My budgie, Sunshine, passed away early this morning. He had been battling liver disease for almost a year. We thought he was on the mend, but for the last few days, he had been very puffed up. We took him to the avian vet yesterday afternoon, and I had wanted them to take blood to check his liver enzymes. The doctor said that he may die because of being so unstable. She wanted to wait until he had stabilized before she drew blood. We couldn't afford to have him stay overnight in their incubator, so she suggested that we put him in a 10-gallon aquarium with a heating pad underneath it to keep him warm. She also sent us home with an antibiotic and asked for us to continue the lactulose with milk thistle. I gave him both of those meds last night. We went out and bought a terrarium since we couldn't find a 10-gallon tank. This one was 5.5 gallons. We also bought a heating pad. Because the heating pad kept shutting off every hour, I set my alarm to get up with him every hour to reset it and to check on him. We also put my son's desk lamp next to the tank to give him extra warmth. He seemed to really like the lamp, as he kept close to the side of the tank where the light was pointing towards for most of the time.
I guess I'm having bad thoughts that maybe I helped hasten his death, because at 5:30 a.m. when my alarm went off, I went to reset the heating pad (which was at it's lowest setting), he was lying on the botton with his wings spread out. I've heard that this is a sign of a bird being overheated. He wasn't mouth breathing at all, and when I picked him up, he wasn't overly warm. He actually felt cool. Less than one minute after I picked him up, I heard him gurgling and then he took his last breath.
Today's been an extremely hard day, and I can't get his last moments/hours of life out of my mind. I wanted to see if anyone else would know whether he could have gotten overheated. I bought a fish tank temperature sticker and stuck it to the outside of the terrarium. It was at the opposite end of where the lamp was, and it said 80 degrees. A couple hours before he died, he was on the cool end of the terrarium. The doctor told me that he needed to be kept in 80-degree temperatures. Any input would be so nice right now. I'm just devastated about losing my little guy. He was about 7 years old, and I only had him for a year. I miss him so much.
Im so sorry for your loss Kris, I think you did everything you could. It seems that your little Sunshine passed from his health issues not anything you did. If the temp. in the cage registered 80 degrees then that was the correct amount of warmth.