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Setup for Conure Neurological Damage

PrettyBirdy

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Hi y'all.

The last week as been very stressful. My Conure, Remmy, flew into a window, and without getting into too much detail (I don't have the energy right now, I'm sorry.), he might have permanent neurological damage that effects his balance and use of one of his feet. Right now I have him set up in my cockatoo's big travel cage. It has his hut which he sleeps in (and has for 8 years), his soft fleece ring he likes to snuggle up to, one of his toys, a shallow dish for water and food, and one perch that is barely off of the ground. It is lined with soft towels for him.

If it turns out that the damage is permanent (He currently can't perch for long, is having trouble preening, and stumbles when he walks, sometimes fully falling over.) I will get a more permanent set up for him. That being said; while I have worked with disabled birds at my job, I have never had one of my own.

Any advice? Ways to safely enrich his life? His favorite thing used to be hanging on my curtains and looking outside, but that's out of the question. I'm just really worried for him. He's super active, loves flying, and stubborn as hell. I want him to take it easy, but in typical Rem fashion, he wants to run around, which ends with him quickly falling over.

Any and all advice is appreciated.
Thanks.
 
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Hankmacaw

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@enigma731, @Brittany0208 These folks have experience with handicapped and neurologically compromised bird. They will know of others and help bring them into the conversation.
 

enigma731

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Thanks for the tag, @Hankmacaw !

@PrettyBirdy I've written quite a bit about what I did for my head injured 'tiel here and here. I think honestly the best advice I can give is to try to meet your bird where he is as far as mobility needs. Make sure he can't get hurt, but also provide opportunities to move around and challenge himself a bit. He's still very very early in his recovery so there's LOTS of room for him to improve and adapt.
 

PrettyBirdy

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Thanks for the tag, @Hankmacaw !

@PrettyBirdy I've written quite a bit about what I did for my head injured 'tiel here and here. I think honestly the best advice I can give is to try to meet your bird where he is as far as mobility needs. Make sure he can't get hurt, but also provide opportunities to move around and challenge himself a bit. He's still very very early in his recovery so there's LOTS of room for him to improve and adapt.
Thank you so much for the links. The video made me cry, sitting next to my boy who is moving pretty much exactly like Kevin in the first clip right now. I just clipped Rem's wings for the first time in years a few minutes ago, because he keep trying to take off and has almost hit something multiple times. It breaks my heart to do so, as being flighted has really helped his confidence (When he was clipped he was terrified of the world), but it's for his own safety. It sounds like their injuries are very similar. I didn't see his hit, but heard it and found him lying on his back. When I picked him up he convulsed and seized for over 10 minutes. I thought he was dying in my hands, and his feet were completely paralyzed at first. That video really gave me so much hope, thank you so much.
 

enigma731

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Yep, Kev was also on her back and I do think she seized, although I'm not sure if it was that or shock. I also clipped her for the same reasons, but her flights are coming back in now and it's been great for her. I'm sending you and Rem all my good thoughts, and I'm happy to hold your hand/answer any specific questions to the best of my ability. I really do think he'll recover quite a bit over where he is right now. :sadhug2:
 

PrettyBirdy

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Yep, Kev was also on her back and I do think she seized, although I'm not sure if it was that or shock. I also clipped her for the same reasons, but her flights are coming back in now and it's been great for her. I'm sending you and Rem all my good thoughts, and I'm happy to hold your hand/answer any specific questions to the best of my ability. I really do think he'll recover quite a bit over where he is right now. :sadhug2:
Thank you so much. The fact that even one of his feet is working pretty well now is good. I'm looking forward to him being able to fly again, he was certainly not happy with me when I clipped them, but in a weird way I felt like he understood? I'm probably projecting. Do you have any advice for food and water dishes? No matter what height and where I put them, it seems like he has trouble. If he has to lean down at all, he falls, if he doesn't, the angle makes him wobble and tip over. I periodically place him in front of the water dish because the way he reacts makes it seem like he doesn't otherwise drink. Also, he seems pretty sore (particularly his wings), and the vet didn't want to prescribe anything for pain. Any suggestions on natural pain relievers or anything similar?
 

enigma731

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Honestly I would push for Metacam if there's any way the vet will prescribe it. My girl was on it for over a month and I think it really helped both in terms of pain and inflammation. Did the vet have a specific concern about using it?

I put the food and water dishes on the floor to start with and raised the level of food/water high enough that she didn't have to lean over much. Do you think Rem would be willing/able to go down for them?
 

PrettyBirdy

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Honestly I would push for Metacam if there's any way the vet will prescribe it. My girl was on it for over a month and I think it really helped both in terms of pain and inflammation. Did the vet have a specific concern about using it?

I put the food and water dishes on the floor to start with and raised the level of food/water high enough that she didn't have to lean over much. Do you think Rem would be willing/able to go down for them?
When Remmy was little he had a toe injury and had a bad reaction to a pain medication. I can't recall the name (it was over 8 years ago), and the reaction was pretty mild, but my vet didn't want to add anything else to this, and at the time of going there I don't think the swelling had really kicked in yet.. I'm going in for another visit soon, but my vet is always booked like 2 weeks in advance unless it's an emergency so it will be a wait. I'll ask about metacam.

He's not too bad about eating (I may or may not be bribing him to eat with high reward treats hehe) but for some reason the water is giving him issues. I don't know if he's nervous about falling in? I had it on the ground which was a no go, and now I have it in a taller dish that he pulls himself up with his beak and will drink from sometimes, but I feel like I have to really make sure he's drinking.
 

enigma731

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Does he eat any fresh foods that you could give him extra wet? And also, would your vet let you call and just pick up a pain med? I don't know how far you travel to see them, but I feel like if your bird is under continuing care, you should be able to ask for medication adjustments without having to wait for an open appointment.
 

PrettyBirdy

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Does he eat any fresh foods that you could give him extra wet? And also, would your vet let you call and just pick up a pain med? I don't know how far you travel to see them, but I feel like if your bird is under continuing care, you should be able to ask for medication adjustments without having to wait for an open appointment.
I'll give them a call, but they tend to be pretty stingy about how they use meds with birds. It's an hour and a half drive, but worth it for my little one. Do you think a non-avian vet would prescribe something like that? There's one near me who see's bird, but isn't avian certified. Maybe I could bring him in and ask for a prescription from them?

I can definitely do that with his fresh food, good idea. He's an apple glutton so I can also give him some extra apple for its water content.
 

enigma731

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Yes, a non-avian vet could but they would definitely need to see your bird to be able to prescribe. Metacam is generally pretty benign, it's like Advil for birds. Honestly if you can afford another opinion, it might be worth it to get one! It sounds like your vet is handling it well but it sure wouldn't hurt to have someone closer by if they do a good job as backup.
 

PrettyBirdy

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Yes, a non-avian vet could but they would definitely need to see your bird to be able to prescribe. Metacam is generally pretty benign, it's like Advil for birds. Honestly if you can afford another opinion, it might be worth it to get one! It sounds like your vet is handling it well but it sure wouldn't hurt to have someone closer by if they do a good job as backup.
I'll give them a call when they open tomorrow. Thank you so much for all the help.
 

webchirp

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:sadhug2:tumeric is an anti-inflammatory. Dr. Orosz has Bitty and Zia on it for their arthritis.
 

Brittany0208

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I have a one-legged bird with limited function in his remaining leg, which he can only open and close 3 of his 4 toes. He cannot extend his leg at all or even scratch his head if I'm not holding him on his back. He also cannot fly. What I've done is pad his cage with multiple layers of fleece blankets, and keep platforms in his cage as opposed to traditional perches since he cannot perch without leaning against the cage bars. I have a lot of information, pictures, and videos on my page that may give you some ideas.
I keep all of his toys hooked to the side of the cage so he can reach them. He also can't walk without dragging himself along with his beak, so I've placed foam tiles on my floor for cushioning and grip, which has helped him a lot when he would spook and end up on the floor. Every so many months, his hock will swell, so he's been on and off pain meds, which is something he'll deal with for his entire life. To combat inflammation, I add turmeric and cayenne pepper to his food, he gets half a frozen cherry a day, which also helps with inflammation, I apply a topical ointment to his foot (his foot is constantly raw from the added weight), and I have to clean his tail feathers regularly because it ends up being dragged through his poop when he decides to move around.
I also have to trim his nails frequently so they don't become overgrown, but I also have to keep them somewhat long so he can grip the cage bars, which is how he gets around.
Hopefully this helps you a bit, and if there's anything else, don't hesitate to ask. Good luck!
 

PrettyBirdy

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I have a one-legged bird with limited function in his remaining leg, which he can only open and close 3 of his 4 toes. He cannot extend his leg at all or even scratch his head if I'm not holding him on his back. He also cannot fly. What I've done is pad his cage with multiple layers of fleece blankets, and keep platforms in his cage as opposed to traditional perches since he cannot perch without leaning against the cage bars. I have a lot of information, pictures, and videos on my page that may give you some ideas.
I keep all of his toys hooked to the side of the cage so he can reach them. He also can't walk without dragging himself along with his beak, so I've placed foam tiles on my floor for cushioning and grip, which has helped him a lot when he would spook and end up on the floor. Every so many months, his hock will swell, so he's been on and off pain meds, which is something he'll deal with for his entire life. To combat inflammation, I add turmeric and cayenne pepper to his food, he gets half a frozen cherry a day, which also helps with inflammation, I apply a topical ointment to his foot (his foot is constantly raw from the added weight), and I have to clean his tail feathers regularly because it ends up being dragged through his poop when he decides to move around.
I also have to trim his nails frequently so they don't become overgrown, but I also have to keep them somewhat long so he can grip the cage bars, which is how he gets around.
Hopefully this helps you a bit, and if there's anything else, don't hesitate to ask. Good luck!
Thank you for the information. You posts were very helpful!
 

PrettyBirdy

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:sadhug2:tumeric is an anti-inflammatory. Dr. Orosz has Bitty and Zia on it for their arthritis.
Sprinkled some tumeric on some apple for him this morning and he ate it up so hopefully that helps.
 
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