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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24347
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My bird is having an acute neurological disturbance with features

Customer Question

My bird is having an acute neurological disturbance with features somewhat similar to a stroke without the asymmetry.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with Having?
Customer: He has loss of coordination in his legs. His wings are out for balance and he is reluctant to move. He also did not greet my vocally at the door nor try to bite me when I picked him up.
JA: Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: No wounds.
JA: The Veterinarian will ask you more detailed questions to find out what is causing this.
Customer: Ok
JA: How old is Having?
Customer: Somewhere between 10-12. Amazon blue fronted parrot.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Having?
Customer: No. He did not get into anything or have any unsupervised time out of his cage.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. Please let me know if you still need help. I suspect that your parrot suffered a complex partial seizure (also called psychomotor seizure). These are often idiopathic (unknown cause/idiopathic epilepsy), but can arise secondary to brain tumor, infections (bacterial, viral, fungal), metabolic disorders, nutritional imbalances, and toxin ingestions. A stroke needs to be considered as well particularly if his diet consists mainly of seeds. An avian-oriented vet (please see here: www.aav.org) might perform blood tests and cultures of your parrot's choana - the slit between his oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken. Whole body X-rays can be quite helpful as well. Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds. What has his diet consisted of, please? Seeds should compose less than 20% of his diet. Ideally, a balanced pelleted diet such as can be found here: www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com or here: www.lafeber.com/pet-birds should be fed as well as hard boiled egg yolk, pancakes and cornbread, the tops of fresh greens, dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, fresh fruits such as apples, pears, melon, kiwi, and berries, vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, beets, asparagus, cabbage, sweet potato, and squash, and even tiny pieces of meat.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
My bird made it through the night. He is still not well (same symptoms) but still alive. He managed to eat some almond slivers with ease this morning. I'm trying to get some fluids into him as well. He also has not made any vocalizations which is very unlike him. He eats a premixed food that has pellets and seeds and also gets healthy treats like fruits and veggies and pasta through out the week. Normally he is quite an aggressive bird and he is letting me pick him up by hand with easy and sit next to him in the couch without protest.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for the photo and update. Yes, he's likely to still be post-ictal (post-seizure behavior) which often entails sedation and sleep. His diet sounds good as long as he doesn't eschew the pellets for the seeds. Fruits, veggies, and pasta are terrific. He'll need diagnostics performed; I hope you have an avian vet reasonably close to you. If I can't identify a metabolic or infectious disorder and treat appropriately and seizures persist, I'll prescribe an anticonvulsive drug. Here's a more complete synopsis for you: http://www.exoticpetvet.net/avian/seizures2.html Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Is it possible for his postictal state to last >15 hours??
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.
Yes, that could indicate status epilepticus - the state in which his brain remains over-stimulated. It can also indicate that the underlying disorder that has caused the seizure hasn't disappeared.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin

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