- Jan 2, 2023
My Green cheek Bean passed away on January 29th, I know it's been a while, but I've been so heartbroken and resistant to talk about it... But I'd really like to put this out there to see if others have had a similar experience or maybe have some ideas on what could have happened?
For reference: Bean was 5 years old, I've had her since a baby. Sexed female. Diet of Roudybush pellets with fruit/veg + nut/seed treats. My Grandma helped raise her then gave her to me. In summer of 2021, I returned her to my Grandma due to my health issues debilitating me from giving her the care and attention she deserved. Doing better, I took her back home Christmas 2022. I converted her from all seed diet to Roudybush here, but it seemed there was no issues. She took to the pellets quickly and was excited to eat. Didn't like her vegtables but always ate her fruit. Training treat was almonds. So: her death was only over a month after coming back home. This timeframe makes me assume it was definitely something in my home? I feel so guilty. I don't know what I did wrong and I feel like if I don't find an answer to this, I could let another parrot in my care die mysteriously. It's haunting. Unfortunately there were no avian vets in my area to get a necropsy.
Here's my recounting of the events leading up to her death, not for the faint of heart... Sorry if this is long winded. I really want to go over everything.
Jan 28th at 12pm, an otherwise normal day activity wise... I noticed her sitting at the bottom of the cage after looking up from my game. I couldn't have taken my eye off her for more than 10 minutes. I went to let her out and immediately noticed her gait was very sluggish. Just an hour earlier she was herself completely, active loving and curious. She flew to perch on my computer, and that was the last flight she ever took. She refused to move from that spot, accept treats, or respond to any touch. She had poor balance, was fluffed up, and could barely keep her eyes open. I SCOURED my room for anything bad she could have chewed, and found nothing out of place...
I called my mom in tears to please come home so I could drive her to the ER vet 2 hours away. (Saturday, only place open..) Bean knew my mom was scared of her and would attack her, so when my mom opened the door and Bean didn't even turn her head, we both knew things were going horrible.. I rush her to the vet while her condition stays more or less the same, little movement, closed eyes, fluffed feathers. Vet checks her crop, eyes, nostrils, checks for eggs... Nothing. Droppings normal. No respiratory distress. She just appeared to be stressed and uncomfortable. Vet gave her some fluids and oxygen and she perked up a little, but that was the best she ever was. Vet said she couldn't tell what she was sick with and that performing rigorous tests like blood draws on a bird this fragile could push her over the edge. I simply wasn't in the financial situation to afford overnight hospitalization to wait for more tests... So they sent me home with some general antibiotics and pain meds.
I get home around 10pm and let her back in her cage with a towel on the bottom. She was still motivated to get to her food and water, drinking and eating. Though when she went to eat she started falling asleep in her dish, food still in her mouth... it was so hard to watch. I went to bed praying for her to be better in the morning. Early at 7am my mom and I gave her the 2 antibiotics and pain med. The vet said the pain med could cause her to vomit so I was hesitant giving it but she looked uncomfortable still. The next few hours she mostly sat at the bottom and sometimes climbed up to a perch. (As a note... I wish I took them down... I wasn't thinking of that at the time, unfortunately.) At around 10am she had her first seizure at the bottom of her cage. I was out making breakfast so I didn't see it but I heard screaming and walked into her wings spread out looking out of breath and frazzled. I saw the second seizure. It was absolutely horrifying... If you've ever owned a bird and seen it have a seizure you know.. She looked dazed and weak. After this I was petting her when she suddenly vomited lots of clear liquid up... She was stable for the next 30 minutes until she had her 3rd seizure and fell off her perch. She had no control over her body. At this point I was beside myself just praying for God to please make her suffering end. She was just suffering. I woke up my mom hysterical asking her to please help me and it's at this point I hear the screaming and crashing again, her final seizure. I rush back in my room to find her laying on her back. Light left her eyes then. I've never cried more in my entire life.
I think I'd be doing better if I at least had closure on what happened. Like, old age, or a stuck egg, or trauma, or something... I just have nothing. My ideas are possibly virus brought back from my work at a local avian sanctuary, like dust or poop. No birds are sick there though, and I clean my hands very well... Bean lived next to my Grandma's cockatiel at her house, but he's still healthy and doing well. Bean lived at my house some years prior to all this so I highly doubt it's any cookware or fumes. I'm very cautious about these. Honestly, the most probable cause to me is mold. My dad recently cleaned our vents and the filters came back black, though my room's filter wasn't bad. But spores can travel. It's my best guess since whatever killed her seemed to be so fast and invisible...
Thanks if you read this far. I'd appreciate if someone has some experience with sick birds and has any ideas on her symptoms and nature of death. Much love.