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

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Old 10-08-2019, 11:31 PM
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Kirby’s Prognosis

Switching to here from the amazon subforum as it seemed more on topic!

We finally got a call after hours from the vet summarizing the results from Kirby’s blood work and xrays. Kirby is a 30-something year old orange winged amazon we recently adopted, who was very obese at the time of her appointment at 540g.

Kirby has:
-signs of fatty liver disease from her bloodwork
-thickened air sac walls
-thickened arterial walls
-vertebrae out of alignment
-several small fatty tumors as well as one larger one near her vent

The vet indicated that she felt the cause was a combination of age and poor diet. We didn’t get to speak with the tech who called directly as I wasn’t expecting the after hours call and had left my phone in my purse so it went to voicemail.

My questions for you guys -

Have any of you dealt with these issues in your birds? Especially the vertebrae; I plan on calling tomorrow for clarification but that one worries me. I should add, when I asked the vet if it was safe to engage in an exercise routine she assured me that she wasn’t at risk of heart failure and that I should start as soon as we were able.

What’s the likelihood that diet and exercise can improve any of these? From what I have gathered from reading various forums here and elsewhere it seems like a lot of these are weight related and at least some of them should improve now that she’s eating pellets and fresh veg and not just seeds, peanuts and bread like at her old home.

Otherwise she’s doing well, she’s really getting into her toys and I’ve been working her out with flapping exercises and letting her down in odd places where she can climb around on furniture (fully supervised).

Last edited by ravvlet; 10-08-2019 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:30 AM
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Re: Kirby’s Prognosis

Hi,
My rescue Quaker Penny, had fatty liver, constricted wings, low vitamin A and D, and arthritis, and withdrawn sit like lump on a stick syndrome.
Her vet didn't think her wing restrictions would improve much( from being kept in a tiny cage her while life) but my Penny suprised us both she has improved I'd say 60 % on her wings!!! She also used to stay crouched either because if the small cage before or liver pain, now she sits and moves better!!! The swelling is gone from her feet a d toes. Her liver values are nearly normal now. And she can fly!!!!
So yes I thi k you can see loads of improvement !
If you've been on here long enough you've heard me talk about the powerful effect of spending time outside. My vet recommend this for Penny's health, but when I took all the birds outside the dramatic improvement in feather luster mad me w believer!!! And if Neptune becomes a grumpy screaming mess, a half hour outside and he is a dream the rest of the day. You do not and should not put them in direct sun with no shade, you should stay right with them. I sit on my patio that is under a shade tree, so they get light to medium dappled shade. I missed two months due to temps over 100, and biting insect hoard. My mom who is 75 unobservant, and really not into my birds , said to me why aren't the birds feathers bright Anymore?!! That's how big a difference getting outside makes! I got them back outside a d their feathers shimmer again.

To sneak in veggies make a warm veggies and brown rice casserole. Pellets I add some warm water to them then add to scrambled eggs, or warm oatmeal, sometimes a little bit of applesauce. Or I mush them with plain cut up cooked bow tie pasta ...
I can't wait to see and hear how your parrot improves!!
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:22 AM
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Re: Kirby’s Prognosis

Thank you, that is good to hear!

I’ve been worried about spending time outside- I’d like to but this time of year in Seattle it’s always raining and cold! Even when it’s sunny it’s cold. How cool of temps can Kirby stand before it’s not feasible to go outside?
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:18 AM
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Re: Kirby’s Prognosis

My vet said even cloudy days are good. So I have a fix for the cooler temps if you have an extension cord or outlet were you intend to sit. It's called the sweeter heater, it's made for birds a d is bird safe. It's a radiant heat panel, not a light. I've used for 28 years. I'll get link from Amazon and out here. It puts out a lot of radiant heat, so I ha g it low on one side of my GCC cage and I have it on all the he time , she sits by it after a bath.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01CY...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:17 AM
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Re: Kirby’s Prognosis

Its not the cold perse that is detrimental, its the sudden change froma nice heated house to the outdoors with a 20 deg sudden change of temperature. That shocks their system. I feel for you and Kirby, I love taking our Salty outside , but the fall has def hit NY andis like 52 here today and likely to stay that way or lower now.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:28 AM
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Re: Kirby’s Prognosis

I really don't know anything useful to offer.... but I'm still confident that Kirby's health will improve dramatically under your care. I look forward to hearing your updates as this happens!
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:06 PM
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Re: Kirby’s Prognosis

Yeah, it’s 37 outside so even with an ambient heater I suspect it is too cold! I have been taking her outside when it’s decent enough and have definitely seen an improvement on her feather condition.

Thanks for the feedback everyone.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:28 PM
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Re: Kirby’s Prognosis

STOP!!!
Prior to actively engaging in an exercise program, you need to learn how to monitor your Amazon's heart rate. You need to clearly understand the difference between their heart rate at rest (which is far more rapid that you may expect) and when you have your Amazon at a safe rate, while exercising. Over do this and you could cause heart failure.

Heavy breathing /panting /stress response is a sure sign that you have over exercised your Amazon. Commonly seen with overly warm claws and legs and a speeding out of control heart rate.

You need to know these signs and others to assure that you are gaining in strength and not dangerously overworking your Amazon. Old folks and older Parrots are not the same as those of younger age.

IMHO, your Amazon is in no shape to go out and fly a 5 mile course.
This process has to be viewed from taking your grandfather out for a 5 mile run when he has not walked 5 miles, let along a single mile in years.

Most Avian Professionals have limited experience with large Parrot's that are active fliers and especially older large Parrots. Your time line should be several years to develop and greatly improve the health of your Amazon.

Can your Amazon recover from where she is today, YES! Start with diet and very limited exercise targeting moderate improvement of muscle strength overtime.

The vertebrae out of alignment can be a concern regarding a target of extended flight. Moderate, in home flight would likely be your goal until this item is better understood. But moderate, in home flight is several years off.

Great things are possible as long as you look at this as a long term process.
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Last edited by SailBoat; 10-09-2019 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:42 PM
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Re: Kirby’s Prognosis

A childhood friend of my brothers' got a fatty liver diagnosis several years ago now. The kid had problems with alcohol, recreational drugs, and was probably 200 pounds OVER weight.



He quit all the nasty stuff and dropped a boat load of weight. As far as I know he is much much improved. But he moved to vietnam and married a local gal; I haven't seen him in years now.



My dad also lost an immense amount of weight and brought himself back from bedbound. It *can* be done. But as Mr. Boat has said, go it SLOW!



Good luck with Kirby. We are rooting for you guys all the way!!!!
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:36 PM
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Re: Kirby’s Prognosis

Sorry! I did not mean to alarm anyone! By exercise I mean I get her out of her cage once or twice a day, and sometimes she initiates a little flapping while on my hand or when she wants to glide down off a low perch item, like the bed or a low chair. Sometimes it’s just as simple as moving her to the toys and perches on top of her cage so she can amble around.

Mostly it’s just climbing around - any flapping is largely incidental (if she wants to go somewhere from a perch or my hand). I have not yet seen her panting or anything else like that.

It’s not a lot but it is still more than what she would do if left to her own devices- although I will say she has also happily and willingly been playing with her toys in her cage as well, she’s just about finished off some of her shredding stuff.

I will reread the section on gauging your Amazons resting heart rate again.
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