Orin my 5 year old conure has severe ataxia

Orin2017

Member
May 5, 2019
81
34
My 5 year old conure , Orin, has a new, serious health condition to add to the seizures which have afflicted her with increased frequency in the last 4 years. Now, she has a severe case of ataxia.

Ataxia includes, among other things, hanging her head like it’s a dead weight, being uncoordinated, clumpsy, falling over, leaning to one side, having difficulty with seeing her foods in order to eat, and a general decrease in hunger and thirst, which may only stem from the instability to feed herself (or be fed many foods).

I’ve looked up possible causes of ataxia. A couple weeks ago, I took Orin to an emergency room at a vet hospital because my ordinary Avian vet couldn’t see her soon enough. That hospital did a limited blood draw because Orin was dehydrated and charged me $115 to rehydrate her and tell me to see my ordinary avian vet. We have an appointment for her to be seen at her ordinary avian vet in 2 days.

Here is a list of possible causes of ataxia:

Ingestion of heavy metal toxins, such as zinc or lead.

Inhalation of heated Teflon-coated cookwares, which creases a lethally toxic gas.
Or, inhalation of Tefzel, or silverstone, or other fluropolymers used in the non-stick coatings of cookwares.

What about the ingestion of traces of Teflon coatings, and/or Tefzel, silverstone, and other fluropolymers. The only medical evidence for birds involves the route of inhalation, not ingestion, and the result of inhalation is sudden death. We were told over the phone that if we suspected Teflon poisoning, that there is nothing the vet can do about it but put the bird to sleep.

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Diseases, including metabolic diseases, liver disease, diabetes mellitus and renal disease, NewCastle’s disease, reovirus, togaviruses (eastern and western equine encephalomyelitis) and polyoma virus, PDD, Chlamydiosis,

Trauma (I.e., damage to the brain, spinal cord or the muscle skeletal system).

Brain lesions.

Brain neoplasia (cancer).

Infections from fungi, bacteria, mold or parasites.

This list goes on…

This is what I think she has: a vitamin and mineral deficiency: caused by my wife’s choice of foods offered to Orin. She was about to give her a little bowl of cooked white rice, rice milk, sugar and cinnamon when I stopped her, telling her that Cassia cinnamon is toxic to her and that only Ceylon cinnamon is safe for Orin to eat. I also discouraged sugar.

The argument that my wife and I have is that she “thinks” the avian vet told her that all people food is okay to give to Orin. She wants to believe that in order to avoid feelings of guilt for having caused Orin so much pain and suffering.

I told my wife that it’s possible the vet said that “some” foods are safe to give but an avian vet would also say some people foods are toxic to birds, while other people foods may not harm a bird per se but if offered then that food could distract a bird from eating healthy foods intended for a bird’s diet (like Harrison’s Nuggets). My wife says she’s not going to eat her own food in front of Orin and not offer it to Orin: she’s just not going to do that, as it would be cruel. And Orin having ataxia and seizures isn’t cruel? I told my wife that if she loved Orin she’ll do whatever it takes.

The problem is, my wife doesn’t believe that there is a link between the improvement of Orin’s condition and the vitamin and mineral supplements that I’ve been giving Orin lately. While my wife was away on vacation for two weeks, and I alone controlled Orin’s diet, I cut out the people food and gave Orin Harrison’s nuggets that I dampened with a small spray bottle full of a liquid supplement (calcium, magnesium and vitamin D3). This dampened the nuggets so that the other powders could stick to it. The other powders include avian probiotics, AvianCalm (containing L-Theanine); powdered calcium, magnesium and vitamin D3; and super greens powder. In her fluids bowl, I added a drop of liquid multi-vitamins per day. This, together, coincideded or correlated with Orin having NO seizures for two weeks, and Orin didn’t pick out a single feather for two weeks, and Orin’s ataxia improved to the point that it was no longer visible to me, until I made a mistake in giving Orin juice in effort to get her to drink fluids because we thought we had a vet appointment and I needed her to be hydrated. Giving her juice correlated with her head cocking to the side some of the time, though not all of the time. Orin also ate voraciously after all of the supplements, and had a desire to return to her play tower that I built for her. All of this went away when my wife came home and started feeding Orin whatever she wanted to feed Orin.

We will have our battle in the vet’s office about Orin’s food. I’ll record it too for future reference.

Anyways, Orin’s been underweight for years but a steady underweight, not a slow wasting away. Orin digests everything she eats.

If Orin has a fungal or bacterial infestation, that might explain why the probiotics and other supplements have helped her, where probiotics displaces unwanted fungal and bacterial growths inside of the body. I’ve often wondered if Orin had a fungal problem with her skin because she itches a lot, especially after eating, as though her skin is irritated. That might be a reason why she started pulling out feathers as soon as we brought her home from PetCo 5 years ago. Lab work done 4 years ago showed heightened white blood cell counts, as if she had inflammation of the skin.

I’ve learned from reading lately too that vitamin A deficiency will result in dry skin on a bird, which can also explain the itching.

So, as far as heavy metals go, we never have Orin in the kitchen when my wife is cooking. But Orin’s offered people food cooked in pots and pans with eroded Teflon coatings…so ingestion is guaranteed. Teflon manufacturers have influenced and biased all medical studies about ingestion in humans, to the point of deeming ingestion safe for humans. What’s safe for humans isn’t necessarily safe for small birds though, is it?

Wish me luck. I welcome any thoughts and advise.

Wish me luck at the vet.
 

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Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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Definitely wishing you luck! Very much hope is an easy fix. But any answers would be helpful.

Good luck Orin! You swet cutie .

Keep us updated
 

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My 5 year old conure , Orin, has a new, serious health condition to add to the seizures which have afflicted her with increased frequency in the last 4 years. Now, she has a severe case of ataxia.

Ataxia includes, among other things, hanging her head like it’s a dead weight, being uncoordinated, clumpsy, falling over, leaning to one side, having difficulty with seeing her foods in order to eat, and a general decrease in hunger and thirst, which may only stem from the instability to feed herself (or be fed many foods).

I’ve looked up possible causes of ataxia. A couple weeks ago, I took Orin to an emergency room at a vet hospital because my ordinary Avian vet couldn’t see her soon enough. That hospital did a limited blood draw because Orin was dehydrated and charged me $115 to rehydrate her and tell me to see my ordinary avian vet. We have an appointment for her to be seen at her ordinary avian vet in 2 days.

Here is a list of possible causes of ataxia:

Ingestion of heavy metal toxins, such as zinc or lead.

Inhalation of heated Teflon-coated cookwares, which creases a lethally toxic gas.
Or, inhalation of Tefzel, or silverstone, or other fluropolymers used in the non-stick coatings of cookwares.

What about the ingestion of traces of Teflon coatings, and/or Tefzel, silverstone, and other fluropolymers. The only medical evidence for birds involves the route of inhalation, not ingestion, and the result of inhalation is sudden death. We were told over the phone that if we suspected Teflon poisoning, that there is nothing the vet can do about it but put the bird to sleep.

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Diseases, including metabolic diseases, liver disease, diabetes mellitus and renal disease, NewCastle’s disease, reovirus, togaviruses (eastern and western equine encephalomyelitis) and polyoma virus, PDD, Chlamydiosis,

Trauma (I.e., damage to the brain, spinal cord or the muscle skeletal system).

Brain lesions.

Brain neoplasia (cancer).

Infections from fungi, bacteria, mold or parasites.

This list goes on…

This is what I think she has: a vitamin and mineral deficiency: caused by my wife’s choice of foods offered to Orin. She was about to give her a little bowl of cooked white rice, rice milk, sugar and cinnamon when I stopped her, telling her that Cassia cinnamon is toxic to her and that only Ceylon cinnamon is safe for Orin to eat. I also discouraged sugar.

The argument that my wife and I have is that she “thinks” the avian vet told her that all people food is okay to give to Orin. She wants to believe that in order to avoid feelings of guilt for having caused Orin so much pain and suffering.

I told my wife that it’s possible the vet said that “some” foods are safe to give but an avian vet would also say some people foods are toxic to birds, while other people foods may not harm a bird per se but if offered then that food could distract a bird from eating healthy foods intended for a bird’s diet (like Harrison’s Nuggets). My wife says she’s not going to eat her own food in front of Orin and not offer it to Orin: she’s just not going to do that, as it would be cruel. And Orin having ataxia and seizures isn’t cruel? I told my wife that if she loved Orin she’ll do whatever it takes.

The problem is, my wife doesn’t believe that there is a link between the improvement of Orin’s condition and the vitamin and mineral supplements that I’ve been giving Orin lately. While my wife was away on vacation for two weeks, and I alone controlled Orin’s diet, I cut out the people food and gave Orin Harrison’s nuggets that I dampened with a small spray bottle full of a liquid supplement (calcium, magnesium and vitamin D3). This dampened the nuggets so that the other powders could stick to it. The other powders include avian probiotics, AvianCalm (containing L-Theanine); powdered calcium, magnesium and vitamin D3; and super greens powder. In her fluids bowl, I added a drop of liquid multi-vitamins per day. This, together, coincideded or correlated with Orin having NO seizures for two weeks, and Orin didn’t pick out a single feather for two weeks, and Orin’s ataxia improved to the point that it was no longer visible to me, until I made a mistake in giving Orin juice in effort to get her to drink fluids because we thought we had a vet appointment and I needed her to be hydrated. Giving her juice correlated with her head cocking to the side some of the time, though not all of the time. Orin also ate voraciously after all of the supplements, and had a desire to return to her play tower that I built for her. All of this went away when my wife came home and started feeding Orin whatever she wanted to feed Orin.

We will have our battle in the vet’s office about Orin’s food. I’ll record it too for future reference.

Anyways, Orin’s been underweight for years but a steady underweight, not a slow wasting away. Orin digests everything she eats.

If Orin has a fungal or bacterial infestation, that might explain why the probiotics and other supplements have helped her, where probiotics displaces unwanted fungal and bacterial growths inside of the body. I’ve often wondered if Orin had a fungal problem with her skin because she itches a lot, especially after eating, as though her skin is irritated. That might be a reason why she started pulling out feathers as soon as we brought her home from PetCo 5 years ago. Lab work done 4 years ago showed heightened white blood cell counts, as if she had inflammation of the skin.

I’ve learned from reading lately too that vitamin A deficiency will result in dry skin on a bird, which can also explain the itching.

So, as far as heavy metals go, we never have Orin in the kitchen when my wife is cooking. But Orin’s offered people food cooked in pots and pans with eroded Teflon coatings…so ingestion is guaranteed. Teflon manufacturers have influenced and biased all medical studies about ingestion in humans, to the point of deeming ingestion safe for humans. What’s safe for humans isn’t necessarily safe for small birds though, is it?

Wish me luck. I welcome any thoughts and advise.

Wish me luck at the vet.
Wishing you the best! That really is an extremely difficult situation to be in. I hope Orin has a speedy recovery, and that your wife changes her ways and sees the damage she is causing.
What’s safe for humans isn’t necessarily safe for small birds though, is it?
Many things that are safe for humans are toxic to all sizes and types of bird, including larger or non-parrot birds.
 

Littleredbeak

Well-known member
May 27, 2020
622
870
Wishing Orin a speedy recovery. I just have a sudgestion of stocking the house with healthy human foods that your wife can share with Orin for example only have the correct cinnamon..instead of rice have sprouted organic rolled Oats. Small changes so when food is shared with Orin it is healthy. I have the book https://www.amazon.com/Holistic-Care-Birds-Wellness-Reference-ebook/dp/B00HZ1EBT8

Again wishing Orin a speedy recovery!
 
Last edited:

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
17,608
9,924
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
Sounds as though ataxia is a symptom of Heavy Metal Poisoning and/or Teflon Tonic Shock. Two equally deadly findings that demand a strong adherence to very strict diet requirements and expensive treatments /mediations. Sadly, even the best efforts may not be enough for the body to overcome the original illnesses and their deadly symptoms.

A very hard place to be, but one that you must fully understand as regardless of what you do or in your words; what your wife fails to do, your feathered loved one, may not be able to survive this. We are only human and our medical science still has severe limitations.

At this time, you are setting the stage for a serious impasse in your Marriage. Not everyone can place the same level of belief as you do. You need to accept that reality and understand it for what it is.

My heart breaks for you and what you are facing. Hugs and Prayers for you and yours!!
 

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