Part 2: Discovering the Problem.
On 12/22/15, 3-year-old Shayne laid 2 eggs. I had originally started a thread but I will summarize here.
I was worried that Shayne had not laid another egg, because she had what I thought was an "egg-belly." I was worried she might have an egg-binding problem, and I didn't know enough about it. I sent in pictures, and was advised that her belly didn't look right and that I should see a vet.
Shayne's Tumor, 12/27/15
Again, being a newbie, I Googled "bird vet," and found one in the next town (20 minutes drive). My husband and I took Shayne there. Understand, my husband just had surgery and the removed tissue had tested positive for cancer. We had just received the news that additional tests showed no more cancer in his body (thank God), but I was still emotionally frazzled and was very worried about Shayne.
It was a big mistake to go to this vet, because he was a regular vet even though he showed up on the list of bird vets, he had no idea what he was doing.
- They did a hack-job of clipping Shayne's wings only because they were afraid she would get away.
- He took an unnecessary x-ray and then admitted he didn't know what he was looking for.
- When she came back from the x-ray, she was terrified and it took 10 minutes to calm her down.
The lesson here: Call the vets and ask them questions, like what is the extent of treatments they can perform. If it's just clipping wings and nails, you need to find somebody else. You may also have to drive further, as there may not be many qualified avian vets in your area.
We did find a qualified avian vet (40 minute drive), who had been treating birds for 30 years. He handled Shayne without spooking her and diagnosed her quickly.
Because we thought it was an egg-belly, we didn't go to a vet earlier. We didn't notice it before the egg-laying. By the time we got her to the avian vet on 12/27, the tumor was already too big for the vet to operate - he didn't feel comfortable and said the operation could probably kill her. He said her lungs were being affected and gave us some antibiotic and instructed us to keep her warm. He also told us that a diet change will sometimes make the tumor shrink.
Shayne is a seed junkie and is very stubborn. Sunny does what Shayne does. Shayne's the smart one, and Sunny is my little dumb-dumb - think Pinky and the Brain. The only vegetable I have gotten them to accept is fresh peas. Shayne will nibble on other stuff but only because it is my food. Put it in a dish and they ignore it.
On 12/28, Shayne's breathing had become labored. She sat hunched over with her feathers fluffed up (but they looked ragged). She wasn't playing or singing and was sleeping a lot. I put a thermometer in the room and kept it from 68-75 degrees (it's amazing how 2 computers will heat up a room).
On the morning of 12/29, Shayne's sides were heaving and her breath had become rasping. Sunny started crying, a plaintive, mournful sound. My husband and I didn't expect her to live more than a few days. I beat myself up over it, but my friends here helped my align my perspective (thanks again).
However, a few hours after we gave her the morning medicine, Shayne started to perk up and her breathing eased a little, but we could still hear it.
See Part 3.