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General Health Care Remember to use common sense and consult with an avian veterinarian.

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Old 12-15-2016, 04:22 PM
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Very sad news and need some suggestions on end of life care

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I just got off the phone with my mom and her green cheek amazon Barney is dying. He's in his mid-40s and has had health issues for a very long time, it was not unexpected, more of a when rather than if situation. She says the way the other birds are reacting she is sure his time is near. He has been hanging on by a thread for months, but he ceased to be able to perch any longer last night and is now lying on the floor of his cage. She said she moved his favorite rope perch right across the cage grate, which he's trying to stand on but is just hunched over, both wings are dropped. She does not wish to traumatize him any further dragging him to the vet again, there is simply nothing to be done at this point. He deserves to pass away in his home with his lifelong mate by his side and I think she needs to see him go too. They really are an inseparable pair and she needs to understand as she is healthy and will presumably have to live many more years without him and deserves that closure too.

My parents don't have the internet to look this up and she is at a loss for what to do to make his last hours or days more comfortable. I'm at a loss of what to tell her. He does not appear to be in pain, just very weak now and ready to move on. I mean, whenever there is a seriously ill or dying bird on here, the advice is to run to the vet to save it. What do you do for a bird who is dying and there is no point in running to a vet and it is the most humane thing to do is just let them go at home?
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Old 12-15-2016, 04:46 PM
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Re: Very sad news and need some suggestions on end of life care

Agh, it's so sad. This happened to us this year with our Amazon. We came home to find him on the floor of the cage, just like that. J picked him up and held him, but he expired in just a few minutes. It will be traumatic to witness. But if her bird likes to be held, she could put him on her lap on a towel if he likes and just let him be there. Scratch his head, talk to him. At the end I don't think Oliver was aware of us because we were too late. I'd say hold him, carry him, keep him close, talk or scratch or whatever is their pattern, but hold him close and love him until the last second. The last breaths can sound terrible but it doesn't mean he's in pain, it can be air forced into the syrinx with the final gasps. I have to sign off now.
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:02 PM
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Re: Very sad news and need some suggestions on end of life care

Ugly memories! I have gone through this with both parent and a daughter, being alone with them. But it is ten time worse not being there! As said, keep him close, do not exclude his mate from this, it is her right!
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:04 PM
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Re: Very sad news and need some suggestions on end of life care

Barney is about the most gentle creature on earth and very tolerant of humans, but very much prefers the company of his own kind. His 'mate' is with him and from his perspective, I am sure he would rather be with her than any human. I'm not sure my mom wants to risk being bit by the other amazon trying to move him too much or take him away. She is typically pretty friendly but was a wild caught and can be a fiercely protective bird.

This is just a sad situation. I'm in another state so theres not much I can do to help

Also regarding what to do about the cockatoo. He is very upset. He's never been friends with the amazons and not allowed contact with them, but he has been around them since he was a chick. He is presumably, in his own way, very devastated to be witnessing this too. That said, he is screeching and freaking out and generally being very disruptive. He bit my mom bad enough this morning she probably needs to go to the doctor but doesn't want to leave. She thinks it may be best to move him to another room temporarily to give Barney some peace and quiet? But on the other hand, is it unfair to move him while a bird he's ben around his whole life is dying?
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:13 PM
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Re: Very sad news and need some suggestions on end of life care

All the above sounds helpful... wow... I'm so glad we can give you some community love.
May there be peace and the knowledge of a job well done for all concerned.
Sincere Patagonian hugs from my flock to yours.
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Old 12-15-2016, 06:19 PM
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Re: Very sad news and need some suggestions on end of life care

April, I'm so very sorry to hear this, I know Barney is deeply loved by all his family. I think at this point, I would make him as comfortable as possible, keep him warm, maybe give him something soft to lay on and allow him to spend his remaining time in his home where he feels safest. I feel so awful for your family, even when you've been expecting the end is near, when it happens, it's nonetheless heartbreaking. My thoughts are with you.
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:47 PM
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Re: Very sad news and need some suggestions on end of life care

April, I am so very sorry for what your Mom, Barney and his mate are going through.
Does the Too seem to be bothering Barney? If so, I agree about moving him, if not I would leave him there. If she does end up moving the too, I would make sure to let me say goodbye once it's over with so he knows what happened
I can't add anything else to the suggestions you have received, but just wanted you to know your Mom is in my thoughts.
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:08 PM
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Re: Very sad news and need some suggestions on end of life care

Wish your mom our best. leaving Barney with his mate seems the most humane thing to do. Poor guy my heart goes out to him
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:01 AM
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Re: Very sad news and need some suggestions on end of life care

A very sad situation, April. Your Mom has made the most kind decision possible, to permit a peaceful passage in a familiar environment.

Barney's mate certainly knows what is happening and will no doubt be receiving extra love. Totally agree with the prior posts regarding the nearby cockatoo.

My very best to you and your Mom.
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:37 AM
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Re: Very sad news and need some suggestions on end of life care

April, I'm so very sorry to hear of this sad news about Barney. I think you have some good advice in posts above. I just wanted to let you know your family is in my thoughts during this difficult time.
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