So, all signs point to her having asthma. Yep, asthma. She has been in acute respiratory distress pretty much all week. Previously, she hadn't really exhibited signs that she was having breathing problems, but this week has been just hell. She has been gasping for air like she's an old man with emphysema. We started her on two inhaled meds, plus a steroid pill, on Wednesday, but didn't really respond. She stopped drinking, wouldn't swallow for syringe feeding, and was cyanotic (blue) around her lips and gums. This is generally a bad sign. I took her back to the vet yesterday, she was put on 100% oxygen for the afternoon, got more injected steroids and bronchodialotors, and IV fluids.
When I picked her up around 5:30, she looked much better. The vet said that she was actually able to get some sleep when she was in the oxygen tank (looks like a kitty fishtank), and her respiratory rate was much closer to normal, around 44 bpm. She has been breathing about 70-80 breaths per minute for the past few days. We kept the IV in, and I got a bunch of paperwork just in case she needed to go to the emergency vet for more fluids or O2 overnight.
We got her home, gave her her breathing treatments, and put her in the hall bathroom with easy access to food, water, and a litter box. She was feeling so poorly that she didn't even bother to get out of the travel cage, so Will just took the top off so she wouldn't feel confined.
Waking up this morning, she was out of the bathroom in the hallway, respirations were 48, with was much improved, and she had used the litter box during the night. We gave her her inhalers and let her rest. Later we dropped by the vet to pick up some saline flushes so I could flush her IV her at home. She is much improved as the day goes on. She is still working at breathing too hard, using her accessory muscles, but it is such an improvement from yesterday. Yesterday we were close to having the quality of life/end of life discussion with the vet. Hopefully she will continue to respond to the medications and we will be able to put that discussion off for quite a few years.
And, unexpectedly, I came home from the vet with a new little someone.
While I was settling up the bill at the vet, someone walked past his storefront with a parakeet on his finger. The vet saw it and said, "Wow, that's not a good idea." Meaning that carrying around your pet parrot outdoors is a good way to have your little friend fly away to freedom. A few minutes later, the guy comes in the office with the bird and tells us that he had just found her in the parking lot, and wanted to know if the vet knew anyone who could take her. And, since I was there, and she was such a sweet bird, I offered to foster her while we put up flyers trying to find her owners.
Of course, I had to run to the pet stores to find food, dishes, and a cage. And perches and toys. :) I sold my big California cage about three years ago, since it's been about five years since Zeena died, and I didn't see myself getting another large parrot again. She was starving. She attacked the food that I put in with her. Now, she's just nibbling at it, which is much more normal.
She's very sweet, is very hand tame, and very spoiled. She has her full wing feathers and loves to fly around the house. I think her owners let her pretty much fly and perch wherever she wanted to. This will no do in this house, however. I've taken her out several time to handle her and pet her, but she likes to fly off and perch on the curtain rods. I'm seeing a wing clip in her future.
Here is a picture of the cuteness: