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Old 05-19-2018, 08:50 PM
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Heís in hospital now, seizure?

Hi there
This forum has been so helpful and I had a really helpful response on my last thread about my budgie. Thank you so much.
In summerise;

Got him two weeks ago,
Hes supposed to be 3 month but he had the black spots around his neck, I’ve heard this is 6 months?
He was mounting (pin feathers on head)
He settled down within a day, grinding his beak, happily closing his eyes back at us, eating and drinking, everything seemed good
His avian vet appointment was coming up a week and a bit from then.
He was still pretty quiet and observant though, plus sleeping a lot.
He ate from our hands after a few days and at day six he finally started hopping on the cage bars asking to get out, and that’s when we noticed he had been ringed with his toe (back inside one) inside the ring.
I was terrified it would cause serious problems, but the avian vet had no sooner appointments, so I took him to a vet across the road to remove the ring and inspect the toe before booking an emergency appointment.
He was chirpy on the way home, and very placid with us, he was grinding his beak for a bit and presented his cheek for me to scratch, enjoying gentle head rubs for a good few minutes.
I went to work for five hours, my partner was home the whole time, but when I came back he seemed lethargic and uncomfortable, not grinding his beak.
At the avian vet check he was a little underweight (40g), suspected pulled ligament damage to the toe that may or may not repair but not broken or anything to do that wouldn’t be counter productive. They also could hear a crackling noise in his lungs, so the vet advise we keep an eye on it and come back next week.
He was very placid at the vets
Came home and he still seemed lethargic and quiet, I wondered if it was stress. We have a humidifier and an air purifier (hepa with no ionizer) and open the window whenever his cage is secure. He loves to eat his greens, especially spinach. The only thing missing from the husbandry side is a full spectrum UV light which he still seems alarmed by if it’s shining in his cage (with an area dark) as he doesn’t move around much.
He started to have more perky moments the past few days where his foot didn’t seem to bother him, apart from sleeping/standing always on both feet (unless he’s step up, grooming etc) he used them just fine.
Flying was fine
He was eating his pellets fine
But today he kept avoiding me, flying away and not wanting to be close. Then at night as the lights dimmed low I offered my finger and he came off from his perch above the book case. He seemed to be standing up more than usual and looked more stressed, but calmed down and started grinding his beak as I sat down with him. He suddenly seemed exhausted.
His eyes were closed but he was standing upright and his head was shaking/wobbling slightly, not like grinding.
His temperature was very hot then very cold, suddenly hot then cold again and stayed cold, that’s when I started monitoring his breathing. 69 breaths per minute, then 63, then 61..
I turned him to face me and he had all his weight on one side, his wings folded but one facing upwards one down, he seemed to have lost his normal balance and looked really confused, but like he was “stargazing” upwards with his head, he looked frantically around the ceiling in this strange way, and everything about his body language said scary collapse coming your way, he then stared straight at me, and dived towards my shoulder, belly dragging himself up into my hair.
While this was happening I was sitting beside his cage and the humidifier/night light was about a meter away, at first I thought he was looking at it then I realised his wings and posture was just so strange. He sort of stared at me while I was taking in the strange posture of his wings, and just looked really confused, his feathers were flat against his body and his eyes wide, he had weird movements that were juddery, and he was grasping my hands at one point with his legs splayed open, he just looked not right and from his demeanor I felt like he collapsed on my shoulder. I

My African grey collapsed and died, so I thought the worst.
So I put him straight into the hospital box and took him straight to hospital.
He stabilized very quickly, standing upright looking fairy pissed off.
I handed him over and now he’s in the oxygen tank being monitored and tests being done in the morning. They say he’s stable and seemed fine and they haven’t seen anything yet.

They’re an exotic vet clinic at a world renowned university, the avian vets there are the only properly recommended ones in my country.

I’m going to post what the vet says/prognosis etc, but maybe someone has some idea?
Did I overreact?

Last edited by skeetkeet; 05-19-2018 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 05-19-2018, 09:53 PM
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Re: Heís in hospital now, seizure?

can't say what happened and what not but you definitely did not overreact. If my parrot showed those symptoms I would honestly be having a meltdown
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:01 PM
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Re: Heís in hospital now, seizure?

I agree, you definitely did not overreact. I hope the poor little fella is okay... that sounds horrible. You're doing all the right things for him though!
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:51 PM
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Re: Heís in hospital now, seizure?

Hard to know what is wrong, but you've done a great job cataloging symptoms and a timeline that should be immensely helpful for the vet. Sounds possibly neurological or illness that causes similar symptoms.

You certainly reacted well by seeking the best vet care in your area. Hopefully the issue is minor and easily treated. Please keep us advised!
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:48 AM
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Re: Heís in hospital now, seizure?

I agree, no overacting by you at all, you did EXACTLY everything you should have done, he may have died otherwise.

As far as what's going on, hopefully they'll be able to run enough tests on him (he's young, so sometimes blood work isn't an option unfortunately) to find out. It could be an infection from the toe, as I remember you mentioned that it looked dark in color or even black, and I think I responded about them having to possibly amputate the toe to prevent infection, so that could very well be what is going on. If so, they'll surely find that quickly upon examination and should suggest removing the toe ASAP.

Since you just got him from a breeder not long ago, you also have to assume that he may have come home to you with an active infection of some kind, either bacterial or fungal, as often is the case. Birds instinctively hide their illnesses and pain/injuries as a survival technique, and they do it very well, and often don't show just how sick or injured they are until they are very, very bad-off. So it wouldn't be surprising if he had come to your home with an illness that you were unaware of (the crackling the vet heard in his lungs is concerning, and would be most likely evidence that he did in-fact come home to you from the breeder with an active Upper Respiratory Infection or some type of lung infection). If this is the case and they tell you this, you may want to call the breeder simply to make them aware that the baby came to you with an active infection, just so they are aware and watching their birds closely.

Either way, this is not your fault at all, you did everything the way you should of and when you should have. Hopefully it's just a simple bacterial or fungal infection that can be treated with medication and he'll be fine. And if it's related to his toe injury and it requires amputation, don't worry, he'll be just fine and live a long, happy, normal life missing a toe. My Senegal Parrot lost a toe and you'd never know unless you happened to spot his "stub", lol. It doesn't impair him one little bit. Better a parrot missing a toe than a dead parrot.
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:43 AM
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Re: Heís in hospital now, seizure?

Hi everyone,
Thank you for your responses Iím sorry for not replying individually just a little time pressured.

The vet called, said heís stable but his breathing is still quite heavy and his tail is starting to bob.
Heís in an oxygen cage with a nebulizer and was given crop fed and fluids. But his breathing is still heavy. The price was a hundred on top of the estimate I got last night, and itís estimated £700 total for tests tomorrow if heís not perking up.
Theyíre keeping him for another day and monitoring him, going to take him off oxygen tomorrow morning and see how he does, if he hasnít gotten better hereís the question Iím going to ask you guys to help me make my decision...


If tomorrow he is still unwell, but stable,
Thereís two options, I can choose to take him home and hope he gets better, but they donít know if itís fungal, bacterial, virus etc.. heís going to be stressed at home, itís a 10 minute car journey away but heís going to be untrusting of me as I had to wrap my hands around him and put him in the hospital box for his own safety, and may find me terrifying forever if I have to keep checking him, cleaning the cage and administer medications while heís too poorly to move away from things/feel safe in himself. I donít mind though if I could regime him with someone that he could have a clean slate with, but that will be very difficult, it would take awhile before I could introduce another bird but he might be stressed by bullseyes reactions to me and then Iíve got two uncomfortable birds.

Second option,
Get the tests, CT scan etc. The tests will be stressful, and they have already given him anti inflammatory, antibiotic and anti fungal treatments today, so Iím hoping he will improve and not need these tests. Iím not sure exactly what theyíre looking for and the prognosis of what theyíre looking for, but heís a semi-tame unbonded to anything young bird, I donít want to drag on something that could be cruel if the death chances are high, taking him home and keeping him comfortable might be an option. If I did the tests, I would almost empty my bank account savings and wouldnít be able to afford long term care, the insurers wouldnít take him on until he passed his first exam (which he didnít).

Third option, if he doesnít improve would be to put him to sleep. If he gets drastically worse and thereís nothing they can do of course it would be the right decision. Iím being encouraged to do this by everyone but the vets, who say itís something to consider if he gets worse.
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:48 AM
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Re: Heís in hospital now, seizure?

Also about his foot, they checked it and said it’s fine. Just a ligament pull, no infection or broken bones or or swelling or bleeding or fracture, just a bit of discomfort, but he WAS leaning all his weight last night on his good foot when he did that leaning thing, perhaps he is breathing heavy from pain and it wasn’t a seizure but rather he twanged it a funny way that day and it gave him a stress/pain episode.. they won’t X-ray him til tomorrow as I did ask if we could do that today because he’s too stressed which is fine but I wish I knew for sure what the hell was happening.
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Old 05-20-2018, 10:06 AM
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Re: Heís in hospital now, seizure?

Is there anything in your home that could have been releasing toxins into the air? Including the humidifier?
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:15 AM
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Re: Heís in hospital now, seizure?

Thank you for the update. Please know it is not necessary to reply individually!

You seem to have options covering all bases. Giving him meds for infection and antifungals "in the blind" is a reasonable course pending further tests. Problem with infection is different therapies are needed depending on the organism, but broad-spectrum drugs are a good guess. Hopefully he will show signs of improvement.

I would agree with giving him every opportunity to respond before considering euthanasia if he seems comfortable. Not always easy to determine, but eating, grooming, and activity are good signs.
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:16 AM
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Re: Heís in hospital now, seizure?

Quote: Originally Posted by MonicaMc View Post
Is there anything in your home that could have been releasing toxins into the air? Including the humidifier?
Nothing I can think of, the air purifier doesnít have the ionizer switched on, and the humidifier is just steam, all fresh filters. He hasnít chewed anything while out of the cage, but youíre right toxicity definitely could be a cause.
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