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Old 08-28-2020, 01:37 AM
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Possible seizures in Grass Parakeet?

Hello,

I very recently made a post regarding my newest rescued grass parakeet, Mofu. I took her to the vets yesterday after concern for her lack of balance and ability to fly, however the vet said they could identify no such problems with her balance and were only concerned with her previous head wounds. She has been prescribed onto antibiotics and antiinflammatories.

This morning at 5am, things took a turn for the worst. I wasnít able to see the beginning because I was asleep, but I woke up to Mofu alarm squeaking on the floor of her cage and flipping about. I know she sleeps on the top perch every night since Iíve had her, so I figured she just fell off again as she has done a couple of times in the day. However she just kept fluttering. I got up to see what was happening, only to find that she was on her back once again. Unlike the past couple of times however, she couldnít realign herself. She would manage to jump onto the bottom bars of the cage and hold herself sideways, but once trying to let go sheíd be back on her back panicking again. I went in and physically realigned her onto her feet (which rewarded me with some actual panic squawks from her) and sheís been sat at the bottom of her cage since. Iíve been watching for the past hour out of anxiety but nothing else has occurred, she didnít go back to sleep but seems alert and coherent again, though she hasnít moved from her spot.

I was actually meant to be taking my dog to the vets today for a monthly jab but Iím going to call during working hours and ask if I can swap him out for Mofu again. Clearly there is an existing underlying problem with her and im very scared of losing her so soon after just getting her. Personally Iím starting to think it may be seizures of some kind. I just got off the phone with the out of hours emergency vet and she said that there could be something Ďdamagedí in the brain and or spine and that there is nothing they can do for her if thatís the case. Frankly Iím a little disappointed theyíre not willing to do much more other than check her again.

Has anyone else had any similar experiences with their birds, and if so what was the underlying cause? I donít use any sort of sprays or scents in my house, and Iíve only been rinsing out the base of her cage and her bowls with hot water (dried and cooled before returning). She is on a poor diet of cockatiel seed mix, the same from her previous home, but her newly ordered pellet food is on its way to be delivered. She is offered fresh greens and a couple pieces of fruit, but has yet to try to eat any of them due to being unfamiliar with them. The emergency vet said that her new medication wonít be affecting the symptoms and hat I should continue giving her her dosages. Iím also going to align her flooring with a thicker towel for now so that she has better padding for her collapses.

Any and all advice is appreciated.
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Old 08-28-2020, 08:38 AM
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Re: Possible seizures in Grass Parakeet?

The emergency staff was fairly honest with you regarding issues specific to brain and spinal damage as there is very little they can provide more than comfort.

Brain and Spinal problems are commonly the source of seizures as is a cross-section of other possible sources like Chemical In Balance of the blood as seen in a full spectrum blood test. The reasons can vary from illness of organs, failing organs, serious issues with the diet, contamination of the food source, etc...

Since your Parrot has had a head injury, a seizure(s) based on that injury would be most likely.

At this point, it becomes a balance between the stress (and cost) of an extensive examination and testing by your Avian Medical Professional and/or configuring your Parakeets cage for a safer place when the next seizure occurs.
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Old 08-28-2020, 09:28 AM
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Re: Possible seizures in Grass Parakeet?

Without going back and re-reading your other post.. is the vet an Avian vet that you took her to? (This could make a difference.)

Given everything else that occurred, I think you and they are most likely correct, it's most likely seizure of some kind. However... just to offer you a little ray of hope... I have watched my budgie Jefferson having Night Terrors and it has sometimes Looked Exactly like a seizure. (This event probably was an actual seizure, given Mofu's existing issues. But, just mentioning the possibility.)
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Old 08-28-2020, 12:57 PM
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Re: Possible seizures in Grass Parakeet?

Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
The emergency staff was fairly honest with you regarding issues specific to brain and spinal damage as there is very little they can provide more than comfort.

Brain and Spinal problems are commonly the source of seizures as is a cross-section of other possible sources like Chemical In Balance of the blood as seen in a full spectrum blood test. The reasons can vary from illness of organs, failing organs, serious issues with the diet, contamination of the food source, etc...

Since your Parrot has had a head injury, a seizure(s) based on that injury would be most likely.

At this point, it becomes a balance between the stress (and cost) of an extensive examination and testing by your Avian Medical Professional and/or configuring your Parakeets cage for a safer place when the next seizure occurs.
My college and university course were both Animal Management, and in my nursing classes I distinctly remember seizures being classified as a symptom and not a cause, so I guess I was just a bit more hopeful in thinking that veterinarians would at the very least attempt to figure out what would cause such conditions within her in the first place. Perhaps I'm a bit naive in that aspect. The emergency hours vet made it sound as if it would be kinder to euthanise her instead of trying to deal with it.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, the vet who saw her again today couldn't identify anything wrong with her. He said she was an absolute sweetheart and seemed in all aspects bright and healthy and alert. When I questioned about how she goes from perfectly fine and bright to falling over out of the blue, he simply said that he thinks it's just young bird clumsiness because of her age and to just give it time. He finally said to continue with her medication and that if after a while she continues to roll then he would consider referring her to a neurologist, but not until she was a bit older.

Quite different perspectives, aren't they? She's luckily continued being bright all day, and I've lowered her top perch so its level with the top of her cage's door so that if she falls again it's not so high. Her floor is padded with a thick towel. She can climb up but not down, however I read somewhere that that's to be expected because red rump parakeets are not particularly strong climbers like other birds, so she still drops like a brick from her top perch when she tries to get down. But I guess that's what the anti-inflammatories are for.

Fingers are crossed and hopeful that it's truly nothing serious, but I never went through this with my old bird so I can't help but fret. Thank you for the response.
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Old 08-28-2020, 01:15 PM
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Re: Possible seizures in Grass Parakeet?

Quote: Originally Posted by fiddlejen View Post
Without going back and re-reading your other post.. is the vet an Avian vet that you took her to? (This could make a difference.)

Given everything else that occurred, I think you and they are most likely correct, it's most likely seizure of some kind. However... just to offer you a little ray of hope... I have watched my budgie Jefferson having Night Terrors and it has sometimes Looked Exactly like a seizure. (This event probably was an actual seizure, given Mofu's existing issues. But, just mentioning the possibility.)
Sadly there are no avian vets near my area without an extensive car journey, yesterday's vet check was not, but today's vet check was with the clinic's 'bird expert'. He did however tell me there's a lot of things he very limited to do in his check up.

Today's check up indicated that he felt she had no issues and is as healthy as she could be in the situation she's in, but as he said "I can't see any sort of nerve issues, but then again, I'm no neurologist." He thinks time is all she needs and if it persists long term or if she takes a harder fall then he'd consider referring her to a neurologist for more tests.

Night terrors are awful, for a bird unaware of how dreams function it must be even worse. I'm very sorry to hear Jefferson having such troubles, I imagine it must be scary for you to watch as well. Thank you for continuing to read through my posts, I appreciate the constant feedback.
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Old 08-28-2020, 01:35 PM
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Re: Possible seizures in Grass Parakeet?

Quote: Originally Posted by pterry97 View Post

My college and university course were both Animal Management, and in my nursing classes I distinctly remember seizures being classified as a symptom and not a cause, so I guess I was just a bit more hopeful in thinking that veterinarians would at the very least attempt to figure out what would cause such conditions within her in the first place. Perhaps I'm a bit naive in that aspect. The emergency hours vet made it sound as if it would be kinder to euthanise her instead of trying to deal with it.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, the vet who saw her again today couldn't identify anything wrong with her. He said she was an absolute sweetheart and seemed in all aspects bright and healthy and alert. When I questioned about how she goes from perfectly fine and bright to falling over out of the blue, he simply said that he thinks it's just young bird clumsiness because of her age and to just give it time. He finally said to continue with her medication and that if after a while she continues to roll then he would consider referring her to a neurologist, but not until she was a bit older.
I'm so glad you are not currently taking any advice to euthanize her! I mean sure, if you were to get to some point of continued worsening with continuous seizing, then that could possibly make sense to consider. But for one episode?!!?

I believe there have been members here who've had birds taking anti-convulsants. So if you get to that point, there are still other options. But so far, one episode of probable-seizure... yeah, protect her as best you can, and give it time.

And, returning back to my own experience with Budgie-Night-Terror. Even though I do assume it was an actual seizure, a seizure could have been triggered by fear or disorientation. How dark is the room? Is she entirely covered? Does she have a nightlight, or even full-light in her sleeping room?
For my own budgies, to prevent night terrors, I drape a cloth only over the top, further down on one side, so they Can get under it, to sleep in darkness when they wish, but there is light available also. (Calliope usually stays in the darkness; however, at any sounds etc, Jefferson will move himself away from the cover, with a full view of the dimly-lit room, to keep sleeping.)

And, typing this about Light it occurs to me to wonder. Yeah - post-concussion syptoms are the most likely issue here, and would explain everything. But another possibility occurs to me. Do you think she might have any Vision problems? That could interfere with flight and could also explain the rolling / disorientation.
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Old 08-28-2020, 01:36 PM
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Re: Possible seizures in Grass Parakeet?

If she's having balance issues and seizures, I'd be worried about low calcium levels, heavy metal poisoning, and/or avian bornavirus as possible causes. I'd also recommend keeping having a nightlight on when she sleeps. I'd recommend buying 8 in 1 Ecotrition bird grit and offering it to her. It has bits of oyster shells and charcoal in it. The oyster shell will help increase her calcium levels and the charcoal will help with any potential heavy metal poisoning she may have.

In my opinion, (appropriate) grit is perfectly safe for Australian parrots to consume. Avian vets in Australia and the UK recommend keeping a dish of grit with your birds at all times.

One of my concerns is that she's a yellow colour mutation, and appears to have red eyes. In my experience, albino and yellow colour mutations are prone to a variety of health conditions, such as neurological problems and bleeding. The lack of melanin has something to do with it. Melanin directly affects brain function as well as many other systems in the body. A lack of melanin or low melanin often causes balance issues, tremors, psychological issues (unpredictable behaviour, being a common one), poor eyesight, (I think?) digestive issues, coordination problems, musculoskeletal problems, etc.
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Old 08-28-2020, 06:11 PM
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Re: Possible seizures in Grass Parakeet?

Quote: Originally Posted by fiddlejen View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by pterry97 View Post

My college and university course were both Animal Management, and in my nursing classes I distinctly remember seizures being classified as a symptom and not a cause, so I guess I was just a bit more hopeful in thinking that veterinarians would at the very least attempt to figure out what would cause such conditions within her in the first place. Perhaps I'm a bit naive in that aspect. The emergency hours vet made it sound as if it would be kinder to euthanise her instead of trying to deal with it.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, the vet who saw her again today couldn't identify anything wrong with her. He said she was an absolute sweetheart and seemed in all aspects bright and healthy and alert. When I questioned about how she goes from perfectly fine and bright to falling over out of the blue, he simply said that he thinks it's just young bird clumsiness because of her age and to just give it time. He finally said to continue with her medication and that if after a while she continues to roll then he would consider referring her to a neurologist, but not until she was a bit older.
I'm so glad you are not currently taking any advice to euthanize her! I mean sure, if you were to get to some point of continued worsening with continuous seizing, then that could possibly make sense to consider. But for one episode?!!?

I believe there have been members here who've had birds taking anti-convulsants. So if you get to that point, there are still other options. But so far, one episode of probable-seizure... yeah, protect her as best you can, and give it time.

And, returning back to my own experience with Budgie-Night-Terror. Even though I do assume it was an actual seizure, a seizure could have been triggered by fear or disorientation. How dark is the room? Is she entirely covered? Does she have a nightlight, or even full-light in her sleeping room?
For my own budgies, to prevent night terrors, I drape a cloth only over the top, further down on one side, so they Can get under it, to sleep in darkness when they wish, but there is light available also. (Calliope usually stays in the darkness; however, at any sounds etc, Jefferson will move himself away from the cover, with a full view of the dimly-lit room, to keep sleeping.)

And, typing this about Light it occurs to me to wonder. Yeah - post-concussion syptoms are the most likely issue here, and would explain everything. But another possibility occurs to me. Do you think she might have any Vision problems? That could interfere with flight and could also explain the rolling / disorientation.
I'm pretty pro-euthanasia, as I consider the quality of life over quantity, but with her only displaying panic during the falls and seeming so bright and healthy every other waking moment, I think it's fair to say she has plenty of life left in her wanting to live. I will continue trying my best for her, even if she does not appreciate it. We've definitely taken a step back in trust since we've started feeding her medication, but once her head wounds are dealt with we can hopefully work that back up to speed.

Regarding sleeping, I don't cover her up, she goes to sleep around 8pm, and I turn off my tortoise UV light (they're housed in the same room) and close the curtains at that point. I keep the heat lamp on however until I go to sleep, just so it can keep the room warm and also provide some low light for myself to navigate to bed. That light is turned off when I go to bed, which is usually around midnight.

I wake up every day at 6am, which Mofu sleeps through anyways. I draw the curtains open for natural light and turn on the tortoise lamps, and as I go deal with my house chores, Mofu takes her time angry squinting like someone who absolutely does not want to wake up. I don't attend to her until she lets out her first morning chirp, which she does when she's finally awake at 7am. Then her cage gets the daily clean out, and that's our current routine. It seems to work fine without issue, with exception to this morning's 5am drop that scared all of us awake before we were ready.

Do I have to cover her cage? She sleeps fine without it, and doesn't seem to wake up or be disturbed by us otherwise. Regarding vision, I can't see any particular issues with her sight, she sees me coming from all angles and is never happy about it no matter which way she looks, but I'll keep an eye out in case.

Last edited by pterry97; 08-28-2020 at 06:23 PM. Reason: Didn't reply to the entire message as first thought
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Old 08-28-2020, 06:21 PM
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Re: Possible seizures in Grass Parakeet?

Quote: Originally Posted by Teddscau View Post
If she's having balance issues and seizures, I'd be worried about low calcium levels, heavy metal poisoning, and/or avian bornavirus as possible causes. I'd also recommend keeping having a nightlight on when she sleeps. I'd recommend buying 8 in 1 Ecotrition bird grit and offering it to her. It has bits of oyster shells and charcoal in it. The oyster shell will help increase her calcium levels and the charcoal will help with any potential heavy metal poisoning she may have.

In my opinion, (appropriate) grit is perfectly safe for Australian parrots to consume. Avian vets in Australia and the UK recommend keeping a dish of grit with your birds at all times.

One of my concerns is that she's a yellow colour mutation, and appears to have red eyes. In my experience, albino and yellow colour mutations are prone to a variety of health conditions, such as neurological problems and bleeding. The lack of melanin has something to do with it. Melanin directly affects brain function as well as many other systems in the body. A lack of melanin or low melanin often causes balance issues, tremors, psychological issues (unpredictable behaviour, being a common one), poor eyesight, (I think?) digestive issues, coordination problems, musculoskeletal problems, etc.
I did see all of those possibilities in my google search for answers, but feel they likely aren't the cause considering she doesn't hold any other existing symptoms for those ailments. Ironically enough I already use oyster shell grit, and she also has access to a cuttlefish bone but due to her unwillingness to eat much variety in her diet, she's yet to take a nibble to anything that isn't cockatiel seed and millet. I did see her bite into a tiny piece of green bean yesterday which got me excited, only for her to immediately spit it out after feeling it in her beak. Patience is virtue to win this war.

Yes, I also found through a google search that she is a lutino mutation, which sadly all melanin-recessive traits causes inconveniences in most animals. It wouldn't be too much of a shock to think that genetics could also have a play at hand in her situation. Fortunately for me, Mofu is currently being a sweetheart of a bird, with no other worrying behaviours. She hasn't had a roll for the rest of the day to which I'm grateful, and despite her shy nature, she's actually very calm for the most part. Even though she dislikes human contact, she simply sits in place and squints at you if she doesn't want your attention, as if if she closes her eyes enough she can't see you trying to offer a seed, and therefore don't exist as a nuisance to her. I'll likely post further if unpredictable or further worrying behaviour persists however. Thank you for the feedback.
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