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General Health Care Remember to use common sense and consult with an avian veterinarian.

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Old 11-22-2014, 09:35 PM
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Update on Robin - GOOD NEWS!!

Jim Some of you remember when I posted the thread below in June when Robin was diagnosed with chronic lead toxicity.

ROBIN DIAGNOSED WITH CHRONIC LEAD TOXICOSIS! (Long post)

Come to think of it, I don't think I ever gave an update on what happened since!

For those who aren't familiar with the story, and so that you don't have to read the other thread if you don't care to, that's okay, let me sum it up for you as quickly as possible here...

For the past several YEARS, Robin was having some vague symptoms now and then. Every year about once a year, Robin would vomit for a couple days (but act well otherwise), then it would resolve. For the past several years I'd see him take little naps more than he used to, but was never lethargic. If you went to say hi to him, he'd snap right back to normal.
In June of this year Robin had the vomiting again, and this time diarrhea also, and it didn't go away. I took him in for some tests. 9 years ago he was in my home with a PDD positive bird who died, so I tested him for that, and he was thankfully negative. The blood panel for organ function found that his kidney values were high. Strange, only 6 months prior his bloodwork was "perfect" as it had been for many years. What happened all of a sudden? What was the cause? The avian vet didn't know, so I took him to a well known specialist avian vet. He x-rayed and diagnosed the condition. There were 2 foreign objects in his gizzard 3mm each. The blood test confirmed lead toxicity. These were classic symptoms of long term heavy metal poisoning as this second vet had guessed.

_______________________________________________

WHAT HAS BEEN DONE ABOUT IT...

In July, after the round of chelation meds were done, Robin had surgery.
Dr. Larry Nemetz who had been a pioneer in avian medicine and cutting edge (no pun intended ) surgical procedures since the 80's, had developed a 'new' much less invasive micro surgery technique to remove foreign bodies by placing the scope and instruments into the digestive tract through just a small slit in the crop! Until 2013, this procedure was only available in larger birds, but Robin was able to have it done this year thankfully. I'm fortunate to live near this vet. The lead levels were still high in his blood shortly after, but Dr. N wanted to do a 3 month blood recheck to see if the levels had come down by then...

SO WHAT WAS IN THERE??!!

It was 2 tiny (3mm) rocks!! Some sort of small pebbles which contained lead. The lead slowly and steadily leached out into his bloodstream, and over time caused digestive symptoms and kidney problems.
That was so unexpected! Where did he pick up and eat little rocks?! Robin is really not a super active, or curious bird (as far as parrots go), and I've always kept a close eye on him anyways. He was never allowed to roam free, or far from me at any given moment. STILL, it happened.

HOW IS ROBIN NOW?

Robin is doing great! He just went to the vet for his 3 month re-check for a blood test of the lead level. It came back negative!! ...AND... Also his kidney values had returned to normal!! I was under the impression that once one had kidney damage it was irreversible. Evidently we were lucky that it wasn't so far gone. It is now on the high end of the normal acceptable range.

During the time when Robin's symptoms were the worst, his beak and nails over grew, which was from what I understand, kidney and liver function being off becuause of the lead poisoning. It seems to have returned to normal, but his beak tip point is still a little long (and daunting) but I'm watching to see any changes. Early next year I think he'll be due for a yearly check up and full blood panel anyway. He still takes those little frequent naps, but acts fine otherwise.

Here is a digital x-ray photo which shows the 2 objects in the gizzard

Last edited by RavensGryf; 11-22-2014 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 11-22-2014, 10:33 PM
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Re: Update on Robin - GOOD NEWS!!

Incredible Julie! I do remember the original post. Thanks for this update. Robin is so fortunate to have you for a mom. It's really amazing that you had such a gifted specialist that was willing to help Robin even though he was a smaller parrot. Robin's whole story is miraculous when you consider what could have happened. I can't tell you how glad I am that everything worked out. Give sweet Robin a few extra skritches from me and tell him how special he is.
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Old 11-22-2014, 10:37 PM
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Re: Update on Robin - GOOD NEWS!!

Great news indeed, Julie! Thankfully Robin has such a caring mom and access to cutting-edge medicine. Thanks for posting this informative narrative that may help save other beloved parrots!!
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Old 11-22-2014, 11:15 PM
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Re: Update on Robin - GOOD NEWS!!

I'm so glad he's doing better!
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Old 11-22-2014, 11:18 PM
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Re: Update on Robin - GOOD NEWS!!

What great news! I am so glad Robin has recovered and has such a wonderful mom!
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Old 11-23-2014, 12:21 AM
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Re: Update on Robin - GOOD NEWS!!

Thanks very much . Here is Robin tonight with his favorite toy (plastic chains)!

I can't believe I've actually had him with me for 20+ years Looks young doesn't he? Lol



Last edited by RavensGryf; 11-23-2014 at 12:25 AM.
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Old 11-23-2014, 02:20 AM
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Re: Update on Robin - GOOD NEWS!!

I wasn't here from when you posted about how he was diagnosed but I'm so, so, so, so,
happy that everything is okay with him now!

Do you think the metal pieces could have been from a toy he destroyed?

I still can't believe he's 20 years, he's looking like he just got through his first molt .
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Old 11-23-2014, 02:26 AM
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Re: Update on Robin - GOOD NEWS!!

I'm so glad to hear that Robin got the all-clear, Julie! I remember how worried you were for him!

And thank you for sharing that pic. Robin is beautiful!
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:08 AM
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Re: Update on Robin - GOOD NEWS!!

Awww, what a good boy Robin is healing up so well He's so lucky to have you to make sure he gets all the care he needs. And I must say, he does not look his 'age' at all
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:20 AM
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Re: Update on Robin - GOOD NEWS!!

Robin is a very handsome young man!
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