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Need advice and help with my now disabled bird


Moving in
Previous Thread: Tips on safe proofing a cage for a vet visit. | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
Everything that I know:
  • Had 4 mini strokes
  • Has clogged arteries (not a clot)
  • Ex-Ray showed that he has arthritis in his right knee
  • He has gout which caused kidney problems
  • Has a weak grip from stroke
So his blood work came in today. Originally he was taking an antibiotic for any potential infections but his blood showed no infections. Unfortunately, he now has gout which shocked and confused us. Apparently it works differently in birds and instead effects the organs like his kidneys. So now we have to pick up that medication tomorrow. For how long, I don't know. The medication for his clogged arteries has to be taken 2x a day for life. So we unfortunately have been towel holding him (haven't done that in years) to give him his meds. He has to drink a lot of water and watery fruits/veggies for his kidneys. He also has to eat Zupreem's FruitBlend Flavor & Natural pellets for a while. Not sure for how long. He seems to like it though so that's good.
We will be moving him to a large plastic storage container with a bunch of airholes tomorrow. It's to keep him from climbing. We still have to set it up and make it as comfortable as possible. He will not be a happy camper but we will do our best.
Thank You everyone, you've been so kind and helpful. Have a lovely day.

Edit: Found this: Gout In Pet Birds - Avian Kidney Disease - So kidney problems caused Gout. Sigh....
So this was my birds situation from my last thread. Since then the situation has changed.

Last Sunday it was time to give him his morning medicine. My mom grabbed him with a small hand towel and my sister gave him his meds orally with the syringe. After they put him back in the cage that's when we noticed a problem. He can't walk now. He must have had another stroke from all the stress of grabbing him (him running around and dodging like a pro). So we didn't give him his night dosage hoping he would recover after a rest but he hasn't. We haven't given him his meds since. We've tried giving it to him through the bars but he just doesn't like the syringe. I've been putting water in it but he still won't go for it.

I want him to take his medication but I don't know what to do. My mom wants to try putting it in his water/dish but I don't know if that will work. One is oily and the other is thick and gooey.

We had to change his water and food dish to something much smaller. Luckily we found two soy sauce bowls that has a diameter of 3in & is 1in high. We put them next to him so it's easier to reach. Sometimes we hold it up to him because he tends to fall over and make a mess.
He can get around by grabbing the base edge and bars with his beak and kind of shimmy over. If he wants to get a better view of us. We try to change his paper once or so a week but layer paper towels on the soiled areas to keep him from sitting in his own poop to long. We try to do so every other day. Any foot adjusting he needs is done on his own. He just grabs a bar and lifts himself up and tries to move his legs so his toes splay out correctly. Sometimes one toe ends up under the other or squished together but he tries. He can't groom himself properly because he falls over and we can't put him in a water dish to wash the poop off because the house isn't warm enough (heater is broken).

Before this we were going to put him in a plastic storage container and I was working on drilling holes in it but it was so difficult to do and tiring. So it was taking me longer than I intended but then that Sunday happened and I haven't bothered finishing it since.

I know we have to call the vet but my mom is worried what she will say. If we have to take him back then she's worried the stress will cause Coco more harm. Not to mention the cost. His medical fees for our last visit was $600 plus $30 for Antibiotics and $50 for his artery meds and then another $50 for his gout meds. Both are for life and renewed every 3 months, so $100 every 3 months. Not to mention the extra stuff we got him newer thicker perches, Zupreem Fruity & Naturals and a fuzzy tent for warmth (which has become redundant except for his food)

I need advice. I don't know what to do.
  1. How do I give him his medicine without grabbing him?
  2. What can I do to keep him descently poop free?
  3. Should we still call the vet and explain the situation?
Any help or advice would be great. Also, should I take this thread to the Special Needs section?


Hit the Road
Oh wow, this is quite the dilemma. I was in the same boat last year when I had to give antibiotics to my parakeet. I had to chase her down, grab her, and then force the syringe down her throat. All of that sounds bad because it was bad; it was a no win situation, and I ended up doing her more harm.

How old is your bird?

And yes, definitely call your vet because she is probably thinking that your little guy has been getting his medication all this time.

Ask her if you can give him his medication in front of her, so that she can see what you might be doing wrong.


Ripping up the road
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Do contact the vet and let her know what is going on.
You can try putting the medication on something you know Coco will eat and get the full dosage. How about a small piece of toast or unsalted cracker with some unsweetened and unsalted almond butter? You can also check with the vet about getting the medication compounded to be used in water. Putting it in the water does not ensure that she will get the right dosage but at least she will get something and it will be less stressful.
You can do some physical therapy and manipulation with his feet to help strengthen his muscles if he will let you. You have to be very gentle. You can check with your vet regarding this.
So sorry about the strokes. Hope that she will get better.
BTW, does she have a platform? In addition to the perches you should add platforms. More comfortable and easier for her to rest on those.


Sprinting down the street
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> You can try putting the medication on something you know Coco will eat and get the full dosage. How about a small piece of toast or unsalted cracker with some unsweetened and unsalted almond butter?

Read this on the fly and have to jet, but I second this entirely. We always put little drops of medicine on bread and feed it to our big birds piece by piece as not to traumatize them from being toweled.

Good luck. My heart is with you. <3


Rollerblading along the road
Mayor of the Avenue
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  • How do I give him his medicine without grabbing him?
  • What can I do to keep him descently poop free?
  • Should we still call the vet and explain the situation?

Having a special needs bird myself, this is what I do. As far as medicine, thankfully, my bird is a garbage disposal and will eat anything I put in front of him, but there are times when I have to give him medicine he doesn't like. Usually, if he rejects the syringe, I'll wait a few minutes and offer it again (usually right before I feed him so he sees it as a reward), and if it still doesn't work, then I'll pick him up and have him hang onto my shirt.
He has one leg and poor grip, so he hangs on with his beak. While he's hanging, I'll slowly administer his medicine. Sometimes it works, sometimes he'd rather fall to the floor than hang on. In that case, I'll mix the medicine in baby food or some kind of fruit puree that he really likes. He'll likely be on and off pain meds his entire life, so I'm sure he'll test my creativity.

As far as keeping your bird poop-free, this is a daily challenge for me. My bird always has poop smeared under his tail feathers because he isn't active and cannot walk. So, when the weather is warm enough, I'll take a damp washcloth and wet the mess area and then carefully clean up the poop. I'll admit, I've been lazy, but it has to be done so his feathers aren't glued to themselves because of poop. If your bird will let you spritz him, you could try that, or just spritz his tail to loosen everything up.

And absolutely call the vet and let him/her know everything that is going on so they can better help your bird.
Vet care is expensive, especially when you're dealing with a sick or disabled bird, but try not to let the number deter you. Your bird needs you to look after him and not give up. I spend a minimum of $230 every time I take my bird to the vet, even just for a checkup because he needs medicine, but that amount is a drop in the ocean when it comes to him. Now, anything else, I'd probably complain, but I don't think twice about it if it means he's comfortable. I hope your guy does better, and if you have anymore questions, don't hesitate to ask. We're all here to help one another.


Rollerblading along the road
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Hiding the medicine in foods he really likes is a good idea. Vege mash, baby food (no iron) , dropping some on chop, whole oats, bird bread , toasted whole wheat or almond bread etc.. how tame is he and can he be handled much easier with someone who he trusts more?

I suggest using sea grass mat(s) on the bottom of the cage, they have holes and most times the poop can fall through the holes. As long as it’s ok for his special condition with his feet/arthritis, which I don’t see why it wouldn’t be but I’m no expert. Good luck I hope he gets better soon!