Monday, June 30, 2008

Leo

When I uncovered the birds this morning, Leo the cockatiel was on the bottom of his cage. It took monumental effort on his part to pull himself onto the lower perch, where he had to spread his wings to balance, unsteadily at that.

I called the emergency vets' office up in Huntersville, assured them he'd been perfectly normal until this morning, and found out that the avian vet would be in at 8, which gave me just enough time to get there same time as she did.

I'd decided on the way that it had to be his kidneys; all the evidence--Ezra's chronic kidney disease, Claudius's passing of crystals last month (turned out he didn't have a uti after all), even my son's suspected passing of stones/crystals back in March--everything pointed in that direction.

Blood work showed I was right--Leo's uric acid levels were in the 50s. Because Leo flew into my in-laws' garage several years back, we'd never known how old he was, but the vet thought he was already in his 20s, "a little old man with gnarly, gouty feet." Because of his age, because he'd been too old to tame by the time we got him, because the vet said she'd never had the luck treating cockatiels with kidney disease that she's had with conures, we agreed it would be best not to put him through the effort.

So I brought the cage back empty, with Leo inside a green cardboard box.

We will miss Leo's dancing--an activity his gnarly feet never curtailed. We will notice how much quieter the house is without him.

17 comments:

  1. I, too, have a cockatiel. I'd be bereft without him. I am sorry about your guy.

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  2. Thanks, Deb. I wish yours a long, healthy life.

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  3. Oh, I am so sorry for you all, Susan.
    I wish you many wonderful memories of Leo.

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  4. Thank you, Chrissy.

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  5. Oh Susan, I am so sorry about Leo. I'm sure there was no better garage that he could have flown into and his life with you was very happy.

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  6. Oh, Susan...I'm really sorry about Leo.

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  7. I'm sorry to hear about Leo. Losing a pet is the worst.

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  8. Thanks all. I keep telling myself if he could keep dancing up until the very end (he liked doo-wop), he must not have suffered too awfully much. But it's hard to know for sure, since birds mask their pain.

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  9. I'm so sorry for your loss. Sending hugs. . .

    Lezlie

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  10. I'm so sorry. I know Leo had a great life. But still, it's so hard to lose a pet. Hope you are okay.

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  11. Thank you. We're okay and making sure the other birds get lots of attention today.

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  12. Thanks, Melissa.

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  13. Poor Leo and poor you! So sorry to hear this. It sounds like he had a happy life, though. It's really hard losing a pet--they're really part of the family.

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  14. He was definitely a happy bird. And I suppose he was lucky to be as old as he was and to have never been sick before.

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  15. I am so sorry for you and your family. My own cockatiel Blake and I send you cockatiel dust and serenadings.

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  16. Thanks, Lisa. I will continue to get my cockatiel fix by reading about Blake.

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