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Old 09-09-2017, 07:50 PM
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Pacho’s Passing

Not sure this is the best location to post this but I think it important that it gets documented somewhere.

A few years ago, 2 at least Pacho started plucking her feathers (on her breast). I took her to the vet and they ran blood work that came back normal. It was at this time I was informed she was overweight. The plucking was most likely due to hormones. She was plucking feathers to use in making a nest (this is what the vet thought). We got the plucking under control and immediately started her on a diet.

Her diet was Pellets (Zupreem) 75% Fresh fruit and vegetables and a small amount of seeds. We tried other brands of pellets including Harrison’s. The Zupreem was the only type she would eat.
We got her weight down to where the vet felt was normal (I don’t remember the numbers sorry). That’s the back story so to speak. My main points are blood work was normal at that time and her weight was normal and stable up until about a week ago.

The first indication of behavior that was odd was a change in where she was sitting.
We had a cardboard box sitting in her cage and she took to sitting on top of this box. Just sitting there doing nothing. A lot of my birds like to play in tear up and destroy cardboard boxes. If there was any trouble with nesting behavior we would remove the box.

We were going through a heat wave with temps over 100ºF. I thought she was sitting on the box so she could feel the cool air coming from the air conditioner. What I failed to notice was she was not eating much, maybe not at all. If you feed your bird seeds it’s easy to see how much they eat. You have the empty shells in the food bowl. With pellets it’s a lot harder to tell how much they are eating.
Near the end of her “box sitting” I noticed a lot of liquid. I should have taken her to the vet right then but I dismissed the “water” as coming from her water dish. I thought it had slopped over or spilled a little because the water dish was just above the box she was sitting on.

The thing that first got me worried was when she moved from the box back to her perch. She had gone back to sitting on her perch but it was at the other end the “far” end of the perch. She never sits on that side. That was always Plumas’s side of the cage.

But how can I go to the vet and tell him I think she is sick because she is perching on the wrong side of the cage? I figured he would just laugh or something.

So I put Pacho in my son’s room in a small cage and told him to keep an eye on her. He was the one that found out she was only drinking, not eating and making watery poop. That was Monday 8-25-16.

Went to the vet 8:00 am 8-26-16 took blood did a smear of her crop and her poop for a gram stain. He palpated her abdomen. Gave me the antibiotics and probiotics.

The vet called me back same day at 5:00 pm with the blood test results. Both kidney and liver function were way beyond normal.

We gave her the medication’s we were given. We gave her baby bird formula we had. We gave her Gatorade/water
The avian vet we have does not have 24 hour care so we could not leave her with them for treatment. Even if we could have she would not have tolerated the stress.
I got home from work 10:30 pm 8-31-17 and she was on the floor of the cage. I took a towel and rolled it up like 0__0 and put her in the middle. I held her for hours.
I remembered I had some pain medication that was given to Plumas. I gave her some because I was out of ideas and options. I think it helped, she fell asleep and passed away at 2:30 am 9-1-17.

Even such a small change in behavior can be so important. Don’t be afraid to take your bird to a vet and have it checked out.
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:59 PM
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Re: Pacho’s Passing

Thank you for writing this. I know it wasn't easy. I agree that we as owners notice little differences that no one else does.

I remember when I had my lineolated Parakeet Luna. I woke up one morning and she did not greet me the way she normally did with a little chirp and there were no overnight poops. I took her to the vet just on that. Turned out she had blockage from rupture eggs. My certified avian vet tried to do emergency surgery to save her but she did not make it.

Especially with birds, we need to listen to our gut.

Laura
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:33 PM
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Re: Pacho’s Passing

So sorry to hear about your bird's passing.
Knowing (or at least being pretty sure) Pacho was female I kept thinking about egg bind. Since the vet felt her abdomen I am sure he was checking for that.
She never laid an egg even after she had mated with Plumas but all her behavior indicated she was female.
I don't think it was due to fatty liver since her blood test had showed no problems 2 years ago.

Whatever happened overwhelmed her internal organs. I am just glad I was able to give her some pain relief at the end.
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Angel (eldest lutino F)
Mango (middle pearl F)
Popeye (male grey M)
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:47 AM
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Re: Pacho’s Passing

Warm Feathered Hugs!

You are so very right about 'Just Go' when it comes to having an Avian Vet check-out what we believe maybe an indicator of illness.

It is so hard to say, but I am happy that our Amazons have past in our arms! They past knowing that they are Loved.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:59 AM
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Re: Pacho’s Passing

Thanks for posting, Wes. I hope it was as cathartic as painful to write.

I believe it is very helpful to have a good rapport with your vet, so rushing a bird to their care won't be seen as alarmist. We know our companions best, and a good vet (and staff) will understand.

Don't beat yourself up about Zupreem Pellets. That is the *only* pellet any of mine will eat in addition to their chop. In fact, I just took one of my Goffins to the vet for a possible low-grade upper respiratory infection and we discussed diet. My CAV is a highly respected ABVP and opined that Zupreem may not be the *best* but still far, far better than seeds in large quantity.
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:30 AM
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Re: Pacho’s Passing

god I couldn't agree more with going with your gut.

Similar story but less timeframe. I'm sure most know about the details of Rio's passing so I'll give the short version. Had a night where I disturbed his sleep, he acted tired the next day and I got worried, called my mum to see if she could take me to the vet, she said he was most likely tired from being disturbed and said she'll come round the next day. I let him rest for the day but kept an eye on him. The next day he seemed to perk up so I thought nothing of it, he seemed happy. Then the next day he was back to being puffed lethargic barely moving almost silent, just wanted to be in my beard. I was calling ever vet I could but they were all closed it being a sunday. I got to one who was completely packed for the day, they had him as their opening appointment the next day, told me to put a hot water bottle under a towel which I did and to let him rest. Next morning I found him on the floor struggling to hold on, then an hour after finding him he passed leaving me devastated. All could have been avoided if I got to the vets. Not my mum's fault she did what she thought was right. Now I say if you have the slightest suspicion of them being ill get them to a vet
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