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

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Old 08-19-2020, 09:42 AM
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Lameness and lethargy after vet visit

This is a long post so please bear with me.

Gloria (34 year old BFA) went to her vet for her annual visi with bloodwork and nail trim yesterday at 10:30 am. A little history first--We adopted Gloria in January 2016. She's a very gentle, chill bird but she hates hands and will not step up. She does get on my husband's shoulder and she gives kisses.

Her aversion to hands has always made vet visits challenging and one time she had to have a sedative in order to get bloodwork. An antidote was given after the sedative and she was back to normal within an hour or so.

Yesterday's visit proceeded as normal. The only difference was that they took her into another room for the bloodwork/nail trim--my guess is to keep the number of people in the exam room down due to covid-19. It takes one tech to towel her and hold her and the other to draw the blood/trim the nails. The in house lab determined her bloodwork to be normal with high liver values (ongoing issue) but they were lower than the last visit so we are managing that. She also had a couple of normal poops at the vet's office.

I noticed on the trip home, that Gloria was holding the grate on the door of her carrier with her beak for balance more than normal. When she went in her cage, she had trouble navigating it seeming to not want to put weight on he4r right foot. She had trouble standing and was sort of roosting with her body on the perch and her foot out to the side. She also fell off the perch and did climb up the side of cage to get back on. She seemed a bit lethargic and she was whining quietly --her distress/fright sound. Also, she had fasted all night due to her bloodwork and normally comes home with a huge appetite. She didn't seem interested in eating. She pee'd a couple of times and it looks like she may have had a small poop.

I called the vet back to double check on whether or not she had been given a sedative when they took her out of the room and she hadn't. They told me to bring her back in. It was about 1-1:30 pm. They did give her a sedative in order to xray her foot and the antidote after. Xray showed that the foot was arthritic and no physical damage to her leg/thigh. She also got an injection of pain killer and anti inflammatory.

At 3:30 we came home with syringes of Metacam 1.5 mg to give her every twelve hours starting the next morning. The vet suggested I put a towel on the bottom of the cage and have her there but I knew that wouldn't work as she NEVER goes to the bottom of the cage (probably because we have cats).

I put her on her cage top which has a flat paper cover tray and play yard. She struggled up one of the ladders and just leaned over the top perch with her head down for quite a while.

For her safety, I set up her travel cage and put the perch about an inch above the floor. She stayed on the floor of the cage and took a few nibbles of birdie bread and nutriberry and had some water but still has eaten very little. She is holding her foot out to the side. She was pretty lethargic the rest of the evening. Called the vet at 6:30 pm before they closed and they said give her 24 hours.

I noted that she did tuck her beak to sleep late that night (10:30 or so) which was the first sign of normalcy. I slept in the room with her and heard her chewing on the perch twice which was somewhat normal.

Now it is 10:30 the next day and she's still quite quiet and seems a bit lethargic. She also whines when approached. She tries to walk and struggles. This morning she just took a couple of bites of nutriberry and grape but hasn't tried her birdie bread. I also tried to give her a syringe of her medicine but it looked like most of squirted sideways.

She just seems drowsy and lethargic and clearly is in pain with the whining. I'm at a loss. She was perfectly normal yesterday morning. It's been less than 24 hours since the initial vet visit.

Any suggestions regarding her situationwould be most welcome. I need her to eat more. Her favorite foods are food foods and she won't touch those as she won't use her foot.
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Lameness and lethargy after vet visit-gloria-travel-cage-small.jpg  
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Old 08-19-2020, 11:02 AM
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Re: Lameness and lethargy after vet visit

All it takes is a clumsy toweling to possibly strain a muscle or ligament, which could be the source of the pain, and pain meds often make my yellow shoulder 'zon lethargic for a day or so. I would monitor her closely for the next 2 days and if there is no change, they revisit the vet. With her aversion to hands and I am sure toweling, it would be better to not stress her more then absolutely necessary.

Where do they draw blood from? My vet uses the carotid artery ( parrot equivalent) in the neck. If they use her foot, that could also be the source of the pain.

Hope Gloria is back to normal soon!
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Old 08-19-2020, 11:12 AM
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Re: Lameness and lethargy after vet visit

Thank you for your reply. They draw blood from the neck--at least that's where it's been done when I'm in the room so I assume it was the same.

I worry about the lethargy but if she's in pain then I guess it's to be expected. Can you think of any other foods I might give her to entice? I scrambled an egg and gave her some of that and she chowed down. Otherwise it's been hit or miss. She's just sleepy and goes from that to chewing the perch.
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Old 08-19-2020, 12:40 PM
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Re: Lameness and lethargy after vet visit

St first I was going to say my burds are off for a couple of days after a vet visit, and nap more.

But my birds are t 30.... but that picture does make me concerned like you, very scary to have her not perching....... ugh I can’t even imagine that amount of stress and worry!!!

I would keep a very close and calm eye on her. I might would call and describe what yiu are swing to the vet.... this is a trusted avisn vet ??
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Old 08-19-2020, 12:42 PM
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Re: Lameness and lethargy after vet visit

Applesauce is a good recovery fiid, or scrambled eggs or oatmeal

Poor thing!
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Old 08-19-2020, 12:48 PM
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Gloria, BFA, adopted on Jan. 9, 2016 when she was 30 years old . Her mom went to a nursing home. Also have 2 cats (Rangerand Luna) and a 24 year old aquatic turtle, named Elvis.
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Re: Lameness and lethargy after vet visit

Our vet is trusted. I've been taking her there since we've had her. This is her 5th annual visit. Her leg is clearly in pain and she's not using it which is why she was struggling to perch. I felt it best for her safety to not have her in the big cage since she fell. She normally snaps out of her attitude from the vet by dinner time. Sometimes she'll just be mad at me and ignore me while being normal to my husband. She's clearly not herself. The vet's office called to check up on her and suggested that she needed more time. I'm inclined to think that she pulled a ligament as was suggested above given that no damage showed on the xray.

I did scramble an egg and gave her a little and she scarfed that down but it wasn't much. I've seen her drink a little water. Just not sure what else I can do than watch her and continue what I'm doing.

I'll have to try applesauce. Didn't think of that and I know she likes it.
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Old 08-19-2020, 01:08 PM
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Re: Lameness and lethargy after vet visit

Mine always acts like she is sick on the ride home...which is miserable, as a driver (I'l looking back obsessively and trying to check her while attempting to stay on the road eek!).
That's just after a beak/nail trim.
She perks up once we are home, but she acts super weird in the car afterwards.

Hoping it's nothing serious-- if she isn't bleeding still, I imagine that the blood loss could have just made her a bit sleepier and stressed.

I am glad to hear she has been to this vet before and that you trust him.
Non-fortified baby foods without a bunch of added stuff can be good.
Mashed potato or sweet potato (no salt no butter)
baked potato
cooked apples sometimes intrigue them, but watch the sugar content
NON-FORTIFIED pasta (that's harder to find) would at least be calories <--make sure you look to see if it has high levels of niacin, iron etc (if it says vitamins are added in small print, don't get it)
plain oatmeal with some fruit (banana etc) mashed in it
plain quinoa (non-salted)
You could try making birdy bread
cooked corn (while not very nutritionally worthy) could also provide calories.
Rice (make sure you rinse it until the water runs clear, as it can contain talc and all sorts of stuff)--plus, by rinsing, you get a better texture
hard-boiled egg
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Old 08-19-2020, 04:48 PM
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Gloria, BFA, adopted on Jan. 9, 2016 when she was 30 years old . Her mom went to a nursing home. Also have 2 cats (Rangerand Luna) and a 24 year old aquatic turtle, named Elvis.
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Location: Columbia, Maryland
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Re: Lameness and lethargy after vet visit

Thanks. You've mentioned all the foods she loves. I'll give her some sweet potato. Gave her some applesauce (organic sugar free) though she didn't seem interested. She ate the scrambled egg and picked at her birdie bread.

On a side note, this afternoon, she actually spoke when I approached her instead of the painful whining she was doing so that was encouraging. It's still the foot that she won't stand on that's concerning. I'm hoping it's only a strain as Wrench13 suggested. Her xrays didn't show an injury just arthritis.
As an older human with arthritis, I now how much easier it is for me to get muscle strains than when I was younger.

Thanks for the suggestions. Going to go back a sweet potato now.
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Old 08-21-2020, 08:44 AM
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Parrots:
Gloria, BFA, adopted on Jan. 9, 2016 when she was 30 years old . Her mom went to a nursing home. Also have 2 cats (Rangerand Luna) and a 24 year old aquatic turtle, named Elvis.
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Location: Columbia, Maryland
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Re: Lameness and lethargy after vet visit

Gloria had a runny poop today. This is the first time this has happened. Could this be due to the Metacam and the change in her diet? She normally eats a lot of pellets but hasn't been doing so in her convalescence. She's been eating birdie bread, egg, sweet potato, corn and pepper cores. Thanks for any guidance.

She's acting more herself though still not using her foot. She's been working on dismantling the perch in her travel cage and speaking a lot more.
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Old 08-21-2020, 10:04 AM
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Re: Lameness and lethargy after vet visit

Metacam can cause this in dogs I know., also to high a dose can be toxic as is long term use, this is a drug, and it has a less margin of safety. That’s why it usually only used very short term . You can talk to your vet , ask about side effects and if the dose should be lowered.

The flora in the gastric system is sensitive to diet Chang. Quick diet changes cause quick changes in the flora of the gut, leading to upset. If it was me I would add yogurt to her diet, no artificial sweeteners tho. My burds took to it easily , I just give a small amount.

I hope her leg recovers soon, poor thing. Glad to hear of progress
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Last edited by Laurasea; 08-21-2020 at 10:06 AM.
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