Followers of this blog will know that my dear Bezukhov had various health issues over the years. I thought a final review would be appropriate.
The first major health challenge began in mid-2014 when Bezukhov started to have ‘Vacant Episodes’.
These ‘episodes’ were handled in a variety of ways, detailed in the many posts over the years. When they appeared to stabilise, the vet & I decided to cease all medication (early part of 2016) with the proviso to only administer medicine in an extreme circumstance.
I have previously posted lists of his episodes to date, with the last post being in December 2015 (click here to view). For completeness, I have updated the list & here it is:
As I logged each episode, I spent much time trying to find a pattern as that may give a clue as to the cause. All I know is that he seemed to have a spike in May/April time & the winter months were more stable.
Without knowing the real cause it is difficult to treat. However, I believe it may have been a liver problem & early medication was focused on that & ongoing supplements (milk thistle & Aloe Vera Detox) continued to target this. Given that we were unable to stop the episodes completely, we aimed to get them to a manageable/stable level & to reduce ‘cluster’ episodes, i.e., multiple ones in a short space of time.
The worst day was “Black Wednesday”, the 22nd of April 2015, when he had 4 in one day, 3 of which were within 90 minutes. You can see the days where he had multiple episodes in the list above (figures in brackets). The chart below shows an overview by month & year:
I greatly feared that Bezukhov’s end would be by a seizure & desperately hoped he would not suffer a prolonged one.
In the last few years, Bezukhov introduced a new health problem – his very own Extreme Moult Experience. Though it is not uncommon for birds to have a severe moult, I was aware that Bezukhov’s first extreme moult happened not long after we lost his best buddy Cagney. Was it a coincidence that his next two extreme moults happened around Cagney’s anniversary? Bezukhov was a very sensitive bird which is why I wondered if there was a connection.
Fortunately, he tended not to have episodes during the Extreme Moult Experiences, which is just as well as I was already worried enough. I feared during these experiences that he would just starve himself to death & I desperately hoped his end would not be that way.
In the end, it was something entirely different that took him. A tumour.
The vet thought it was aggressive & grew very quickly (they can double in size each day), using up his body’s energy. She suspects that the mass started on the outside of the small intestine & probably started growing inwards, explaining the initial lack of droppings & then the very dark ones later on that eventually contained fresh blood as the mass expanded.
Bezukhov was a fighter. As you can see from what I have written above, he fought through many health problems. The vet, who had looked after him from 2014, said that Bezukhov was possibly the most determined bird she had ever met.
Bezukhov was sensitive too & reacted emotionally to his surroundings, but he pushed on through all the changes & traumas in his life, possibly the most significant being the loss of his best buddy Cagney, with such grace & dignity.
He truly was remarkable. I am grateful to have been a part of his life & feel honoured that he chose to trust me.