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Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat, Avian Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 4244
Experience:  25 years as avian-only veterinarian
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My green cheek conure crashed on landing and injured his

Customer Question

My green cheek conure crashed on landing and injured his spine yesterday. It does not appear to be frature, the Vet already prescribed antibiotics for him. His feet cannot grab but he can still move his legs. Just cannot stand or grab. Today I gave him
some physical therapy and warm bath, he uses his legs to paddle while in the water. Is there any chance for him to recover the use of his legs? If so, usually how long will it take for him to stand again?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 2 years ago.
Yes, they can regain functionality even from very severe nerve trauma. It may take months. Is it certainly spinal? Is your vet used to working with little birds?
Why the antibiotics? was he not put on pain medication or NSAIDS? Ask your vet. Even children's ibuprofen (motrin) can help.
Hydro therapy is good so long as he is not stressed by it.
It really depends on what area and severity of injury. Can you share more details?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Vet prescribed prednisolone. The injury is on the back in between the wings around spinal. There is visible bruise. When he is in the water he paddles, however he cannot open his toes or grab. He did try to stand on my hands while in the water. Today is the second day, he eats very little and started to have bowel movements today, he is more active compare to yesterday. Thank you for your quick response.
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 2 years ago.
Does your vet work with a lot of birds? Prednisone is almost never used in birds, even for spinal trauma, by bird vets. It causes very severe immune suppression in Avians, even a single dose. There are safer alternatives, and I personally never use steroids. I use ibuprofen or other NSAIDS and butorphanol for pain.
It may be safe to give one dose of quick-acting dexamethasone, within 4 hr of the injury, but even that is controversial and may not speed or assist recovery.
You might want to consider a second opinion from a more bird-experienced vet.
Did something fall on him or another pet hurt him?
I really must stress that you need a bird-experienced person, and not just a vet who advertises that they care for birds. Check click on "find a vet"
Your job is to keep the bird warm, safe, quiet, and confined; and to provide adequate hydration and calories.
When you are not holding him, keep the bird in a box or carrier with soft towels in the bottom, no perch, and food and water in low bowls that can be reached easily. Put the whole thing on a heating pad on low or medium. Check it frequently, no overheating allowed! Keep the unit partially covered, warm and quiet. White paper towels or white cloth towels will show the true color of the droppings. Small animal/reptile boxes are great for this purpose.
The bird, bowls and unit must be kept very clean.
Here are some helpful links:
Do not try to force food or water. Pedialyte or electrolyte replacer can help but many birds do not like them; when in doubt, plain warm water is best. They can hydrate from oral fluids almost as quickly as IV if the GI is functioning properly. You can offer warm cooked rice, pancakes, cornbread, grapes, melon, greens in addition to normal food.
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 2 years ago.
I thought of something very important. The water must be warm--105°F and use a good thermometer to double check. He could become hypothermic with less. And dry carefully after. Do not do the swim if it is stressing him badly.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Most of the vet in my area are not bird experts, they mostly seen dogs and cats.
He got frighten, took off crashed to the furniture and landed on the floor.
For child Motrin, what should be the correct dosage? He is merely 70 grams. I am giving him warm bath twice a day, he looks like he feels more comfort after the bath and rest better at night.
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 2 years ago.
He could have 0.05 cc; ask your pharmacist for a 1 cc syringe and show you where the 0.05cc mark is (about one drop). You might discuss the prednisone with your doctor, and I would urge that he be taken off. Not being your vet, I cannot direct treatment but it is important that you discuss it with your vet.