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Thread: My 20 year-old Pete: living with liver issues and seeking advice!

  1. #1
    Brand New Egg
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    Mar 2021
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    My 20 year-old Pete: living with liver issues and seeking advice!


    Long story somewhat short, my cockatiel Pete- my little old man- has been sick since October 2020. One day toward the end of October, I came across blood splattered at the bottom of his cage, later to find out he was releasing it with his droppings. I immediately took him to the vet in horror, and many bloody episodes and vet visits later, the best conclusion is that he has developed a liver issue/disease in his old age that could also be due to a primarily seed diet most of his life until recently.

    Over the past five months since this all began, Pete has been to countless vet appointments and we’ve tried different dosages of various medicines. It’s been quite the rollercoaster for my little guy, and his strength has surprised our vets. We were told from the very beginning of it all that he was in a very fragile state and that we could lose him at any moment, but nowadays he has more good days than bad! He has a bloody episode every four to five days, but other than that, he is generally energetic and lively, especially compared to when this first started. For a long time, he “lost his voice,” wouldn’t chirp a peep, remained fluffed up at all times, and didn’t eat as much. He’s certainly bounced back from that but now lives with these bloody episodes.

    My question for now is in regards to a heat lamp. When he first got sick, after doing tons of research, I went out and bought him an infrared heat lamp that I’ve kept on 24/7 at the corner of his cage that he likes to sleep in. We’ve kept it on this entire time, and he occasionally perches away from it, but for the most part, he hangs out underneath it at his favorite perching spot. Now that this sickness is something more long term that we’re dealing with, does anyone have thoughts on whether I need to have a heat lamp on his cage going forward? I guess I can experiment with it but wanted to post to see what your opinions may be.

    Any other advice for caring for an elderly cockatiel is greatly appreciated :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    USA Midwest
    Thanked 1,341 Times in 1,340 Posts

    Re: My 20 year-old Pete: living with liver issues and seeking advice!

    Hi, and welcome. I think it would be great to use the heat lamp on low heat, at night, because like humans, birds get arthritis when they get older, and if you give them some warmth, at night, and even in the day, that will comfort them. You also could give him a little bit of pure honey on some bread.Honey is good for arthritis.

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