Green cheeked conure slow to recover

Hi, my son has a green cheeked conure, Popeye, who began having siezures. We took him to our usual vet who seemed to think he had a calcium deficiancy and gave him a shot. He also gave him an antibiotic shot and meds to take home. Popeye did not seem any better so I took him to the emergency clinic where there was supposedly an avian vet on call. She put him in an oxygen tank overnight as by this time his temperature was dangerously low. He seemed to respond to treatment and he's now back home with more meds but he's definitely not the same chatty little fellow he was before. He's very off balance and doesn't talk any more, only makes screeching and chattering sounds. He's eating and drinking but that's the only thing that's right with him. It's as if I picked up a totally different bird to bring home. Is this normal or could he have brain damage due to his having such a low tmeperature. Please help as he means the world to my son, whose mental health keeps him completely housebound. Thanking you in anticipation, Andrea - South Africa

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Aug 03, 2011
Green Cheek seizures
by: The Avian Vet

The most common cause of seizures is heavy metal poisoning. Seizures are also caused by head trauma, other toxins, calcium deficiency, and epilepsy. The calcium injection should make him better quickly if calcium deficiency was the cause. Feed a pellet diet and there is no chance for nutritional deficiencies. My recommendation is to do blood tests to look for lead and zinc and have x-rays done. If other causes cannot be determined, then epilepsy is a rule-in based on ruling out everything else. This can be managed with medications.

Switching Birds To Pellets article
Dr B

Aug 02, 2011
Green cheeked conure slow to recover
by: Linda

(Dr B will eventually answer this question)

I know it may be asking a lot of you, but if you can find another Avian Vet to examine and test your bird, it would be a wonderful idea. If the emergency clinic you took him to did not have an Avian Vet on staff for that time, your bird has been subjected to dangerous treatments and/or meds.

It sounds like there may be brain damage from seizures which could have actually been a stroke. Bird needs to be fully evaluated by an Avian Vet. This means there could be a tumor in brain or in another area putting pressure on something, so your bird needs a full workup. To give antibiotics without testing for a bacterial/viral infection is poor vet work, so if you can find another, do so. If not, tell the one you have that you wish for a workup on your bird complete with bloodwork to see how organs are functioning and a CBC to see if any infectious antibodies show up. A Throat Swab is best to test for bacterial infections as the anal testing is not very accurate.

If worse comes to worse, try and explain to your poor, sweet son that sometimes pets we love become so sick they have to leave us. I hope this won't happen, and with the right heart set and empathy for your son's feelings you will be able to lessen the trauma. Hopefully, your bird will respond to the correct treatment plan. It does take birds a long time to recover from major illness, so be ready to allow bird to rest and not expect too much during any part of the journey. I have rehabbed sick birds many times, and it can take up to a year or more to see them as they should be. The ones I worked with were neglected to the point of death, so yours may not take as long.

Keep in touch as we ar here for you. We are only an email away, and are happy to provide support for you and your son about your bird. Thanks for writing, and I look forward to hearing more about this situation.


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