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Old 08-06-2018, 05:50 PM
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Unhappy chelation for my conure?!? help please !!

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hi everyone, i took my sun conure apollo to the vet because he was acting wierd and they told me he had poisoning and that they were going to blood test him to see what the poison is. i was just going through his cage to see what the poison could be andf i think it’s plastic from one of his toys. does anyone know if the chelation is going to dissolve the plastic?? i’m worried he’ll need surgery(
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Old 08-06-2018, 06:28 PM
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Re: chelation for my conure?!? help please !!

Oh, no!
Is your vet a Certified Avian one? Here's a link.
http://www.aav.org/search/custom.asp?id=1803
Regular vets often "wing it" with birds, although some are very dedicated and talented.
I'm so sorry to hear this!
I have no expertise in chelation... I'd ask MY avian vet!
Good luck!
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:19 PM
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Re: chelation for my conure?!? help please !!

Chelation is a therapy often done on heavy metal poisoning in birds. Did your vet say it came from plastic toys? It is more likely that it came from ingesting a piece of metal, even flakes, splinters or rust. Have a look at his cage or toys, or around your home for exposed metal bits and remove them. That's a good place to start to avoid further ingestion.

So sorry to hear about Apollo. What are his symptoms? Is he star gazing, vomiting, etc? Sending your little on good vibes.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:43 AM
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Re: chelation for my conure?!? help please !!

How horrible! I agree with GalleriaGila. Make sure this is an Avian Vet. Hope he makes a quick recovery.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:44 AM
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Re: chelation for my conure?!? help please !!

If it turns out to be his cage, get a stainless steel replacement.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:17 PM
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Re: chelation for my conure?!? help please !!

Chelation-Therapy is not used to treat the ingestion of plastic, but rather metals. The chelation mixture is given to the bird and it basically attaches to/coats the metal that is throughout his GI Tract, which keeps the metal from being absorbed into his bloodstream and poisoning him. Then the metal is eventually excreted in the bird's poop, as the chelation mixture is able to be excreted normally, like food is, through the GI Tract and out of his intestines, and since it's attached to the metal, it carries the metal out with it, and it keeps it coated so that none of the metal is able to get "loose" and be absorbed into his bloodstream at any point on the way out...

If he ate plastic then this would not "poison" him at all, but rather pose a risk in perforating his GI Tract somewhere along it's journey out of his body, or if the piece of plastic is too large to pass through his GI Tract and out in his feces then that's another issue, as is the possibility that the plastic may have a sharp, jagged piece that could cause an internal injury and internal bleeding. Heavy Metals are not able to travel though the GI Tract and be excreted in the feces, if they are ingested they simply sit inside of the bird's stomach, literally forever, or until enough of the metal is absorbed into the bloodstream that it poisons and kills the bird...Plastic can and will be carried out of the body through the GI Tract, sometimes safely and without any issue...So these are two very different situations and very different treatments...

Is this Vet a Certified Avian Vet, or is it an "exotics" vet? The reason that I'm asking here is that there's some information missing, I'm hoping it's just a matter of you not mentioning it and it's not that the vet didn't do it...How did the vet go about diagnosing Heavy-Metal Poisoning in the first place before taking blood? I'm hoping that the first thing he did was a regular, flat-panel x-ray, and this is how he diagnosed the heavy-metal poisoning, as metal anywhere inside of his GI Tract will light-up like a Christmas Tree and be easily recognizable without a doubt. However, it sounds like this wasn't actually done, because you're still not sure whether it's metal or plastic that is inside of him, etc., and a simple, plain old x-ray that takes 10 minutes will immediately and definitely tell the vet whether or not it's metal or some other substance inside of his GI Tract (or that there isn't anything inside of him)...

I guess I need more info in order to tell you anything more about this situation, but the biggest question is what were his original symptoms/why did you bring him to the vet in the first place, how long were they going on, and what tests have they run so far on him? I mean, you already said they have yet to do any blood work, so if they also haven't taken an x-ray yet, then they don't even know if the problem is due to something he ate!!! That's what I'm trying to get at...

If they do a regular x-ray then they should be able to tell whether or not the problem is that he ate something in the first place and now it's inside of his GI Tract somewhere, if there is something inside of his GI Tract that he ate whether or not it's metal or some other material, as well as showing any gas/air or fluid/blood in any areas that they shouldn't be, indicating a tear or perforation of the intestinal tract...

****As far as him possibly needing surgery, if the x-ray shows that he did in-fact ingest something and it's inside of his GI Tract, and that it's not made of metal, then it's simply a matter of whether or not he will be able to pass it out in his feces or not, and whether or not it's causing any type of OBSTRUCTION (whether it's plastic, nylon, a collection of fuzz from a toys like one of those killer "Happy Huts/Tents", etc., it doesn't matter, once they confirm that it's NOT metal then it will either pass on it's own or have to be removed, period)....THE X-RAY WILL SHOW THEM THE SIZE OF THE OBJECT, so they should be able to at least tell whether or not it will be able to pass based on it's size, though they probably won't be able to tell what it is or if it's sharp, jagged, etc.

If they inject him with a contrast-solution and then take an x-ray, they'll be able to tell whether or not the object is causing an obstruction, in which case surgery is a must and is not optional (usually they'll become extremely sick with a bowel/GI obstruction, they'll be extremely lethargic and usually vomit, and then stop eating and drinking).

So the answer to your question is that if he did ingest something and it's not metal, then he may be able to simply pass it, or it may need to be removed if it's too large, oddly shaped, sharp/jagged, or if it's causing an obstruction, as chelation only works to pass metal through the GI Tract and out of the body. If it's metal that he ingested then they can give him the chelation-therapy with the hope to eventually have the metal pass safely through the GI Tract and out in his feces without any of it being absorbed into his bloodstream. Usually the chelation-therapy takes quite a while, and it's rough on the bird. It works very well and is very successful, but it does cause the bird to feel quite badly, they tend to be very, very lethargic, sleep a lot, lose their appetites, lose weight throughout the process, and even have nausea and vomiting from the chelation solution...but it saves their life...

***And as already stated, if it is metal that he ingested, it's usually either from them chewing on their cage bars (if they have any coating on them) or eating small pieces of toys, or even chewing-up anything that has metal-threads in it, such as anything with wire (like a power cord, they commonly will chew-through the insulation on power cords and end-up with tiny little wire fragments stuck in their stomach or intestines). And if he has any toys that are made of fabric/cotton/fleece/anything fuzzy, like a rope perch or any type of Happy/Snuggle Hut or Tent, then he could very well have an obstruction if he chews on it, as they eat little bits of the material over time and it accumulates slowly inside their GI Tract until it fully-obstructs their intestines and has to be removed...
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Old 08-07-2018, 01:08 PM
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Re: chelation for my conure?!? help please !!

thanks everyone! his vet is a certified in avian medicine and he let me know that the blood work taken showed normal levels of lead and zinc, so we’re just going to continue with chelation for the month and if it doesn’t help than he’ll need surgery😞
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Old 08-07-2018, 01:16 PM
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Re: chelation for my conure?!? help please !!

whoa now back up, why will he need surgery?? Do you even know what IS wrong with your bird? You can't treat something when you don't know what it is and giving therapy for an unrelated cause would possibly be a complete waste of time and money. And going from that right into surgery is a huge leap.

- What are your bird's symptoms?
- What tests have been done other than bloodwork?
- Why does your vet say he needs SURGERY?

Surgery should be a last last LAST resort as it's extremely risky for birds, especially small birds like a conure.
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Old 08-07-2018, 01:17 PM
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Re: chelation for my conure?!? help please !!

hmm, I'm not a vet but it sounds like a shot in the dark to me. Did he explain why treating for heavy metals is the best course of action.

Treatment shouldn't hurt him but you could be wasting a month. Is a second opinion possible?
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Old 08-07-2018, 01:50 PM
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Re: chelation for my conure?!? help please !!

Why are you doing Chelation-Therapy if he has no metal inside of him? Chelation-Therapy is solely for the purpose of transporting metal out of the GI Tract of the bird...It's not a "just in case" treatment, nor is it something that you should allow them to do unless they have a definitive, 100% diagnosis that your bird has ingested metal!!!
It doesn't even sound like you have a diagnosis or even know what is wrong with your bird at all, so please don't make your bird go through a dangerous and painful Chelation-Therapy...This isn't like giving him an antibiotic, he's going to get extremely sick from it, and if you don't even know what's wrong with him, then don't do it!

Did this vet take an x-ray? Does he 100% know that your bird ingested metal (would only know this if he did in-fact take an x-ray)? Does he 100% know that your bird ingested anything at all? And why did you take him to the vet in the first place?

If your bird ingested anything but metal, then he doesn't need Chelation-Therapy, it does absolutely nothing to aide in passing plastic or any other material from his body but metal...And the whole "he'll need surgery if the Chelation doesn't work" thing makes absolutely no sense at all...That would basically mean that your bird has a massive piece of metal inside of his GI Tract that the Chelation-Therapy may or may not pass, and if it doesn't then they have to remove it...But his blood-work doesn't indicate metal-ingestion...does the x-ray?

Something is very wrong, and I hope that you're not just allowing this vet to do this to your bird, I'm hoping that you're just not telling us what is actually going on and that this vet did in-fact take x-rays, diagnosed a large piece of metal, etc.

Because if you are just agreeing to put your bird through a long, painful, and potentially lethal Chelation therapy without knowing 100% that he's ingested metal, then this is totally irresponsible of this vet, as he obviously hasn't done a very good job at explaining anything to you. Again, Chelation-Therapy ONLY WORKS TO PASS METAL FROM THEIR GI TRACTS...It does not aide in helping them pass anything else, not anything else. And it's painful, it's makes them extremely ill, they vomit, they lose weight, and it can stress them to the point that it can be lethal. So please don't put your bird through this if it's not necessary...

****I think the most responsible thing you can do for your bird at this point is to find the next closest Certified Avian Vet to you, even if you have to drive a couple of hours one-way it's quite worth it since we're talking about the life of your bird, have whatever tests this first vet did sent along with his entire record to the next vet, and get yourself a second-opinion...I'm very afraid that you don't fully understand how serious a situation your bird may be in, nor do you know how awful and dangerous Chelation-Therapy is, and how absolutely USELESS it is unless your bird has ingested metal.
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