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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. I just found this site and registered. This is to introduce myself and my cockatiel, Baby. I will appreciate any advice you may have based on your own experiences with a geriatric bird.

Baby is just over 21 1/2 years old. He is great company and so much fun. He has been pretty healthy his whole life, but is showing his age. He still likes to cuddle and have his head scratched. He plays and sings. He is slow to start in the mornings (as am I) and sleeps a lot. He has pain from arthritis in his feet from age and has developed some foot deformity from a broken toe that happened many years ago. He started to have difficulty balancing on a perch. I have transitioned him to a lower, flatter cage and flat perches. He still climbs a little to reach his perches.

We just visited the vet and had blood work done. (scary process) The full results of the blood tests are still pending. His preliminary diagnosis included Arthritis, Polycythemia (red blood cell count too high), and Hypertension (his heart working too hard). The explanation sounded to me similar to a human with congestive heart failure and arteriosclosis. In addition to the vet's injection for pain and treatment he's now on oral meds for pain and to increase his vascular flexibility.

I'm concerned for Baby's health and more so for his quality of life. He means the world to me. He's still a happy guy, but the vet visit took a lot out of him. Except for him slowing down and some physical limitations, he has seemed okay. I don't want the cure to be worse than the disease. I'm wondering if any of these symptoms sound familiar to other bird owners. If so, I welcome any comments regarding your experience and care for an aging cockatiel.

I apologize for the length of this post. I appreciate your patience and any information or advice you can share.

Thank you,
Ray
 

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Ray, Welcome to the forum. It broke my heart to read of baby's issues. I sure wish I could help you, but out of the 13 cockatiels we have, our oldest is only four and a half years old! It's obvious your bird has been well taken care of and has lead a happy life! My hat is off to you for caring for him all those years and doing your best in his senior years. I'm really not sure anyone on this board ( including me ) would be qualified to give you anymore advice that you probably haven't already heard from your vet. Please keep us informed on how baby is doing and send us a few photos when you get time.

Best of luck to you and your buddy.

Robert
 

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Hello all. I just found this site and registered. This is to introduce myself and my cockatiel, Baby. I will appreciate any advice you may have based on your own experiences with a geriatric bird.

Baby is just over 21 1/2 years old. He is great company and so much fun. He has been pretty healthy his whole life, but is showing his age. He still likes to cuddle and have his head scratched. He plays and sings. He is slow to start in the mornings (as am I) and sleeps a lot. He has pain from arthritis in his feet from age and has developed some foot deformity from a broken toe that happened many years ago. He started to have difficulty balancing on a perch. I have transitioned him to a lower, flatter cage and flat perches. He still climbs a little to reach his perches.

We just visited the vet and had blood work done. (scary process) The full results of the blood tests are still pending. His preliminary diagnosis included Arthritis, Polycythemia (red blood cell count too high), and Hypertension (his heart working too hard). The explanation sounded to me similar to a human with congestive heart failure and arteriosclosis. In addition to the vet's injection for pain and treatment he's now on oral meds for pain and to increase his vascular flexibility.

I'm concerned for Baby's health and more so for his quality of life. He means the world to me. He's still a happy guy, but the vet visit took a lot out of him. Except for him slowing down and some physical limitations, he has seemed okay. I don't want the cure to be worse than the disease. I'm wondering if any of these symptoms sound familiar to other bird owners. If so, I welcome any comments regarding your experience and care for an aging cockatiel.

I apologize for the length of this post. I appreciate your patience and any information or advice you can share.

Thank you,
Ray
Hi Ray
I am new too so good reading your post! My bird is 16 I had her as an aviary bird then 17 months ago brought her in to live in comfort for her remaining years. My bird is not handtame but since coming indoors she’s more friendly likes her head scratched too. My problem is her long nails. She is ok on pearches but I worry and worry taking her to a vet which will completely stress her out. She healthy and lively but I worry if she catches her nails. Wondered if vets can give a sedative to give before a vet visit so I understand you fully!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Ray
I am new too so good reading your post! My bird is 16 I had her as an aviary bird then 17 months ago brought her in to live in comfort for her remaining years. My bird is not handtame but since coming indoors she’s more friendly likes her head scratched too. My problem is her long nails. She is ok on pearches but I worry and worry taking her to a vet which will completely stress her out. She healthy and lively but I worry if she catches her nails. Wondered if vets can give a sedative to give before a vet visit so I understand you fully!
Hi Howard, Thanks for your reply. The short answer: No one has ever given my bird a sedative before trimming his nails. But, he is tame and used to being handled daily, mostly by me. Still, it is stressful for him and I cuddle him afterwards to reassure him. I have used a few different bird stores, but never a vet for nail trimming. The vets here want to do a full examination before trimming the nails.
Recenlty, I have trimmed Baby's nails a few times myself, but it's a chore. You have to be sure not to cut too short and draw blood. You can buy a powder to stop the bleeding, if necessary, or you can simply use corn starch. Were I you, I'd consider trying to take at least the tips off her nails yourself. You can use a pair of nail scissors or just a pair of regular nail clippers. If you do, wrap the bird in a towel to control it and protect its wings, and be sure to have something available, in case you accidently draw blood. It is easier and safer for the bird if you have someone to hold the bird while you trim.
There are many YouTube videos on trimming birds nails. With a bird that is not tame, it would be somewhat more difficult. Good luck with whatever you decide. I wouldn't wait to at least take the longest tips off her nails, even if you just do a couple at a time.
Good luck.
Ray
 
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