African Grey post mortem

Hi, my much loved African Grey has just died at the age of 4 after a brief illness. We didnt take him to the vet straight away and we didnt have a post mortem done. Now we are thinking of taking on another unwanted Grey (due to a disability)from our breeder (very trusted breeder, she is great), but I feel I must try to find out what happened to our boy so we dont make the same mistakes.

Please can you read over this 2 week period of 'change' and also the final symptoms and see if you can give me any clues as to what it was.

Day 1. spell of sunny weather, spent all day outside in his summer cage. i cleaned it again, put it in a shady spot. - normal bird, climbed all over his cage, had a spray and preened for ages. seemed happy.

Day 2. more sun, back in the garden, covered cage with towel and put under sunshade. - seemed a bit lethargic, stayed on his perch most of the day.

Day 3. i put my hand in his cage to get him out and he bit me. unheard of. he stayed indoors in his cage all day.

Day 4. we went on holiday, he went to our breeder for boarding (has done many times and is usually fine).

Day 14. Ten days later he comes home. everything has been fine, breeder had no concerns.

Day 15. Isnt talking. I assume he has the hump.

Day 16. Is off his food, still no talking, not much movement. he sits on my shoulder as I work and i notice he is pooing often but only small amounts.

Day 17. lots of food left in his bowl. getting worried now. doesnt want to come out of cage. starting to think he might be unwell.

Day 18. He's not eaten his monkey nut. now i know something is wrong. still no talking, seems very sleepy. I call the breeder, she said he wasnt really as talkative as before and didnt want to come out of his cage (but he has lost his flight feathers on one side so isnt confidant at the mo). said he ate fine. cant really afford the vet so decide to nurse him all day and see how it goes.
symptoms- quiet, sleepy, unwilling to come out of cage, then when we took him out anyway he was very clingy and sleepy.
made him drink water, then honey water, ate a few little mouthfuls of his preferred foods. slept by my bed over night.

Day 19. is still unwell, has excreted a lot of slimy poop over night. pupils are dilated, he seems scared and glad of a cuddle. nursed him all day, he perked up a bit, but was still sleepy. in the evening, he started to move around his cage and came to his food bowl and ate a good meal. very willing to come up to bed with me. i covered his bedside cage with blankets to keep him warm and in total darkness and fully expected to see him on the mend in the morning.

day 20. found him dead. his beak and eyes were open and his crop was protruding. I'm gutted.

he didnt seem to have any laboured breathing, had kept his beak closed throughout, no runny nose, looked normal except for the pupils dilating and a bit of sunken eyes from dehydration (i assumed).

I'm struggling to cope with the questions of what killed him. was he too cold, was the blankets too much, was it kidney or liver problems, did he have a heart attack, did he catch the cold i had, was it a toxin from the garden, has he been sick since day 2, or was it just at the end? I cant sleep, cant stop thinking about it all. I want to give another grey a loving home, but want to make it a good home. what killed my boy?

Comments for African Grey post mortem

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Oct 17, 2011
African Grey death
by: Tracie

I am so sorry for your loss.

People write Dr B all the time wanting to know what caused their bird to die. He really can not tell by symptoms. It could be a disease, in your case from wild birds. It could have been an illness, it could have been something toxic, there is just no knowing without a necropsy.

If you allow your bird to go outside, you need to protect the cage from wild birds landing on it, pooping into it etc. Take your bird to get vaccinated every year and have the bird examined to catch illness and disease early, since birds don't usually show illness until they are very sick.

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