a swell doctor, but I still want to go home!

I get carried into a very small room and set my carrier on the table. There is still much talking going on. Lots of talking about a towel! I HATE the TOWEL! The doctor tells Jeff to hold me close to his chest, and she will quickly put a towel over me. Once in the towel she will hand him to a nice man named Alex. (Alex? I knew a parrot named Alex! This is NOT ALEX! Believe me, he had no feathers and he was not my friend!) All the while, I was growling that insidious growl I perform when I get upset with the kitchen rug. Once I was in Alex's hands, the towel disappeared! What? How nice! NO TOWEL! I soon stopped growling. I still didn't like the fact that Alex was holding me by the head and the feet, but I let the Dr. Osfosky examine me. I growled a few more times just to let them know I wasn't completely OK with the situation!

Before I knew it, the exam was over and they put me back on the table. I climbed to the top of my carrier where Marcia was quick to give me a nut. OK, All done, let's go home!

Little did I know that was the first part of the exam. They were letting me take a break.  You see, they don't like to stress their patents out too much, so they do the exam in two parts!

OH! NOW, THEY WANT MY BLOOD!  We do the whole procedure again, only this time Alex lays me down on the table on a soft towel. As the doctor draws the blood from my neck, Alex allows me to bite the towel. I appreciate that he felt I needed to take my aggression out on something! Honestly, it only took less than a minute and I was back on my feet, not hardly a feather ruffled and chomping on another nut! At last! All Done! Whew!

They will send this blood sample to a lab and have it examined. A complete blood count will be performed. They will also use the sample to check liver, kidney, and muscle enzymes; total protein and globulin levels; electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium) levels; blood sugar; calcium and phosphorus concentrations; and cholesterol.

This trip to the vet was hands down the best experience I ever had! I would go back in a minute! (Well... one minute, maybe a year from now!) Everyone there was just wonderful! In addition, I made a few new friends!

This is a picture of me saying goodbye to nice Dr. Osfosky. My foot is up, and I'm ready to go home! I know I look annoyed in this picture. I was a little, but the camera happened to take the picture when I was blinking.

Soon, I was home, I had a nice lunch and a little nap.  A few days later the results of my blood test came back, and everything was normal except my triglycerides were just a tiny bit high. Thank Goodness I found that out! I was told that I need to cut back on my almond/nut eating. Very good advice for all of us! Marcia and Jeff included!  :>

I'm so glad my humans continued to search for an avian vet and discovered Dr. Osfosky. She and her staff really understand the needs of parrots and all that they require. I encourage all of you to discover an avian vet for your parrots. Even if you have to go on a road trip, it's important for your bird's health. There are some very good veterinarians who's practice include birds that are not avian certified, what is important is that you find one that you feel comfortable with and one that provides the best possible care and able to answer all your questions and concerns. Here is a website that will help you find one. Here is a website that explains what you should expect when you visit an avian veterinarian, and what your avian vet expects from you.

If ever in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area and you need an Avian Veterinarian, I highly recommend the good people at Carrollton West Pet Hospital!

Oh! I nearly forgot! I also requested a DNA blood test to determine my sex. FINALLY! I'll know if I'm a girl or a boy! (Actually, I already know... my poor humans do not! :> ) When I get the results I'll make the announcement! How Exciting!