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Comfort for Dying Old Cockatiel
Petey, my 22 year and 5-month old cockatiel is dying.  It started over two months ago when he go sick.  He looked like the wild birds I've seen with West Nile virus.  Just when we were certain it was the end, Petey rallied but hasn't been the same since.  He's had loose stools off and on and has lost a lot of weight.  I've used moulting and conditioning vitamins as a supplement for several years, but it's not making any difference now obviously.  He does eat his regular seed, but not as much, and has trouble with his old favorite sunflower seeds.  A spray of fresh millet gets the biggest reaction out of him these days.  

He sleeps most of the time, keeps his feathers puffed up like he's cold, and seems to need his wings for balance more often than not.  There's certainly a loss of coordination.   Petey never would use a Happy Hut, so I have a small towel on the bottom of one corner of his cage that he likes to snug with.  Better than nothing.  During the worst of his illness, he wanted nothing to do with us.  In the past few days, he wants nothing more than to sit under my chin and sleep.

I want to do right by my little companion, so any hints you can offer for comfort measures will be greatly appreciated.  Petey was the first companion "child" that my husband I had. Life will be so strange without him, but I'm grateful for all the years we've had with.  He's never had one single health problem in all this time, so it's difficult to see him like this.  All I can think of is to keep him as warm and comfortable as possible until he's gone.  :-(
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I have three cockatiels - two brothers will be 26 in June, and my Kelly will be 28 in July.  I never expected them to live this long, as years ago the avian vet said that an 11 year old was elderly.  My Kelly had a couple of strokes, is very placid and gentle and loves to be picked up and cuddled.  I can't  believe she is still her after five years when she had the strokes.  I am sure she is blind is one eye, and she is hunched over with her head leaning to one side but she is eating great and moves around slowly in her cage never wanting to come out anymore.  The other two brothers are okay and more mobile but Opus has gone blind and doesn't want to leave his cage.  I will not bring them to a vet because it will kill them from the stress.  Anyone have cockatiels this old?  I know one day I will find them gone in the cage but am grateful for their long life (have given them Harrison's bird food all their lives).  MaryAnn
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I'm so glad to have found this thread, started way back in Dec 2010 by Jaybay. Thank you! While it is heartbreaking to read of the losses of all these treasured old cockatiels starting with Petey, it is also comforting to read the words of support and all of the helpful suggestions on dealing with an aging or dying pet bird.

I too have an elderly cockatiel, just a little older than your boys, marypar. Elzy is 26 and a half and I've had her since she was a baby. I got her from a co-worker who raised birds and she has been a joy to me ever since. She has outlived 3 dogs and 2 cats and 1 other cockatiel (that she hatched and raised) but she is having some difficulty in her old age adjusting to my new, very active dog, I think. My dog and cat play pretty rough and I think it stresses Elzy when they rough-house near her cage. Not sure if that is contributing to her decline but I don't know if there is a solution to that - I don't want to close her off in a room by herself.

She got "sick" a couple of months ago and lost a lot of weight, threw up, wouldn't eat/drink, etc. and I think it was due to a combination of the new dog, unusually cold winter, and a change in seed or a bad batch of seed. I took her to the vet and he gave her fluids, a couple of shots (Vitamins and antibiotic), some meds, and suggested some high calorie, nutritious treats to give her. He could not find any obvious indications of cancer, heart, liver, or kidney problems. I bought new (packaged) seed, not bulk like she had always eaten (along with Exact pellets and people food, mostly carrots, cereal, and cornbread). I bought an infrared heat lamp to put near her cage to keep her warm, and gave her water from a syringe to make sure she was getting enough fluids. She made an immediate turn around and in two months had gained weight (from 64g to 79g, her normal weight being about 85g) and was chirping and eating and acting pretty normal again.

Then, I went out of town for 5 days and when I came back, she had "relapsed", even though the petsitter had told me she was doing fine. Grrr. It didn't look like she had eaten at all, she had lost weight back down to 73g, and she wasn't using her wings at all, not stretching them out for exercise or to preen them.

Now, she doesn't want to eat on her own, although she will chow down on some millet spray with encouragement, but that's all. She's definitely not as mobile as she was since she's not using her wings for balance, so I've put new food and water dishes up where she perches, high in her cage, and took the advice of some of you in this thread and put a soft cushy towel in the bottom in case she falls. I covered it with paper towels so I can still monitor her stool and so she doesn't get stuck in the towel if she does happen to end up down there. So far, she hasn't fallen. I wonder, too, if she isn't having vision problems. Some of you have mentioned your birds going blind and I suspect Elzy is losing her vision as well. She still chirps and whistles and isn't shaky and puffed up like when she was sick. Other than being very thin, she seems to be hanging in there and not suffering at all.

My question would be: is there any kind of bird "formula" that is nutritious and high calorie that I could give her through a syringe to supplement what little bit she is eating on her own? She takes water from the syringe very well and doesn't appear stressed. I don't have to force it on her as she seems to want/like it. If there isn't a formula I could purchase, could I make one using water and some cereal, veggies, & cornbread in a blender, like a smoothie? Just wondering what my options are here as far as getting her to eat and gain weight.

I know her time is limited but I want to make her as comfortable as possible in her remaining days/weeks/months. She is the second oldest cockatiel my vet has seen, the oldest being 31 (wow). My heart goes out to all of you who have lost your birds (and ireneo for losing your cat) and miss them so dearly. When that day comes for Elzy, I will take comfort in knowing I'm not alone in my grieving - thank you.

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Hi ElzysMom
I just saw your post and just wanted you to know you are not alone with your aging tiel.  As you see from my post, my three tiels are very old but still doing surprisingly well.  I hope when their times come, they die  peacefully without suffering.  

I wanted to mention that I purchased from Fosters and Smith Pet Catalogue these large grilled platforms that my birds can walk on but be raised from the bottom of the cage so  they don't fall a long distance if they lose their balance.  I place two or three (they have different sizes) along the inside of the cage and they can walk on a platform and still feel elevated but safe.  

I really don't know about what to feed Elzy to have her gain weight other than hard  boiled eggs or chicken, beans and other people food.  My birds eat people cereal like puffed rice, puffed millet, puffed corn, organic cornflakes, cheerios, rice cakes  all topped with avicakes, harrison bird food powder and twice a week greens flakes.  They love rice and any kind of plain pasta.  My birds never ate birdseed,  only pellets once in a while on their cereal.  They managed to live a long life this way and they never went to a vet - they would die of fear and probably a heart attack.  



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I just found this site and am so grateful to read the stories and be able to connect with others who can relate, advise, and encourage. My cockatiel, Babe, is 21 years old and has osteoarthritis. She is having a hard time walking and keeping her balance. The vet prescribed Metacam for her, but did say it could cause kidney failure. Does anyone have experience or ideas on giving Metacam to cockatiels? Does anyone have suggestions for additional ways I can help my birdie be comfortable and reduce her joint swelling and pain? Thank you so much!
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Regarding my message on June 7 to Elyzsmom, my 28 yr old cockateil who has had some strokes over five years ago, blind in one eye, and loses her balance, I purchased the sun deck platforms from fosters smith and put them in the midde of the cage so she can walk elevated and not fall off her perch.  They are great, in and outside the cage, and very inexpensive.  If the link doesn't work, the website is foster smith and search under bird accessories.  

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=5059+11295+8367&pcatid=8367
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Thank you as I have so many walkways for my bird so he doesn't have to climb to much..my old man
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I'm so sorry to hear about Petey. I have owned birds for over 35 yrs.  Birds will hide that they aren't feeling well. so when you start to notice that your bird is not eating and starting to sleep more and their feathers are puffed up and they start having loose droppings they need to see a vet yesterday.. keep him or her warm by putting a heat lamp on top of the cage.  To keep him or her warm on the way to the vet try putting hand warmers on the bottom of the box or carrier then cover with a towel. make sure that the towel does not become hot,  if it does add another towel, it should be warm to the touch. cover the box or carrier with a blanket and go.
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I have had mine for 34 almost 35 years when do we know it's their time, as my baby just seems old at this point, but I did take him to the vet in his 20s with a cold and they saved him, he is now 34 and he's really old, having old man issues,
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I read every single post.  This is heartbreaking. I too lost my beloved Baby Boy four days ago. He was 27 1/2 and died in my arms. He was injured two weeks ago, or had an attack of some sort and I had been nursing him 24/7 to help. He was improving steadily then took an abrupt downward turn and stopped eating. He was not the kind of bird who would accept handling so I didn't like having to feed him by eyedropper but he was losing weight fast and was always a 'shrimp' even in his youth. As hard as I tried (yes, and cried) he just declined to barely standing on a soft washcloth. Overnight I saw some motion in his dimmed cage and found him on his back, unable to right himself. For the next couple of hours I cupped my hand over his back to keep him upright and warm. I also wanted him to sense my love for him and that he was safe from harm. He played with my religious medal's chain (something he always enjoyed as a sort of pacifier) until he'd tired of it. For the remaining hour of his life I just lovingly stroked my little Boy's crest. I am so heartbroken. I cannot let any thought of him run through my mind without falling apart. He was my constant companion through decades of disability that have pretty much confined me to home. I knew it would be bad when he died but I didn't know it would be this devastating - not that I could have prepare for this anyway.
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Baby Boy was a cockatiel, too - I think I left out that detail in my post a couple of minutes ago.
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Wow. I'm so happy I discovered this forum, and so happy it's stayed active all this time.  Those of us with 'tiels in their twilight years really need a place like this.

My guy is closing in on 25.  He's had an arrhythmia for more than three years, and two weeks ago, he went into respiratory distress after flying 10 feet.  I had to rush to get him some diuretics, and, knock on wood, I now seem to be getting him stable and comfortable.   But it's tough not knowing now whether he's got weeks or months.  And it's hard to have to make those "just in case" plans.

My love to everyone who's loved and lost their birds, and to those of us still caring for them.  
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I found this poem on a cockatiel forum and added the credits.
Maybe it will help someone here as it did me.

"I'll lend you, for a little while, a bird of mine, He said. For you to love while he lives, and mourn when he is dead. It may be six or seven years, or maybe twenty-three, But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me? He'll bring his charms to gladden you, and shall his stay be brief, You'll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief. I cannot promise he will stay, as all from earth return, But there are lessons taught down there I want this bird to learn.

I've looked the whole world over in my search for teachers true, And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes, I have selected you. Now will you give him all your love - not think this labor vain, Nor hate me when I come to call, to take him back again. I fancied that I heard them say, 'Dear Lord, thy will be done.' For all the joy this bird shall bring, the risk of grief we'll run. We'll shower him with tenderness and love him while we may, And for the happiness we've known, forever grateful stay.

And should the angels call for him much sooner than we planned, We'll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand."

Adaptation of the work of Edgar Guest, newspaperman and poet (1881 - 1959)
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That's beautiful thank you
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Hello
I can understand. My bird Baby I think has had a stroke and my husband wanted to put her  down. Instead I put her   in a deep container with soft towels and water bottles for warmth.She knows I am trying to help her even though most people would laugh at me. I am getting her to eat and drink a little but she is very disorientated.She was born 6 years ago on 2nd november which is my husbands birthday.I am not sleeping and crying but I think she is suffering and I wonder if I am being selfish. she looks at me with her beautiful eyes as if she wants help. By the way she is a beautiful king parrot.I prayed to god to help her I hope he finds it in his heart to help. I will look after her regardless of other peoples comments I want her to be comfortable until she gets better or dies I know most vets would put her down so she is better off at home.
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Hello
I can understand. My bird Baby I think has had a stroke and my husband wanted to put her  down. Instead I put her   in a deep container with soft towels and water bottles for warmth.She knows I am trying to help her even though most people would laugh at me. I am getting her to eat and drink a little but she is very disorientated.She was born 6 years ago on 2nd november which is my husbands birthday.I am not sleeping and crying but I think she is suffering and I wonder if I am being selfish. she looks at me with her beautiful eyes as if she wants help. By the way she is a beautiful king parrot.I prayed to god to help her I hope he finds it in his heart to help. I will look after her regardless of other peoples comments I want her to be comfortable until she gets better or dies I know most vets would put her down so she is better off at home.
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I sent you a private message regarding your bird.  I hope you will get him/her to an avian vet asap. 6 years old is young for a King Parrot. Don't just assume it's got an untreatable problem.
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My bird is dying.  I am so sad.  I don't want her to die.
I just gave her some Palm Oil.  I was giving her baytril, but now it seems to make her condition worse.
Please, tell me what to do.
Thanks.
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My bird is dying.  I am so sad.  I don't want her to die.
I just gave her some Palm Oil.  I was giving her baytril, but now it seems to make her condition worse.
Please, tell me what to do.
Thanks.
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She's gone.  She died.  Both her companion of 24 yrs. (the other 1/2 of a breeding pair) and I are grieving.  24 years!
It'll be rough.
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Dear Karen
I am so sorry to read your post about your beloved cockatiel.  It is very sad and I have lost cockateils and now have a 28 yr old, and two 26 year old cockateils still living.  I am dreading the time my 28 year old will die; she has been frail, weak, lost her balance since some strokes over five years ago.  She is hanging on - I will be thinking of you in your loss and stay strong.  I know it is sad to see her mate grieve, as I had the same issue; I had the mate just look at the still body and I think helped him absorb what happened.  Again, I will be thinking of you.
maryann
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Thanks, Maryann.  The male is grieving badly.  He won't eat.  Won't stay in the cage.  I had to take him out of the cage and keep him with me in the computer room/office.  Last nite he wouldn't get off the ceiling fan in the bedroom.  Today I figured out why.  He's on the ceiling fan in my office right now staring at the reflection of himself on the housing (of the fan).  It looks like a mirror, so I suppose he thinks it's another bird.  This guy has NEVER been alone.  When I got him, I already had the female.  
Honestly, I will NEVER get another pet because frankly, going thru the death process for me personally, is far worse than the many years of joy the animals gave me.  My day was HORRIBLE yesterday -- going back and forth trying to keep Figgy (the female) alive.  I couldn't eat 'cause I felt like throwing up, and I couldn't sleep last nite.  This was an horrible experience.
Thanks for the condolences, tho'.
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My bird has never had a companion and really loves to talk to himself and kisses the mirror, I know they often say not to give them mirrors as they won't talk but mine talks up a storm, he loves his bird mirror friend
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The other thing that ***** is, I'm really not sure know what she died of.  
I found Figgy at the airport 24 years ago, so, I don't know how old she was when I found her.  Maybe she died of old age ..??  She'd been looking kind of haggard the last year, so I'm thinking perhaps renal failure.  When the vet examined her, he said her lungs were "gurgling", so he thought she had an infection or pneumonia and he gave her Baytril.  During the week that I gave her the Baytril, the first 3 days she seemed to get better.  Then, the last 3 days, she went downhill fast.
She put up a fight.  She fought death.  She didn't want to die.
I did everything I could.  
Maybe I should've taken her to the vet sooner, but there are very few vets around who treat birds ...  
:>(

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Birds catch cold very easy, never drafty areas or areas to close to heaters as it drys the air,birds are the best and I'm glad you took him in and had so many years, sorry for your lost though, mine is really old and he doesn't have much longer
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Karen, I'm so sorry you lost Figgy.  The loss is terrible and it's sad what you and Figgy had to go through at the end plus the sadness of her mate, too. I thought I would be ok knowing that my cockatiel Baby Boy had lived so long and that when he died that would be of comfort to me. It isn't. I, too, am so sad about the last couple of weeks of his life and his death two months ago after 27 years. The end was too painful for me to ever think that the 27 years of his presence makes up for it. I see why many people never get another pet.  I've lost many other much loved pets but this is the worst. He didn't want to go. He fought.

btw, maybe the Baytril helped with a developing infection and that's why she was doing better (and feeling better), but there might have been a serious underlying problem that weakened her and led to the infection and the lung gurgling.  So you did all you could possibly do but there probably wasn't anything anyone could have done about the root age-related cause. This is just speculation on my part but that's what it looks like to me. Similar thing happened with my Baby Boy. Worry, treatment, improvement, then decline and big disappointment.
So you have my sympathies.
Bob
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Karen, make sure your grieving bird eats, otherwise he will quickly get sick.  Give him as much millet spray as he wants and other treats. If he eats from your hand the attention you give him will help. If he doesn't like millet spray so much (most do) then find something else he likes. He has to eat.
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Re: Eating
Yes, you're right.  He hadn't eaten since Friday.  Late last nite, he finally ate some millet -- probably because he was starving.  He sat on my shoulder most of the evening, so maybe he felt better & got an appetite. He's also not drinking any water. :>(
Thanks for the condolences & the feedback.
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I understand your loss. I just lost my bird yesterday. I had a male cockatiel for 16 years and his name was Eddie. Eddie had been ill the past month. I taken him to the vet last month and  he said Eddie was in the beginning stages of a liver disease. He prescribed some meds and I took him home. He started getting weaker this past week as he was fluffing and sleeping more often. I made an appointment with the vet for Friday but Eddie died the morning before the appointment. It was funny because the day before he died, I just came home from work and called his name and he answered me immediately as if he was greeting me for the last time as he always does. I then reward him his favorite treat which he ate. I then gave him his meds but after giving to him, he escaped from me and flew on a shelf but he was very weak. I grab him gently and his wings just dropped. I thought he was going to die in my hand. I then put him on the top of the cage and he just collapsed. I then gently put him on the  top perch but he slowly went down to the bottom of the cage and slept. I notice he was not going to make it so I place a towel he could sleep in and make it warm for him. I also changed his food which he went to get eat twice and then went back to the bottom of the cage. This was not a good sign, as I was going to take him to the vet in the morning to have him examined and probally put to sleep. I woke up the next morning at 5.30 thinking he had already died but he was still hanging in there as I called his name and he responded lightly. He was more closer the floor of the cage and I knew he had very little time left. I then woke up at 7.30 am and he had passed away. I felt really bad as I should had held him in my hand in his final hour but he didn't wanted to be handled.
Im going to miss the little guy and its really hard to cope right now. I had him for 16 years and he never gotten sick except for a broken wing when he was 8 years which he recovered. Now Im going the pictures, videos and its just heartbreaking for me to see this. Im glad he was with me all these years and I enjoyed the times we had together althought there were times he can be annoying.. Its amazing how time passes when you are working and busy in our  daily lives as our pets get older and we take that for granted not realizing they are getting older. Also it seems my Eddie said his last goodbyes to me as if pets know when the time is near and would say their final farewell to their owners. Nevertheless I believe pets are here for a reason as I will not replace Eddie right now. These intelligent animals are a gift and should be treated as one.
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Crying... I am so sorry for your loss. Everything you described I am now going through with my 26 yr. old ring neck dove, one of his legs went lame and today I notice the other one is lame as well he has been sleeping all day and his eyes seem glazed, I tried giving him a drop of insure which he loved and he wants nothing but to be sleeping. Will he go peacefully, that is my worst nightmare that he doesn't,  he seems very peacefull since this am and now.
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My vet recomended Ensure vanilla flavor and Harrisons bird bread that you bake or can make mini muffins that can be frozen up to 4 months and refrigerated for a week. I just take them out 30 mins before feeding at room temp and they are fine.  My baby  a white ringneck dove won't eat or drink at all right now sleeping all day, vet tommorow if still the same to euthanize to make it easier for both of us, he is 26 and is now lame in both legs, he usually sprung back with handfeeding vitamins you name it I have done it for the past 2 years, he's just not springing back sadly I think he is ready for his final journey in the dying process, I love him so very much.
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Sorry your ringneck dove isn't doing well.  It's heartbreaking to go through the sickness of a little loved one.  Your bird bread sounds like a good idea;  I'll keep note of it in one of my bird care books.
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My vet treated my lovebird Zuni with Baytril for a crop infection a few weeks back. She got better and then started eating constantly and I took her back to the vet. The vet said at 12 yrs old it was time to spoil her (i.e. the time is near) and I could stop the Baytril.He suggested birdie bread. Birdie bread turned out to be the spoiling my lovebird needed to maintain her weight. Zuni gobbled up in the week before she made a turn for the worst Last night she began losing balance and having seizures and it was horrifying to know that I had to wait until the animal hospital opened at 8 am in order to put her at final ease. We layed her to rest this afternoon after a horrifying night of increased frequencies in seizures. I wrapped her in a towel so she wouldnt bite as she fought for her life and held her all night. Thankfully there are places that are open on the weekend - and even on a Sunday morning - that could help ease her suffering and we could take her home.
Thanks everyone for sharing. These posts helped me realize no matter how small our pets, birds are loved as much as dogs and cats. Sorry for the losses everyone here has suffered.
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So sorry about losing Zuni.  You were so kind to hold and comfort her all night. I'm sure you greatly calmed her fears as you did that.
My experience was similar in that way.  In July, my cockatiel Baby Boy looked like he wouldn't get through the night - then at about 1 am I saw him on his back on the cage floor. I cradled him on my chest keeping him warm and spoke softly to him and stroked his crest. I wanted him to feel safe and loved and to know nothing would come hurt him in his weak state (his heart was failing, I believe.)  Hours later he looked over at me and across the room at my elderly Dad and then died. It was 5:30 am by then, the worst night of my life so far and I'm old enough to have been through plenty. I still can't go in the room that was 'his' with his cage and all. It's too painful.
Losing these birds is devastating after loving them so much for so long. Many people will think that's silly but not the ones who have posted in this thread.
Sorry again about Zuni :(
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I'm so sorry to hear about Zuni and the other birds that have passed.  My Murdoch left me on August 22nd, only about five weeks after I posted here when he was sick.  He was only 6 weeks away from his 25th birthday.  Once I knew his heart was failing I put a web cam in his cage and watched him from work.  Because of this, I could see that he would spend all day on the floor of his cage, then come and sit on his perch by the window around the time he was expecting me home.  The day before he died, he greeted me by singing to me -- for the first time in a long time -- and we had lots of cuddles.  The next day, I came home from work, and he was again on his perch, but he didn't want to come out of his cage or eat or anything.  As I was falling asleep around 11pm, I heard him throw up.  I got up and uncovered his cage, and he was continuing to throw up.  I lifted him out of his cage onto his cage top, where he threw up for about 10 minutes.  Then he just started breathing really heavily and came over toward me.  So I picked him up and brought him to the sofa with me.  He breathed heavily for another 10 minutes or so, then his body started to collapse into the sofa...so I picked him up and held him against my chest and repeated that I loved him.  Then he stretched his wings forward and died in my hands.  This fall, I took his body back to the West Coast, buried him on a cliff with a beautiful view of the water, and placed a bird house in a tree there in his honour.  I consider myself fortunately that I had nearly two months' warning that I was going to lose Murdoch.  I was able to spend lots of special times with him, and to do some of my grieving of his eventual loss while he was still with me...after he'd gone to bed at night.  But it was still a shock when it happened.  Mercifully, he had quality of life right to the end and suffered for little more than a half hour before passing.  But I still miss him dearly.  I can't imagine getting another bird right now.  Our relationships with our birds develop deeply over years. They just can't be easily replaced.  Sending my love to everyone who's loved and lost a bird.  

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My bird is20 something years old and I had him for 18 .I been taking him to the vet for his tube feeding to keep his strength. It s breaking my heart not hearing his voice. I know he will be leaving me any day now. Does it get any better not having them around?they saidvthey would have to take xrays and blood work on him to find out what's wrong but I just choose the meds and feed tubing but I think it's just his age.
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So sorry to hear about Zuni, my cockatiel is 27 years old, his name is Twinky, He has been my beloved companion and has also gone all over the place with me, he was looking quite healthy and chirpy, talks and sings a lot, undertands what people say. Put your hat on he puts his bell on his head, was a little bit slower than usual but started showing a bit of anger by flinging himself against the cage and flapping his wings but enjoys a walkabout when I am at home, he hasn't been able to fly very well for the past few years but still looked young and spirited. So happy to see me when I return home. But at few days there has been a sudden change, he falls of his perch at least a couple of times, he has got weak and finds climbing difficult with his beak and his feet. He looks very weak, then suddenly regains his sprightlyness but not for long, he puffs himself up and  when I talk to him, he takes time to respond to me. He seems to get more upset with me, as if the things he used to do make him a bit annoyed.This morning I left him it nearly broke my heart, I know he does not like me going out a sometimes he comes with me but he was desparate that I should not leave him. They said I could bring him to the office (he is used to travelling and enjoys it and enjoys new surroundings-advised not too because of stress not sure on this one) Not sure how to handle this
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My darling Kelly, who was a loving angel, is gone. I got her in 1986 and she was my first cockatiel. About six years ago she had some strokes that caused some disability but she thrived with love from two males and me constantly petting and loving her. This morning, my husband said she drank her water and looked fine. I went to the cage soonafter and she was on her back. I picked her up and noticed she had some big hard thing under her - Now I feel guilty she was impacted but I know the vet would have said she lived a long life and would have put her down. Should I feel guilty? I loved her so much and she knew sit. Now her two males are just looking and preening her (and they will probably start yelling for her unless they understand she is gone.

Please help me with my guilt. She really looked fine and I didn't notice if she wasn't pooping at all, because she ate a lot and yesterday was fine.

Thank you all. I am a 69 yr old and I have her since I was 41. I am leaving her on the floor until tonight.

Thank you all. The two males left are brothers and they are 27 this year.

MaryAnn

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I'm really glad I found this thread.  My lutino boy, Cheri, started looking pretty worse for wear on Sunday night.  He's 18 years old and has had your problems typical of the over-bread lutinos.  He's always been a little "slow" and went blind early in life, but otherwise has always been very happy and loving.  He sings me such sweet little songs.  I'm leaving work early today to take him to the vet, and hopefully they'll be able to tell me what's happening.  I don't want to hear that his time is near and that his body is failing... but if that's what they tell me, then I'll do whatever I can to make him comfortable until he's gone.  Who knows, maybe he just needs to change of diet or some vitamin supplements.  But he is quite old and frail, so I feel like I just need to prepare myself to say goodbye.  I'm just absolutely dreading it.
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These little ones can't tell us they don't feel well - it's also not in their nature - if they show any weakness or illness, predators select them in the wild.  So if they don't feel well, they don't show it, and other times they might even feel ok but not be.  It's not practical in day-to-day life to think that we can spot every problem a bird might develop, or that we can do something about it to 'fix' it even if we find something wrong. You are right about several things you said:  Your vet probably would have euthanized her. Also, Kelly was greatly loved and she knew it.  On the other hand, you assume it was an impaction but you don't know if there was something internally wrong that caused it or if it was a tumor or something - things beyond anyone's control. In the end, no matter how long our beloved pets live, it's never going to be long enough. I'm really sorry you lost Kelly :(.
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Thank you tielbob for your kindness.
I checked her after she passed and the lump was just feces that hardened outside of her anal area which was clean and clear.  She couldn't walk good so I think from sitting in the back of the cage it just developed.  So I think she had another stroke (she had two over the past six years but she was doing okay).  Almost 29 years is a long time to have a little one just be gone.  Her mate was screaming this morning and my blind male kinda stopped screaming.  Time will pass - Saturday she will be buried in my mom's yard with all the other tiels.
maryann
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I have just found this forum while looking for some health tips for my cockatiel "Sparky". I think he is on his last legs and it's no wonder! He is at least 30 years old and may even be 32 or33.
My late wife and I have been very lucky to have had so much pleasure from  a loving and very friendly companion and it will be a massive loss when he does go!
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I think my cockatile is sick or dying he has been breathing hevy and he won't whisle any more he has not been acting like him self he is 26 and his name is f.e please help I will be devastated if he goes
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I know how devasted you'll be if you lose your bird.  I just this week lost my darling cockatiel.  He would have been 34 years old in two months.  I got when as a baby when I was 24, so I've had him almost my entire adult life.  We literally went everywhere with me....even flying on a 747 once.  Throughout his life he'd had his share of mishaps.  Broken wings, broken legs, being blinded in both eyes, but he always mended and recovered from his accidents.  His last year was rough.  He broke a bone in his wing that prevented him from flying.  He had the most confusing look on his face when he continued to try to fly.  But soon he got used to us carrying him everywhere that he wanted to go.  It got to be a routine.  Then he stopped eating seed about three months ago.  He only wanted treats and millet.  But that kept him going and he was as feisty as ever.  Then he developed lumps on the bottoms of his feet and we could tell it was hard to walk.  On his last morning he didn't cry to get out of his cage.  I kept checking on him and the last time I did, he was on his back staring up at me.  I got him out and held him under my chin and rubbed his head and cheeks....which he loved so much.  After about 1/2 he suddenly scrambled, through out his wings and flew to heaven.  He was gone.  I'm inconsolable and doubt the pain will never end.  
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I'm so sorry you lost your little boy :(
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Hello Everyone. Our cockatiel Mellow has died last Friday, he was 26 or early 27. He was the best, sweetest  and funniest guy. He has been unwell lately but we stupidly just assumed that he would get better naturally as he did many times before. Not so, poor Mells passed away and my boyfriend saw him lying at the bottom of his cage Friday morning. I feel very bad and guilty for not taking him to the vet, maybe they would have cured him. I cannot believe he has died, it is the saddest thing ever, we are devastated. Deep condolences to everyone that ever lost their bird or any other pet, I would do anything to bring him back but its too late now. I cannot believe that we didn't take him to vet even though he got stressed at vets but maybe it would  have changed what happened.emi
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So sorry for your loss of Mellow. Don't punish yourself over this.  26 or 27 is a very old age for a cockatiel.  It's very likely that he was just at the end of his natural life. The vet visit alone could have stressed him to death, had you tried it.  You must have taken excellent care of him for him to live so long - you were a great caretaker for your little boy. My heart goes out to you for Mellow  :(.
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I, too, am so sorry for your loss.  As I previously posted, I lost my 34 year old cockatiel on Feb. 20th.  The grief is horrible.  I live in a condo and had no yard to bury him in.  It was tearing me up what to do with his precious little body.  I didn't want him cremated or stuffed, either.  I got an idea from a vet, in New York City who says people (there) who live in apartments have this same predicament, too.  So, at his suggestion, this is what I did.  I bought a large potting urn from Home Depot along with 40 pounds of potting soil.  I wrapped my bird in his favorite towel, along with his favorite toy and a photo of us.  I placed everything in an air-tight bag and buried him in the planter.  I decorated the top of the soil with more toys and his picture.  So now I'll have him with me always.  If I should ever move, he'll go with me.  I hope some don't think this too morbid...but rather a solution for those at a loss what to do.
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My 26 year old cockatiel, Prince, died last night at 8:30.  It seemed a if he was waiting for me to get home to say goodbye.  He was a delightful pet and brought many years of joy to my family.  We are very saddened and the house feels so lonesome.  I noticed in the past few months changes in his behavior, crouching in the corner with his face against the cage, difficulty walking and falling off of his perch and puffiness as if he was extremely cold.  He also stopped saying "I love you". You never think that a pet touches your life in such a dramatic fashion until they are gone.  We miss you Prince!
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I'm so, so sorry that you lost your precious Prince.  I KNOW what it's like to lose a cockatiel who was such a huge part of your life and your family.  If my sympathy could help you feel better, your grief would be over.  Yet I know you'll miss him for a long, long time.  A part of your heart flew away when he left.
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thank u to let me know that there are lot of u there. i loss my cockatiel last sunday night. all too suddent that he stop heart bite.  its hard for others to understand - just a bird?!   ppl feel wried to me. but u all know what i felt.

. lot of cried and regret.  12 yrs he is intelligence - never fly away from my windows. singing alot. start to spriek each day when i leave for work. fly to the high place to avoid from caging.  too many memories. they are far more intelligence than i expect.
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Me too mine is now 34 and not doing so well, he's not going to make it much longer
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So sorry that you lost your little friend.  You are in the company of many people who share your sorrow.
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You lost your little friend.  There is NO pain like that.  He depended and relied on you for EVERYTHING.   You gave him EVERYTHING that he needed in his life!!!  Don't ever think that you didn't!  You did!  Birds don't "think" like we do.  Even if they "talk".  They live for the moment....and they can't think that their "human" did anything wrong for them.  

My mom died last month....but I felt worse when my 34 year old cockatiel died this year.  I know it sounds HORRIBLE....but my mom could TELL me how she felt...and my birdie could not.   Two different things.  I feel your pain.
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Mine is 34 and it's so hard seeing him get thinner and thinner, he can't fly, sometimes can't balance, seeds get stuck on his beak, I have made it where he can walk to anything in his cage,..I'm sad I have had my Dpikey since I was a 16 yr old girl
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Spikey
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I completely understand, my 25 year cockatiel is in the process of dying, and I have shed many tears already.  I was looking to see if there was anything I could do to make her more comfortable,  I know taking her to the vet will just speed things up, and put her under undue stree, but I was hoping there was something I could do to ease her.  Dying is not easy for anyone or thing.
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Did you find anything out because mine is at that point, when he was in his 20s the vet got him all better, he has lived another 10 yrs since, he's now 34, he's not sick this time he is old..I just don't want to watch him suffer
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Sadly as I sit here crying and read all of your heartbreaking stories, my 32 year old grey cockatiel Toto, is dying. I believe he has congested heart failure and after his usual shower and blow dry (which he loved and "asked" for on a weekly basis) he reacted much differently. He could barely move, his heart beat sounded like a train going 100 mph and he was struggling to breath. He hasn't eaten or drank anything for over 26 hours and we feel it's just a matter of hours.
I have a heat lamp on him and his cage is draped with his favorite hand towels. I tried an aye dropper with water but even just a 1/2 drop near his beak caused him to cough and stress out. I was in my 20's when we got him as a companion to my other cockatiel (who passed at 25, 9 years ago) and I am now in my 60's. Toto is 7 years older then my son! I know most of you can relate.

What a long, fun road this life has been with my "boys" in it. I am forever grateful for their love and the joy they brought us. They both had a great life and I could never stress this old man out by bringing him to a vet now...after I lost my "first hatched" son, alone at the Vet's, I want Toto to die with us, at home.

I am so sad and we haven't stopped crying the whole day, but I can only pray he is comfortable and knows he is loved. I plan on preserving him as I did his brother Cleo, and our family knows that when my husband and I die, Cleo gets buried with me, and Toto gones in with my husband. Call me crazy, but this is how dear they are to us and how strong the bonds are between us.

Praying for all you out there who have lost your beloved feathered friends, and praying that my boy goes peacefully in my arms.

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Pia, I know this was several months ago but I still choked up reading your story.  I posted here almost two years ago as Byebye.  I know how much it hurts and I'll pray your pain has somehow become less painful.
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I'm so sorry, mine is also getting old, my vet saved mine from that when he was in his 20s he is now 34  mine is not sick, he is old, and just getting things, I know he doesn't have a long time left,,I really came on here hoping someone knew about how in their last days we can keep them comfy or do we put them down?  Going to call the vet..making me cry, I'm so sorry about your baby I know how amazing they are
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my 'tiel paulie just passed away peacefully tonight after becoming very puffed up and tired looking. i'm not sure how old he was as we found him 10 years ago and couldnt find an owner. he was always a singing, chirpy little guy and was always the best cheering up i could ever have when i was down. i played him peaceful music that he would always sing along too as he put his head down and left us. i never thought i'd be so attatched to such a little bundle of fluff, though im glad i got to spend his last moments by his side. Rest peacfully my paulie bird, heart goes out to everyone else that has lost a little bird friend x
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So sorry about your loss of Paulie - I am sure he was comforted by being with the one he loved in his last moments. RIP little Paulie.
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Rip little birdie love
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