Today my heart feels so empty, my Lucky, who was a real fighter, finally lost his brave battle against long term health issues and passed away this afternoon. His problems all started late October last year when we had only had him for 2 months, AGY was diagnosed shortly afterwards but I think there was a lot more going on than that, he always had yellow runny droppings when he became ill along with vomiting but I could never find any mention of yellow droppings when researching megabacteria so in my mind there was more issues going on.
With the confirmed agy infection though I spent months giving him megabac-s, poured a lot of money into buying tubs of that as it didn't last long what with giving the correct dosage into his drinking water day in day out, I decided to stick with using it long term as when I stopped it after the 10 day initial period he would become ill not long after with the same recurring yellow droppings and being sick.
He would always recover after 3 to 5 days of being ill but as the months went on the time he stayed healthy between bouts of illness was beginning to decrease rapidly & in the last few months he spent as much time ill as he did being his usual noisy, playful self. Having researched so much into these yellow droppings I decided to ask the vet if we could treat Lucky for Psittacosis anyway, despite the blood test they did on him way back when he first become ill which came back negative and so he had the 6 week course of injections, he finished them earlier this month. Lucky did become ill with the usual symptoms the day after the 3rd injection but he improved quickly and 3 days later was back to having normal droppings and being his usual self. A number of weeks went by and my hopes were raised, I really thought he was finally cured after all this time as in the few months prior to having the injections he was being ill almost weekly but here he was, just over 4 weeks of being healthy, life was looking great, that was until last weekend when I started to worry about how he was acting, his droppings were still normal at this point but I just knew in my heart that he was beginning to go down hill again.
My worst fears were confirmed when very early last Sunday morning while his cage was still covered, I heard him vomiting, on un-covering his cage and looking at the newspaper at the bottom of the cage there was the yellow droppings again, my hopes of him finally being cured were gone & my heart sank as I didn't know what else I or the vet could try.
From Sunday right up until Wednesday he was very ill again, hardly eating but late Wednesday he started to perk up, began eating a lot and when I checked the bottom of his cage on Thursday morning there were 2 yellow runny droppings but all the rest were completely back to normal. We had a vet appointment that day anyway, was meant to be a check up to see how he was after having the Psittacosis injections but I had to break the news to the vet that he was ill again. In my heart I knew that the illness would return, after all why would it just suddenly end now after being an ongoing issue for so long so after talking with the vet we decided an x-ray would be a good idea, along with more blood tests. The x-ray showed nothing out of the ordinary, in fact the vet was happy with what it showed, the blood tests did show the liver wasn't 100% healthy but certainly no sign of liver disease or imminent liver failure which with all these yellow runny droppings he'd been suffering with I was suspecting possible liver disease but what the blood tests did show was high levels of zinc in his blood!
We had medication to give him orally for the zinc poisoning, injections are preferred and the vet did inject him while we were there but taking him back everyday for the injection wasn't really an option when it's a 120 mile round trip as they are the nearest avian vets.
Lucky was doing fine when we got back, couldn't wait to get out of his cage as per usual as he only ever spent time in it to sleep, he spent all day out of it & he was fine when I put him to bed last night but I got woke up during the night by what I thought was the sound of him falling off his perch, I uncovered his cage to find him struggling to stand on the perch he usually slept on, he'd appeared to have trouble using his left leg but I know from what I was told about zinc poisoning that it can cause weakness, disorientation etc, after a few seconds he was back standing on his perch although he was holding his left claw up. I watched him for a while before covering him back up.
He woke up early as usual, I heard him climbing down to the door of his cage like he did every morning, waiting for me to let him out and out he flew over to one of the budgie playzone toys he liked, it was at this point that I noticed that he had a tremor, could also call it shaking I guess, not a lot but noticeable, he wasn't sat still like normal, he continued to have this shaking/tremor, this I thought was due to the zinc poinoning and that the medication I was giving him would help, the vet did say it would take a few days before any improvement would be evident. I stayed in the room with him most of the day, only leaving for a brief moments when I had to and when I came back after only being gone for a minute, Lucky had collapsed, he was still breathing but completely unresponsive, I held him in my hands for a while until his little heart finally gave up and he passed away, I feel so guilty I left the room when I did & wasn't there when he needed me, I was probably gone for less than a minute because I didn't want anything to happen to him while he was alone but at least he was safely in my hands when he finally passed, that gives me a crumb of comfort over all this but I just can't believe he's gone after battling for so long
I keep telling myself that I know deep down that he would have become ill again, whatever was wrong with him wouldn't have just cured itself now after all this time although I can't help but think that if I hadn't put him through the x-ray that he would still be here now, x-rays are such a risk on such a small bird but I didn't feel I had any other choice, I had to try and get to the bottom of what was making him ill so frequently.
I'm now suspecting that Lucky may have had a stroke during the night, although he wasn't using his beak to hold onto the cage bars to help him stand, maybe that's why the alarm bells weren't ringing at the time & I didn't suspect it, a possible stroke could also account for the shaking/tremors that he had today as well.
If your reading this Lucky, while your sat up there on Rainbow Bridge, I can only hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, I fought so hard to try and save you over the course of the last 13 months but I fear my actions at the vets may have contributed to you losing your fight to stay with me. You had such a short life but I hope in the short time you were here that you knew how much we all loved you and always will.
Sorry to write so much but it helps a little to write about the fight that both he & I had been battling with for so long but at least now I know he wont suffer ever again, fly free mate & I'll see you again one day xx