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My African Grey got sick around Christmas eating and

My African Grey got...

My African Grey got sick around Christmas eating and drinking excessively, losing weight to 12 oz. and having frequent "urination." His x-ray indicates a tumor pressing on all organs but labs are normal. Vet recommends euthanizing tomorrow. He has had subcutaneous fluids the past 3 days so is obviously acting a little more like himself. I am torn.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the bird?

Not at this time. His last fluids were at 5pm yesterday and I am afraid he will go downhill fast. Not sure whether to euthanize or seek second opinion. I know it is bad but I want no regrets. Confused that labs are normal.

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Answered in 2 hours by:
1/13/2018
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 12,188
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

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I am very sorry to see that none of our other Experts have reached out to you before now. I just came online and found that your question had not been addressed.

I understand your frustration that the lab work is normal. This is not altogether uncommon, in fact, and only tells us that the organs themselves are functioning normally. If this tumor that is present might not cause a decrease in function of an organ the results may read normally even if the tumor winds up causing your AG's demise. Believe it or not, it's not uncommon for lab work to be normal in the presence of cancer (which can be frustrating for veterinary staff, no doubt, when you have a pet that feels bad but the bloodwork suggests all is fine). If you want to have no regrets, I do think a second opinion would be wise. That said, as you mentioned, this is a grave diagnosis and you're likely going to hear the same results from the 2nd opinion vet that you did from the first simply because of the tumor's presence.

If I might be able to offer a logical approach to euthanasia and knowing when it's time, I recommend to everyone that when considering euthanasia they do the following: Make a list of 10 things that your pet enjoyed doing when they were young. Perhaps that was playing a certain game, visiting new people, etc. Now mark off all of the things that your pet can no longer do consistently due to feeling unwell. Once you're down to 5, it's time to discuss euthanasia and once 2-3 items remain, it's time to have the procedure performed. This method allows you to choose quality of life over quantity of life and gives you a real time observation of how your pet is doing in their day-to-day activities. Once they feel unwell and are no longer thriving, the time to say goodbye as come.

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PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 12,188
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thank you so much for your answer! That was a good enough second opinion for me! Simba (my AG) has been feeling good since they've been doing the subcutaneous fluids so it's a little confusing because it seems like he's getting better when I know deep down he's really not. I'll plan to move forward with what the vet recommended tomorrow. His regular vet was out when we got the results and I wasn't happy with the way they were delivered by another vet as she was not as compassionate. Birds are just so much more complicated than dogs and cats. I did sell X-ray equipment for 5 years so I knew how bad his X-ray was when I looked at it. When the labs were good, I just thought there might be a chance. And he's been eating so much (which is a good sign and dogs), I thought it was also good sign in him. But the vet said he's just eating to feed the cancer.I will save your link for future questions because I have a 15 year old dog and I pet sit and I'm sure I'll be getting more animals of my own. I appreciate your compassion and your candor.Lisa
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