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

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Old 05-02-2019, 12:20 PM
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Re: Heavy Metal Poisoning - Lovebird. Please help!

I'm sorry that your this happened to your Lovebird, but it sounds like he is doing very well considering...

There isn't a whole lot you can do except to make sure that he completely finishes the entire Chelation-Therapy, and that you are watching the amount of food he is eating every day on his own, because the largest issue with most birds who suffer heavy-metal poisoning is that even after the Chelation-Therapy is finished and the metal has seemingly passed from their body, they still typically take quite a long time to get their appetites back to normal, and they often actually regress and stop eating on their own again in the weeks following the completion of the Chelation-Therapy, requiring them to be Tube-Fed again until they again start eating solid-food on their own...It's accepted that the reason this happens is because in-reality not all of the metal has actually passed from their GI-Tracts, even though it isn't visible on the X-Rays taken after they finish Chelation-Therapy (it only takes a very small speck of metal somewhere in their GI Tract to keep them nauseous and anorexic, and 99% of heavy-metal that birds ingest is actually not visible on plain-film X-Rays)...

***I highly suggest that you go to Walmart or elsewhere and buy a digital kitchen-scale (Walmart sells them for $15-$20), and that you start weighing Kiwi every single day for at least the rest of the month off May (perfect that the month just flipped, because you need to weigh him every day for 30 days to accurately track the way his weight is trending)...The best time of day to weigh him is first thing in the morning, AFTER he does his first poop of the day, but BEFORE he eats anything. Do this every morning at the same time every day until the last day of May, and write down the date, time, and his weight (in-grams)...Assuming that he doesn't regress too much or become actively-sick again (fingers-crossed that doesn't happen), you should see his weight either going-up each day to a point and then staying stable, or just staying stable all month (losing or gaining up to 5 grams is not a big deal at all, it can be due to a large bowel-movement or a large meal, what matters is that he doesn't lose weight EACH DAY IN A ROW and not gain it back, and that's what you are watching for, you want his weight to become stable and not continually go down for more than 1 or 2 days in a row, if it does then he's not ingesting/absorbing nutrition and you've got a problem; keeping track of his weight every day during/in the month after Heavy-Metal Poisoning is the best way to ensure that he's really eating the amount of nutrition he needs to survive long-term, and also that all of the metal has passed from his body, because once again, plain-film X-Rays do not show all the metal that he ingested. So instead of just taking on-Faith that all the metal has passed with the Chelation-Therapy based on the x-rays and the fact that he has stopped vomiting, the absolute best way to be certain that it's all gone from his body is by tracking his weight for a full 30-days after finishing the Chelation-Therapy...[B]You have to keep in-mind that Kiwi is a little Lovebird, so losing even a couple of grams of body-weight FOR MORE THAN 1 OR 2 DAYS IN A ROW then becomes a huge deal, and is your best indicator that he's not yet out of the woods...And it's also the "cheap" way to monitor his health in-relation to the heavy-metal poisoning, because the other medical ways to do it are extremely expensive, daily Blood-testing, Imaging Tests, etc. So the cost of a $15 digital kitchen-scale at Walmart is a pretty good deal, lol...

***As far as him "Over-Preening" his feathers, this is extremely common in birds who have suffered Heavy-Metal Poisoning, it happens in probably 60%+ of the cases...This is not just him wanting to "fix his feathers" after coming home from the hospital, it's directly-related to the Heavy-Metal Poisoning, but it's also not something that is necessarily a long-term or serious problem...What you need to do is the same as what you need to do with-regard to his daily eating...You need to watch him very closely, WEIGH HIM DAILY AND RECORD THE WEIGHT, watch to make sure he eats more and more each day after he finishes the entire amount of Chelation-Therapy (if he hasn't already), and watch to ensure that the Over-Preening subsides over the next month as well, and that it doesn't start turning into actual "Plucking"...If you see Kiwi start to actually "Pluck" himself, meaning he starts to pull his feathers out to the point that he is exposing his Down-Feathers or his Bare-Skin, then you need to take him back to your Avian Vet, because the sooner you nip it in the butt the better the chance that you can stop it, and more importantly you can make sure that he's not plucking himself due to continued pain that he's feeling. The reason that birds suffering from Heavy-Metal Poisoning commonly start over-preening and/or plucking themselves is because they are in pain, usually throughout their GI Tracts, and they are trying to stop it. Heavy-Metals cause great irritation, inflammation, and pain throughout their GI Tracts, even after they have already passed from their bodies...But it is not at all uncommon for a bird with Heavy-Metal Poisoning who has finished the Chelation-Therapy and who has had a post-treatment X-Ray and shows no sign of any metal remaining in their bodies, who starts eating again, etc., to STILL have traces of the metal inside their GI Tracts, and often the birds starting to pluck themselves, specifically over their Crops or Lower-Abdominal area/around their Vents, are plucking because they do in-fact still have metal remaining in their GI Tracts that is not visible on an X-Ray or in the Heavy-Metal Blood-Panel, and if this is the case and they start/continue to pluck themselves long after they have finished the first Chelation-Therapy, the most-common treatment is a second Chelation-Therapy just to ensure that all the metal has passed, which typically stops the plucking/over-preening as well.
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