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Grey parrot with Neurological Signs

Expert Question

The video is availabe here

Hello everyone I am Spanish, my English is very basic and I had to use the google translator. We have a Yaco which has about 30 years and 6 months ago attacks and give your vet does not give with what you have. It is a parrot inherited from my grandmother who has spent most of my life eating only pipes, has never set foot in a veterinarian because he has always been healthy. 6 months ago he came to bear for the attacks as one of epilepsy and your vet changed his diet to feed.  6 months ago had problems with inflammation in the lungs, liver, kidneys, esophagus and infectin in colon. We've solved all these problems, no heavy metals in blood, normal levels of white blood cells and no inflammation in any organ. But X-rays this last time was in early November saw the vet a problem of atherosclerosis that may provoke attacks, but you do not know if this is what provokes him. Have been treated with Luminaletas to curb epileptic seizures but without success, is now taking aspirin and various medicines for movement atau although not cease. We have done this and many analytical and has been several times in these 6 months treatment. But now this month the attacks will occur many times a day, day or night, just sleep the poor but when he gets the attack while he gets well and if anything, has not lost the desire to eat and still happy as ever but the attacks did not cease.

See if you can help me, I accept all kinds of recommendations, treatments, medication or opinions, I save my Yaco, please take many months of suffering without knowing what to do, maybe this is our last chance. Thank you.

A video showing the attacks, almost always give drinking water, do not know if it will relationship. Important: Every time you drink water, 90% of the time you drink water that enters the attack, what relationship can have?.

Expert Answer

From your video and your message, it is apparent that your bird, Yako, certainly is ill and that you are very concerned and have been trying hard to get the help he needs. My general thoughts here are that there is either a primary central nervous system issue resulting in impaired function, a secondary central nervous system problem being caused by another, or pain. Unfortunately, I am not able to see the laboratory data attachment that you have sent.

Immediately before and after the more obvious clinical signs, your bird is much more comparatively responsive and functional - suggesting that this may not be a seizure, but rather something else. There are many degenerative disorders of the brain that in principle could cause these types of signs - although most will produce persistent signs, and not a situation such as this where clinical signs come and go, or seem to be precipitated by drinking behaviors. It sounds like you have been working with your veterinarian to rule down a number of problems and rule up the probability of others. Athlerosclerosis is a fairly common and serious disease problem in grey parrots, and this can certainly have a potential role here, if it is present. This diagnosis may be suggested by radiographic findings, but it is confirmed with more involved imaging studies. Some afflicted birds will show improvement when treated with vasodilating drugs - and you may want to ask your doctor about this possibility, if it has not been considered already at present time. If there are consistent signs noted when your bird drinks water, I would also have to bring up the possibility that the process of swallowing could be painful, which could in part have a generating role in the clinical signs. Again, I would suggest that you speak with your doctor, and inquire about the possibility of pain having a role here in your bird’s clinical signs, and if there is or may be a need for pain relief.

These are some general thoughts that you are welcome to pass on to your attending veterinarian, and I wish you the best in your efforts to help Yako!

Brian Speer, DVM
About Brian Speer, DVM

Avian veterinarian Dr. Brian Speer was raised in a small town on California’s coast. He received his BS in Biology from California Polytechnic State University in 1978, and his DVM degree from the University of California at Davis in 1983.

An active member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV), Dr. Speer is a much sought after guest speaker and has presented at numerous conferences in the avicultural and zoological communities both within the United States and abroad. He is well published in the AAV annual proceedings, has served as guest editor for the journal Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine, the Veterinary Clinics of North America, and authored chapters in several recent veterinary medical texts on pet bird, avicultural and ratite medical topics. In 1995 he co-authored the extensive avicultural reference, The Large Macaws, and helped to co-author Birds for Dummies in 1999.

Since 1989, Dr, Speer has run a “bird’s only” practice in the San Francisco Bay area and is the President and Director of The Medical Center for Birds. He is a consultant for The Veterinary Information Network (Avian Medical Boards) and the Maui Animal Rescue and Sanctuary. In 2003 he was the recipient of the Lafeber award for excellence in private practice of avian medicine and surgery and in 2006, was named Speaker of the Year for the North American Veterinary Conference.