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Cataract/blindness

Love-birds

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Hello. I have an 18 year old Lovebird, Emerald, who has cataracts in both eyes. She is almost blind in her left eye but she can still see out of her right eye although there is a cataract (according to the vet and my own observations.). My question: Birds are very aware of their environment and have a strong survival/safety instinct. So when she goes blind, will she be scared all the time because she can't see? I see on here there are other blind birds. What is your observation with your birds? Am I doing her " wrong" by letting her live even when blind? I guess I'm curious what other people have dealt with on this issue. I appreciate your info and help. Thank you.
PS She is still doing her usual things around the cage. I don't let her out anymore because she flies into the wall.
 

Ali

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@Matto I think has a bird with partial blindness or similar
 

Ali

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How do I communicate with @Matto on here? Still learning.
By tagging him, he will get a notification and hopefully come to this thread. I am not sure on time zones, so you might be waiting a little while for him to be online.

You don't need to do anything, members will just reply here at any time.
 

Feather

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I don't anymore, but I had a completely blind lovebird. She was a very happy and friendly little thing. Unless it's clear that Emerald specifically is coping extremely poorly with her blindness, I don't think you'd be doing anything wrong by continuing to give her the best life you can.
 

Love-birds

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I don't anymore, but I had a completely blind lovebird. She was a very happy and friendly little thing. Unless it's clear that Emerald specifically is coping extremely poorly with her blindness, I don't think you'd be doing anything wrong by continuing to give her the best life you can.
 

Love-birds

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Feather, thank you for saying that. It makes me feel so much better. Yes, I think that's exactly what I should do. It's funny how she's already adjusted to her sight changes. I thought I would have to make changes to her perches, but she just climbs the side of the cage to the next perch. She adjusted all on her own! But now, after reading other posts on blind birds, I'm wondering if I should lower her perches now while she can still see. But there's horizontal bars on the cage that hold up the perches, so I'm not sure how I'm going to do that. She's used to perches that go all the way across the cage. Hmm.
 

Ulis_Beast

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Feather, thank you for saying that. It makes me feel so much better.
I'll tag him for you.
@Feather .. read above.

I had a horse that gradually went blind (a lot bigger than a love bird, but a prey animal that is also very aware of the enviroment)...
And as long as we kept things reasonably the same and no one forgot a wheelbarow somwhere it shouldn't be.. He was a happy horsey. Just the ears were shooting out more than the other horses'. He even broke into the storage room, morea than once, nd helped himself to pellets.
:laughing2:

She adjusted all on her own!
Exactly. I think it would be crueler to end her life for no good reason.

I'm 99.99% sure @TikiMyn has a blind lovebird... She might give you some great suggestions and advice.
 

Love-birds

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I'll tag him for you.
@Feather .. read above.

I had a horse that gradually went blind (a lot bigger than a love bird, but a prey animal that is also very aware of the enviroment)...
And as long as we kept things reasonably the same and no one forgot a wheelbarow somwhere it shouldn't be.. He was a happy horsey. Just the ears were shooting out more than the other horses'. He even broke into the storage room, morea than once, nd helped himself to pellets.
:laughing2:


Exactly. I think it would be crueler to end her life for no good reason.

I'm 99.99% sure @TikiMyn has a blind lovebird... She might give you some great suggestions and advice.
Thank you so much for your reply. Chuckled out loud about your horse breaking in to get food. That's funny.
It breaks my heart to think of my bird being blind someday, but I feel so much better hearing from all of you. I'll just have to wait and see how she adjusts.
And I agree, I don't want to put her to "sleep" just because of blindness if she's ok.
 

Hankmacaw

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My male GW was blind in one eye from Cataracts. I just had to be sure to approach him on the correct side and always speak to him before I was right there. Didn't seem to bother him a lot.
 

Love-birds

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My male GW was blind in one eye from Cataracts. I just had to be sure to approach him on the correct side and always speak to him before I was right there. Didn't seem to bother him a lot.
Yes, I did notice that I had to let her know I was going to be walking past her cage by talking to her, otherwise she would be frightened. Her hearing is still ok.
 

Matto

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You may need to move her to a smaller cage if she begins falling or having trouble getting around, but I wouldn't jump the gun if she still seems to get around ok. Likewise, if she flies into things you may need to clip her wings. I have a linnie who was born with cataracts, and he is very happy. Can't really fly and I need to keep him in a small cage without many changes, though.
 

Love-birds

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You may need to move her to a smaller cage if she begins falling or having trouble getting around, but I wouldn't jump the gun if she still seems to get around ok. Likewise, if she flies into things you may need to clip her wings. I have a linnie who was born with cataracts, and he is very happy. Can't really fly and I need to keep him in a small cage without many changes, though.
Well, I don't let her out right now until I figure out how to do that safely. I'm actually thinking of adding a "screen porch" enclosure right off her cage so she can be out to shred and take a bath in her big bird bath. I've never clipped her wings so I'm just afraid it will upset her. Plus she might still just fall off her TV tray. Yes, at this point, I think she's still ok in her usual cage. I might lower her highest perch though.
 

Matto

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If she's crashing into walls, I would clip her. She won't like it, but it will be worth it if it means you can take her out. She will need some time to get used to it.
 

TikiMyn

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I have adopted a blind lovie, she was 6 years old when I did, now 8. She has additional issues like epilepsy, but I didn't know when I adopted her. I had her cage all setup with fleece for when she would fall, low perches and made very clear highways. I was sure I could barely change her cage around for she would fall, so made detailed notes of where everything was. Well, truth is she never once fell, and she loves having er cage rearranged. The first time I did it she was a bit unsure, but she loves to explore new attributes and toys(in her own slower way however). She has been blind most of her life probably though, very different from your bird.
What I am trying to say, is you know her best! Xena has epileptic seizures which is why she needs a softer bottom, but not at all due to her blindness. I bet your baby trusts you, try showing her around, let her know where you are and try to use more specific cues to let her know what you are going to do. As for the flying, I would clip her wings partially. Xenas wings are, because when she freaks she flies of course, she knows the room pretty well but if she is panicking, she flies way too fast to think. With just a slight clip, she is slowed down giving her time to think quicker and land safely. At least, it works for her, hopefully your bird will figure out a way to deal with it as well:)
 

Love Birds

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Hello. I have an 18 year old Lovebird, Emerald, who has cataracts in both eyes. She is almost blind in her left eye but she can still see out of her right eye although there is a cataract (according to the vet and my own observations.). My question: Birds are very aware of their environment and have a strong survival/safety instinct. So when she goes blind, will she be scared all the time because she can't see? I see on here there are other blind birds. What is your observation with your birds? Am I doing her " wrong" by letting her live even when blind? I guess I'm curious what other people have dealt with on this issue. I appreciate your info and help. Thank you.
PS She is still doing her usual things around the cage. I don't let her out anymore because she flies into the wall.
Great your lovebird is 18 years old! When my lutino cockatiel was 23, I started crying at the veterinarian's office when I learned his eyesight was getting worse because of cataracts. I thought I'd have to put him to sleep. The vet said, "Birds can get around quite well if they can't see as long as you don't move things around in the cage. Keep everything positioned the same." My cockatiel is now 31 years and 7 months! I am careful to approach him slowly and softly talk to him so he doesn't get scared. I always pick him up the same way, too. When I put him outside his cage, I carefully lower him before I release him. I don't want him to fly, hit something hard, and injure himself. Have you thought of clipping your birds wings? Daffodil's wings are not clipped, but then he is very old and not as hyper as a lovebird. I often set him down in front of some toys that I think he can handle (like preening or shredding toys). I have lowered his rope perches in his cage. I have some toys fastened low on the cage bars. They are mostly toys he can't get hurt playing with. I also cut a piece of soft foam (like you would put inside a chair cushion) and put it on the bottom of the cage. I put a towel over it, and put paper towels over that. There is no grate in his cage. That way Daffodil can rest on a soft cage bottom if he wants. Also, he can't hurt himself if he falls off a perch. I also have three lovebirds, but two are 6 and one is 9 years old. The lovebirds are friskier than cockatiels. I don't know if your lovebird would start chewing on a towel at the bottom of the cage. I wouldn't want it to eat any foam. Daffodil likes to listen to the radio or any kind of music. All my birds like it when I play my guitar and sing. Daffodil also likes me to put him in a sink with some water. I will sprinkle the water over him. Try some variety in his food, too. My lovebirds love the following veggies: sugar snap peas (I usually break them in half or thirds), shredded carrots, broccoli; small, raw Brussels sprouts (they play with them like balls and also like shredding them). One Brussels sprout is enough for each. They also like Roudybush crumbles and Zupreem (fruit-flavored) for lovebirds, Lafeber nutriberries for treats. I notice Daffodil now sleeps a lot during the day but is a real night owl.
 
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