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Old 08-24-2020, 06:52 PM
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Exclamation Common Issues to Look for in Older Ekkie?

So my local bird store has a female eclectus that is 21 years old that someone needed to rehome. Physically, her feathers look really good but they showed me the diet she has been fed for at least the past 4 years (the person who surrendered her was the second owner so they were unsure of what she was eating for the first 17 years) and it was a seed and pellet mix with no fresh fruits and veggies. She is also so overweight that when she tries to fly (because she is fully flighted), she drops like a rock. I did not see any toe tapping or wing flipping though.
What are some common issues older ekkies develop when on a poor diet. If I were to get her, I would definitely be feeding fresh chop daily and getting her weight down, but how would her past diet effect her? If I were to change her diet now, is it likely she'd live another 10 years?
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Old 08-24-2020, 07:07 PM
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Re: Common Issues to Look for in Older Ekkie?

Hello and welcome!

Ekkies on seed diets may develop fatty liver disease or atherosclerosis. But there could be nutrient deficiencies as well. However, Rather than speculate on what “might” be wrong, the smartest thing you can do is take her to a certified avian vet for a full work up, including full blood panels.

Hard to say how well her body can bounce back without knowing if there is even any trouble to begin with. But if she generally appears in good condition I can imagine another 8-10 years wouldn’t be out of the question.
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Old 08-24-2020, 07:20 PM
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Re: Common Issues to Look for in Older Ekkie?

Quote: Originally Posted by chris-md View Post
Hello and welcome!

Ekkies on seed diets may develop fatty liver disease or atherosclerosis. But there could be nutrient deficiencies as well. However, Rather than speculate on what ďmightĒ be wrong, the smartest thing you can do is take her to a certified avian vet for a full work up, including full blood panels.

Hard to say how well her body can bounce back without knowing if there is even any trouble to begin with. But if she generally appears in good condition I can imagine another 8-10 years wouldnít be out of the question.
I put a hold on her because when I was looking at her, my vet was already closed but I am definitely going to get her into see my vet as soon as possible if I were to get her, but I wanted to at least consult my vet before anything else. If she were to have fatty live disease or atherosclerosis, are there medicines vets give for that or treatments they have? Or is it more like if she has one of those problems, it is what it is and I just have to give her the best I can with what she has left?
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Old 08-24-2020, 07:52 PM
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Re: Common Issues to Look for in Older Ekkie?

There are absolutely treatments. Fatty liver disease stands a chance of full reversal/cure. I’d be more worried about viral diseases.
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Old 08-26-2020, 12:50 PM
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Re: Common Issues to Look for in Older Ekkie?

My SI male, Basil, is 22 years old. He currently doesnít look great as we had to move and he didnít take it so well during his last feather molt. Heís going through a molt now and I am hoping he will look better.

Basil has eaten pellets his whole life. Heís off colored ones, but he still prefers them. Iím not saying you should keep her on pellets but if thatís all she eats try to make sure they are not artificially colored. Tops are good, and recently Iíve found basil to eat Harrisonís and fresh baked bites. Iím not trying to reopen the pellet discussion, so please donít take it that way.

Now, he also always gets fresh food too. Lots of fruits and veggies. He just is picky and throws stuff. I also make huge batches of fresh chop and freeze it. It includes brown rice, garbanzos, and tons of other veggies. I throw in cooked millet and different grains that are safe for him. I also make many birdie bread recipes for him.

He is not overweight, weighing around 370 grams. He flies like a champ.

Anyways. Back to this bird: If you adopt her, try not to force her cold turkey off the pellets. Iíve found by grinding up basils pellets and sprinkling them on the fresh food that I get him to eat more of the fresh stuff. Sure itís a bit of cheating but it gets him to eat his veggies and fresh foods. As long as you have patience you can have great success and reverse some of the damage. Yes she is older but since they can live to over 70 in the wild, sheís actually still pretty young in that regards.

The advice everyone is giving you is the right path to getting her back to being healthy.
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Old 08-26-2020, 01:45 PM
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Re: Common Issues to Look for in Older Ekkie?

Regarding flight. With the first 17 years being unknown. It is very possible that it is more an issue of not knowing more than being 'overweight.' Even a Parrot that is seriously underweight cannot fly if it doesn't know how.

Check the Amazon Forum and take a look at the Huge Thread near the top that is titled: I Love Amazons - ..., you will find tons of information regarding caring for older Parrots. The only segment that is defined to New World Parrots is the Diet segment.

It would be my hope that your Avian Medical Professional will also expand the Blood Screen to include testing the chemical status of the cardiovascular system.

Is she interested in you?
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Old 08-28-2020, 10:37 AM
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Re: Common Issues to Look for in Older Ekkie?

I agree with the no cold turkey off pellets if you decide to get her. When I got Mel (she's 13 or 15 I'm not sure) she was eating fruits and veggies and pellets at her foster home but when I got her she'd only eat the Zupreem naturals. At first I transitioned her to a better pellet and kept offering chop everyday, and then less and less pellets as she was eating her fruits and veggies more and now she's off of them completely. Such a big part is figuring out HOW they like to eat, Basil likes big chunks he can shred up and then eat and Mel likes smaller pieces but not so small that it's food processor, they're super specific. Check with your vet, but if all viral diseases are clear, then I vote you go for it!
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