Diary of a Working Housewife (Part 10)
The incredible journey of Flip and Flop;
On April 12, 2020, I received to my private rescue, two beautiful Indian Ringneck baby birds with a condition called "spraddle legs". Spraddle-legs or splay-legs is a condition that happens when birds are still immature. It occurs when abnormal lateral forces on the legs and feet cause the long bones (femurs) and sockets of the upper leg (acetabula) to distort and bend outward or sideways. Both legs are usually affected by this condition. This can be caused by the mom sitting too hard or too long on them or not enough bedding in the nest box. In the case of these two baby birds, this condition was the result of not having enough bedding.
I named these special babies Flip and Flop. Their deformity was so bad that they ended up needing corrective surgery in order to rotate their legs into the correct position for them to grow up and function like normal parrots. This surgery was not promised to work but was an attempt to help them stand and walk. Time was not on our side since these babies were developing at a fast rate. Once their developmental window closed their chances for recovery would seize. Flip had a 50/50 chance with this surgery. Flop's chances were not so good because of how bad her legs were twisted. The surgeon recommended for me to consider putting Flop to sleep because he felt this surgery would not help her. I refused and decided to take a chance on both of them.
After their surgery, Flip had two complications within 2 weeks' time. Both times, the pin holding the bone in place came out. A cast had to be placed on both babies to keep them from moving their legs. It was a challenging time both financially and emotionally. I was given the bad news that due to these complications, Flips' chances of walking had decreased drastically and was advised to euthanize. Without hesitation, I told the Doctor we would continue his treatment.
During this entire ordeal both Flip and Flop continued to show great resilience. Their ability to give me hope every time they overcame an obstacle was amazing. They had a following of people cheering for them and their recovery. Many donated to help with their surgery through their Go Fund Me. Messages of support flooded my Instagram and Facebook messenger. I honestly couldn't have gone as far as I did with their treatment without the love and support of everyone cheering on these beautiful baby birds.
After their cast was removed, both Flip and Flop had lost a lot of muscle mass. One of Flips' feet did not move and his hip flexed back and forth. I began physical therapy and forced both chicks to grasp at a vet-wrapped thick pencil, flexed their legs every few hours, and had them stand in a cage in order to make them try to walk around. A week after their cast was removed they had their first laser therapy. This laser therapy helped them so much that within days they were grabbing on to the side of their cage and moving around. By the end of the week, Flip was perching all by himself, and Flop soon followed (after their second laser therapy). Needless to say, their Doctor was jumping for joy and could not believe how much they had achieved.
Fast forward to today, June 7th, 2020, Flip and Flop are doing amazing. They have gone through daily physical therapy and three laser therapy sessions. Both are able to stand, grab on to things, and even wobble through our slippery floor. They have learned how to fly but still crash land at times. They now get to hang out on the big bird stand and get to go out to their aviary for small amounts of time every day (with me checking on them regularly of course).
Flip and Flops' ability to surprise me with different achievements every day is mind-blowing. Animals are amazing creatures and I will never hesitate for one second to give them the opportunity to surprise me even when chances don't look very promising. So if you ever lose hope, look into an animal's eyes. I can guarantee you will find it there.
To see more of Flip and Flop you can visit our Instagram: Venus_2_da_rescue
May the Goddess bless you all and surround you with her divine white light!