It’s not looking good. I finally got a vet to give me some advice on food, and he still wasn’t eating enough. I called back with this information and they said it was time to hospitalize him. So he’s there now, being given fluids in a tube. They’re running tests and seeing how he responds.
Fortunately this vet leveled with me. Turns out there were things on the first blood test I wasn’t told. He’s basically incredibly dehydrated, even though he’s going through a bottle of water every four or five days. That suggests some kind of organ failure. If it’s liver disease, there is a drug that can prolong life for a while. If it’s kidney disease, then we have to determine what his quality of life will be, and decide if it’s fair to let him suffer. Fortunately they euthanize with gas first to put him to sleep before they inject anything, so it should be fairly painless if it comes to that. I hope not, but I didn’t realize that a 9 1/2 year old cockatiel is considered geriatric. So it’s not at all unusual to see this kind of problem in a cockatiel this old.
I took some pictures before I took him to the vet, because I had an idea the news might not be good. He’s not in dire shape yet, but he’s obviously not feeling well. I’d prefer he die in his sleep at home, but that may not be possible, or even the kindest thing to do.