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Dear Parrots magazine,

My Topsy

I am heartbroken, and hope you can publish this letter. Would be nice if you can write something about tumours in Parrots magazine and how parrot owners deal with the death of their beloved pets. Many don’t understand the heartbreak and sorrow of losing a parrot or any pet.

The story about my Senegal parrot, Topsy, was first published in this magazine in the November 2017 issue entitled, “The Two of Us”.

I wanted to tell all readers what is happening with Topsy, who is 17 years old. He started feather plucking and I thought it was due to stress. He has always been well looked after and has a very good diet with fresh organic veggies and fruit plus some seeds.

Then a few months ago he started taking out his tail feathers and was constantly at his back end. As soon as they started growing out, he was at it again. Something wasn’t right and I thought he was itching, and a few times he was bleeding. Then a few weeks ago I had enough and was really worried. I took him to my local vet, as I don’t have an Avian vet nearby. He had done so much damage and his back end looked really bad. They didn’t know what to do and suggested taking him to John Chitty in Andover. That is an hour’s drive from my house.

I was not brave enough to drive myself, as I only use my car locally, and without sleep it wouldn’t be safe. But I am lucky enough to have one good neighbour and asked him for help. He drove me and Topsy all the way to Andover. John Chitty took one look and told me he has a tumour. Topsy was kept there overnight for a biopsy the next morning. On arrival back home without him I broke down and cried looking at an empty cage.

We collected Topsy the next day, and a few days later John rang me with the result informing me that Topsy has a malignant tumour. I was heartbroken. He is on medicine twice a day through a syringe, and I don’t know how long he will last. I have to decide myself when to stop the medicine as I know him.

I would like to hear from other readers if you have experienced something similar.

Unni Schau, by email




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