Best way to handle a bird's last moments & passing
So as some of you may know from my previous posts on here, the bird I adopted from from our local humane society just under two years ago was found to have fatty growths on his lower belly/bottom area and advanced beak growth, which we've pretty much determined to be fatty liver disease. His beak grows out fully within about 3 weeks time now.
Our avian vet said awhile back that due to the above issues/symptoms, Peepers probably only had 1-2 of life expectancy left. I am praying that Peepers will pass in his sleep one day, however I have a terrible feeling instead that we will be forced to put him to sleep. I already spoke with the avian vet about the best way to handle it, which I believe she holds cotton with a chemical over the bird's beak until it goes to sleep.
I'm trying to make peace with it as best I can, however I don't know how to handle his cagemate during this passing phase if intervention is required. What is least traumatic to the living remaining bird? Keep it in the room with the other one so it sees what's going on and is allowed to see the body, separate them once we get there or leave the one at home and just take the other?
Honestly, none of the options I like; the separation ones especially since they call to each other when they are even a little bit apart and it would just be torture to both them and our family listening to them calling each other in futility. Even thinking about it now brings me to tears. As terrible as it sounds, I almost want to put both down at the same time so they'd at least be together and easier on us, however I'd feel terrible cutting Neon's life so short since he's only about 2.5.
I am hoping and praying that people could offer their thoughts and insight from their experiences dealing with this. It's literally tearing me apart emotionally.
I'm so sorry that you're in this situation and I completely empathise with you on this as I have only recently been in the same predicament. All I can say is that birds and animals are extremely intuitive and often understand more than what they are given credit for.
I didn't bring Noah with me for Oisins passing and I don't think he would have liked to be there either. It's difficult no matter what you do and yes Noah did grieve however he is highly intelligent and I know he knew that Oisin was very unwell and would not have wanted his friend to suffer. Noah is doing well now and is getting spoiled rotten with lots of attention.
plesde don't end Neons life I do understand why you are considering it but he is stronger than you may think and I know you will need each other when the time comes for Peepers passing.
Have you gone down the milk thistle path yet for Peepers? Worth a bit of research into.
The other option you may not have considered is to expand your flock. The only guarantee is that our little ones will leave us all too soon. They could have a night fright, a seizure - you just never know. With a larger flock, a remaining bird will not be on his or her own when it's best friend passes.
It's not fair to end Neon's life because of the possible result of his friend's passing. It's good to know how concerned you are over Neon's well-being, and although he will grieve, you both will be able to work through it together and consider a new friend for Neon when you're ready.
Even though separating them is torture, it may be obvious when Peepers is ready to go. I think Neon would understand that it's time for him to go. However, as mentioned many holistic medications could relieve some of Peeper's suffering, like milk thistle and tumeric (a little sprinkled on food daily). What is his diet?
I'm so sorry to hear you're having to go through this unfortunate situation. I really hope for the best for you and your boys, please keep us posted!
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
I am so sorry you're in this situation. I can relate. In December 2012, we got two male budgies. Twigs (yellow and blue in my sig pic), and Pix a white recessive pied. After we had them about a year and a half or so, Pix started gaining weight rapidly and abnormally so, despite being on the same lean diet as Twigs. He blew up from 30ish grams to 54 at his heaviest. He was hanging over the perch . We diligently gave him personal training sessions, but he didn't lose much. Long story short, two avian vets concluded that Pix had serious systemic problems due to bad genetics/bad breeding. He was living on borrowed time. I had no idea HOW soon he'd pass away. One morning I had a huge shock when I found him dead in his cage . It was told to me that Twigs, his bonded buddy 'knew' that something was wrong and that Pix wouldn't live long. He had come to terms with it and took Pix's passing surprisingly well. I moved Twigs into the room with the parrots after that, so he wouldn't be alone (until I got Mink). When Twigs was with the parrots, he was still technically "alone". Nonetheless, he got over Pix's death right away, and they were closely bonded too. Animals do get over it... It was me who had a hard time with it.
About 10 years ago I had to have a parrot euthanized. This thread brings me back to that. It was very difficult. I had forgotten what method he used, but euthanasia is always quick. He gave me a good amount of time with her (no time can ever be enough), then asked if I'm ready. She was drowsy for a few seconds, then she was gone. It took me a good year before I didn't burst out crying without notice at random times. Take care.
What a horrible situation. Most people here I think have experienced similar and there is never an easy way round it. If you judge that Peepers needs to be helped on his way, I would not take Neon with you. I think this will only confuse him and cause additional stress for poor Peepers and for you.
Budgies do grieve, and so do we, there is no getting away from it. But, like us, they are resilient. With plenty of attention Neon will most likely come through, and at some stage become ready for company again. As for how you will feel, it will be tough at first. Helping the survivor will help you as well as him. But over time the pain will ease, and the memory of the loved budgie will remain strong, probably for for life. I know I remember all of them with love.
For the endgame itself, I think that depends on the final situation. You sort of know when you are reaching the final moments I have found, and I would suggest that trying to rush him off to vet then would not help, but exasperate the situation. If poor Peepers is flailing and in pain on the floor of the cage, I would remove him and let him spend his last moments in your hand away from Neon. If it is more peaceful, I would not remove him but allow nature to take its course.
I really do believe that they know you are with them at the end. And that in my opinion is the best thing you can do for your loved one, whether at home or at the vet.