Just lost the last of my two lovebirds, need to vent/get opinions


New member
Mar 18, 2024
1 cockatiel, 1 budgerigar, formerly 2 lovebirds
Good afternoon,

After years of checking this forum, I'm finally posting, and I apologize that it is going to be a long one.

I had two lovebirds for 13 years, they were my whole heart and I am devastated at how things ended.

The first one, a mule lovebird, passed in November from what appeared to be a severe bacterial infection which was complicated by the presence of metastatic liver and kidney cancer. We spent thousands of dollars trying to save her and she just couldn't make it.

I just lost my second one on Friday and I am agonizing over it. Since her mate passed in November, she has been on round after round of antibiotic and antifungal to get her back to healthy. A culture and sensitivity showed she had the same thing as her mate, a hospital-borne bacteria that I believe came home with me after a surgery in July.

I have spent literally thousands of dollars at the avian specialist trying to save her, I would have done anything to save her, but it went on for so long.

Her CBC would come back as high infection, then normal, then high infection again. I should note that she was on probiotics throughout all of this. Most recently, the vet had changed her to terbinafine and veraflox with the thought that maybe she had aspergillosis in addition to the bacterial infection since she was occasionally making a small gasping noise. She also stripped all the feathers off her crop after one of the vet visits, which is a thing she had done occasionally in the past. Unfortunately, they sent me home with incorrect dosing instructions, so she got a dose of veraflox 10 times stronger than what she was supposed to get.

They corrected the mistake and advised me to just skip one day and it would be fine. I skipped a day and gave her the dose the next day, she seemed fine. Then, the next day she regurgitated all the medication and her food. She had been eating a bit less, especially leaving her pellets in favor of the grains I had been instructed to add to her diet, but I thought she was alright. After the regurgitation, she basically stopped eating at all.

I took her in again on Wednesday because of this and they hospitalized her, gave her tons of meds for inflammation, pain, inappetance, etc. They ran a chemistry panel that day that showed some abnormal results and they sent off bloodwork to a lab for a CBC which was supposed to come back in 48 hours with results.

She came home Thursday evening and immediately had to go back the next day as she would not eat anything, including items that she previously would always eat (apples and nutriberries, specifically). She also did not want to drink much either. Upon re-hospitalization, I asked the vet if we were at the euthanasia discussion since this had now gone on for four months and she is an old lovebird that had lost her mate (I was planning to get more lovebirds, but needed to irradicate the ongoing infection in my flock - my cockatiel and budgie have the same infection). The vet advised that we might be time. They ran another chemistry panel and there was not improvement from the previous one, in fact it was a bit worse - her sodium levels had gone up, which was very abnormal and she still refused to eat.

She sat with a wide stance and was extremely weak, though still bright and mobile, still not eating or drinking on her own, only receiving liquid feedings, which she hated. The lab had not yet returned the CBC results from the Wednesday blood draw and we were going into a weekend. Where I live there is no veterinary care for birds on Saturdays or Sundays. I made the excruciating decision to euthanize her Friday afternoon because I felt from her behavior that she was probably suffering. The vet stated she would have made the same decision if it was her bird.

Today, I called regarding the CBC results just to get closure - normal. Now I'm doubting myself and the vet a bit as well, idk. We opted not to do a necropsy on Friday as we had spent so much money already and I'm really regretting it. I don't know if I did the wrong thing. I didn't want her to suffer, and I didn't want her to go downhill badly on the weekend and suffer until Monday. The vet says that she believes that something else may have been going on and that it was the right choice, but these could just be platitudes, idk.

I guess I don't really know what I'm after here, maybe some opinions on whether you would have done the same. I miss them both so much, I feel like a piece of me died with them and now I have to live with this guilt of what may have been the wrong decision.

What would you have done in my situation?

RIP, sweet babies and I'm so sorry.


Supporting Member
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Jan 9, 2023
Quaker, 2 budgies
I’m so very sorry for your loss of your two wonderful lovebirds 💔❤. It’s so incredibly difficult to know when to make the right end of life decisions for our beloved pets. It sounds like your bird was a fighter but she was also really struggling; both mentally and physically. Personally, after making that final decision I almost always second guess myself for a little while afterwards when grief is fresh and emotions are high. Later, when I am able to look back with less emotional distress, I have always found that I made the right decision, and I hope you will, too. I have been on the other side, where I was afraid to make the call and a beloved pet suffered before passing away naturally. If I could go back and change that I would. From everything you’ve described, it really does sound like you made the right choice. Especially if your bird was not eating; that is so often their way of telling us that they are ready to go. Praying that you find comfort in this time ❤️

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