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

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Old 04-30-2019, 02:14 AM
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Heavy Metal Poisoning - Lovebird. Please help!

Hello all thank you for reading and responding to my post. It is truly appreciated. Unfortunately two days ago my little baby Lovebird, kiwi, was feeling sick and we quickly realized it was heavy Metal Poisoning. Fortunately we brought him to the vet immediately after we recognized his symptoms and thankfully he is doing much better day by day under the supervision of the veterinarian. I was wondering if any of you had any experience with this situation or have any advice to help us rehabilitate kiwi back to full health when he comes home? Unfortunately we could only keep him at the vets under supervision for two days with plans to come home tomorrow. We wanted to keep him there for as long as possible but the veterinarian expenses have already costed us $1,200 and were only college students, leaving us nearly broke.

Bio

Kiwi is a beautiful, friendly, and loving year and a half old lovie who has instantly created a bond with both my girlfriend and I. He has brought so much enjoyment to our lives and our only goal is to make him as happy as he can possibly be. He is an extremely active, healthy, and curious bird and loves to spend time with us as much as possible. All we want to do is to be in the best position possible to rehabilitate him back to full health and make him happy again.

Incident

Day 1

Kiwi being the chewer and explorer he is had found himself a new toy, a metal door hinge with paint on it which he ripped to shreds. Unfortunately by the time my girlfriend and I got home from work we had not recognized what he had done and had given him love and said goodnight to him and his reactions were his usual sleepy bird self. (Note: usually my girlfriend and I have opposite work schedules so that one of us is always home with the baby so we always keep him outside of his cage where he is happier and never creates any issues. We had bird proofed the whole room for his safety and had never thought something as obscure as a door hinge would be something he would chew on.) Well we had gone to bed and nearly a few hours later in the middle of the night, I had heard kiwi, moving around in his cage. I turned on the light to check on him and I had saw his feathers were ruffled and he generally looked weak. After a while he was continuously vomiting and excreting black poop. We looked for the source and had found he chewed on paint from a rusty door hinge. Immediately we looked to hydrate him and prepared our plans to bring him to the vet once it opened.

Day 1 Vets Office

Once the vet had opened he was quickly submitted and we told the doctor the source of the sickness. The doctor had noted the situation was very serious and gave us treatment options giving us an estimate of 50% chance of survival. We elected to give him the best possible treatment although it broke the bank for us. After diagnosing him they had realized he had ingested two small pieces of metal and gave him a chelating medicine, foreign body antibiotic, anti vomiting medicine, as well as fluids, feeding tube and an incubator. After a few hours of treatment they had advised us that kiwi has stopped vomiting and had noticeably improved his energy and general well being. The nurse noted he even ate a few seeds on his own.

Day 2

The veterinarian called us to tell us that kiwi is doing much better than when we had been submitted to the hospital. They noted he was still a bit depressed and had vomitted only once the prior night but had substantially an increase in his energy even hoping around and climbing on their cage. Later that day they gave us an update that he had not vomited at all that day, had looked better, and was much more active but still did not have much appetite and therefore had administered the feeding tube once again. After talking to the vetrinarian before nights end they had given a much better outlook on kiwis life expectancy which emotionally broke us down in joy and relief

Although we would like to keep him in the hospital as long as possible the bills had already racked up to $1200 which really broke the bank due to the fact that we are college students. If given the chance I would pay 10 grand for his treatment to ensure he recovers but we are forced to pick him up tomorrow and care for him ourselves. Thankfully the vets did an excellent job taking care of him and he is doing much better than when he arrived.

***As loving owners we are asking for your help to share any experience or advice that you have encountered with heavy Metal Poisoning or any sickness and what you did to care for your parrot during their recovery at home***

- tips on feeding/force feeding and hydrating when the parrot has no appetite to ensure they are well nourished
- things to look for hinting a deteriorating well being
- best conditions to keep the parrot under
- anything you feel is fitting to improve the health of the bird
- all comments are welcomed and greatly appreciated

I cant stress enough how much we appreciate you taking the time to read this post and commenting and cant thank you enough.
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Old 04-30-2019, 02:30 AM
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Re: Heavy Metal Poisoning - Lovebird. Please help!

Ok, so I don't have much experience, except when our ekkie got sick. It wasn't from heavy metal poisoning, but he was vomiting, lethargic, and getting weaker. We had hospitalise him for a couple of days before they felt safe enough to release him back to our care in the hope that he would start eating by himself again. You can check my past history to read how traumatic it was for us too - so you guy are not alone.

First things first, did they do an x-ray to confirm that the metal is out of his body? You need to be sure it is gone, so that you know he can actually get better.


Next, the advice we received was this:

- keep them warm and calm, which may mean a smaller cage and dimmer lighting; you don't want them exerting themselves or risk them getting stressed.

- feed as often as possible; we had to resort to baby parrot formula (which needs to be at a very precise temperature and consistency), and we offered it every 1-2 hours. Formula has the liquid (dehydration is a big concern) and the nutrients needed. We didn't crop feed him (the vet did when he was hospitalised), we just offered it through a syringe. You can read the forum threads about hand-feeding for more advice on which side of the beak (your right, his left), temperature, speed, etc.

- offer a wide spread of his favourite foods, but warmed and mashed (I offered everything from bananas, his favourite, to watermelons, also loved but terrible on his poop). You just need to get something in him at the bare minimum.

- signs of improvement would be him starting to preen and starting to be awake and move around, which means signs of deterioration would be lack of preening, weight loss, lethargy, sleeping through things that would normally wake him. So start keeping track of his weight NOW. Any further deterioration means going back to the vet ASAP.

For us, when he showed enough signs of improvement, we did his favourite thing - taking him outside for a quiet walk in our quiet neighbourhood. He started perking up further.

(might add more details after work) jiayou!
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:14 AM
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Re: Heavy Metal Poisoning - Lovebird. Please help!

Hello neighbor! I live in Clermont! There are several members, very experienced in your situation, that will be along soon!
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:03 AM
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Re: Heavy Metal Poisoning - Lovebird. Please help!

So sorry you are going through this.

I used to follow a lovely 'free roam' budgie on Instagram but he ended up ingesting some of the screen door and the shards got stuck in his body and it was fatal, he passed and the owners were devastated.

As happy as they seem having free roam of the house or bird room, it is not recommended to leave a bird out of its cage unsupervised, ever. Even if the room appears safe... as you have now learned the hard way. Please reconsider allowing free roam for your parrot. Same principles apply where you would never leave a human toddler in the house alone by themselves, while it would be fun for them, too many dangers in the home to leave unattended and unwatched.

Hope your baby makes it through this!
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:38 AM
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Re: Heavy Metal Poisoning - Lovebird. Please help!

Good luck. Thank you for already doing so much for the little guy! Commenting to follow his progress.
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Old 04-30-2019, 11:09 AM
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Re: Heavy Metal Poisoning - Lovebird. Please help!

Welcome to you and Kiwi, wish your lovely introduction was under happier circumstances.

Though I have not experienced heavy metal poisoning with birds, your quick response and skilled veterinary care offers Kiwi the best possible chance.

We'll be following his progress and hoping for continued improvement.
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Old 04-30-2019, 12:05 PM
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Re: Heavy Metal Poisoning - Lovebird. Please help!

May be of use to future readers, noting the signs and treatment sections:


https://lafeber.com/vet/heavy-metal-poisoning-in-birds/


Calcium EDTA and meso-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) (succimer) are the two most commonly prescribed forms of chelating (compounds that aid in the removal of metal) agents prescribed.
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Old 04-30-2019, 02:06 PM
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Re: Heavy Metal Poisoning - Lovebird. Please help!

Cant Thank all of you enough for all the kind words and advice that you have shared. You guys are the best. The winter park veterinarian hospital did an excellent job comforting him and caring for him and when we went to go see him today he was looking much healthier and energetic. He flew to us immediately when he saw us and was chirping with excitement. The vet had stated that he was in a good enough condition for us to take him home. They gave us two medicines to administer to him twice daily (DMSA 50mg/ml for chelation and metoclopramide 5ml for vomitting.) Since hes been home hes been eating and drinking on his own which we are very happy about. He still seems a bit weak and a little lethargic but nothing alarming at all due to the fact that he was so sick. His overall well being is actually better than we expected. Hes extremely happy to be home chirping here and there and often scratching his bill. He was a little upset that the vets and I had decided to clip his wings only for the time being for his safety and ease of administering his medication but other than that you can tell hes very happy to be home just by looking at him. We have noticed though that kiwi has been preening himself very often as well as shaking out his tail feathers. I figure this is simply to catch up on some cleaning he had missed the past days and to reorganize is feathers from how ruffled they were but maybe one of you have observed one of your parrots doing this after a sickness and give an opinion on it. I also bought kiwi a bunch of new toys to keep him occupied

Once again thank you so much for your help. You guys are the best. Looking forward to seeing your further comments.
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:08 PM
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Re: Heavy Metal Poisoning - Lovebird. Please help!

Glad to hear your LB has recovered and you'll be looking after me well. Be well, both of you!
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Old 05-01-2019, 04:26 PM
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Re: Heavy Metal Poisoning - Lovebird. Please help!

Wonderful update, glad your LB is on the road to recovery. I suspect your grooming observations are correct - time for triage of feathers. As creatures of prey, birds strive to look as good as possible.

A great home diagnostic tool for recovery and the future is a small scale calibrated in grams. Periodic weighing at a consistent time (such as morning after first poop) is an early alert to possible illness.
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