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Old 10-03-2013, 12:40 AM
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Exclamation Help! Green Cheek with liver and heart issues.

So, my green cheek, Toots, started acting sick about a week and a half ago. At first I thought she had something contagious, like a cold, but she only acted lethargic for a day before she snapped out of it. Everything went back to normal for a few days, until during the night, she fell from her perch to the bottom of her cage. I grabbed her and brought her into bed with me, then she seemed to begin having a seizure.
Of course, I brought her to the vet that day, who told me the seizure was a result of an enlarged liver and heart. We are currently treating the liver issue with milk thistle and L carnitine. She is also taking lactulose every eight hours to increase her appetite. The doctor told me the liver and heart issue are genetic issues due to irresponsible breeders. (I could kill the woman who sold me this bird for not mentioning the what she had done to get the turquoise mutation. No wonder she was only fifty dollars.) This also explains why she was born without toes and flight feathers. The doctor told me she does not expect her to live, well, as long as she should. We are still waiting on blood work results to come back, and are going to see the cardiologist soon.
Needless to say, I am entirely heartbroken. She is my whole world, and it kills me to have to type this for the world to see. I wish afterall it were just a cold. I haven't spoken to anyone in person about this besides my husband and the doctor. It's extremely depressing for me.
Anyway, she is acting like normal old Toots, taking the lactulose like a champ, she seems to like the way it tastes. I am having a harder time getting her to eat the other two vitamins. My biggest concern is making sure she keeps eating and drinking. Since she has been sick, she won't touch her pellets. She has been eating baby bird formula, apples, and millet. I am wondering what I can do to encourage her to eat and drink other things again, and to disguise the taste of the vitamins. She is being really picky about what she eats, because now she knows she can get what she wants, like millet.
If anyone knows anything about green cheeks with liver problems, heart problems, or epilepsy, please help by explaining how you have dealt with this. I want to keep my baby around for as long as I can.
Sorry this is so much to read.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:54 AM
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Re: Help! Green Cheek with liver and heart issues.

Sorry I can't help you, but I do wish you all the best and I'm sorry that this has happened to you
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:59 AM
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Re: Help! Green Cheek with liver and heart issues.

Oh, that's such awful news! Poor Toots and poor you! I can't imagine how you're feeling, but try to remember that this little birdie may not even be around if it weren't for you. You're doing your absolute best for her and with any luck, she'll get her health back. She may not live out a normal lifespan, but I bet she'll try her best for you. Take heart! You've got good veterinary help and if Toots is already being picky about her food, then she must be interested in eating to some degree. Praying for both of you and sending friendly squawks from my Beaks.
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:34 AM
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Re: Help! Green Cheek with liver and heart issues.

Sorry, but birds can't catch a cold.

If her liver is indeed compromised then she may require the milk thistle supplement for the rest of her life. You can try mixing it with fruit juice, yogurt or anything else she may like.
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:09 PM
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Re: Help! Green Cheek with liver and heart issues.

As far as foods go I would go with nutritious comfort foods; boiled and mashed warm sweet potato, puréed foods, baby foods, etc. I'm very sorry to hear about the diagnosis, my heart goes out to you. Any foods that won't aggravate her problems.
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:29 PM
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Re: Help! Green Cheek with liver and heart issues.

I do know that conures require more vitamin K than most birds.
please ask your vet about it.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:06 PM
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Re: Help! Green Cheek with liver and heart issues.

So sorry ......hopefully it is not a known breeder? Shame that some would breed without any concern as to the repercussion it will have on the babies .
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:23 AM
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Parrots:
Toots, a turquoise green cheeked conure. Elliot and BB, lovebirds. Mr. and Ms. Keet, parakeets.
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Re: Help! Green Cheek with liver and heart issues.

Thank you, everyone. I was hoping someone who's had the same problem could share their experience, but I guess it's actually a good thing nobody else has had this problem. My vet says she has never seen anything like this before.
On a better note, Toots is regaining her appetite, (somewhat.) She is eating fruits, baby bird formula, and now seeds and nuts! I know they aren't the best thing for her, and I should be dissapointed after how much time it took to get her to eat pellets, but I'm so happy she wants to eat again!
Also, she was weighing in at 78 grams, which is way too heavy for a green cheek, but today my scale says she is only 76 grams. This is not because she isn't eating, it's because the swelling of her organs is going down!
Thanks to everyone for your input and your help. We are seeing the vet again on Tuesday. Hopefully more good news to come!
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Old 10-05-2013, 11:55 PM
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Re: Help! Green Cheek with liver and heart issues.

My Misha is 76g, he's just always been a stockier little GCC, I've never been told he's too heavy
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:18 AM
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Re: Help! Green Cheek with liver and heart issues.

When a bird is sick, you want them to eat anything they are willing to eat! Even if it's not good for them, such as seeds. Eating something is better than eating nothing!

I did have a cockatiel that had liver problems. Because her liver got bad, she kept getting infections so she had to remain on the milk thistle. Sadly, it's what took her in the end.

Haven't dealt with heart issues.
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