Greys and Blindness?

juliev

New member
Jul 8, 2022
5
5
Parrots
38yr old African grey
Hello Everyone- My African grey of 38 yrs has been showing signs of blindness in both eyes.He is with me most of the time and I was surpised to notice his actions I've taken him to an avian vet in Del Mar, but was disappointed when the actual " avian vet" was not assigned to my appointment and I met with another vet there that did not offer me any information at all. As a matter of fact, he had not seen this condition, nor could find any sign as to what or why this was happening. I was told to just make the bird conformable and safe. Really? I did further research that suggested that a vitamin deficiency or Vitamin E and A might be the culprit. Does anyone have experience in this area? I guess iblindness is not a common condition in older birds? both of his eyes are clear. and you can see the pupil dilate ever so slightly if you put a light to his right one but the vet feels he has no vision left in the left eye. Rosco spends time in 3 different cages around the house and outside so he gets plenty of interaction and sunlight . His diet is mainly raw corn on the cob and broccoli with fruits(banana) and nuts during the day. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
16,409
6,714
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
Although you really do not define why you believe that your Parrot is losing its sight, you imply that the Non-Avian Vet did several checks.

Diet 'can' be a problem and the diet you define does not define a Healthy Diet, but a good base, for a Grey although the corn on the cob is enjoyable, it provides zero to your Parrots diet. Be careful not to just add vitamins unless a very recent Full Spectrum Blood Test attests to specific low-levels.

Normally, an individual faced with a Parrot that is losing sight or has already lost some level of sight have activity begun limitings changes and simplify the surrounds.

There are a number of reasons that Parrots can lose sight, most have to do with exposure to light devices designed for reptiles or other light sources far too close to the Parrot.
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
12,568
10,556
USA
Parrots
Full house
Hi,
Sorry for your birdie and you. Definitely avian vet worthy.

The diet you described is deficient in Vitamin A and other nutrients . Its possible this led to, im not a vet.

Some Vitamin A rich foods are especially offer some cooked sweet potatoes. Bonus many parrots take to them served warm. Cooking carrots also makes Vitamin A more bio available. Bell pepper, all of the peppers are a good source of Vitamin A,( even dried ones) as is romaine lettuce.

I think eggs have some Vitamin E. A little boiled egg with some shell included for some calcium.

Getting some quality pellets. Grind them up and add them to some birdie muffins. Add them moistened a little and mix with the corn. Try sprinkle on other stuff. Many of the top prlket brands offer feeding conversion tips.

People have success with chop .

Pamela Clark has even recommended some supplement feeds with baby bird formula. Adults tend to like it made a little thicker like thick yogurt. You can offer from your finger, with a spoon, or a syringe at beak tip, or in a dish.

If you go to this link and scroll down to the bottom, she has included her most popular muffin recipe.


In this article she talks about comfort/ support feeds of baby bird formula
 
Last edited:

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
12,568
10,556
USA
Parrots
Full house
This will take you a link on nutritional disorders
Post in thread 'Ornithology: Share and discuss scientific articles on parrots!' https://www.parrotforums.com/thread...entific-articles-on-parrots.82369/post-967878

Tips on getting them eating healthy
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
3,033
5,470
Hi,
Sorry for your birdie and you. Definitely avian vet worthy.

The diet you described is deficient in Vitamin A and other nutrients . Its possible this led to, im not a vet.

Some Vitamin A rich foods are especially offer some cooked sweet potatoes. Bonus many parrots take to them served warm. Cooking carrots also makes Vitamin A more bio available. Bell pepper, all of the peppers are a good source of Vitamin A,( even dried ones) as is romaine lettuce.

I think eggs have some Vitamin E. A little boiled egg with some shell included for some calcium.

Getting some quality pellets. Grind them up and add them to some birdie muffins. Add them moistened a little and mix with the corn. Try sprinkle on other stuff. Many of the top prlket brands offer feeding conversion tips.

People have success with chop .

Pamela Clark has even recommended some supplement feeds with baby bird formula. Adults tend to like it made a little thicker like thick yogurt. You can offer from your finger, with a spoon, or a syringe at beak tip, or in a dish.

If you go to this link and scroll down to the bottom, she has included her most popular muffin recipe.


In this article she talks about comfort/ support feeds of baby bird formula
Laura is quite right and has connected you with some good articles.

The problem with feeding all fresh foods is that the bird can slowly become more picky in his diet and a diet which once contained adequate nutrition will no longer be adequate. That’s why I start with a pellet base.

I was not able to respond yesterday as I had a bad sinus headache (from a week long cold) but I am so glad that Laura did respond.

There are so many things that can go wrong with eyes; it’s hard to guess what could be going on for your bird. At first I thought “cataracts” with an old bird; but you say his eyes are clear.

I have lived with a one eyed and a completely blind bird and I simply left toys, food, and water in the same locations. My entirely blind conure enjoyed different textured toys and particularly liked to rub his face on a cotton preening ring. That was his favorite toy and he got a lot of comfort from it.

He would cry out if a strange person, especially a strange man, was audible within the apartment.
 
OP
J

juliev

New member
Jul 8, 2022
5
5
Parrots
38yr old African grey
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
Thank You everyone for your input! I will read every article. I was expecting the vet would had done a blood test for vitamin deficiency but that didnt happen. Although I think I can call and request one. My grey has 3 cages: 2 outside in diffused sunlight, and his home cage by the bathroom. And yes his eyes are clear with no signs of cataracts- Rosco my grey has been with me since 1983 when I bought him from a pet store. He was strong enough to survive quarantine and is still going strong 💪 other than the blindness. He “de-constructs” cardboard boxes as his favorite pastime and this has not slowed him down. Just this week I started to boil veggies into a broth: all organic mustard greens, Carrots, green and red bell pepper, and broccoli Stems and florets-I take a cup of this broth and heat it slightly. He gulps it down- so it is a great mechanism for delivery- I’m sorry not to have done this sooner but I this all happened so quick- under 2months.
I purchased A water soluble vitamin A and E but I’m hesitant to add it to the broth until I educate mySelf more on supplimenting for parrots. I read an article that suggested that this might condition might be reversable if treated asap. Do anyone know if this is true?
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
12,568
10,556
USA
Parrots
Full house
a broth , tho sounds lovely, is not a good fix. All the liquid displaces calories. And can have other side effects.

How is offering fresh stuff going? Have you gotten some pellets to offer?
 
OP
J

juliev

New member
Jul 8, 2022
5
5
Parrots
38yr old African grey
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
a broth , tho sounds lovely, is not a good fix. All the liquid displaces calories. And can have other side effects.

How is offering fresh stuff going? Have you gotten some pellets to offer?
I have ordered the roudybush pellets which should arrive tomorrow.
Rosco has been on these in the past so I hope he will transition to them more easily as a warm mash. The broth I make for him is a warm liquid suppliment to his current diet of fresh fruit, veggies and some seed blend from Higgins safflower gold seed mix.( No sunflower seeds)I have removed the corn from his diet and replaced with roasted sweet potato which he seems ok with.
His current disposition is happy, vocal, and still enjoys the outdoors.
 
OP
J

juliev

New member
Jul 8, 2022
5
5
Parrots
38yr old African grey
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #9
I have ordered the roudybush pellets which should arrive tomorrow.
Rosco has been on these in the past so I hope he will transition to them more easily as a warm mash. The broth I make for him is a warm liquid suppliment to his current diet of fresh fruit, veggies and some seed blend from Higgins safflower gold seed mix.( No sunflower seeds)I have removed the corn from his diet and replaced with roasted sweet potato which he seems ok with.
His current disposition is happy, vocal, and still enjoys the outdoors.
 

BillsBirds

Well-known member
Jan 9, 2012
1,370
38
Largo, Florida
Parrots
Timneh African Grey (Bailey), Lovebird (Elvis)
Many years ago, I inherited my Grandfather's African Grey. He was wild caught, so we have no idea how old he was, but, had lived with my Grandparents for over 40 years. I had him for about 9 years when he died. He was totally blind when I got him He was also very arthritic, and could barely climb. So he was kept in a Guinea Pig cage, so he didn't have to climb or fly. Though, he got exercise everyday with me, out of cage. Because of his blindness, I did not rearrange anything in his cage so he would always know where everything was. I have known other blind birds who fared rather well. As his guardian, it is up to you to maintain his environment for his disability. Blind birds can adjust to things easily because of their excellent hearing. If you'd like, please search "Memories of my Jessye" which I posted in 2012. It was not about his blindness, which I seem to have not mentioned in that post. But it was about him being an aged bird. He was over 50 years old when he died.
I hope your Grey can keep, or improve, his eyesight through diet, etc. But, my reason for writing, is to let you know that should he lose it, he will be okay with it. Particularly with your love and care. Stay positive, and remember that animals accept life as it happens, and will adjust as needed for their situation. Good luck.
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
3,033
5,470
I agree. Blindness is something a bird can live well with.

The bird I had was blind due to head trauma. His pupils were not round but polygonal. He was very scared of strangers and strange voices because of the past abuse, but he loved and trusted me and was Fine In his cage as long as everything stayed mostly the same.

My Lucy had recently been blinded on the left side when she came to live with me. So at first she was protective of that blind side, until she came to trust me. After that, she was a very confident bird and if her left eye had not been shrunken and small you never would have known.

If your bird has not been hurt by people I think he’s got less to worry about than you might imagine. Abuse is a bigger problem to overcome than most physical issues.
 
OP
J

juliev

New member
Jul 8, 2022
5
5
Parrots
38yr old African grey
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #12
Many years ago, I inherited my Grandfather's African Grey. He was wild caught, so we have no idea how old he was, but, had lived with my Grandparents for over 40 years. I had him for about 9 years when he died. He was totally blind when I got him He was also very arthritic, and could barely climb. So he was kept in a Guinea Pig cage, so he didn't have to climb or fly. Though, he got exercise everyday with me, out of cage. Because of his blindness, I did not rearrange anything in his cage so he would always know where everything was. I have known other blind birds who fared rather well. As his guardian, it is up to you to maintain his environment for his disability. Blind birds can adjust to things easily because of their excellent hearing. If you'd like, please search "Memories of my Jessye" which I posted in 2012. It was not about his blindness, which I seem to have not mentioned in that post. But it was about him being an aged bird. He was over 50 years old when he died.
I hope your Grey can keep, or improve, his eyesight through diet, etc. But, my reason for writing, is to let you know that should he lose it, he will be okay with it. Particularly with your love and care. Stay positive, and remember that animals accept life as it happens, and will adjust as needed for their situation. Good luck.
Thank you for that message! Rosco is also wild caught and I have had him 38 years myself- he was at a pet store after quarantine and that’s where I got him. He is a champ and responds instantly to me tapping on his dish. I’ve tried to post video but it’s too large- I think I’m the only one suffering - I got the pellets in and did a mash for him- he loves any thing hot so I will see how much pellets in a mash I can get him to eat.
 

Most Reactions

Latest posts

Top