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Handling Kiwi's Death. Rest in Peace my baby.

Mason and Kiwi

Strolling the yard
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I haven't posted in a little over a week. It's 1 AM for me right now and I'm still finding myself crying in the living room. I am writing this to vent, and part of me is hoping that other people have experienced this so I know I'm not alone, while the other part wishes this would never happen to anybody ever again. Nobody deserves to experience this, be it parrot or owner. This is going to be a long, vent post so ignore it if you'd like.

I lost Kiwi on 05/29/23, just last monday. I adopted her in November of 2018 at 6 months old. She would have been 5 years old this year. She was completely fine on Saturday, playing and running around and talking. Eating her food. Sunday morning she began acting more tired and fluffed up and was not acting like herself. The only emergency vet open was one that was an hour and a half away.

We took her as fast as we could and she began vomiting in the car on the way there. The doctor took her for the day and didn't run tests since she was stable. Afterwards we were told she had some kind of infection as her white blood cell count was high as well as likely kidney disease as her uric acid levels were so high that the machine couldn't even read it.

The prognosis wasn't good but even as I asked the vet to give me her brutally honest answer of euthanasia or trying the medications, she remained vague and would not tell me which option was best. We were given antibiotics and I was meant to pick up the medication to lower her uric acid on Tuesday, as everything was still closed on Memorial Day.

She got through the night Saturday, but was getting worse. During the morning, I spent about 3 hours with her just cuddled up right into my neck. Just like she did when I first got her. She stopped eating but no other vet was open. While she was taking her antibiotics, the medicine that would lower her uric acid to get her to stop vomiting and having Diarrhea wouldnt arrive until Tuesday. I put her to bed at 7pm and during an hourly check at 9pm, I found her at the bottom of her cage.

I picked her up and took her to the living room and cradled her in my hands with my partner. She was wheezing and began having seizures, and I have never experienced an up close death of a pet. It was traumatizing and painfully sad. I desperately tried to call multiple clinics for euthanasia so she could stop being in pain, but no luck. Her breathing began to slow and I kissed her and stroked her head and told her she was okay to go, that I didn't want her in pain.

My partner and I held her until her very last breath. She passed at 9:50 PM.

I'm frustrated at myself for this still. For so many reasons. And I am angry. And almost unbearably sad.

Maybe I should have had her euthanized the day earlier so I could prevent the pain. But the doctor was vague, and couldn't even tell me what the cause of it was. Bacterial, viral, genetic, who knows.

Part of me is guilty because I should have driven that hour and a half again when she stopped eating, but would that have changed anything? The damage to her kidney was most likely irreversible, and a life on supportive fluids and medications is no good quality of life.

We just moved to Washington from Florida. Did the stress of the move cause her immune system to lower? She handled it fine and was happy the whole way. Before she could fly, she needed a certificate of health. The doctor examined her and we weren't having any huge issues other than some hormonal behaviors that have appeared normally in the past years I've had her. I opted not for a blood test as the doctor suggested it may be too stressful for her if she's going on a flight.

Could this have been prevented a month ago if I had said yes?

We gave her an entire room in my new home. We were going to put more shelves in it, ropes, toys from the ceiling, everything. Her window now had a screen in it and I would open it for her daily so she could breathe the fresh air. Since I was able to move, I had more time off and support from my partner now and could live an easier, more relaxed life and spend so much more time with her.

I took her to stores with me in her new carrier where she got to meet so many people already, was given new safe treats from people, got to see so many beautiful flowers at the store, and even went on a short hike with me in a beautiful forest.

Did the universe know she would be gone soon? That all this happened so she could experience it before she passed?

I got her a new water fountain that she loved and took baths in immediately, drinking it and playing.

Then I begin to realize that she was drinking so much water because her kidneys were dying and she was trying to flush them out. I noticed she was eating less, but still loved treats and was eating most of her food, both veggies and otherwise. I assumed it was from moving as she seemed active and happy otherwise.

Did I leave her vegetables out for too long for her to eat? Did they make her sick? Although she had been eating them like that her entire life? Did the outdoor air carry some fungus that caused her infection? Was it something genetic that was due to the fact she came from a Pet Smart, and likely a parrot mill?

Everyone says I spoiled her and loved her so, so much. I'm unsure about spoiling her, I tried to give her everything but I am still guilty. I loved her so much and yet I feel as though I failed. I failed as a parent to her and as someone who was meant to protect her. She barely made it to five years and for that I am angry at myself. I did everything I could to keep her healthy with a balanced diet and play time and socialization and all of the cuddles and love she could ask for.

Is it my fault that I won't be able to hear the kissing noise she made when she pressed her beak into my face? I won't get to hear her say "I love you!" excitedly as she repeatedly gives me more kisses. Hearing her sing "Go kiwi, go kiwi, go!" while dancing and bouncing. No more "Good girl Kiwi" as I give her a treat for spinning in a circle for me. And the funniest of all, when I tried to potty train her but instead only got her to say "Kiwi poop" AFTER she poops. Like an announcement every time.

The pain lessens every day, I know that and can feel it, but some days it barely feels like it's changed. I wish I could have given her a longer life, and I know that if she could actually speak and talk to me, she wouldn't blame me for it. But how do I stop blaming myself? How do I stop being angry that all of this would happen on Memorial weekend? Why couldn't it have been when I could get her to the nearby exotic vet?

It's difficult when the images of finding her at the bottom of her cage, the repeated seizures for an hour, the struggle to breathe, when she screamed halfway through her passing away process, and the end are continuously flooding my mind. I find myself crying while doing chores and feel a hollow feeling in my chest every time I pass the door to her bedroom. When I end up Googling "sudden chronic kidney disease in parrots" to try and find a reason for it. Or why it happened to a young parrot like her.

I try every day to think of good memories and when she was happier. When I could pet her and snuggle her and talk to her for hours.

I'll be able to pull through this. I will. But I will miss her every day for the rest of my life. Tonight was a difficult night for no particular reason and I needed somewhere to get this all out and written down. I'm very sorry for whoever did read this and if it brought back any painful memories. I truly wish that this would never happen, and that this would never happen to any other parrots. They are truly too good to ever deserve this kind of pain.

This Saturday, I am taking her body to a pet funeral service and having her skeleton articulated so that I can have her with me always. I have such a strong gut feeling that while other people may want their pet's souls to be free, Kiwi would have wanted to stay with me for as long as possible. In life and in death.

I loved you so, so much my baby Kiwi. I would do anything to have you back with us. I try to take comfort in knowing you're no longer in pain that I wish I could have prevented.

Rest in Peace my sweet baby Kiwi. ❤

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Shezbug

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I am so very sorry for your loss and all the painful thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing right now and I hope very soon they lessen so when you think of her you only see and remember the happy memories you made with her :bighug:
 

Mason and Kiwi

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I am so very sorry for your loss and all the painful thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing right now and I hope very soon they lessen so when you think of her you only see and remember the happy memories you made with her :bighug:
Thank you so much. I really hope so too.
 

Mizzely

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I'm so very sorry. There's not a way for someone we love to die without any pain, regrets, or what ifs. They will consume you if let them.

We do the best we can do with the information available to us. No one can foresee the future. Maybe one of the things you wish you had done would have been filled with its own regrets.

It is a long road to being okay. Everyone says time heals all wounds, but that's wrong. Time makes it easier to deal with the pain, gives you chance to live around it, but it never truly goes away. Over time, those little stabs of pain remind us of our love we shared, and remind us that they will never be forgotten.
 

April

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I wish had a way to make it better for you.
I feel much the same for the way that Nala and Zazu died. Neither was my fault Nala my heart bird and best friend a Greenie who looks very much like Kiwi was taken from me expectedly when her heart gave out with no warning and even though she was literally being examined by the vet(I'd brought her in for falling over and panting) and was immediately put on oxygen and given drugs to stimulate her heart nothing could save her,she was a rehome so I never knew her true age but I had her 11 years(celebrated roughly 3 weeks before she died and she was at minimum 12 years old)
Zazu a Cinnamon Turquoise Greenie who was only 3 years 3 months and I'd had since a 3 month old baby I lost her at the vets after a routine blood draw to make sure she was healthy she developed a hematoma and even though everything was done to save her about 45 mins later looked up at me and died in my hands.

Though neither was my fault I carry intense guilt over it and still 5 plus years later for Nala and almost 2 years for Zazu I'm still plagued some nights replaying what happened over and over in my head and thinking if only I'd done things differently.

I know it's cliché but time will help to heal the pain but it's a slow process but please know that you did everything you could for her and she knows how much you loved her and she loved you.

I hope your happy memories of her will help to ease your pain during this difficult time. :sadhug:
 
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Shannan

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It is very very hard to lose a pet. I lost my African Gray Walter after 39 years last November suddenly. He seemed fine all day. I had fed him a pecan about an hour earlier and was cleaning up the kitchen (literally 10 feet from his cage) and went to bring him some fresh veggies from out dinner and he was just gone. Still warm, not a sound, not a thud, just gone. No goodbyes, no holding him to the end, just gone. Believe me when I say that it is hard to not second guess every decision you have made. (trust me I have with Walter) Stop it as much as you can. You cannot redo the past, and you gave your bird the best life it could have knowing only what you could have known at the time. It is very hard right now but keep thinking of all the great memories you have of your time with your bird. Some losses are easier to handle than others. Time will bring the good memories to the fore front and the pain will recede (but not go away completely). It is the hard part of the promise we make when we take on an animal. I will be there through thick and thin, sickness and in health til the end however hard that end might be. (also note that as painful as the seizures are to see, it is unlikely that your bird has any memories of that according to several people I know who live with seizures of all types). Know that you are not alone, your bird loved you unerringly and would no doubt want you to not feel guilty for doing your very best. :hug2: We are all here for you as many of us have been through similar experiences.
 

Tyrion

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So very sorry for your loss :sorrow:
 

zERo/

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This story was hard to read and I know how much harder it must be for the people that lived it.

You clearly loved sweet Kiwi so much! And she surely knew it!

I hope it time you begin to feel better. Do not blame yourself. The questions you’re asking cannot be answered and only make you feel worse inside.

Im so terribly sorry for your loss.
 

BluJay

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I'm very sorry for you loss. Don't blame yourself. Keep the positive memories close to your heart. Time will heal part of the hurt.

Jay
 

flyzipper

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I'm very sorry for your loss.

I experienced similar feelings of guilt when I lost my dog Pepper.
If I took her to the vet sooner, would that have made a difference?
She had become too weak to be a viable candidate for treatment according to one specialist we saw.
Did I make the right decision not to pursue treatment and euthanize?

We make the best decisions we can at any point in time and hindsight is 20/20 as they say.

I'll share that I am now at peace with how things unfolded at the end of Pepper's life, so it gets better.
 

zoo mom

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I am so sorry for your loss.
 

Jin & Pic

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I'm so very sorry about your Kiwi. I believe she clearly knew she was loved every second. I don't think there's anything more you could have done, so please don't add guilt or self-blame to your grief. {Hugs}
 

sunnysmom

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I am so sorry for your loss. It's so easy to second guess yourself and try to find answers that aren't there. It's normal to do so but try not to. I did the same when my cockatiel Sunny passed away. I tormented myself with 100 things that I should have done differently. It was agonizing. And then I realized that I had to make myself stop. Stop thinking about all the what ifs. Stop thinking about that last day. And just think about Sunny. How wonderful he was and how happy he made me. All the funny things that he did and how lucky I was to have him for the time that I did. Doing so still made me sad but it didn't make me crazy, for lack of a better description. You never really stop missing them. I have tears in my eyes as I type this. But it gets better. So, please don't think about all the what ifs but instead think about the happy memories that you have of Kiwi and know that you gave her love and a wonderful home. Many birds never get to have that at all.
 

Mason and Kiwi

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Thank you to everybody who is posting this with their own experiences. I wish I could reply to all of them, and reply to any more that will be posted, but I am very emotionally exhausted still haha.

Getting it all out definitely made me feel better, and it also comforts me to know I'm not alone. I'm so sorry to all the people that had to experience something even similar like this. The best part of one of these communities is how we can all support each other through something like this, and it's truly wonderful.

Thank you all so much for your continued words of kindness and encouragement to get me through this. I hope that other people that read this thread, be it soon or in the fufure, will take comfort in knowing they aren't alone either and that their best friend that may have passed also loved them dearly.

To thinking of all of the good memories and pushing down the bad ones. To my baby Kiwi and to all of your best friends and babies that are hanging out somewhere and flying freely, patiently waiting to see us again one day. ❤ Take care of yourselves everyone, and I am trying every day to do the same.
 

Kiwi's Dad

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I’m so sorry for your loss :sorrow:
 
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