While everyone in Washington is running around reforming health care (or not), the Corvid Affordable Vet Care Act—otherwise known as some generous folks at GoFundMe and my Visa card—has been the focus around here. Whatever those ten essential components to a health insurance plan are, I’m sure my corvid patients (Stephen Crowbert and Our Girl, the Rehab Crow) are going to partake of every one.

First, Stephen Crowbert. When last seen, he had a bacterial infection in his mouth. After a round of once-a-day antibiotics, he still had a bacterial infection. So we got a stronger antibiotic, an anti-fungal, and I faced up to giving him two doses a day (except for the snow days). Lo,  two weeks later, the infection is still there. By now Stephen is done with having syringes shoved into his beak and I’m kind of tired of getting bitten for my efforts. (No hard feelings on either side, really. It’s just for appearances.)

As an aside:  I always wear a hoodie when I go to give Stephen the medicine. When he and Gwen see me coming, they freak out (the net is also probably a bit of a red flag). Afterwards, I go back inside, take the hoodie off, and bring them food. My arrival sans hoodie then—or at any other time of the day—is met with the usual corvid distain but no agitation. So I have some hope that they won’t harbor resentment against me personally forever, as crows are known to do.

So back to the Stephen saga. Today we were back at the vet. Things are better but chick season is almost upon us and we need a solution. And so I allowed Stephen to be subjected to a biopsy (upping the odds of eternal resentment, I’m sure). I wasn’t allowed back in the procedure area (fair enough) but Dr. Costanzo, Vet Extraordinaire, took some photos.  So if you always wondered what a bird biopsy looks like, wonder no more.

Putting Stephen Under For the Biopsy.

Stage one: Forget pheasant under glass; Stephen under plastic is much more dramatic.

Step two was intubation, I assume for monitoring purposes and to make sure that respiratory function was not compromised by the anesthesia.

And then the biopsy itself. Yes, that nasty looking pink thing is Stephen’s tongue. It should be thin and black. I’ve included a couple of photos of Gwen for comparison.

The whole process went very smoothly, thanks to Dr. Costanzo and his super team at SEAVS. Stephen bounced back with no problem. He let out one squawk of protest on the way home but was otherwise very philosophical about the whole thing. He was glad to be back, however, and Gwen was very relieved to see him. I’m supposed to continue the antibiotics at least until we get the results at the end of the week. But today I just squirted the meds into their food as I figured everyone had had enough excitement for one day.

Next up: an update on the Peasant Crow.