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

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Old 11-04-2020, 11:21 AM
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Head trauma

Can an avian vet tell if a bird has a skull fracture without an x-ray? Can a bird live with a skull fracture? If they are alert and drinking and acting normal? Coming for snuggles and sitting on my shoulder? My cockatiel missed its landing and fell on the floor and the dogs tried to play with him. He has a wound but not deep on his head and feathers missing. He was drinking and after a night he was acting normal but his wing was hurt. He wasn't eating but other wise seemed normal. I was shocked when the vet said he had a skull facture and to put him down. Trying to get some answers so I will know what to do.

Last edited by hmdwv; 11-04-2020 at 01:25 PM. Reason: add more information
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Old 11-04-2020, 01:29 PM
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Re: Head trauma

I assume your bird has suffered potential head trauma? If so, please share details so we can best advise.

None of us are vets or techs, but the ability to detect bone fracture is best determined via X-Ray. However, anesthesia is generally required to sufficiently sedate for clear imaging. A certified avian vet or equivalent best for diagnosing such issues. Whether a bird can live with fractured skull likely depends on severity, and most importantly, whether brain swelling has occurred. If so, your bird will be in grave danger, but there are anti-inflammatories to assist healing. If this is an emergent injury, I highly, highly recommend you seek qualified vet assistance.

Please keep in mind birds are hard-wired to project normalcy and not display injury until symptoms overwhelm. By the time a bird is visibly ill, it likely has been for a while if infectious or chronic illness. Strictly hypothetical, but a sustained head injury would likely immediately manifest with pain and/or diminished capability - this is why I initially asked for clarity of situation.
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Old 11-04-2020, 01:52 PM
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Re: Head trauma

Worried about the not-eating. Did you see an AVIAN vet? For me if someone told me to put down a birdie that seemed to be acting normally and did not appear to be in pain -- for me, I think that would be a hard-NOPE.

IF IF it were me and my bird, and a veterinarian told me that? - I'd think of offering softened food / mash, in case the reason for not eating is a headache; I would try to figure out wound care; keep the bird calm and maybe some sort of padding in the cage; turn up heat in the room for warmth... and if it were me I would be looking for a Second Opinion from another vet, to tell me how to treat the wing injury and the head Wound.

For ME if My bird was Not Showing signs of suffering and seemed to be acting somewhat normal, there is absolutely no way -FOR ME- that I would Just Accept a recommendation of putting it down.
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Last edited by fiddlejen; 11-04-2020 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 11-04-2020, 02:53 PM
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Re: Head trauma

I once had a cat that a vet decided was in kidney failure and wanted to euthanize at once. Without treatment. I took my cat to a different vet, treated her for sever UTI . She recovered completely lived fir SEVEN more happy years!

The first person you should listen to is yourself. And seek a seond opion with a different avain practice. Death is a final answer. Treatment and support is a place to start. If things deteriorate to suffering, then you can choose humane euthanasia.
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Old 11-04-2020, 03:14 PM
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Re: Head trauma

You need to get a veterinarian that will get a x-ray done. It depends on how bad the fracture is? Being he still alert is a good sign as no concussion and no cognitive symptoms? Plus mild breaks can heal over time, more severe breaks can lead to complications including bleeding, brain damage, leaking of cerebrospinal fluid, infection and seizures.

Just have to worry about cerebral oxygenation if mild? A fracture of pneumatic skull bone can allow air to escape.

I would get him to a certified avian veterinarian and get a second opinion. Being that vet didn't order x-rays worries me and seem that vet lazy, or assuming the worst? As far as him not eating that typical for a day, or so with the trauma he endured, at least he still drinking water?

You don't recommend a bird be put down, if he acting normal and fracture is minor?

Last edited by ParrotGenie; 11-04-2020 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 11-04-2020, 10:07 PM
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Re: Head trauma

I got home as soon as it happened. The wound was not deep just on the surface. The eye was ok but later the eyelid swelled . I put the bird in my room with the heat on, lights down and kept it quiet , I stayed with it offering water and food and put neosporin on the wound. We stayed in there all night and I couldn't get to vet 2 hrs away till the second day. The first day he slept and didn't move around alot. The next morning he was so much better. I talked with him and babied him . He was drinking and letting me give him rubs and walking around . He was grooming himself and going to the cage to sit on top of it. Everything seemed fine but I still wanted to take him to the vet. Called the avian certified vet and they said there was a closer vet who saw birds. Found out later they were not avian certified.

Went to them and had to wait in car for 3 hrs till they had an opening . He was wanting out of cage so I held him and he sat on my shoulder. He ate a few bites of millet which was all I had with me. He drank a lot. He wasn't fluffed up. He was calm. He was happy

I couldn't go in with him b/c of the virus and was shocked when the vet called me and said he had a fractured skull. I wasn't prepared for that cause he showed no signs. The wound wasn't that bad on the outside. Feathers missing and skin showing in a spot on head. Eyelid
still swollen

When I went I thought they would give me and antibiotic and he would be fine. She said she was surprised he was doing so good two days after it happened. She said he was in pain . I fell to pieces and asked to see him before they did anything .

I didn't have a long time to decide because they were closing. Everything in me said to take him home but the thought of your bird being in pain changes things. They said no one is allowed to be in the room when they put him down. I found out later that is because they are not certified. I know now I should have taken him home and went to the other vet.

They put him down . I thought they did an x-ray but found out they had not. Then I started to wonder if they were even right . I know birds try to hid pain but the first day I knew he didn't feel well but the second day he was acting like his normal self.

I don't know if I should have a necropsy done for peace of mind. Seems all they would need to do is an x-ray.
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Old 11-04-2020, 10:13 PM
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Re: Head trauma

oh no im so sorry this is so sad im sorry

and it makes me so angry at these people they would do that to you to you tell you to make such a terrible decision so quickly Im so sorry. oh Im so angry!

((NOT angry at you. so sad and so sorry with you. You were told your bird was in pain so you had to choose. angry angry at Them!))
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Last edited by fiddlejen; 11-04-2020 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 11-04-2020, 10:27 PM
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Re: Head trauma

This very sad to hear that happened,. the vet wasn't even sure what he was suffering, but yet recommended to put him down? Don't blame yourself, you took action based on the veterinarian recommendation.
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Old 11-04-2020, 10:28 PM
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Re: Head trauma

I'm so sorry for your loss. You did everything you could. In a situation like tgst we can only do what we think is right with the information we have st the time. What an awful situation to be in. I'm so sorry
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Old 11-04-2020, 10:39 PM
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Re: Head trauma

Quote: Originally Posted by fiddlejen View Post
oh no im so sorry this is so sad im sorry

and it makes me so angry at these people they would do that to you to you and tell you to make such a terrible decision so quickly Im so sorry. oh Im so angry!

((NOT angry at you. so sad and so sorry with you. You were told your bird was in pain so you had to choose. angry angry at Them!))
I am very angry the veterinarian was clearly lazy. It is inexcusable to not even get a x-ray ordered and just to assume. Then you stated bird was acting normal and no noticeable signs. Just the wound, so why would he assume he was suffering?

Please get the body back, then place the bag in the refrigerator, NOT THE FREEZER, Place the bird's body in a ziplock bag. Add 1/8-1/4 tsp (few drops) of water. Remove as much air from the bag as possible and seal. Definitely recommend you to get a necropsy done at a another vet, or lab and try to do it within the next day, or so.

Last edited by ParrotGenie; 11-04-2020 at 11:15 PM.
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