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Polly wants a Prozac
November 20, 2008 3:02 PM   Subscribe

Polly wants a Prozac. Fred the Parrot tries to bite his neck off after his owner dies, vets prescribe bird-friendly anti-depressants.
posted by BrnP84 (22 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
The comments after that article are the first time I've ever seen compassion for anyone or anything from readers on the Daily Mail website.
posted by fire&wings at 3:12 PM on November 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


I didn't even know they *made* antidepressants for pets.
posted by shino-boy at 3:23 PM on November 20, 2008


Fred's owner 's not dead. No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'!
posted by orthogonality at 3:28 PM on November 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


Interesting story, though not (unfortunately) all that uncommon for pet parrots. Feather plucking and mutilation are a big problem, especially for the more social and intelligent of the various parrots. Congo African Greys like Fred are one of the most intelligent bird species on the planet (see here) and are very prone to feather mutilation during times of stress or if they don't receive some semblance of the stimulation and social environment that they would have in the wild.

We have a young (2 year old -- they can live up to 70+ years in captivity) African Grey and a youthful (10, live up to 35-40) Goffin Cockatoo. They're an absolute riot and require lots of attention to keep them from getting bored. The Goffin used to feather pluck and mutilate her chest from time to time, but when the Grey came to live with us, the presence of another bird in the room 24/7 seems to have broken her of the habit. Over the years, we've tried a number of medications on her, including a bird-version of Wellbutrin. Didn't do anything for her at the time.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 3:29 PM on November 20, 2008


I have a cat who scratches out some fur periodically when he's not getting enough attention. Prozac? Fuck no, we just get out the yarn more often.
posted by fleetmouse at 3:39 PM on November 20, 2008


Never mind that Prozac's efficacy on humans is questionable.
Are they still prescribing that stuff?
Whether it helps or not, I'm cynically confident that the pet-drug companies couldn't care less.
posted by cmoj at 3:39 PM on November 20, 2008


hormone supplements for sexually disturbed birds?
posted by geos at 3:48 PM on November 20, 2008


As a parrot owner, this was a very sad article. When our bird gets stressed or frustrated she smushes herself into her water bowl until she looks like a drenched rat.

I lived away from home for about 4 months when I changed jobs and when she saw me again, she totally freaked out and remained on my shoulder for several hours. My wife said she didn't seem to miss me, but when she saw me again she certainly remembered who I was.
posted by UseyurBrain at 3:48 PM on November 20, 2008


Is it wrong that for some reason I thought your link was to Youtube -- and clicked it anyway?

I feel bad for the little guy. I know how tightly birds bond. Keep your eye on parrots in the Evolution Stakes. They're going to replace us some day.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:06 PM on November 20, 2008


hormone supplements for sexually disturbed birds?

If a bird has a sexual idea, and that sexual idea is an incorrect idea, trust me, you are gonna want that bird on some medication.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:07 PM on November 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


On the subject, there's a company that advertises canine tranquilizers on the radio station one of my co-workers listens to. They specifically recommend it for puppies, if you can't get them to behave, and sell both short-term fast-acting and long-term versions.

Whenever I hear the commercial, I always think 'I really, really hope the customer base for this product doesn't have children.' Anyone willing to drug the puppy-ness out of a puppy would probably go for the ritalin the first time their kid brought back a B+ instead of an A.
posted by Mitrovarr at 5:08 PM on November 20, 2008


I was having a good ol' "awww, animals feel like us 'cause we're animals" moment when I came across the sentence, "And pharmaceutical companies are reporting a large wise in animal-based anti-depressants," and laughed because, when I read it again, in my mind, it was spoken in a parrot's voice.
posted by not_on_display at 6:05 PM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


[sic, btw.]
posted by not_on_display at 6:05 PM on November 20, 2008


There's a company that advertises canine tranquilizers on the radio station one of my co-workers listens to.

How do you think they keep them so calm and cute in the pet store?
posted by rokusan at 6:59 PM on November 20, 2008


Pharmaceutical companies are reporting a large wise in animal-based anti-depressants

Elmer Fudd now writes for the Daily Mail.
posted by rokusan at 7:00 PM on November 20, 2008


rokusan: How do you think they keep them so calm and cute in the pet store?

Somehow, that's not as creepy to me. Drugging a pet that you theoretically love so it acts in a manner that is more convenient to you is pretty twisted. Drugging animals that you sell in order to make them more salable is just mercenary.
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:13 PM on November 20, 2008


A neck is not an extremity. You can't bite it off. He would bite through his neck, thus biting his head off.

/annoying pedantry
posted by Caduceus at 9:01 PM on November 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


He looks kinda funny without neck feathers, sorta vulture-like.

You know, I like to rip on the Daily Fail, but I always click on the links on the right anyway. I mean, how can you pass up this little tidbit?
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:58 AM on November 21, 2008


Couldn't find it on YouTube, but this reminds me of an ol SNL commercial, Puppy Uppers / Doggy Downers

Joy.....Gilda Radner
Jill.....Laraine Newman

[ Jill is visiting Joy, whose dog is lying like a lox on the living room floor. Joy throws a ball at the dog, but he just stares at it as it rolls by. ]

Joy: Gee, Sparky's been acting dull and listless lately. I just don't know what's wrong with him.

Jill: My dog Skippy used to be like that.. until I found out about.. [ reaches for box and pulls out a puppy upper ] ..Puppy Uppers. Puppy Uppers pep up your pooch, plus, they help control his weight.

[ Joy feeds Puppy Upper to Sparky ]

[ ripple dissolve to Sparky rolling over, doing back flips, leaping about, and acting speedy ]

[ SUPER: "Later That Day" ]

[ close-up of Sparky jumping up on Joy ]

Joy: Maybe it's me, Jill, but I'd say Sparky's perked up a little too much.

Jill: No argument there, Joy. When my Skippy gets too frisky, what I do is give him these.. Doggie Downers.

[ Jill holds up a box of Doggie Downers, then hands it to Joy, who is still being bothered by the frisky Sparky ]

Joy: [ reading label ] Doggie Downers.. mellows out your mutt. Hmm.. I'll try them. [ feeds Sparky a Doggie Downer; he collapses ]

[ SUPER: "Later That Day" ]

[ ripple dissolve to Sparky lying like a lox on the living room floor, box of Doggie Downers in the shot ]

Jill: That's Puppy uppers for when your dog's like this. And.. [cut to replay of shot with sparky jumping on Joy, box of Puppy Uppers in the shot ] ..Doggie Downers, for when your dog's like this. From Hound-Doze.
posted by daHIFI at 9:19 AM on November 21, 2008


They make antidepressants for BIRDS?!?!?! I gotta get me some of those. My mom has two Scarlet Macaws that are seriously disturbed. (They attack anyone who gets too close to my mom.) I know we gave one of them Valium after she had a tumor removed, but I never considered maintenance meds... Hell, I wonder what some ground up Zoloft in their water would do... (Kidding. Really.)
posted by threeturtles at 10:04 AM on November 21, 2008


So, Chrissie, does this bird say "Gleemonex for Pets?"
posted by FatherDagon at 12:01 PM on November 21, 2008


My parrot bonked my feather hat
posted by homunculus at 9:23 AM on November 25, 2008


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