Liver issues, minimal seeds offered?

ravvlet

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Hey all! Been a while! Our boy Cricket is 2 now, and still only likes his veg if I bribe him by sprinkling a little millet on top.

Otherwise, we feed him a mix of TOPS & Harrison's High Potency Fine, and a little bit of Goldenfeast's Australian Blend in addition to a veggie mix that usually includes leafy greens, peppers, broccoli, sometimes carrot, sometimes quinoa, etc. I really thought we were doing great with his diet, but his bloodwork came back from his annual today and the vet said he had high LDH levels, which is a sign of early liver disease!

I am floored, and feeling really badly about it, because I really thought we were doing ok. I know Goldenfeast isn't amazing, but when he was littler he had a lot of trouble putting on weight. He's fully flighted and an amazing flier (he accidentally got out a couple months ago and went on a two-day "flycation" that scared us all half to death).

The vet recommended throwing out the Goldenfeast, which I've already done. I'm going to stop giving him millet too. Is there anything else we can do to prevent this from becoming a real issue? Any veg I can add to the rotation, etc? We don't really do fruit, as neither of our parrots have ever shown a significant interest; would that help? I'm at a loss here.
 

LaManuka

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Hello again ravvlet, good to have you back! My word, that two day "flycation" sure sounds like it was pretty hair-raising, thank goodness you got him back!! I am sorry to hear that Cricket is experiencing some potential liver issues. I'm assuming that the vet he is seeing is certified avian?

I'm sorry that I don't know of a specific treatment that might assist, but I do hear a lot about the properties of milk thistle in helping the liver - it has been cited on the forums here a lot. Perhaps you could speak to your vet about a bird-safe milk thistle supplement? From what I can gather, it needs to NOT be a tincture suspended in alcohol, and should not be added to his water. If you search "milk thistle" here you will get quite a lot of into pop up but, me not being a medical professional and never having had occasion to use it myself, please ensure you run it by your vet before use.

Personally I don't know that I'd add fruit as it's high in sugars, but others may have different views about that.

Wishing you and Cricket the very best of luck, and once again, welcome back! :)
 
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ravvlet

ravvlet

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Hello again ravvlet, good to have you back! My word, that two day "flycation" sure sounds like it was pretty hair-raising, thank goodness you got him back!! I am sorry to hear that Cricket is experiencing some potential liver issues. I'm assuming that the vet he is seeing is certified avian?

I'm sorry that I don't know of a specific treatment that might assist, but I do hear a lot about the properties of milk thistle in helping the liver - it has been cited on the forums here a lot. Perhaps you could speak to your vet about a bird-safe milk thistle supplement? From what I can gather, it needs to NOT be a tincture suspended in alcohol, and should not be added to his water. If you search "milk thistle" here you will get quite a lot of into pop up but, me not being a medical professional and never having had occasion to use it myself, please ensure you run it by your vet before use.

Personally I don't know that I'd add fruit as it's high in sugars, but others may have different views about that.

Wishing you and Cricket the very best of luck, and once again, welcome back! :)

Yes, they are avian certified! I think she does offer a milk thistle supplement, but she wants us to try a diet change first and re-check in 60 days. I'm just wondering if there is anything we can do in addition to cutting seeds completely.
 

LaManuka

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Oh great! Milk thistle does seem to be the go-to supplement for many liver related issues, it was certainly the first thing that sprang to mind for me since it is mentioned here a lot. It could be that the issue has been caught early enough that a few dietary tweaks may be all that is required. Hopefully some members more experienced with these things will weigh in with some more info for you soon, ravvlet :) And hoping for improvement with Cricket's re-check in 60 days too šŸ™
 

Skarila

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So sorry that your beloved Cricket has liver issues!!! It really surprises me if he's already on minimal seeds and on already high quality pellets!

As LaManuka mention, milk thistle is a great thing for that. I personally offer milk thistle seeds every day, like 10-15 seeds in total. See if cricket will eat them! My good old IRN was craaaazy about them. I wouldn't stop giving millet entirely, if you just use it to sprinkle the veggies, I think that's okay. Instead of millet only, try sprinkling a canary seed mix - Better a mix than millet only.

If you already must lower the fat intake, I would see with the vet if switching from the Harrison's high potency to the adult lifetime would be the way to go.

High potency: Crude protein (min.) 20%, crude fat (min.) 12%, crude fiber (max.) 5%, moisture (max.) 10%.
Adult lifetime: Crude protein (min.) 17%, crude fat (min.) 6.5%, crude fiber (max.) 8%, moisture (max.) 10%.

Hope this helps!
 

Scott

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Sorry to hear Cricket has high LDL despite your diligence. Silver lining is early detection and modified diet should bring huge health benefits. As Skarila suggested, switching to Harrison's Lifetime offsets some of the "richness" of High Potency. Recheck after 60 days a wise course of action! Another tool in the homeopathic arsenal is a specific form of liquid aloe detox subject to vet consideration.

Literally a universe of healthy veggies, trick is pleasing Cricket's palate!! Check this link for suggestions, mostly a game of trial and error!! https://www.parrotforums.com/threads/bird-safe-fresh-foods-toxic-food-lists-sprouts.24213/
 

Littleredbeak

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I give organic sprouted seeds, Dandelion greens and milkthistle. Senior lafaber berries are great! While I don't like the added sugar they have alot of great ingredients like glutathione and milkthisle. Non sprouted seeds blocks mineral and vitamin absorption. Hope this helps.
 
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SailBoat

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It is very possible that the combination of more than one 'Fortified' food source are the source, not the limited seed that you are providing. Each Parrot species has specific needs and items to avoid. Diets heavy in 'Fortified' foods are starting to be seen as sources of illness.
 
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ravvlet

ravvlet

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I did discuss with the vet about switching off High Potency when I contacted her over the phone to schedule his re-check, and she definitely agreed that that might be a part of the problem!

Going to have them mail the Lifetime pellet along with our Amazon's meds this week, and fingers crossed that in 60 days everything looks great!
 
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ravvlet

ravvlet

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It is very possible that the combination of more than one 'Fortified' food source are the source, not the limited seed that you are providing. Each Parrot species has specific needs and items to avoid. Diets heavy in 'Fortified' foods are starting to be seen as sources of illness.
Hmm, ok, I am assuming by fortified foods you meant the pellets and/or golden feast?

I'm working on getting him more into veg/chop. My current strategy with what's left of the chop I made (I'm due for a new batch this week so I'll be trying to pick things I haven't included before to see if he's into them) is to feed him veg first and wait an hour or so before giving him pellets.
 

Skarila

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āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
Hmm, ok, I am assuming by fortified foods you meant the pellets and/or golden feast?

I'm working on getting him more into veg/chop. My current strategy with what's left of the chop I made (I'm due for a new batch this week so I'll be trying to pick things I haven't included before to see if he's into them) is to feed him veg first and wait an hour or so before giving him pellets.
I believe by "fortified" pellets they meant pellets which have added vitamins and minerals, which is not always necessarily good for every bird. Harrisons indeed has these added vitamins and it's usually the reason why many rather switch to TOPS naturals which shouldn't have all these added vitamins and minerals. I myself add vitamins in powder form to my bird's food as a little boost especially in molting times (Every 3-4 days or so, more often for seed eaters), especially if I just got them and I see their feathers are in horrible condition, also this was suggested by my vet, hence I do not mind this in Harrison's or Roudybush pellets.
Since you already ditched the Goldenfeast and may try with mixing TOPS and Harrison's adultlife, It should pass at least a few months before you see any changes. I suggest doing these changes step by step, but already by removing the high fat/protein food is already a big leap!
I really hope Cricket will be better soon!
 
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ravvlet

ravvlet

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I believe by "fortified" pellets they meant pellets which have added vitamins and minerals, which is not always necessarily good for every bird. Harrisons indeed has these added vitamins and it's usually the reason why many rather switch to TOPS naturals which shouldn't have all these added vitamins and minerals. I myself add vitamins in powder form to my bird's food as a little boost especially in molting times (Every 3-4 days or so, more often for seed eaters), especially if I just got them and I see their feathers are in horrible condition, also this was suggested by my vet, hence I do not mind this in Harrison's or Roudybush pellets.
Since you already ditched the Goldenfeast and may try with mixing TOPS and Harrison's adultlife, It should pass at least a few months before you see any changes. I suggest doing these changes step by step, but already by removing the high fat/protein food is already a big leap!
I really hope Cricket will be better soon!

We actually already mix TOPS in with his feed. However, he really, really dislikes it, as does our Amazon actually (but our Amazon is a blessed little pig and eats it anyway, LOL). He will leave the TOPS in the bottom of his bowl!

He prefers his food very finely granulated and the parrot shops I go to are almost always out of the mini variety of TOPS, and the Harrisonā€™s ā€œsuper fineā€ or ultra fine or whatever is a much smaller (and therefore more palatable) pellet! However, if itā€™s possible that Harrisonā€™s is the issue (our vet is SUPER into Harrisons, unfortunately) I can order some of the mini pellet online and try to wean him off Harrisonā€™s completely.

Slightly less of a problem (thanks entirely to Claritin) I am pretty allergic to alfalfa. :ROFLMAO: Itā€™s the other reason I have not been super diligent about getting either of them off Harrisonā€™s. Oops!
 

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