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Your Cockatiels Health Ask questions about your cockatiels health here.

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  #1  
Old 11-26-2011, 08:41 PM
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Default Cockatiel Seizure/Fit... HELP.

Okay,
Tonight I was given a great scare when entertaining tonight, I honestly thought my cockateil Zac (she's 16) was going to die.
It's completely normal for my cockateils to randomly put their wings up and hiss, but this hissing was constant, I turned around to look at the cage and Zac was attached to the bars as if she was climbing but also had her wings out, she looked to have her wing caught at first glance, I immediately go to help but she wasn't responding, she couldn't seem to move at all. On further inspection nothing was stuck but she couldn't move, I had to move every bit of her. She was also breathing quickly, panting, her beak couldn't close and her tounge was was moving strangely and she shaking like a leaf! Also she had her beak open, like stuck open.

My instincts took control and I ordered mum to call the closest vet (they didn't deal with. Birds though), in the meantime (since she couldn't move her beak) I used a syringe to put water in her mouth. This was starting to liven her up. I secondly thought food for energy to fight. I knew she couldn't really crack seeds in the state she was in so I prepared hand rearing formula.
I then calmed her down with pats, after 2 long hours she took her first step. Slowly after that she started to improve. She started to step up, preen, bite and fluff up.

Once I felt it was okay to leave her I gave her to mum to look after while I set up a small cage with a (low watt light) lamp and food and water on the ground. This was set up in a bedroom away from noise.

She stayed in there for a few hours, at the end of the night she was completely back to normal.

So at the end of the night I was pretty proud of myself to be honest, mum was in tears, the visitors were going insane but I delt with it calmly and she is now okay. I'm only 15 too.

My questions are;
Was this some sort of seizure?
Did I do the right things?
Can this re occur?

Thanks everyone!
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2011, 08:50 PM
bjknight93 bjknight93 is offline
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I have no clue what that is...but that sounds scary! I commend you on remaining calm...but if she couldn't move anything then i wouldn't have tried to put anything in her mouth. If she is struggling with movement then how could she swallow properly? I would also worry about aspirating her.

I dunno..just some things to think about. I'm glad she's okay. But maybe you should take her to an avian vet and do some follow up exams..
  #3  
Old 11-26-2011, 08:53 PM
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That does sound like a crazy night! Very stressful! Glad she is seeming better for you though! Wow.. I have no clue. It does sound like she had some sort of stroke or seizure. I would definitely have her checked by a Vet. Kudos to you for acting so level headedly!! Very good on you! Zac is 15? He's getting on in age.. could be some sort of neurological issue going on with him for sure. Again, the vet ASAP. Even though he's looking and acting better.. there still might be something else going on with him.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:53 PM
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Definitely take her to a vet. It does sound like either a seizure or some sort of other neurological crisis. I know there are some other threads on seizures; you can do a search of the forum to find them. For now, keep her warm and quiet and keep a very close eye on her.
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjknight93 View Post
if she couldn't move anything then i wouldn't have tried to put anything in her mouth. If she is struggling with movement then how could she swallow properly? I would also worry about aspirating her.
That's a good point, I was very aware of that in making decisions. I only gave her a drop of water to see if she would drink it and her tounge reacted so I knew she could drink. She was so weak I thought she may need energy to survive, I only gave very small amounts to know she could manage.

I will definately be taking her to the avian vet as soon as possible! I'm so scared of this re occurring. Especially as I know she's getting on in age.

I will check out the seizures thread, thanks!
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:33 PM
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If you are worried about her swallowing in the future, you can offer some water with honey or pedialyte diluted in it. She could drink this off your finger like you mentioned, but get both hydration and energy.
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enigma731 View Post
If you are worried about her swallowing in the future, you can offer some water with honey or pedialyte diluted in it. She could drink this off your finger like you mentioned, but get both hydration and energy.
Oh thank you! That's a great tip. If it re occurs I'll keep that I'm mind.
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  #8  
Old 11-26-2011, 11:34 PM
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I saw this happen to a cockatiel that a man brought into our store. After going through a million questions about the bird, I finally landed on what caused the bird's problem. The man had one of those 'mite protectors' hanging on the cage. It poisoned the bird.

If your bird is otherwise healthy, you might check around for something in your environment that might be hurting him. Do you use scented candles or sprays? Do you use teflon cookware? Are any of your cleaning supplies giving off an odor? Has he gotten into something he shouldn't? Did any of your visitors give him something to eat or play with?

And one other very important thing: Do you have a live christmas tree up? You said you were entertaining. A live christmas tree can cause those symptoms. I know a man who placed a parakeet beneath a tree as a gift for a little girl and it killed the bird.

Hope these questions give some form of help to you.

Last edited by DesertDweller; 11-26-2011 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:23 AM
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That is quite alot of questions but really helpful!
I know she definitely hasn't gotten anything she shouldn't have, and nothing to poison her as far as I know.
One thing is mum was cleaning earlier in day with bleach, we are always careful with smells but it wasn't close by her. I wonder if mum held Zac soon afterwards. I wouldn't have thought so but I'll look into it.
If it was smells of chemicals could it be a one off or is it permanent damage?
To all other questions no, I will think back very carefully and re asses what she did during the day...
Thank you it's definitely given me some insight!
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  #10  
Old 11-27-2011, 10:12 AM
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That really does sound like a seizure. The problem with seizures is, there are lots of different types that are caused by different conditions. My Maggie was fine until she was about 7 years old, then had a huge, massive seizure one afternoon. She survived, but from then on she would have seizures of varying length and intensity over varying periods of time. I think the most important thing for you will be to take your bird to an AVIAN vet asap. "Regular" vets just don't have the training to deal with such a complex issue. I brought Maggie to a University vet hospital, and was very happy whith the attention she got there. Eventually she had a whole team of vets and vet techs trying to help her, and each was able to use their individual training and experience to contribute. It was very much a team effort. The vets were especially personally invested when they realized that what she had going on was completely new, so they documented every step so they could publish the findings to help others. In Maggie's case, they were never able to pinpoint what caused the seizures. Their best guesses point towards either a genetic condition (though her breeder has several generations of her family and none of her family members ever had a seizure), or something like a yolk embolism, where a bit of yolk gets into the blood stream and then the brain.

Is your bird a female? Has she layed eggs in the past? If she has, look up "yolk embolism" and see if the symptoms match (be warned, though, as you may find pictures attached to studies/descriptions, and the pictures can be upsetting). From what I've read, these types of seizures are typically extremely intense (at least the first one is) and often result in immediate death. If the bird survives, it may experience further neurological damage. This is probably what my baby girl had. She lived about a year and a half after that first seizure. As heartbreaking as it was to have to deal with the little, and not-so-little seizures all the time, I'm so glad I had that extra time with her.

There are all sorts of other factors that can cause seizures. As mentioned above, chemicals can sometimes trigger them. Removing the chemical cause should stop any further seizures from occurring if this is the case. I would remove/discontinue use of any chemicals you even suspect. At the very least it will give you peace of mind. I even stopped using common items like hairspray out of desperation. Another thing to discuss with the vet is epilepsy. It's not common in tiels, but there are documented cases of it in African Greys and Amazons and lots of other "bigger" birds. You should be able to find some case studies about this, or your vet should. Just like with humans, epilepsy in birds can be very different depending on the individual and there is a huge scope of symptoms. Just before Maggie passed away, we had decided to try her on an experimental (for birds) seizure drug. In her last few weeks she was far too weak to try it, but if you take your Zac in immediately you can at least discuss this type of option with the vet.

These are just a few of the many causes of seizures that I've done research on trying to help my own bird. Like I keep saying, your best option is an avian vet who really cares and is willing to go the extra step to help. I know how scary it is, and how awful and helpless you can't help but feel when your bird is having a seizure. What helped me was getting the tools I needed to deal with the problems. Just having information made me feel better able to cope. When you see the vet, ask about things like what to do if she breaks a feather or even a bone during a seizure. Ask them to demonstrate the safest way to hold her in a towel or with your hands if you need to, and when it's best to hold her or when it's best to just let the seizure run its course. Ask about her diet, and if there's anything that should be added or subtracted. Most especially, ask what to do or who to call if you have an emergency. Hopefully this is a one-time thing and your tiel will recover without any problems at all. If it is the start of an ongoing condition, just take everything as it comes and remember that being a bird owner is for better and for worse. Having a bird with seizures sucks, to put it mildly, but just do whatever you can to make her comfortable and keep life as normal as possible.

I hope this super long post helps! Feel free to contact me any time. I'm not a medical expert but I know it helps to talk to someone with experience. Best of luck!!!
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