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Thread: bye bye, Bullet

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    Aperture Test Subject Teenager shiney mew's Avatar
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    bye bye, Bullet

    I haven't been on here in forever... kinda drifted more toward other communities over the years, y'know? Fandom and hobby stuff. But my birds have been doing pretty great, aside from occasional, easily-treated sicknesses. Anytime they were moved out of each other's sight for whatever reasons, they'd call to each other. They've been roommates (not cagemates, of course) for 10 years, most of both of their lives.

    Now, 10 years... actually at this point, both birds would be closer to 11 years old. Not quite old age for a cockatiel, but very much so for a budgie. Especially a budgie who's had a physical handicap all his life.

    I knew as soon as I first saw him that we were meant for each other. I wasn't ready to take this one home just yet, but the breeder said I could come back the next day and have him for $5. Went back the next day, found out she'd already given him to someone else. I was devastated, as I normally wouldn't have been after having only met him one day ago, but this was the kind of thing that honestly felt like it Just Shouldn't Happen. The other girl had already named him, though; all I could do was wish them well.

    Got a call about a month later from the girl's mom. Bullet wasn't getting the attention he needed, and they decided he needed a new home. We had to wait another month after that before we finally met up. But after that, he was mine like he was supposed to be.

    Generally, he was a surprisingly healthy bird, even with several apparent close calls and the issues with his feet (they didn't work and he was pretty much walking on his hocks all the time, which is why he couldn't sit on perches). The vet commented many times over the last couple years how amazed she was that he was doing so well for his age, and that most people wouldn't give this much care for a budgie with a disability.

    I had to change stuff as he aged, like, I'd give him the prescribed dose of Metacam when his arthritis acted up, I switched his food and water dishes out for shallow ones so he could get into them easier. He always tried his best, but the "Old People Problems" were slowly catching up to him.




    Fast forward to this month. I caught him throwing up all over his cage. To the vet he went, and she found yeast in his system, as expected, and also it turned out his left foot was extremely sore to the point there was risk of losing it. She prescribed Fluconazole for the yeast, and told me to put a drop of cortizone cream on his foot and give him a soft fabric cushion to sit on instead of paper towels, as well as keep up the Metacam. So I did that stuff... then suddenly there was nasty liquid brown poop everywhere. Back to the vet. Respiratory infection plus something mysterious causing bleeding in his bowels. Apparently something really nasty was brought on by the stress of the previous vet visit, and she said tests were possible to find out what, but wasn't sure he'd be strong enough for the tests. So he got a shot of doxycycline and a 10-day prescription of Albon, for those new problems respectively. He was to go back for another doxy shot in a week, and then a third one the week after that.

    I wasn't sure he could handle all of this stuff. But I wasn't giving up on him until he himself was ready to go, and he kept fighting, and I did everything I could to make him as comfortable as possible, and gave him all the spray millet he wanted. He regained his weight and energy, kept his food down, and his poop looked healthy again. For about a week.

    Then he slid back downhill. Too fast and too hard. Around 5-5:30 AM this morning, I woke up to a fluttering sound from his cage. Sometimes that would happen, like, it would sound like the start of a night fright but not actually become one and he'd go back to sleep. So maybe this was one of those and I should let him go back to sleep... but instead of sleeping, he just started squeaking every few seconds until I got up to check on him. I found him puffed up next to his food dish but too weak to eat, and... I knew. The only thing left to do was get him out and keep him warm in my hands until he faded away.

    I have to be strong for Chester now; this is the first time in his whole life being an only bird... this is also the first time in like 15 years that I've had only one bird.

    (I'd post pics, too, but I'm in too much pain to actually do the work of that)
    Last edited by shiney mew; 02-26-2018 at 07:25 AM.

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