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seizing grey

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avang07

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I am wondering do you know what are some possibilities of why a grey would have seizures? He was placed next to another grey, however they are in separate cages? All advice would help. He is now placed in an room adjacent to where he was however out of sight from the other grey.
 

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Like Danita said, get your bird to the vet, now. Uncontrolled seizures can cause permanent damage. Please put some soft materials on the bottom of the cage and protect him from physical injuries when having a seizures.
ML


"Seizures in African Grey Parrots
African Grey parrots are known to have problems with seizures, most commonly related to hypocalcemia. Do not rule out hypocalcemia problems based on one blood test showing a calcium level in the normal range. Calcium levels dip and rise according to circadian rhythm. Normal calcium levels for psittacines range from 8.0-13.0 mg/dl. Running an ionized calcium level may be diagnostic; however reference ranges for the different species are not yet established or published for many species.
If a grey is feather picking, or is clumsy, or has had a seizure, try treating with calcium in the drinking water (Neo-CalgluconTM Sanzoz, calcium glubionate 23 mg/30 ml drinking water or 23 mg/kg PO q24h), supplementing with TumsTM (calcium carbonate) and having the owner offer more high calcium food (cottage cheese, cheese, yogurt and almonds).
Often, however, calcium supplementation is not enough to control seizures in greys, and this is because there are several factors that control calcium homeostasis, including the uropygial gland, vitamin D3 levels, possible concurrent hypovitaminosis A, ultraviolet light exposure, secretions from the parathyroid glands and secretions from the ultimobranchial glands
For seizuring grey patients, ensure that the uropygial gland is functioning properly. Examination of the uropygial gland should be a routine part of every feather-picking and seizuring bird's physical examination. Test this by gently rolling the wick through your fingers, and then checking your fingers for a greasy spot). If no secretion is seen, then gently massage the gland (bilobed, heart-shaped) and then check the wick again. The normal uropygial gland produces vitamin D3 precursors that are preened onto the feathers. Upon exposure to ultraviolet light (particularly UVB), the precursors will be converted to active D3, which will then be ingested when the bird preens again. So, if an African Grey is suffering from seizures, always check the uropygial gland and make sure that it is producing a secretion.
Some birds with hypovitaminosis A will have squamous metaplasia of the uropygial gland, and it will not be functioning properly. Those birds should receive a supplement of beta-carotene to correct the squamous metaplasia. Beta-carotene capsules can be purchased at any pharmacy. It is provided in a capsule containing a red liquid. A hole can be poked in the end of the capsule, and the bird may then be given a drop orally twice per week, or as indicated. Since beta-carotene is converted to active vitamin A, and the rest will be excreted unchanged, it is very safe and non-toxic. Supplementation with vitamin A can result in overdose, which can be dangerous, even life-threatening. Red palm oil is another source of beta-carotene. Other birds may have plucked out the wick feathers, making extraction of the secretion difficult or impossible.
For activation of the uropygial gland secretion, a bird needs exposure to natural, unfiltered sunlight (not through glass or plastic) or exposure to a full-spectrum fluorescent light (changed regularly as recommended by the manufacturer and placed within 18 inches of the cage). While formulated diets should contain adequate amounts of vitamin D3, any birds, especially greys, with calcium problems should always have the uropygial gland evaluated, and it should be recommended that they receive some sunlight or full-spectrum artificial lighting. Some species of psittacines do not possess an uropygial gland (including Amazon parrots, hyacinth macaws) and emus, ostriches, cassowaries, bustards, frogmouths, many pigeons and woodpeckers do not possess one, either.
It has been observed that African Greys living outdoors (and exposed to natural sunlight) rarely suffer from seizures, so it seems clear that the interrelation between the uropygial gland, ultraviolet light and vitamin D3 are responsible for normal calcium homeostasis in the African Grey parrots, and most likely in other African species.
Instead of initially treating the seizures with an anticonvulsant, I recommend using a nutritional supplement called DMG (dimethylglycine). This supplement works by providing a methyl group, which acts in a similar manner as an antioxidant, however, DMG does so much more. It increases the threshold for seizures, and acts to provide many benefits to avian and exotic patients. It is available from Vetri-Science Lab, phone: 800-882-9993. Because it provides support for the nervous system, I have found it to be a valuable adjunct to therapy for many diseases, including PDD in birds, and E. cuniculi in rabbits. While some seizuring animals may still require anticonvulsant therapy, the dosage may be lower due to the positive effects of the DMG on the brain and CNS.
At this time, there are no reference values published for avian species for phenobarbital levels in avian species. Using DMG will most likely lessen the dosage of anticonvulsants needed, and may even preclude their use, which is much safer for avian and exotic patients."
www.exoticpetvet.net/avian/seizures.html
 

avang07

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thanks,

hey only seized once, and he has been fine since the move. I have been trying to call the most cost effective vet around the area, considering the fact that being a college student with no steady income do really play a role.
 

JLcribber

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As mentioned seizures are very serious and need to be addressed by an "avian" vet immediately. Metal toxicity can also cause seizures. If it happened once there is a very good chance that it will happen again.

If it does be sure to comfort him and talk to him while it's happening so he can hear your voice and be reassured. Time is of the essence. Get him to an avian vet as soon as possible.
 

pga7602

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I know how it feels to be a starving student.. heck I was one once. However, when you take on a parrot, you've pretty much signed up to be it's parent. A parent would not hesitate to do all he can to help his child would he?

Don't try to find a low cost vet. What you need is an Certified Avian Vet. He or she should have some sort of financing plans for these types of emergencies.

Good luck...
 

Danita

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thanks,

hey only seized once, and he has been fine since the move. I have been trying to call the most cost effective vet around the area, considering the fact that being a college student with no steady income do really play a role.
there is a thing called care credit, you can use it for vet bills
 

avang07

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thanks for all of the great advice.....going to the vet tomorrow afternoon......
 

Anne & Gang

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please let us know what happens....best of l uck
 

waterfaller1

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Sending positive thoughts and energy for a good outcome.:hug8:
Wonderful article ML!
 

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Hope your Grey is better real soon.The fact he is not now fitting does not mean he is better as a fit is the sign in has got to a dangerous stage in whatever he is suffering from.
Been there with Leroy and although she did not have a seizure she was very poorly. Now I feed her with a well cooked chicken bone one/twice a week. Red palm oil on a finger of toast each day and calcivec in her drinking water regularly 3-4times a week on the advice from our Avian vet.
She also has to have broad spectrum lighting on the outside of her cage in the Winter months to simulate the sunshine of Summer and it helps her get enough Vit D into her little body to stay healthy.
Greys are not cheap birds to keep and can be a real drain on your income with the vet bills, fresh food, nuts and toys etc but well worth the effort in the end. Leroy will also chomp through a cuttle fish in a fortnight if she really is in need of the extra calcium. Her body seems to tell her it is necessary. Good luck.
 

Sharpie

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How's the trip to the vet go? Keep us updated!
 

Brigidt36

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Sending positive thoughts and healing prayers.
 

avang07

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Hey sorry, I haven't keeping you guys posted. I havent been able to get on the computer since the posting. My computer crashed down on me. Well, I did take in the grey in the following day, and everything came back good. The doc, reccomend to really watch the level of stress that is going on around him, which is most likely to trigger another one if it comes down to it. Also, there were some medications prescribed to him, and he's doing fine with it. Check up is on the way with him and the meds. Thanks for getting back to me on it.
 

TwilightsImprint

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Well I'm glad this worked out. Just remember as a Parront you sign up for the duration of their life and are obligated to do your all. I cleaned cages for free every saturday for six months to pay off a vet bill.
 

Kathie

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Hey sorry, I haven't keeping you guys posted. I havent been able to get on the computer since the posting. My computer crashed down on me. Well, I did take in the grey in the following day, and everything came back good. The doc, reccomend to really watch the level of stress that is going on around him, which is most likely to trigger another one if it comes down to it. Also, there were some medications prescribed to him, and he's doing fine with it. Check up is on the way with him and the meds. Thanks for getting back to me on it.
Did your vet do any testing for lead or zinc poisoning?
 

TwilightsImprint

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I would be concerned about toxicity as well. If your vet didn't do any testing you should really look into getting that done. often if you call an avian vet and explain that you would simply like the testing done they will make you a lab appointment and you can there for by pass the vet. You would only be paying for the lab work assuming that your vet is like mine... then again my vet does what I tell her to do simply because she knows that I'll call her five hundred times worrying about a test she didn't preform until she does preform it. I'm a hypo chondriac when it comes to my bird babies. They sneeze and I assume that it's PBFD or something terrible... when in fact they were just cleaning their air ways. My vet has made a fortune off of my worrying mind. I'm turning into my mother... Oy... every jewish girls night mare... turning into her mother.
 

Welshanne

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Seizures are a warning sign that things are not good. For your vet to say he is fine makes me very suspicious of the depth of care he has given to looking into the reason for the seizures.
They are not easily diagnosed and it takes time to rule out so many things that can be the likely cause.
if your bird is on medication to control the fits and the cause of them has not been found and eliminated you could be signing its death warrent.
Do not want to be an alarmist but I really feel you are needing to get your bird to a good AVIAN vet who will know what to do.
Greys have a weakness to suffer from calcium deficiency and to have a fit because of this he will at least need to have IV calcium to bring up its levels to a treatable number.
It is the first time I have ever heard of them suffering seizures from Stress.:hug8:
 
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