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I NEED HELP

mama.marci

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Marcela
Hello!
Backstory: Mother was an experienced bird lover. Her first parrot was attacked by a terrier and sadly passed. About a year later (2010) she was gifted a rose breasted cockatoo from my father. Fast forward to 2018, She was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer and passed that year Dec.
Present: I’ve moved in to help care for my father and grandmother and of course all her pets. The bird being the most challenging. Plucking feathers, not screeching or talking at all, not really active or spirited as it once was.

I’ve tried researching but there is so much info online it’s a bit overwhelming. One thing i am finding is these birds tend to be a one person bird and they don’t like change in their routines. It breaks my heart that he/she is alone and desperately want to befriend him/her. I know absolutely nothing other then it moves away from me and hisses and nips when I try to change out the food or water or pet it. It’s nothing like the vibrant bird it once was. My father keeps it fed and hydrated and pulls it out once in awhile but I feel like it needs more. And maybe it’s my grief that draws me torward the bird after all we both lost our rock and I just want to show this bird who my mother cherished that I love it too.

So my question is how do I start? What should I expect?
 

Kate&Pigeon

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Aw, I'm sorry about your mum. And bless you for wanting to take good care of her bird. I'm quite new to looking after birds, so don't have a lot of advice to give. I've learned that moving really slowly and gently and just sitting together has really helped my rescue to trust me. I'm sure in time you can help each other through your shared grief. Best of luck to you.
 

fashionfobie

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Oh :( I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like a very hard year. My father died unexpectedly in 2014, it was an odd thing to process.

Thank you for all you are doing for her bird. I do not have experience with the bird you have.

I want to send you warm thoughts.
 

zoo mom

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I am so sorry you lost your mother.
First. Bless you for wanting to give your mother's bird a better life.
1. Go slow. You didn't give us a name so for now I am going to call him/her Pinkster and refer to him her as him just to simplify things.
Both yours and Pinkster 's lives have been flipped upside down. He/she is nervous and scared. You need to teach the Pinkster that you are safe and that you are a friend. Back off. No trying to pet or touch him until he is ready (unless it is absolutely necessary such as he is in danger or for a vet visit). Let him come to you. Sit near him and talk to him, sing to him, read to him. Don't stare at him or look directly at him facing him. This is what predators do. Look at him kind of sideways. If he appears uncomfortable or retreats when you sit down then you are too close. Back away until he is more comfortable. Then gradually move closer according to his comfort level. This may take a few days, weeks or even months.
2. Every time you walk by his cage drop a special treat in his bowl, something he really likes that is not part of his regular meals. Don't linger just drop it in and walk away. Once he is comfortable with this try holding the treat for a few seconds before dropping it in his bowl. The object is over time to get him to come to you and take the treat from your hand.
3. Leave the door open for a while each day so he can come out on his own. Make a play place or perch on top of his cage if you can. If not put a perch on his door that when the door is open it is outside the cage. Make sure you have time so that you don't have to chase him to get him back.
4. If he hasn't been to an Avian vet recently then he should be seen to rule out physical issues.

Good luck and bless you.
 

mama.marci

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Thank you so much! This is a helpful start ♥ Pinkster is named Tilly and my dad just told me they thought it was a girl (hence the name) but it’s a him.
We have a vet check up scheduled this coming weekend because of the feather plucking.
I also read about them needing to be bathed daily. I remember mom spraying water into the air around Tilly. Is this something I should do? Or let him do this on his own in a bowl or something...
And lastly for the treats is there anything I should not consider? I couldn’t find any treats amongst Tillys things.

Again thank you so much for taking the time, it’s much appreciated♥

I am so sorry you lost your mother.
First. Bless you for wanting to give your mother's bird a better life.
1. Go slow. You didn't give us a name so for now I am going to call him/her Pinkster and refer to him her as him just to simplify things.
Both yours and Pinkster 's lives have been flipped upside down. He/she is nervous and scared. You need to teach the Pinkster that you are safe and that you are a friend. Back off. No trying to pet or touch him until he is ready (unless it is absolutely necessary such as he is in danger or for a vet visit). Let him come to you. Sit near him and talk to him, sing to him, read to him. Don't stare at him or look directly at him facing him. This is what predators do. Look at him kind of sideways. If he appears uncomfortable or retreats when you sit down then you are too close. Back away until he is more comfortable. Then gradually move closer according to his comfort level. This may take a few days, weeks or even months.
2. Every time you walk by his cage drop a special treat in his bowl, something he really likes that is not part of his regular meals. Don't linger just drop it in and walk away. Once he is comfortable with this try holding the treat for a few seconds before dropping it in his bowl. The object is over time to get him to come to you and take the treat from your hand.
3. Leave the door open for a while each day so he can come out on his own. Make a play place or perch on top of his cage if you can. If not put a perch on his door that when the door is open it is outside the cage. Make sure you have time so that you don't have to chase him to get him back.
4. If he hasn't been to an Avian vet recently then he should be seen to rule out physical issues.

Good luck and bless you.
 

mama.marci

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It definitely is weird. We are coming up on the one year anniversary and it’s still so surreal. Thank you for your thoughts ♥


Oh :( I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like a very hard year. My father died unexpectedly in 2014, it was an odd thing to process.

Thank you for all you are doing for her bird. I do not have experience with the bird you have.

I want to send you warm thoughts.
 

mama.marci

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Thank you ♥



Aw, I'm sorry about your mum. And bless you for wanting to take good care of her bird. I'm quite new to looking after birds, so don't have a lot of advice to give. I've learned that moving really slowly and gently and just sitting together has really helped my rescue to trust me. I'm sure in time you can help each other through your shared grief. Best of luck to you.
 

Tiel Feathers

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I’m so sorry about your mom, and I love that you are trying to take such good care of Tilly. No doubt she was grieving and confused, but she should start to warm up to you soon since it’s been almost a year. @zoo mom gave you some great advice. I think if she acts like she enjoys a light misting, you should try it. Try it when it is sunny out and earlier in the day if possible. If she shows any distress, stop. Good luck and keep us updated on your progress!
 

zoo mom

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Treats to avoid. PEANUTS peanuts can have mold spores on them that can cause a bird to get very sick.
Good treats. Almonds, pistachios, walnut pieces, pecan pieces, Lefebers nutriberries or pieces of avicakes, Sunflower seeds in small quantities, pumpkin seeds, etc.
 

mama.marci

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This is so awesome , thank you so so much ♥♥♥♥




Treats to avoid. PEANUTS peanuts can have mold spores on them that can cause a bird to get very sick.
Good treats. Almonds, pistachios, walnut pieces, pecan pieces, Lefebers nutriberries or pieces of avicakes, Sunflower seeds in small quantities, pumpkin seeds, etc.
 

Sarahmoluccan

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I'm so sorry your loss of your mother :sorrow: Thankyou for showing so much interest and care for Tilly. Sadly that doesn't always happen and you are truly a blessing to Tilly.

In another thread I think you mentioned how to go about cleaning his cage and changing out food and water. I use to volunteer at a rescue and I found cleaning out cages could actually help form bonds with birds, even ones that are scare of you. Just go slow and talk softly to Tilly, gradually he see the typical daily routine as nonthreatening.

I'm not that familiar with galah cockatoos but a typical cockatoo behavior soft clicking of their beaks. To give you a reference of what I'm talking about here my U2 Echo doing it

If you see that behavior its a really good sign. I take it to mean "I mean you no harm".
Sometimes those hard clicking will happen and it usually means something is make the cockatoo uncomfortable and if you're not care a bite could be coming. Depending on the bird hard clicking and soft clicking can occasionally be hard to tell apart. But once you get to know your bird better and learn his body language things will start to be alot easier for you. :)
 

mama.marci

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Hello all, first off thank you too everyone for all their advice...We are leaving the vets office with extremely heartbreaking news... Tilly hasn’t been eating or drinking for awhile his chest muscles have deteriorated and he is mostly bones His eyes are swollen which indicate some kidney issues and the worst news of all... he has 2 huge masses by his left leg. Im unsure what to do... the vet suggested we put him down because he is suffering and with his current condition he might not make it off the table. I feel awful and like I’ve let my mother down. How can I put her bird down? And I’ve spent all day with this guy...so much that he actually sits on my arm and lets me stroke his feathers.
 

Monica

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Wow, so sorry to hear! Besides letting him go, were there any other suggestions?

Would it be possible to get a second opinion?
 

mama.marci

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Wow, so sorry to hear! Besides letting him go, were there any other suggestions?

Would it be possible to get a second opinion?
it’s really just down to whether it would just prolong his suffering

I want to get a second opinion but with the dollar amount for all the testing for X-rays, blood panel, and ultrasound we were quoted almost 3 grand from a specialists office

So I’m conflicted, if I get the funds then we might do it but I just don’t want him suffering for my own will of trying to hold onto the last piece of my mom
 

Monica

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What country do you live in?

If the first vet has done any tests, you can always get that information and take it to another vet for a second opinion.
 

mama.marci

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What country do you live in?

If the first vet has done any tests, you can always get that information and take it to another vet for a second opinion.
We are in Los Angeles and the specialist is in Orange County. Our home vet didn’t run any tests today because he wanted us to take what funds we had to the specialist.
 

Monica

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Ah, understood.

So since you are in the USA, do you have access to CareCredit? It's a card that can be used for human or pet health.
 

mama.marci

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Ah, understood.

So since you are in the USA, do you have access to CareCredit? It's a card that can be used for human or pet health.

We are maxed on the care credit unfortunately. Her cat passed 6 months after mom from old age and then their 3 dogs went through a bout of illnesses as well from the loss.
 

Monica

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Shoot! So sorry! When it rains it pours. :( Wish there was some way to help out. Galahs are a favorite of mine, but I've never personally had one.

What about other specialists in the area?
 

Kate&Pigeon

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I'm so sorry to hear the bad news. I hope you are coping okay. I'm sure you've been a great comfort to tilly, he's trusting you to let you pet him. Whichever decision you make, there are no wrong answers. You're clearly doing your very best for him. Best of luck to you x
 
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