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Your Parrotlet's Health You may ask any questions about your parrotlet's health in this forum.

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seizures

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Old 08-01-2020, 01:24 PM   #1
letsgetelectric
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seizures

Hello friends! I've posted about my dear boy Gonzo before. About a year ago he was diagnosed with heart disease (he also has a heart murmur). He was having episodes of lethargy particularly after flying. The heart medication he was put on (Isoxuprine) seemed to help, but then about 6 months ago I woke him up one morning and noticed that he was unable to use his right foot. It was all curled up and he couldn't walk on it. We brought him back into the vet and she said he may have had a stroke. He was given a prescription omega 3 fatty acid on top of his heart medication. Over the last 6 months he has learned to use his foot again except one toe still faces the wrong direction...but you know birds they are really good at figuring things out despite their injuries. Everything seemed to be going well but over this last week Gonzo has experienced 5 of what I would consider mini seizures. He first freezes and it appears something spooks him or catches his attention, he stares off into space, then his body goes limp and his feet get really stiff (thankfully he doesn't fall of his perch!!!) There is no shaking, it's almost like he becomes paralyzed. After that he remains lethargic (almost to the point I think he is dead) for anywhere from 5-30 minutes and then like nothing happened he fully wakes back up and starts yelling and playing and biting and it TOTALLY fine. Does anyone know if there is seizure medication for birds? I'm going to take him back into the vet again but the Avian specialist isn't in until Thursday, and at this point I'm not sure how much they can actually do. Maybe change his heart meds? I feel so bad because I don't want him to continue to have seizures but he is almost 8 years old and has heart disease, obviously which cannot be reserved. Maybe he is nearing the end of his life. I am so sad. He gets lots of veggies and some fruits, eggs, pellet, and vitamins. I thought about possibly trying CBD but I have no idea what the dosage would be or if it is even safe!

Last edited by letsgetelectric; 08-01-2020 at 03:39 PM..
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:34 PM   #2
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And here's a cute little picture of him hanging out on our dish rack which has now become his perch. You can see his backward toe on his right foot (your left).
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:27 PM   #3
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That is a very cute photo of Gonzo! Has your vet performed a recent complete blood count (CBC) to see if there may be any changes that potentially may be causing the seizures?

This page is intended for avian vets, but mentions a number of medications that can be given for seizures. They may or may not be appropriate for your bird considering that he is on a different medication for the heart issue and that should be taken into account for any potential interactions.
https://lafeber.com/vet/diagnosing-a...logic-disease/
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackieRTP View Post
That is a very cute photo of Gonzo! Has your vet performed a recent complete blood count (CBC) to see if there may be any changes that potentially may be causing the seizures?

This page is intended for avian vets, but mentions a number of medications that can be given for seizures. They may or may not be appropriate for your bird considering that he is on a different medication for the heart issue and that should be taken into account for any potential interactions.
https://lafeber.com/vet/diagnosing-a...logic-disease/
No CBC. I believe last time they did a gram stain and an X-ray but no blood draw. His x-rays had to be done twice because the imaging didn't come out the first time and it left him really really stressed out. Poor thing it took him almost 3 days to recover from the vet...he slept all day. Because his heart was so obviously enlarged they treated that with the medication and that was that. They seem to think the seizures are a symptom of the heart disease, which they can be. He was doing well for a while a now he isn't, so maybe a blood draw this time around? Although I know it is difficult on small birds.

Last edited by letsgetelectric; 08-01-2020 at 02:47 PM..
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:30 PM   #5
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Your little Gonzo looks sweet. He’s a cutie. That must be very frightening to see him have seizures like that. Poor little guy. I would try to keep him calm and warm and keep him in a quiet room. It’s good that he has not fallen off a perch, but just for safety sake, so you might want to lowerthe perches to the bottom of his cage and pad the bottom of his cage with a soft towel. If he becomes unbalanced, be careful he doesn’t fall into his water dish, he can accidentally drown. You might just put a small amount of water in the bowl to avoid that from happening.
I just wish the avian specialist was there. Is there another avian vet that you could possible call for advice?
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackieRTP View Post
That is a very cute photo of Gonzo! Has your vet performed a recent complete blood count (CBC) to see if there may be any changes that potentially may be causing the seizures?

This page is intended for avian vets, but mentions a number of medications that can be given for seizures. They may or may not be appropriate for your bird considering that he is on a different medication for the heart issue and that should be taken into account for any potential interactions.
https://lafeber.com/vet/diagnosing-a...logic-disease/
That website is helpful, and unfortunately, this right here explains exactly what is happening to him. This is what the vet has told us but I still think I am going to go in for another follow up.

"Although the cause of atherosclerosis is not completely understood, predisposing factors include obesity and high-fat diets. Disease may exist in any species, however atherosclerosis is most common in Amazon parrots (Amazona spp.) and it is occasionally seen in macaws (Ara spp.) and African grey parrots. Cholesterol and triglyceride elevations may or may not be present, and diagnosis is usually made post-mortem. Clinical disease may include cyclical focal or grand mal seizures. Treatment is unrewarding. Seizure activity may appear to respond to therapy, but recur intermittently."

Last edited by letsgetelectric; 08-01-2020 at 04:33 PM..
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Old 08-02-2020, 05:21 AM   #7
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I'm so sorry Gonzo has these ongoing health issues. It's so incredibly difficult. No advice but your doing great, cherish every moment. Scritches for Gonzo <3
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Old 08-10-2020, 10:22 PM   #8
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Hi! I’m so sorry your bird is unwell &#x1f61e; I am in sort of a similar situation, but it’s not heart disease. My bird has high glucose levels, which are very rare for birds to have.

Anyway, I keep looking up information on how to help him. One thing that helps is to look for what a human would get prescribed for the same disease. And another helpful search is what’s done for chicken/poultry. That’s where most research has been done so far when it comes to birds. You can find actual studies if you use “google scholar” Vs regular google.

I noticed you mentioned giving your bird egg. My personal experience has been that egg is only good for the very young birds or an occasional treat for older birds. Too much fat and protein leads to liver/kidney issues. If your birds cholesterol levels are high you can try substituting his current pellets with roudy bush low fat pellets. Along with tons of different veggies. There is indication that Vit C is good for heart disease. Maybe some citrus fruits? When my parrotlet had liver issues I was giving him low fat pellets mixed with grape fruit once or twice a week (not at the same time as any medication as grapefruit will mess up with medications). Also turmeric is a safe anti-inflammatory for birds. I always add a little to my birds mash.

Finally, make sure he’s not getting too much calcium as too much calcium is bad for the heart. For my budgie it caused gout &#x1f623;

I see your bird feels worse after exercise, so I wouldn’t t suggest flying him. But keep him as active as he can be without adverse effects.
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Old 08-10-2020, 11:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MnM View Post
Hi! I’m so sorry your bird is unwell &#x1f61e; I am in sort of a similar situation, but it’s not heart disease. My bird has high glucose levels, which are very rare for birds to have.

Anyway, I keep looking up information on how to help him. One thing that helps is to look for what a human would get prescribed for the same disease. And another helpful search is what’s done for chicken/poultry. That’s where most research has been done so far when it comes to birds. You can find actual studies if you use “google scholar” Vs regular google.

I noticed you mentioned giving your bird egg. My personal experience has been that egg is only good for the very young birds or an occasional treat for older birds. Too much fat and protein leads to liver/kidney issues. If your birds cholesterol levels are high you can try substituting his current pellets with roudy bush low fat pellets. Along with tons of different veggies. There is indication that Vit C is good for heart disease. Maybe some citrus fruits? When my parrotlet had liver issues I was giving him low fat pellets mixed with grape fruit once or twice a week (not at the same time as any medication as grapefruit will mess up with medications). Also turmeric is a safe anti-inflammatory for birds. I always add a little to my birds mash.

Finally, make sure he’s not getting too much calcium as too much calcium is bad for the heart. For my budgie it caused gout &#x1f623;

I see your bird feels worse after exercise, so I wouldn’t t suggest flying him. But keep him as active as he can be without adverse effects.
Hi, it is so nice to have someone talk about nutrition and diet on the forum. I completely agree with you on providing your bird fruit with vitamin C - I give my bird 2-3 servings of fruit every day. Mostly berries, which are full of antioxidants and vitamins. When I started giving her more fruit, I noticed that her feathers looked more vibrant and healthier. She gets a lot of exercise and is pretty active, which is a good thing. Any natural sugars she gets, she is burning them off.

Glad you mentioned about pellets that are too high in protein. People need to check the protein content and chose ones that are lower. Soy is another thing to watch out for. Too much protein and soy raises the hormone levels.

Thanks for sharing your information. People who have birds with liver disease will certainly appreciate your insight.
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Old 08-10-2020, 11:51 PM   #10
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I wish I knew more about parrot nutrition when my birds were younger &#x2639;&#xfe0f; So I always like to share various pitfalls I’ve encountered with other bird owners.

Also, in regards to the original post - when my parrotlet had liver issues the first sign was an odd seizure. No twitching or anything, but he wasn’t responsive for a few minutes. The vet gave him lactulose and milk thistle and I think there was some echinacea in it too
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