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Hi all,
We lost our 13 year old female 'tiel Nico very unexpectedly this evening. I had noticed this morning she was breathing rapidly and appeared swollen in the bottom, so my immediate thought was that she was egg bound. My partner (Nico was her bird) brought Nico to the vet who xrayed her and found that her liver was about three times the normal size and it was pushing on her air sacs. (She had come from the same location as our other cockatiel, Buffy, who passed away two years ago also from an enlarged liver. The owner smoked and the birds were caged in an attic with a window that was open year round.) The vet also determined she was going to produce an egg sometime in the next 1-2 days which would have needed to be surgically removed (and every time she formed an egg thereafter), and if it was not removed it would have suffocated her. That being said, we made the difficult decision to euthanize her.

She and one of our males Koda were bonded quite strongly, although him to her moreso than vice versa. He went along for the vet trip in the interest in keeping both of them more comfortable. They preened each other and cuddled for some time before the vet came for our girl.

The vet suggested we tie up some of Nico's feathers in the cage near where Koda sleeps to help him cope. I've also read in the past that showering them with attention can be helpful in the days following the loss. Koda has never been super affectionate with people, although he does enjoy it once in a great while. He is obviously very distressed by the loss and he has been calling for her since we left the clinic. We do have two other males in the cage with him, plus my two males who live in a separate cage, so he is not TOTALLY alone. I gave him some millet in the meantime since he loves it and we only feed it as a treat.

Does anyone have any other advice for helping him through this? He doesn't really like any of the other birds in the house, in fact he would usually chase them away or run away from them.

And, on another note, are there alternative methods of euthanasia for birds than the incubator + injection? My partner was very bothered by the fact that we were not advised to be with Nico during her passing due to the nature of the neurological reactions of birds in the process of passing and the fact that we would not be able to hold her as it happened. I have seen what the vet spoke of in two of our other 'tiels who have passed naturally and I did agree that it was not something enjoyable to witness, but I wondered if anyone else has had birds euthanized where they actually were able to hold the bird when it happened. I would have preferred such a thing if it exists, but there were no other vets in our area that would have seen her this evening.

It has certainly been a miserable day for us here, but I am thankful I still have my boys. Give your birds a kiss goodnight tonight--you never know what tomorrow will bring. :angel:
 

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I am very sorry for the difficult decision you have had to make, some times the greatest gift of love hurts us the deepest. RIP little girl...

I had a young male budgie euthanized a few years ago. my vet was so sweet and gentle. He used a needle so thin that my boy didn't even flinch to inject some anesthesia into a chest muscle... this put him into a very deep sleep fairly quickly. he gave him to me to hold while the drug worked and left the room so I had time alone with him. When the drug had time to put my boy very deeply under he came back and laid him on his back... he spread his wings and wet them down so he could see the veins and injected the euthanasia meds directly into a wing vein. It only took seconds and my little boy was gone. I didn't get to hold him while he did this however I did get to stay with him and saw how easy a passing it was... he just went to sleep and was gone. It was very non traumatic for us both... Rip beau. you are still missed.
 

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**Hugs** Losing a baby always sucks. My heart goes out to you :(
 

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Sorry for your loss, I have no experience with euthenasing birds, but if the vet explained the process to you I would prefer to be present while it happened
Parrotlets Rock, what a great vet. Having our old dog euthenased at home last week the vet was also very kind and understanding, it helped a lot
 

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Huge hugs from Joey and me. My heart is with you, your partner, and sweet Koda. Hard as it is for humans, I can't imagine how it is for the surviving partner.
 

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surviving

I am so sorry for your loss. It hurts so much to lose them, not just us, but their feathered companions as well.
My vet told me also that they don't allow bird owners to be present when their companion birds are euthanized. It would be very stressful for the owner. I was very thankful when I lost my Meshach to cancer that I didn't have to make that awful decision. She passed away peacefully on her own.
As far as helping your remaining bird cope, I would say try to spend extra time with him. I think the special treats are a good idea, too. It will take some time for him to adjust, but with your loving care, he will.
Peace to you!
 

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Sorry for your loss, I have no experience with euthenasing birds, but if the vet explained the process to you I would prefer to be present while it happened
Parrotlets Rock, what a great vet. Having our old dog euthenased at home last week the vet was also very kind and understanding, it helped a lot
I know it is so reassuring to see such an easy transition from this life to the bridge...sorry to hear of your dog.. Rip poochy.


I am so sorry for your loss. It hurts so much to lose them, not just us, but their feathered companions as well.
My vet told me also that they don't allow bird owners to be present when their companion birds are euthanized. It would be very stressful for the owner. I was very thankful when I lost my Meshach to cancer that I didn't have to make that awful decision. She passed away peacefully on her own.
As far as helping your remaining bird cope, I would say try to spend extra time with him. I think the special treats are a good idea, too. It will take some time for him to adjust, but with your loving care, he will.
Peace to you!
It should not be stressful if the vet uses the proper technic, I think they need to be anestitized first to avoid any discomfort or reactions to the meds... Beau just went to sleep, he was there one second and then he just wasn't anymore... Very easy for us both.
 

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I am sorry about your loss - and that I can't offer advice with euthanasia options as I have no experience in that area. The birds I have lost have always been attached only to me so I don't know what to suggest about helping the survivor through the loss of his mate. It's so hard to lose one of these guys - my sympathies :(
 

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I am so sorry for your loss :(
 

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I'm very sorry for your loss. Helping Koda cope is going to be hard but this may be the best time to build a closer bond. Flock call back to him when he's calling for her. Give him treats. You may need to spend more time with him than the other birds right now.

And, on another note, are there alternative methods of euthanasia for birds than the incubator + injection? My partner was very bothered by the fact that we were not advised to be with Nico during her passing due to the nature of the neurological reactions of birds in the process of passing and the fact that we would not be able to hold her as it happened. I have seen what the vet spoke of in two of our other 'tiels who have passed naturally and I did agree that it was not something enjoyable to witness, but I wondered if anyone else has had birds euthanized where they actually were able to hold the bird when it happened. I would have preferred such a thing if it exists, but there were no other vets in our area that would have seen her this evening.
Honestly, your vet was being as nice as possible. Not everyone has the smallest needles that are needed to inject the solution directly into a small birds wing vein. A lot of non-bird vets are going to gas them down (that's how we do it with the small pocket pets, they just go to sleep.) I don't know that I would want to hold a bird while that was happening. I held a seagull as it passed away and it was pretty terrible (it passed away before we could euthanize it, I as holding it when a client came in to visit their parvo puppy and we put a towel over the seagull so they wouldn't be bothered by it. It passed in my hands while they were with their puppy.) It's a very hard thing to deal with.
 

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I do not want my birds' last memories of life to be nothing but a cold, sterile room with strangers poking and prodding them. If the vet would not let me be present for my companion's passing, I would find another one that would. I know that wasn't an option for you at the time, unfortunately, but it may be something to speak to your vets about in advance in case of emergency.

I had a rat euthanised a few years back, and was initially told by the receptionist I couldn't be in the room during. I spoke to the vet, whom said it's because they don't want people to be exposed to the gas unnecessarily. I told him it wasn't an issue, and so I got to hold my rat in a towel until he was sedated for the heart stick. I am so glad I persisted and got to be there for him, and I'm sure he took comfort in knowing I was there.
 

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I would talk to the vets in your area about what they can offer you and your pet should this situation happen again. if you are not happy with what they offer you can look further while you are not under stress
 
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