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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30350
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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She is only have seizures late at night she is eating drinking

Customer Question

she is only have seizures late at night she is eating drinking and laying eggs. i have been to a vet they took blood and everything came back normal. i am at a loss
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Seizures always look scary. Let's get you talking to the Veterinarian. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: Cece and 2
JA: Anything else I can tell the Veterinarian before I connect you two?
Customer: i thought maybe the feed had gone bad so i have brand new feed and they all get fresh water every day. i have even put electrolytes in the water.
JA: 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 connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I'm pleased to hear that you had Cece attended to by an avian vet. Unfortunately we often can't tell what triggers a seizure. Blood work can be normal and there still can be a brain tumor, an infection (bacterial, viral or fungal), trauma (a flying accident, e.g.), idiopathic epilepsy causing abnormal electrical discharges in the brain, or a nutritional deficiency - for example, primary seed eaters will end up deficient in vitamins A, D3, B12, and K as well as the mineral calcium - particularly because she's been laying eggs. Treatment should be directed at correcting dietary deficiencies and controlling the seizures with anticonvulsive drugs such as phenobarbital. What has Cece's diet consisted of, please? Seeds should compose less than 20% of her diet. Ideally, a balanced pelleted diet such as can be found here: or here: 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 1 year ago.
Her diet consists of purina then I add sea kelp, sunflower seeds, calcium, Brewers yeast, oats, flax seed. Water is fresh every morning. I either put apple cider vinegar organic, or electrolytes. For treats I do either one kale ball and a worm rolling ball for a Bordeum buster, or I do cucumbers and a rolling ball of scratch. This past month since she's been doing this I have been giving her yogurt right before bed.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. That sounds good to me. Please clarify "Purina" for me. I'm not familiar with a worm rolling ball or Bordeum (boredom?) buster. I like the idea of dairy products such as yogurt. They're good sources of calcium and protein.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Purina is the brand of her feed. Worm ball is just a chicken toy I have that I fill with either mealworms or scratch, and as it rolls around it releases little portions of the treat inside.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the additional information. Is the Purina a pelleted diet? I like the idea of mealworms. Scratch should be considered a treat rather than balanced nutrition. If Cece is seizuring more than once monthly, anticonvulsive medication should be considered. Please discuss having one prescribed by her avian vet if that's the case. Which type of hen is Cece, please? I don't see that posted.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we aren't sure we adopted her 2 years ago. She is a bantam breed though. We lean towards a Cochin breed though I have attached a picture of her. The exact feed I get is this
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Oh good. That's what I wanted to see. There's no reason for me to go on and on about her nutrition. Her seizures haven't resulted from a dietary imbalance. Yes, a Cochin makes the most sense. If she's otherwise well, infection is unlikely as is a toxin such as from moldy feed. She was likely to be genetically predisposed to idiopathic (unknown cause) epilepsy or past trauma to her head occurred. I applaud the extent to which you've gone to try to help Cece.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The only thug has me stuck is that this only occurs at night.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oops not thug I meant thing
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Nocturnal seizures are a recognized disorder in people and pets. I admit that there's very little in the way of scholarly studies concerning seizures in chickens, however. Poultry producers will cull these hens. Now that so many flocks have become pets we hope that there will be more and more studies about the more unusual disorders we see. If possible, I (and her vet) would like to see a video of a seizure. You can upload it to YouTube and then send us a link to it. Be sure not to mark it as "private".
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will try to catch her in the act. It happens so fast. I do not want to cull her especially when she is a normal happy hen outside of this happening.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Yes, that would only be a recourse if her quality of life became unacceptable. I understand that a video is going to be a challenge!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

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

Dr. Michael Salkin