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Urgent Cockatiel possibly electrocuted himself from light bulb wire.

Bird dude

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I know a forum is not the place for emergencies, but the vets are full with no room for left for appointments. Tomorrow is the fastest i can go. So in the meanwhile, this is quicker.

Anyway, my cockatiel Bundy, who is a 2 years old male (named after Al Bundy, not Ted Bundy, that would be weird), was biting a wire from a cable from a lamp. Not led, just a regular light bulb. I wanted to unplug the plug but i was too late: a loud bang followed with a flash were the cable was bitten, and he flew in circles around the room in panick. When that was done, i put him back in the cage. I saw that the feathers around his left eye were black, so i tried to clean the feathers around his eye by holding him and cleaning with a wet cloth, with water. But birds don't like to be held, so it was almost impossible to clean it, cause he couldn't keep his head still.

I checked every few hours in case he might got a heart attack, or something else, but nothing luckily.

But now today i see he is pinching his left eye shut the whole time, his feathers fluffed up. I saw him eat a few single seeds, but only so little. He still eats and drinks, although I'm not sure if it is less than usual. I didn't seem him preen himself yet, apart from like 2/4 seconds on his back, but i hope he will still actually preen himself. He is also rather quiet, and he isn't the type to be quiet a lot. Actually i hoped he made less sound for a change lol, but of course not like this. Apart from a few squeaks here and there.

At the moment the feathers around his eyes are gone. And it is now bald.

Since he isn't dead (yet) what can happen now and what's the worst that can happen now? An eye infection? Brain damage or mabey even cancer or something worse?

Is there something i can do in the meantime? Mabey cleaning his eye with a wet cuetip (just water, nothing more). Or is that very unwise? And also some things that i should absolutely NOT do?

Like i said, this is sadly the quickest thing i have right now. I would totally have gone to a vet if available. Sadly it is a regular vet and not a bird vet. The bird vet closest to me is like a 70 minute drive.

Update while writing this:

He now has his head in his back feathers, as if he is sleeping, with both legs on his perch instead of just one (like he always did). He has never done this before in the middle of the day. I am really starting to worry now!

I hope someone can help me, please.
 

Lady Jane

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There are no avian vets on AA so your best bet is to have your bird checked out by one. Make an emergency appointment.


An electrical burn will be more difficult to view and can occur should your bird bite through wire. The burn may not be apparent on his beak however the damage can be found deep within his body tissues. Also, if he were to be jolted he may be thrown or fall back which can lead to additional injuries. This is why he needs to see a vet. The extent of the injuries may not be seen right away in his body tissues.
 

Tiel Feathers

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Poor bird, I hope he will be okay! Please take your bird to the vet. 70 minutes is not too far to drive to get your bird seen.
 

rocky'smom

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He needs to see a avian vet ASAP. Emergency vet is your best bet. Keep him quiet, hydrated and book it the vet.
 

Mizzely

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So my main concerns would be trauma to the eye and surrounding tissues. Anytime a living thing is electrocuted, the way that it courses through the body can cause internal damage to tissues and organs.

I don't know that there is much you can do before the vet appt besides making sure your bird has constant access to food and water, perhaps keeping them in a carrier to limit movements and keep them close to their bowls, and keeping them at a comfortable temperature so that they don't need to expend energy trying to regulate body temp.
 

Bird dude

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Poor bird, I hope he will be okay! Please take your bird to the vet. 70 minutes is not too far to drive to get your bird seen.
I first taking him to a regular vet tomorow (october 1). I know that isnt helpfull, but its quicker i think. I would have to convince my parents to go to the avian vet, cause i cant drive, cause i dont have a licence and cant see well enough to drive. Its a 75 minute drive to get there, and of course another 75 minutes to get home. So if they dont think its necessary, its not going to happen. I know that is perhaps childish, but i cant make them go by forcing them. I will talk with my mom cause she is like 400% more understanding than my dad. I will go to the regular vet tomorow anyway, see what he says or do, and if im not satisfied, i have to convince my parents to go.
 

Bird dude

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So my main concerns would be trauma to the eye and surrounding tissues. Anytime a living thing is electrocuted, the way that it courses through the body can cause internal damage to tissues and organs.
That is what im most scared of. A regular vet cant see or know that perhaps. I have to take that 75 minute drive to an avian vet. I cant drive myself as i dont have a licence and cant see well enough, so i have to convince my parents.
It might just as well be that he wasnt electrocuted, but came close. He flew away like rocket speed right after the loud bang, so mabey he was quick enough.
Than again, are birds also bad at conducting electricity? It might be a bit naive of me though, but i read a few things about that.

I do think he is electrocuted though, cause if its just an eye injury, he would be perfectly fine except for a closed eye right? Overall he is not doing terrible, but he is more quiet than usuall. He still calls me when im out of sight, but he doenst just babble anymore. And fluffed up feathers and sleeping position during some moments of the day, his head in his back feathers (as is supposed to) but with both feet on his perch, not the one leg up what is supposed to happen.

So i dont think it is simply an eye injury.
 

Mizzely

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I drive 90 miles to my vet so I get it. You may be able to call the vet and ask if they believe the bird should be seen.

And no, eye injury does not mean he would be fine except for the eye. It can be painful and disorienting, which can cause a host of other symptoms, like not eating or playing.
 

Bird dude

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I drive 90 miles to my vet so I get it. You may be able to call the vet and ask if they believe the bird should be seen.

And no, eye injury does not mean he would be fine except for the eye. It can be painful and disorienting, which can cause a host of other symptoms, like not eating or playing.
I'm sorry. In hindsight it can indeed lead to different things.
Just like humans, if an infection isn't treated it can spread to the rest of the body. Of course IF there is an infection.
 

Bird dude

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UPDATE:

I've been to the regular vet, he thought it didn't look that bad, his behavior was (and still is) quite normal. He is less quiet and less sleepy and such as a day before, for example fluffed up feathers and such and all the other things i mentioned.

Today he preens himself and makes almost as much noise before the accident as after. Only thing not present is his "evening concert", as i like to call it. That before he tries to sleep he gets REALLY loud, chirping and making noises, in the good way, not the stressed upset way, and then he tries to sleep. But last evening, he didn't do that at all. So that was new. He slept in my bedroom instead, with his cage covered, had at least 12 hours of sleep, which would seem sufficient.

Whenever it is needed or not, i attached a picture of his bad eye, so you can all see for yourself it it is really bad or not that much. I took the picture about 5 to 10 minutes after posting this update.

Now that i look at the picture again, it's not just the eye. The feathers close to his nose also look very... off. If that is the right word? IMG_20211001_202131.jpg
 

finchly

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What a cutie!

Ithink he looks okay. The feathers near his nares do look different, but not bad.

Sorry I don’t know much about this type of injury.
 

Dartman

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His feathers got burned by a very quick zap but his eye and everything looks good so I think he's a very lucky boy. Keep an eye on him just in case and my bet is he'll never chew a electric cord again. Lurch loved eating my hot cereal if he was out in the morning. It almost always was super hot so I'd say hot and blow on a spoonful to cool it down for him. One morning he got frustrated that he wasn't getting his cereal fast enough after I said hot and blew on it. He screamed in frustration and dived his beak deep into the spoon and then screeched in pain and flew away shaking his head rapidly. He had badly burned his tongue and I said I told you it was hot... Luckily his tongue wasn't blistered and every time I said hot after that he very carefully touched the food to make sure it was safe to eat.
 

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You got lucky! An electrocution is an entry and exit..glad he didnt get it bad. We wrap our cords in electrical tape and cover them with cord covers. They are notorious for getting into things they shouldn't..little turds..:cautious:
 

Bird dude

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What a cutie!

Ithink he looks okay. The feathers near his nares do look different, but not bad.

Sorry I don’t know much about this type of injury.
Thank you! I specifically chose a white faced cockatiel. Because i was (i still am a bit) bothered by the red dots on their cheeks. I always think those dots break up the color scheme. I used to have a female budgie, and my brother as well, and i can tell you: female budgies can be vicious! Actually, i read a lot that male birds in general are easier to handle. So lucky that Bundy is a male.

The feathers on the other side look a bit weird to. Mabey it is also because of the "explosion" (for lack of better word), but i doubt it, cause that eye is perfectly fine.
 

Bird dude

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His feathers got burned by a very quick zap but his eye and everything looks good so I think he's a very lucky boy. Keep an eye on him just in case and my bet is he'll never chew a electric cord again. Lurch loved eating my hot cereal if he was out in the morning. It almost always was super hot so I'd say hot and blow on a spoonful to cool it down for him. One morning he got frustrated that he wasn't getting his cereal fast enough after I said hot and blew on it. He screamed in frustration and dived his beak deep into the spoon and then screeched in pain and flew away shaking his head rapidly. He had badly burned his tongue and I said I told you it was hot... Luckily his tongue wasn't blistered and every time I said hot after that he very carefully touched the food to make sure it was safe to eat.
Oddly enough Bundy didn't learn a single thing. I later tried to clean his left side of his head, which was black from the explosion, but didn't work. He flew out of my hand, back to the lamp and started chewing at the same wire that caused the accident.

Why?? Why do you do this?!?

Of course it wasn't going to happen again, cause i have it unplugged ever since. Until i repair the wire. No when he sits on the lamp he doesn't chew. Might be coincidence.

I can also never eat when he is out of his cage. Cause he will climb from my shoulder down towards my mouth like an annoying wasp, and would rather jank the cookie crumbs out of my mouth if he could. I never let him of course cause i won't let him accidentally poison himself by pecking something he shouldn't.
 

Dartman

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Cover the lamp cord or hide it where he can't get to it then you can have your lamp back. Some birds are just hard headed and don't connect the thing that happened with the object that did it :eek:
 

Bird dude

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You got lucky! An electrocution is an entry and exit..glad he didnt get it bad. We wrap our cords in electrical tape and cover them with cord covers. They are notorious for getting into things they shouldn't..little turds..:cautious:
Yeah. I am lucky to have him, but more lucky to still have him. He flew against a window with a loud bang once, normally he should have broken his neck, but he was fine. He had giardia 3 times (a diarrhea parasite) already and he healed from that every time. Now he almost electrocuted himself and he is still with me.

He is like a cat with 9 lives. Doesn't mean that i think nothing can happen to him. I still keep an eye on him closely, but when i keep him away from a lamp and 10 seconds later he flies back towards it, almost every single time, after i while it becomes tiring. I can't keep him away from the lamp, nor can i keep him in his cage.
 

Bird dude

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Cover the lamp cord or hide it where he can't get to it then you can have your lamp back. Some birds are just hard headed and don't connect the thing that happened with the object that did it :eek:
Mime never does. Whenever i bring him something to destroy, he leaves it or is afraid of it. It's like he specifically only destroys stuff he isn't supposed to.

I added a picture of the design of the lamp. I have to wrap something around the wood because, as you can see, it's impossible to have some tube through the wire, that is small enough to fit through the hole in the wood.
IMG_20211002_205625.jpg
The second picture is the damage. I hope i don't get a lot of hate for it. The issue is just that as soon as i take him away, 10 seconds later he flies back. Do that 10 times in a row (for example) and it gets really annoying.

IMG_20211002_205548.jpg
 

Dartman

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WOAH, lucky you still have the bird and your house. Nerd bird used to do the same to a heat lamp we had close to his cage so eventually we just unplugged it and stopped using it but he never stopped chewing on it when he could reach it. Did the breaker blow or it just quickly popped and he got lucky. Might want to retire it and put it somewhere he can't go after you fix it and find a lamp that is easier to protect or hide the wiring.
 

Bird dude

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WOAH, lucky you still have the bird and your house. Nerd bird used to do the same to a heat lamp we had close to his cage so eventually we just unplugged it and stopped using it but he never stopped chewing on it when he could reach it. Did the breaker blow or it just quickly popped and he got lucky. Might want to retire it and put it somewhere he can't go after you fix it and find a lamp that is easier to protect or hide the wiring.
I still live with my parents so it's not my house. The lamp is above the dinner table in the kitchen. Directly after it happened the power in the kitchen went out. Not sure if the breaker went out. English isn't my first language so i'm not sure what it is called in dutch. My dad said a "group" went out. Basically a group is the kitchen, or the first bedroom and this, or that and that.

There was a loud bang and spark and after that it was the lights were out. It was also the only light burning there, but still. The time on the microwave and oven also reset so i know a group went out. Also because my parents checked, but still.
 
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