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This is from last September. Not the greatest photo, but I finally decided to upload it because it's important to me. Both birds are also very much alive and well.

It started about a year ago, with first noticing the little tumor. It could've been removed, but given that surgery on a budgie is very risky I chose to leave it. It grew, slowly, and eventually started to outgrow its blood supply. Skin over it died and it became scabby. It continued to grow, bigger than in the photo, a grotesque massive scab. But through it all, Pippin remained as cheerful and happy and loving as always, so it was easy to forget the tumor was there.
Then it started bleeding. The first time saw us at the emergency vet as the tumor was dripping blood, but the bleeding stopped on its own, and the vet could offer no more help. Different vets, including his wonderful avian vet all said the same thing - one day, soon, he would pick off the whole big uncomfortable itchy scab of a tumor and he would bleed to death. I was told to be prepared to find him dead in his cage one day, and that it wouldn't be the worst way for him to go, he would just feel himself growing weaker.
Those were some bad months. Every day, I would worry about what I might find when I uncovered his cage in the morning and let him out for the day. Every few days, it seemed, the tumor would bleed again, though Pippin never picked at it. Every time it stopped on its own. The tumor got bigger, to the point where it made it hard for Pippin to eat from a food dish as the tumor got in the way. So he was served his food on a dinner plate.
I took pictures of him every day, never knowing if it would be his last. Again, throughout it all, he remained impossibly cheerful and happy, never once bothered by the tumor.
After awhile I became aware the tumor was seperating from his chest at the bottom. The bleeding seemed to occur as the tumor naturally pulled away from the skin; luckily the tumor was coming off so gradually that it was not causing any life threatening bleeding like the vets predicted.
One day, a few days before Christmas, the tumor simply fell off naturally.
Pippin is, as always, happy and cheerful.

Why is the photo important to me? It reminds me not to take him for granted - which I admit I have a bit lately as he is now so healthy and energetic.
It also shows his wonderful personality so well. He has a wonderful love of life and doesn't let things bother him. If he had allowed that tumor to bother him, he almost certainly would have died. He is so sweet and loving; if anyone, human or avian, is upset or angry, he is sure to fly over and offer comfort - he seems to care about others more than himself, at times.
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KarRedRoses's avatar
That's an amazing tale, I'm grateful you shared it and glad for the happy ending. Also: that preening looks very well appreciated by your GCC - you know how they get up feathers there that itch!