Author Topic: Any bird experts here? My poor Lovebirds. :(  (Read 2968 times)


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Any bird experts here? My poor Lovebirds. :(
« on: October 02, 2007, 01:17:06 pm »
I have a pair of male Dutch Blue Lovebirds. They are rather old for Lovebirds.. 16 and 17 years old. Their lifespan is generally 15-20 years.

But I woke up yesterday and the oldest 'Sixx' (I had a Nikki Sixx/Motley Crue faze going on at the time, LOL) has his head tilted to the side. He can lift his head and move it around but 90% of the time it's tilted to the right. I believe he may have had a stroke? He's still eating and drinking and moving around ok but he does appear off balance at times. He doesn't seem to be suffering.. but it just pulls at my heartstrings to look at him. :'(

His buddy and cagemate 'Peaches' isn't in the best of health either. He looks ratty since he's not preening himself anymore and he eats like a pig but is on the thin side. I took him to the vet and he said it was his age and gave me the option to put him to sleep or bring him home. I obviously opted to bring him home.

I'm debating if I should take them into the vet to be euthanized or whether I should let them live out the rest of their years this way? I got Sixx when I was 14 so this is a really difficult decision. :'(


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Re: Any bird experts here? My poor Lovebirds. :(
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2007, 01:19:56 pm »
I know nothing about birds, but I just wanted to say that I feel your pain, Lyn! Its hard having the old ones not doing well. I know, I'm going through it with Mabel. I can't even imagine having had her since I was 14!!!

Whatever you decide to do, I'm sure it will be the right thing. Big hugs to you!!!

Offline Amy (guffer)

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Re: Any bird experts here? My poor Lovebirds. :(
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2007, 02:09:22 pm »
Taking your birds to an avian vet would be your best option, since the problem could be anything from infection to toxicity to aging.  How does their poop look?  Is it normal consistance or does it look different?  "Birds For Dummies" is a great book and has a very helpful section on avian illnesses.  For home care, the book recommends that you use a smaller cage to make him less active, lower or remove perches and fold towels in the bottom of the cage, keep food and water close by, try to keep the bird warm - target range 75-85 degrees, strive for peace and quiet, and keep handling to a minimum so he can rest.  I hope this helps some.

My senegal, Oliver, was only 4 years old when he developed symptoms like you mention.  First I noticed he was sitting low on his perch, then I realized he was having trouble climbing.  He actually fell off his perch on the second day that he looked sick.  I didn't take him to the vet and he died a day later.  I put a towel at the bottom of his cage (since he could no longer perch) with a heating blanket on low under it.  I covered the cage and kept the lights turned down to decrease his stress.  I didn't follow the advice about handling though.  I spent a lot of time holding my Oliver, and crying over him.  When I was pretty sure that he was going to die, I carried him outside to sit on the porch and feel the sunshine on his feathers.  I have my regrets about not taking him to the vet, but honestly, I don't really think they could've done much for him.  It happened so fast. 

Hugs to your birdies.  I hope they come around.  Keep us posted.



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Re: Any bird experts here? My poor Lovebirds. :(
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2007, 02:43:13 pm »
I called my vet, (Yup it's an avian vet) and he said it's most likely due to their advanced age.

He had me check his eyes for rapid movement in case he had a seizure and check his ears since an infection could cause a head tilt. I didn't know birds could get ear infections. But his ears look fine and he does not have rapid eye movement. He's perching fine.. and just as vocal as usual.

And yup his poop is formed fine. They were eating some dried apricot so there was some poops that have an orange-ish tint. I'm not sure which one of them it came from but I'm going to keep an eye on that for sure.  

They do like to spend a fair bit of time in the bottom of the cage shredding paper. They are both sitting in the bottom right now which is bothering me since I'm not sure if it's just them being them or if they are not feeling well. :-\ Although they do stick together.. what one does the other follows.

The vet didn't seem to think it was anything treatable. I may just take them in anyway and let him check them over.

Thank Melissa for the link. I did mist Peaches yesterday since I thought if might get him preening. But nope, didn't work. :-\

Offline zchic

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Re: Any bird experts here? My poor Lovebirds. :(
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2007, 11:51:58 am »
In a young bird I would say it could be zinc toxicity(can cause loss of balance, lack of ability to grip/perch etc.)...But given their age, I think you may be right that he had a stroke or something similar. It sounds like they have had a wonderful life with you. Many lovies don't even live to be 10 due to poor care.
on a side note, if you are interested in getting a younger lovie...I have a 1 1/2 year old female that I would like to rehome (free).
Mom to:
Thorn- 8 year old fawn male dane
Morgayne- Wolfhound pup
Gracie- Merelequin (deaf) dane pup

1996-2007 best friend, I miss you girl.


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Re: Any bird experts here? My poor Lovebirds. :(
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2007, 02:52:17 pm »
Thank all and thanks for the offer Zchic, but no more Lovies for me.

Sixx seems a bit better.. still has the head tilt though. Plus there are times where he doesn't seem to reconize me and he's nailed me a couple times. Then 10 minutes later he's all lovie and wants me to let him out.  ???

But here's a couple pics I just took.. Sixx is in the front.. You can see the head tilt and that he's drooping his one wing to compensate for his lack of balance. Plus you can see the poor feather on Peaches.

« Last Edit: October 03, 2007, 02:58:55 pm by Lyn »