by Katherine Howard
(Los Angeles)

My peach-faced lovebird will be 10 in November; for about 3 years now she's had occasional seizures, where she seems to unconsciously flap around. It happened once when I was holding her and she first went very stiff; then the seizure began and she fell off onto the bed.

I've been told there is nothing that can be done and it's not dangerous, but it hurts me to watch her dealing with this.

I don't want to put her to sleep if it's something she really can live with. Do you have any suggestions? Is this normal for lovebirds (she's my first; I also have parakeets)?

Thank you for any guidance,

Comments for Seizures

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Jul 11, 2012
Check for contamination
by: Anonymous

My bird had a period of seizures several years ago, and our vet advised us to check for contaminants. We found that mice had gotten into his seeds! Once we bought new seeds (kept in a different location in a sealed container), his seizures stopped. So I'd suggest checking where you keep your bird's food, in addition to the other ideas already posted.

May 15, 2012
Parrot Seizures
by: The Avian Vet

Seizures can be caused by only a few things. Calcium deficiency is common. If you bird is not eating a pellet diet then this would be a first differential. ( Switching Birds To Pellets article ) If she is on pellets, then it could be epilepsy which is treatable with anticonvulsive medications.

It can be from head trauma, but if an accident like that happened you would likely know. This occurs usually in unclipped birds and they fly into a window or something. Also heavy metal poisoning can do this. This is also treatable. I recommend that you have her looked at by an avian veterinarian and diagnose the cause so a treatment can be recommended.

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Dr B

May 13, 2012
by: Linda

Unless the people telling you there is nothing that can be done are licensed and trained Avian Vets, then they may not know what they are talking about. The first thing you have to do is to have her thoroughly examined by an Avian Vet in your driving area. This could have a cause that can be treated once cause is known.

Seizures can come from something toxic in bird's environment as well as disease, so make sure you take a good look at everything in household and in your bird's immediate area to see if this is from a toxic item including cage itself. Lead and Zinc are the leading causes of poisoning and death from toxic objects. Cages made in China have to be verified for no lead or zinc. Toys made in China can also be toxic if they are made using zinc. Both lead and zinc are equally toxic as is cage bars made using high content of either lead or zinc. Too much zinc is found in the lighter colored cages like white, brass, so stay away from them. Also make sure you contact cage manufacturer BEFORE buying so you can get information about US testing on the powder coat paint used on the cage. Chinese manufacturers are supposed to send samples of their powder coat paint to a lab here in the US for testing for lead and zinc. If this has not been done, then stay away from the cages because it is likely they are high in lead and zinc.

There are other toxins found in our homes, and these include household cleaners like bleach, ammonia and pine sol for cleaning. The fumes from those products are dangerous for human lungs and are deadly for birds and fish. Use bird safe cleaners only. Perfume, nail polish, scented candles and room deoderizers are also toxic for birds, so keep those out of your home. Burning incense is toxic too.Have your water supply checked for toxins. We have to use a Reverse Osmosis system here because our water is so bad. We rent the system from Culligan who will come out and test your water for free. Really clean water is not easily found in the US since they put so much chlorine and fluoride can be found in the water plus toxins that are everywhere. We lost 4 of our dogs in a row some years' back with all kinds of cancer which was attributed to dirty water supply. Birds, dogs and humans now drink only clean filtered water.

Let us know what avian vet has to say about the seizures and please do not put your bird down without trying to find the cause for this as that is not even close to fair for your bird.It also means that your next bird may also have the same problem until all remedies are looked into.


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