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Anna, Bird Expert, Biologist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 11063
Experience:  Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.
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My parakeet has lost the use of both legs. She now hangs on

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My parakeet has lost the use of both legs. She now hangs on the side of the cage with her beak. I made a ledge for her to rest and I put paper on the bottom of the cage for her to rest there as well. All her food is accessible. The only problem is that she gets poop stuck on her legs and bottom overnight until I can get it off during the day. She doesn't chatter any longer and everyone that comes over my house says I should put her down. She has been like this for six months. The vet has said she won't get better. I asked the vet how her quality of life is and she said "marginal". I'm just not sure if I should be keeping her alive or not. Please advise. Thanks!

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a biologist with a special interest in bird health. I'm sorry to hear of Rowdy's condition. I'm also sorry that you're at the point where you have to make this decision. I've been there, over and over because I won many pets, and I know it's the hardest part of having an animal companion. It can be especially difficult to decide when is the best time to let go when there is no clear-cut illness, such as kidney failure or cancer. Rowdy has gotten to be old and frail. I don't think she's in a lot of pain, but it doesn't sound like she's getting a lot of enjoyment out of life either. I can assure you that if you decide to let her go now, no fellow bird lover would think you have done it too early. You know with certainty that she is not going to get any better, but will only continue the gradual decline. Here is a site that may help you with the decision:

Your vet has told you that Rowdy's quality of life is marginal. Parakeets chatter to show happiness, affection, and other pleasant emotions. A lack of chattering probably indicates that Rowdy isn't feeling too happy anymore. She ha s to be somewhat uncomfortable being unable to perch, and that poop stuck on her overnight is unpleasant for her, too. I agree with your vet that her quality of life is not very high.

This is a decision only you can make. It's normal to feel guilty and unsure no matter which way you decide to go - Am I causing her to suffer longer by not euthanizing her? Am I taking away some enjoyment of life by doing it now? There's no doubt that it's a horrible decision to make. But sometimes, what is so difficult for us is the most humane for our pets. It's one last act of love we can give them to spare them the suffering of along, drawn-out passing.

I can't make the decision for you, but only give you these things to consider. If it would help you to talk some more about this, just click on REPLY and post (no additional charge). I've been through this more than once and I understand the pain that goes with making this decision. My thoughts will be with you.


My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service only after you have all the information you need. Thank you!
Anna and other Bird Specialists are ready to help you

Hi ,


I hope you are doing all right.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.



Thank you. I'm fine. Your email was extremely helpful. Rowdy is hanging in there, and I'm just waiting to see how things go for now.


Thanks for your concern,


Thanks for the update, Annetta. I know how hard it is to deal with a sick pet, so I have been concerned about you. You may receive some automated emails from JustAnswer, with my name on them. I wanted you to know that I am not actually sending those. They are computer generated. Any time you want to reach me, you can come back to this question and click on REPLY. Take care of yourself, as well as Rowdy.


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