Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Tag Archives: twitching

Update on Perry’s health

In my last post on this subject (click here) I reported about Perry’s ‘turns’.  We have had further developments.

On the 4th July, Perry had, what I would describe as a ‘Twitchfest’.  He twitched, though not violently, off & on all day, but settled by bedtime.  I was on edge the whole time, anticipating that he would get worse.

Perry

Perry’s next, more significant, episode was on Saturday, the 22nd August.  At around 11am, he began twitching, & a couple of those were major enough to propel him off the perch.  At one point, he was hanging from the perch by one foot.  He seemed okay after about 15 minutes.  However, about two & a half hours later, the twitches began again, but this time they were throwing him off the perch, on average every 30 seconds (sometimes the frequency between was longer, sometimes shorter).  Lennie was sensible & went into Dalai’s cage, so I locked him in there for the duration.

For about an hour the twitches continued, at varying levels of intensity.  Each time his movement was from his left to the right, so I could predict where he would go/land.  Sometimes he would have a few minutes where he was just twitching & able to stay on the perch.  He pooped throughout, but a watery substance.  Through it all, he did not make a sound.  He was completely aware & scared as he clearly did not know what was happening to him.  The times he landed on the bottom of the cage he immediately made his way back up.  By 3pm they were subsiding & he was able to preen & behave a bit more normally, by which time, Lennie joined him again.

Things had settled down by the Monday, but nevertheless, I spoke to the vet, & she suggested adding calcium to their water as they were both still moulting.

New cage set up L to R: hospitalisation cage, ‘home’, Dalai’s cage

The next episode was Saturday the 12th September (I am starting to dread Saturdays!). He seemed extra quiet that morning & when I offered him a spinach leaf, he had to turn his head at a strange angle to eat it.  This alerted me & I decided to dust off the quarantine cage & prepare it for possible hospitalisation purposes.  Later that day, he spasmed, fell to the cage floor & was rolling around.  I carefully picked him up & put him in the spare cage.  He came out of the spasm & I placed him on a perch, where he was very still.  His balance was very off & he fell off the perch a few times but at least did not have far to fall in the newly set up cage, & the bottom has extra padding.  Occasionally, he would turn his head from side to side & his eyes were flickering.

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Fever

Not long ago, I posted that Perry had a ‘scary turn‘.  Unfortunately, this happened again (almost 4 weeks later).

Perry

On the evening of Monday, June 15th, at around 9:20pm, Perry had another series of ‘turns’, similar to before.  He seemingly lost control of his body & was hurling himself around the cage.  At one point he made a strange, tinny, sound.  When the worst of it was over, he settled on the perch.  However, around midnight, when the lights were dim & their cover was over, he once again fell off the perch & when I turned the light up & investigated, the same thing was happening.  This time, there was less falling (or propelling himself) off the perch but he was twitching, mostly with his head going to one side.  I could see his body wanted to follow the direction his head was taking.

I dimmed the lights again & put the cover down (halfway) in hope that the darkness would be less stimulating & more calming for him.  He was restless until around 2am, when he appeared to settle.  Nevertheless, I slept overnight in the same room to make sure he was okay.  Lennie, understandably, was stressed by his friend’s behaviour & sat on the swing to keep out the way.  We made it through the night without further incident.

You will not be surprised to hear that the vet visited the following day (Tuesday).

She asked many questions about the form Perry’s ‘turns’ took.  I will note the questions below, because at a time when you feel helpless, you could actually observe something that will be key to diagnosing the problem.  When the vet examined Perry, the first thing she noticed was his very high temperature.  It was critical to bring this down within the next 48 hours.  She gave him an injection (Meloxidyl) & also left me with medication (Loxicom) to give orally twice a day for two days.  In case the temperature was caused by an infection, she also put him on a course of antibiotics (Baytril).  She arranged to visit the next day to check his temperature. His weight, similar to last time, was 54g.

Lennie

(Whilst she was here, I asked her to look at Lennie’s wing feathers but I will leave that for another post.)

After the visit & into the next day, they were both very, very quiet & not going to the seed pots to eat (Lennie was stressed), so I offered millet & seeded grass at regular intervals, which they ate.

Thankfully, when the vet took Perry’s temperature about 24 hours later, it was normal!  This was such a relief!  I was to continue with the Loxicom as a precaution, & he still had antibiotics in the water.  The vet said that it may take him a few days to recover as the high temperature had put a strain on his body.

It is possible the temperature had nothing to do with Perry’s ‘turns’, but it obviously needed to be taken care of.  A possibility is that his lump pushes on a nerve that triggers the ‘turn’.  At best, the ‘turns’ are caused by an infection in the kidney that is pumping out toxins, in which case the antibiotics will sort it out.

It is now a few days since the vet came & I have not witnessed any more incidents.  Perry & Lennie are eating by themselves again & gradually getting back to normal.

 

~~~~~

Questions to bear in mind when your bird is having a seizure:

  • Was he/she aware of his/her surroundings during the seizure/s.
  • Did his/her head turn in a circle or to one side?  If to the side, which side?  Was it always the same side?
  • Did he/she make a sound during the seizure & if so, what kind of sound?
  • Did he/she poop or vomit during the seizure?

 

A scary turn

One week ago, on the 20th of May, we had a scary incident involving Perry.

It was a normal day with nothing remarkable about it, until Perry fell off his perch.  Now this in itself is not remarkable as with his gradually growing lump he can be clumsy & it is precisely the reason why the floor of his cage is padded.  I did not take much notice but looked across to make sure he was able to get back up, which he appeared to do.

Perry

Moments later, he fell again.  This seemed odd, so I went over & about 3 or 4 times he twitched & uncontrollably jumped off the perch (hence falling) & each time I helped him back up.  During what was the last fall he started making a strange squeaking sound.  As I was concerned he would hurt himself (he was flailing about) I quickly put him in the travel cage.  He was stressed in there & though he was jumping & climbing about, it was more stress-related than involuntary.  I decided to put him back in with Lennie, where he (& Lennie) subsequently calmed down.

Concerned that he had had some form of seizure or even a stroke, I observed him closely.  When he relaxed, he stretched both wings out, lifted a foot to preen (his balance was fine) & pooped but it was not until about an hour later that he started moving around and chirping.  If I had not seen the incident with my own eyes I would have no indication that it happened.  He was a bit quiet but it was a hot day so they were not very active anyway.

Since then, I have not witnessed it happen again.  The possible causes are many.  All I know, from experience with Bezukhov, is that you do not want these kind of things to happen in a ‘cluster’, so it is a good sign there has been this gap so far.

Hopefully it was just a one-off but as a precaution I have set up the webcam again so I can check in on them if I am away for a few hours.

 

It had to be a Bank Holiday weekend

It was Easter last week.  A Bank Holiday weekend.  Cagney was ill.

He appeared okay during the Sunday morning.  They are all moulting now so a bit of grumpiness & sleepiness was to be expected.  However, during the day I began to have more & more concerns about Cagney’s behaviour.

  • He fell off the perch; it was like he had a wing feather that was about to fall out, but it did not.  (He did not actually fall down, but in falling, did remember he had wings & flew to another perch). 
  • Later on, he almost fell off the perch – he seemed to have trouble turning around.
  • The pink bits on his pink & grey feet looked white.
  • He lost his appetite though had a few seeds when I placed them in front of him.  At bedtime, when I put their cover on, he went down for bedtime seed but did not eat a fraction of what he normally would.
  • When he was eating the bedtime seed his wings were noticeably twitching.  Click here to watch a video of the wing twitching.
  • He was very jittery when attempting to sleep, probably due to the wing twitching.

 

At 11pm that night, I rang the vets on the off chance they would have a vet on call with an interest in birds.  They did not.  However, Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV) was working the next day, Bank Holiday Monday!  What a stroke of luck!  (I will not mention the Bank Holiday rates!)

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