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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

So basically my old gal who's approximately 14 years old (the pet store never gave us an age when we got her over a decade ago) got bumblefoot a few weeks ago. After a surgery to clean out most of the infection, her foot's a tiny bit swollen and she can't grab anything with it. The doctor is convinced she needs to have the foot amputated to stop any infection from spreading.

We had her on antibiotics for the required 10 days after the surgery and have been closely watching the foot while we make this decision and so far the growth hasn't returned.

What I have a problem with is we don't know for sure if the infection is spreading and an x-ray will be almost impossible to tell because the bones are so small to begin with. She is a bit on the heavy side (she's old, doesn't really fly or run around anymore) and I worry that she will not be able to support herself with one leg. Right now, even with the foot not grabbing, she's using it to keep her balance and walk around on the bedding we've set up for her.

Before you freak out and scold me for not getting the operation right away, please understand I've had this bird since I was a child and I don't expect her to live forever. She's already lived longer than most and I just want her to be comfortable. I don't want to stress her out for my own selfish reasons. Do you think a bird her age and weight (40g I believe?) can easily adapt to life with one leg?

Sorry this turned out much longer than I had intended but I just wanted to clearly outline the situation. I've heard of young birds adapting quite well to one leg but there isn't much advice for older birds. I really don't know what to do and I have to make a decision soon :S
 

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Sorry to hear of your difficulties, and the decision you have to make. I know younger bird's adapt well to similar situation's, but as you noted, her age may make this a bit different. I have no experience or expertise to offer, so let's see what some of our really experienced folk's think....:)
 

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Remember that the goal is to make her as happy as possible. There can be a lot of complications with surgery. I do not advice you to go though with it. I might not end her pain, maybe cause even more. She is old, keep that in mind. I hope it all works out and you find a solution which is the most humane for her. When such an old bird faces such a disease, do not forget the option of euthanizing which in a lot of cases is the best for the bird. The goal is not to make her live for as long as possible, but for her to be as happy as possible for the amount of time she has in this life. It is hard to adapt when one is so old.
:hug:
 

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I'm sorry to hear about the hard decision that you have to make. I think it's great that you're in contact with the vet, who can advise you about the pros and cons of having / not having the surgery. It sounds like you've rearranged her environment as much as possible to help with her mobility issues, so you will just have to think about whether or not you would be able to help her more in the worst case scenario of having (and not having) the surgery.

14 is a ripe old age for a budgie, so she must be very well cared for! :)
 

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Before you freak out and scold me for not getting the operation right away, please understand I've had this bird since I was a child and I don't expect her to live forever. She's already lived longer than most and I just want her to be comfortable. I don't want to stress her out for my own selfish reasons. Do you think a bird her age and weight (40g I believe?) can easily adapt to life with one leg?
If your gut is telling you not to have the surgery, then don't have it. Surgery is very expensive and she could die during or shortly after surgery. If she were my budgie, I wouldn't have the surgery because it appears the infection might have been stopped. But I don't judge your decision either way. You love your budgie and you know what's best for the two of you.
 

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What a tough decision this must be for you. At this point you and your vet should have a frank discussion about what your goals are for your little budgie. Is the goal to do everything to cure her? Is the goal to improve her quality of life? What risks are you willing to take? What are the risks to the surgery and what are the risks to medical treatment? Are you ok with her quality of life and do you think you would be able to take the necessary steps to keep her comfortably if she gets worse? These and many more are questions to think about and to talk about with your vet and with others who help care for your budgie.

I don't think anyone on TB will judge you for whatever decision you make. You love your budgie and know her well and you can make the best decision for you and for her. I'm sorry there is no definitive answer. I really admire you for thinking though this so carefully! 14 years is a long time for a budgie to live, but regardless this must be very hard for you. Best wishes to you and your budgie and I will be thinking of you :hug:
 

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I'm sorry to hear about the plight of you and your little one! If it were my budgie, and she was 14 years old, I would not go ahead with the surgery. Because at this point, it seems she isn't in any pain and the infection has stopped, a weaker immune system from the infection and her old age might cause the surgery to go badly or cause needless pain.

If she seems comfortable and you think it is no longer sick, I don't believe you need to go ahead with it because she would likely be happier if she's still able to live life like she used to and not have to worry about living life on one leg.

In the end, though, you are the one who really knows your budgie, so you should talk to the vet and weigh the pros and cons of a surgery.
Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you everyone for your kind words and helpful suggestions. I just got home and checked on her, unfortunately it looks like the infection is starting to come back. Now my brother and I are trying to make the tough decision between amputation, euthanasia, or just making her comfortable and waiting it out. I'm going to have another talk with the vet as soon as I can and hopefully make the decision that's best for her :)
 

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Loyalty Award Recipient January 2015//Deactivated
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All my best thoughts and prayers for you and your brave little girl. The toughest decisions are made with the greatest love. Hopefully your vet will have some options. I know you will do what is best for your special friend.
 

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Fourteen years of age oh how I envy you. The fact your sweet budgie is still with you is testament to your care and love. Nobody here could or would judge you .
The choice you have to make is a true test of your love and bond with your sweetie.
Surgery is always risky for these little ones, I tend to agree with you regarding her age and the problems with her balance and mobility, your heart you will be telling you one thing , it is good that you are discussing the decision with your brother, and vet. I send you healing thoughts and best wishes for a good outcome .
 

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Thank you everyone for your kind words and helpful suggestions. I just got home and checked on her, unfortunately it looks like the infection is starting to come back. Now my brother and I are trying to make the tough decision between amputation, euthanasia, or just making her comfortable and waiting it out. I'm going to have another talk with the vet as soon as I can and hopefully make the decision that's best for her :)
Perhaps you could try administering a different type of antibiotic. Have you tried Doxycycline?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Perhaps you could try administering a different type of antibiotic. Have you tried Doxycycline?
A sample was actually taken from the infection the first time and cultured to determine the best antibiotic. To be honest neither me nor my little girl enjoyed the force feeding 3 times a day. Going to discuss the whole situation with the vet today.
 

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Long Term Active Member Award April 2015
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I am so sorry this is happening, 14 years is a good old age for a budgie. I will not try to tell you what you should or should not do as that is a choice you and the other people involved have to make. I will however tell you what I would do in this situation, first of all just waiting and hoping for the best for me would not be an option, that is the option with the most potential for pain and suffering for a longer period of time. To me also the option of amputation would not be feasible, not so much that it is a large amount of money but that I would worry that not only would it not extend the life of a 14 yr old senior citizen bird, but that it also would involve a lot of pain and suffering, my choice would be spoiling her, giving her whatever treats she likes the best and let her have as much of it as she wants. I would then take her to the vet when she starts showing signs of pain and or being uncomfortable, or sick and give her the gift of peace and freedom from all pain and suffering. That is what I would do and why, you have to be at peace in your mind and heart with your choice so think about your little bird, think about why you are choosing one option over the other and think about your feelings, talk it over with your vet and then make a desicion... Not matter which action you take you know you will have support here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
my choice would be spoiling her, giving her whatever treats she likes the best and let her have as much of it as she wants. I would then take her to the vet when she starts showing signs of pain and or being uncomfortable, or sick and give her the gift of peace and freedom from all pain and suffering. That is what I would do and why, you have to be at peace in your mind and heart with your choice so think about your little bird, think about why you are choosing one option over the other and think about your feelings, talk it over with your vet and then make a desicion... Not matter which action you take you know you will have support here.
You've nailed it right there. We had a discussion with the vet yesterday and that's pretty much what we've decided. While she's up and about, eating and happy, we're going to give her treats, toys, some time with the other senior citizen (not too much we're still not sure if they fight when we're not around) and when she starts to show signs of pain and discomfort then we're going to have her euthanized. It's just really about making her comfortable with the time she has left. No one in the family is happy about losing her but her comfort is all that matters now.
 

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I can only try to imagine what a tough decision have you to make for your budgie. It's a really a wonder that your budgie has survived for so long coz usually budgies don't survive this long in captivity. This itself speaks volumes of the love and care that you have been providing her. I'm sure you'll try to make her comfortable, be whatever your decision. In her twilight phase of life, she definitely wants more comfortability than suffering by living in pain.
We all hope you take the right decision for your budgie in consent with all your other concerned family members.
Found a link...might be useful-

http://beautyofbirds.com/bumblefoot.html
 

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You have got am really hard decision to make. And only you can make it. If i were you i wouldnt let her have the surgery. My budgie (who i loved with all my heart ) Was only nearly three when he suddenly died. So your little budgie has lived a long life in comparison.I think the stress of a operation wouldnt do her any good at all. Then getting used to only one leg at her age.i think would be a bit too much for her. If she is eating and drinking and has some quality of life and not in any pain. I would just leave her. Keep her nice and warm and spoil her rotten. I stress NOT IN ANY PAIN That is what i would do if it was my little budgie. But like i said. You are the only one who can decide.
 
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