Thursday, March 22, 2007

Chicken on the Brain

We took Cyril for his teeny tiny head x-ray last Saturday. We were told to leave before the procedure and go to breakfast and they would call us when it was over. I think they didn't want me standing in the waiting room wringing my hands, muttering and asking if that horrible shriek I just heard was my sweet baby without whom I'd be nothing and could I please go into the back and hold him while they did the x-ray? I'd wear a lead vest and hold him very still. No? Fine.

We did go to breakfast, but came back before they called as I couldn't stand it any longer. They had to file his beak after the x-ray and, before we left to eat, had luridly described the procedure as if it had been devised in the mind of Pinochet (they made it out to involve a vice and an industrial metal file) just to set me at ease. I love being mocked by medical professionals. It makes me place such confidence in their skills. Anyway, he came through the anesthetic for the x-ray fine, but they had to resedate him during the filing (with no vice, thankfully) as he was too worked up to be held still (the office manager, David-with-the-lovely-accent, told me later that he went to the back to comfort Cyril because he was hollering so much), and they had to remove quite a bit of beak to correct his bite problem. I have never seen an animal look so betrayed and confused as when they brought him back out after it was all done. His slightly drugged expression made him look exactly like the big-eyed children in 60's velvet art. His beak looked beautiful, all even and pretty, but the vet told us that it looked as though he had a problem with the joint that made his jaw too loose, which would explain the overgrowth and his constant yawning and scratching of his jaw. The radiologist who read the x-ray would later confirm that the filing could correct the problem and it wouldn't become permanent, which was a relief.

We found out on the trip to the vet the first time that Cyril gets carsick in the back seat (the similarities between him and me are now getting slightly disturbing), so he rode on Christian's shoulder on the drive home, swaying slightly but letting us scratch him in what I assume was a comforting way. He recovered completely, though, with the unexpected bonus (in his mind) of now having a much sharper beak with which he can chew through his hateful flight suit. Pictures of that hilarity will be forthcoming.

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