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GC Conure Head Twisting 180 degrees and turning in circles

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GC Conure Head Twisting 180 degrees and turning in circles

Postby Caden23 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:50 pm

Hi Everyone,

I am new to green cheeks, I bought a green cheek around 25th of March this year and the breeder told me he was 3 months old however it looked a lot smaller and younger. The owner said they will come clipped which i thought would make the training stages easier. The Breeder had him on seeds and nuts, so I had him on seeds for the first week and switched him to fresh veg and fruit occasionally, I read and watched a few videos on YouTube and started feeding him fresh veg and fruit twice on a daily basis, and training throughout the day. I also weighed him when i first got him, he was 50g and so I gave 10% on each feeding.

The problem is that out of the blue he starts twisting his head/neck like the exorcists and flapping his wings, and trying to spin in circles he also screams a couple times when he does this and its really worrying. He doesn't stop for about 10 seconds and when he is back he is weak. He did this once about a week ago and i thought nothing of it but now its happening a lot more frequently.

I also have a another Ring-neck in the same cage as it's quite a big cage for both of them and they don't hate each other. So I assume it's fine, also my ring-neck is in good condition and healthy.

I called up vets and they are not taking in any new clients due to Covid-19, but they did say he could have metal poisoning, but i have checked his cage and all the toys and fixings for anything that is toxic for him, there isn't anything that comes to mind. Also my ringneck hasn't exhibited any similar symptoms, so i cant be sure.

I am really worried, I read a few blogs on here and one thing it might be is that he is being under fed or he might a lot younger than than he is. So I increased his feedings and started to give him 10% 4 times a day. He doesn't end up finishing all the food i try to give him some seeds here and there. To fill him up, his weight has gone from 60g to 66g over the past 4 days of me trying this. Most of the time he just falls asleep on my shoulder lifeless. I think he was a lot younger when I bought as after watching a few videos he looks like he would have been about 6 weeks old if anything. He could perch before and still can until he has an episode and falls to the bottom of his play stand. Today he has had about 6-8 episodes and yesterday he had 1-2, I honestly thought we were in the clear yesterday.

Has anything similar happened to anyone on here? Or does anyone one what might be the cause?
Caden23
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Indian Ringneck - Green Cheek Conure
Flight: Yes

Re: GC Conure Head Twisting 180 degrees and turning in circles

Postby Pajarita » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:15 pm

Oh, my dear, I don't mean to scare you but going by what you described he is having seizures and, if he is having 8 episodes a day, he is in real bad shape and won't last long. I don't know what you mean by 'giving him 10%' of his weight in food. The 10 to 12% is a guideline used for the individual dosage of handfeeding a baby and given several times a day - not for any other kind of food. I am afraid that you bought an unweaned baby from a bad breeder and that it has not been fed correctly for too long... Babies need to be handfed baby bird formula. Soft seeds, fruits, veggies and whole-grain based food like gloop or chop is good but not enough for an unweaned baby (there are not enough protein, vitamins or minerals in these foods and the baby will never be able to eat enough of them on its own). I don't know what the problem is but you need to take this baby to an avian vet ASAP. The one you called might not be taking in new clients but I am sure there are others that will (this is a dire emergency and you have no time to waste). If you cannot find one, try a good bird rescue (they usually have people who can handfeed and formula at hand all the time). If you are located in the Greater NYC area and cannot find anybody to help you, I will send my husband to pick up the baby or you can bring it to me - I am not a vet but I have some experience and can, at the very least, feed it correctly.

And you should NEVER EVER EVER put a baby bird in the same cage with an adult bird that is not its mother or train it. Please move him to its own cage and stop training immediately, too.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17202
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: GC Conure Head Twisting 180 degrees and turning in circles

Postby Caden23 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:45 pm

Hi Pajaria,

Thank you for your quick reply,

I had taken a half day today as we drove to 4 avian vets near me and 3 of them were closed and one wasn’t taking any new clients this was the same vet I called a few days back, they said due to the coronavirus cases being high in this region most other avian vets have closed and are only seeing their existing clients. Taking him to an avian vet was my first thought as I didn’t find any answers online but, after calling 6 other avian vets in a 40 mile radius none of them are open and will be opening on the 15th of this month. I have driven to 4 Avian vets and called 6 others, and right now all of them are closed, it is 7:50pm I will try to find a Some online overnight and call tomorrow morning.

I have been feeding him the chop recipe from BridTricks Natural Feeding system. I have stopped all training with him since Tuesday. The IRN with him in the cage is 4 months old and I had separated them on Tuesday as I suspected it could be infectious. I got the IRN from them same breeder, but I am sure the IRN is weaned, But thank you for telling me as I didn’t know this before.

I had also ordered a Kaytee Exact hand feeding formula( it is arriving today evening) as I was able to speak over the phone to a normal vet (Not avian specialised) they suggested he was malnourished and needed more nutrients in its diet. Would it be a good idea to feed the formula to him?

Thank you soo much for you help and advice!
Caden23
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Indian Ringneck - Green Cheek Conure
Flight: Yes

Re: GC Conure Head Twisting 180 degrees and turning in circles

Postby Pajarita » Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:22 pm

YES! Do feed the formula and make it a bit thicker than the way they tell you to make it (you want to concentrate the nutrients) and do feed it during the night, if he will take it (even if it's a few drops at a time). Without blood work and a thorough physical is impossible to tell with any certainty what the problem is but it is VERY likely that he is malnourished. I would venture a mineral deficiency more than a vitamin one and, if I have to make a very wide guess, I would say part of it is a calcium one because hypocalcemia manifests itself with seizures and other aberrant muscle reactions (like the twisting of its neck) - calcium regulates muscle elasticity and, when there isn't enough calcium to go around, the body, trying to maintain homeostasis, would first take it from the bones but, once it no longer can, it starts to seize the muscles.

Also, keep it extra warm (90 degrees - birds need A LOT of heat when they are sick, injured, in shock or weakened for any reason) and do not put him in a cage with high perches (you do not want him to have a seizure and fall off one and hurt itself in the process), use a small one with a heating pad (get the kind that does not turn off automatically after two hours) under it and some sort of material to cover the top and three of the 'side walls' (so the heat -which rises- will not 'escape'), a soft material (like a folded towel) at the bottom and place the perch (for him to roost at night) a couple of inches off the floor (so, if he falls, he won't be hurt).

And, please, do come back tomorrow and tell us how he is doing. I don't know about anybody else but I will worry for the rest of the day and the night...
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17202
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: GC Conure Head Twisting 180 degrees and turning in circles

Postby Caden23 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:33 pm

I have given him the formula, he had about 5 ml considering he had a meal at 4pm, he didn’t like it at all and made a huge mess, is was a learning curve and I had to watch a few videos on YouTube. I made a the formula semi thick and used a spoon and it made it a lot easier. I kept the formula warm by using a hot water bowl underneath the bowl which had the formula. I had him in a cardboard box, I don’t have a heat pad but I used a water bag and I will change it in the night, i have just ordered one now, if he wants I will give him some food again. I have a list of Avian vets ready to call tomorrow morning to get him in ASAP, I have done a little research into how to give him some calcium and I have heard calcium from egg shelves might be a good alternative? Any thoughts? Weirdly enough my mum left some egg shelves out the other day to be crushed and grinded into powder. So I already have it ready. Might give him a half a teaspoon of it with his formula to see how it helps.

Also I have realised an occurrence of when he gets his seizure, we have LED strip lights on our stair case and every time I come down stairs with him or vice versa he has a seizure.... could that be a cause? I have already disconnected the LEDs so I will see how he gets one tomorrow,

Thank you soo much for your help, honestly you are God Sent! I have seen all the other posts you have replied to they are all soo helpful!
Caden23
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Indian Ringneck - Green Cheek Conure
Flight: Yes

Re: GC Conure Head Twisting 180 degrees and turning in circles

Postby Pajarita » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:07 am

Thank you for your kind words but, in truth, I did not do anything. Birdsites are an excellent medium to educate people -which, in turn, helps birds which is what I am all about- but they can also be frustrating in that people like me, who love birds and wants to help them, want to BE THERE when there is an emergency... but we can't.

Now, as to eggshells - I do not use them, never have, never will. For one thing, there is a much better alternative. Namely, liquid avian calcium supplements which are perfectly balanced with D3 added (calcium cannot be absorbed by the body without D3), easy available and to administer because it's a liquid and the bottle brings exact dosages. Eggshells are 40% calcium carbonate -which is good- but all calcium supplements made out of eggshells have D3 added to them so, in my mind, it's pretty illogical to use a calcium supplement that I will have to supplement further with bought D3 - might as well get Calciboost (which is what I use) that already has the D3 in it, it's liquid (easy to add to water) and it's perfectly bioavailable to birds because it is made for them. But, even if all things were equal between eggshells and Calciboost, I would still use Calciboost because eggshells are often contaminated with salmonella from the terrible conditions the laying hens are kept in commercial egg producer facilities (stacked cages where poop runs down several 'layers' of cages). And I do not like the fact that I need to make it into a powder - what if I miss a little sharp piece in there? See this: http://free-journal.umm.ac.id/files/fil ... branes.pdf

The baby bird formula already has calcium and D3 but if you want to make double sure that he is getting enough real fast, order some Calciboost and put 1/4 of a dosage in the water you use for the formula for two days (just to make clear: 1/4 of the daily dosage put into the water that you are going to use for one day of baby formula) but no more because the formula already has enough in itself and you do not want to give it too much (too much calcium is as bad as too little).

I do not think the LED lights had anything to do with his seizures - I would say that it was just a coincidence or triggered by something else.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17202
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: GC Conure Head Twisting 180 degrees and turning in circles

Postby Caden23 » Sun Jun 07, 2020 4:44 pm

Update!!!

Hi everyone, on Saturday morning, I had started my call list and after a few calls, one avian Vet was nice enough to offer to do a video consult, so I sent over some videos I had taken of smokey during his seizures and I showed her the food I give him and also the Johnson’s Vit-min drops i put in his water, she said there were a few signs that point to calcium deficiency and due to me being new to parrots she believed it was a calcium deficiency, straight after that video consult I then continued my Avian Vet call list and I got to speak to 2 more vet over the phone and I explained the videos and the diet and the drops and they both suggested that Calcium deficiency was A good fit. So I jumped back on amazon and ordered a product called Zolcal-D - it’s supposed to be a calcium supplement and I had a recommendation from a Avian Pet shop that it is a good and reliable product, it arrived this evening, I haven’t as of yet given it to him, but I plan to start him on it tomorrow for 2 out of the 4 meals for the next 3 days and hopefully he will get better. Currently since Friday night, I have been adding the Vit-Min drops to his Formula, his Seizures have stopped and is back to his old troubles. I am contemplating wether I should still give him formula or convert back to the chop (he was having previously) tomorrow. But I plan to change the chop as I have seen some new recipes on this forum.

I scrapped the eggshell after I read your advice and we just used them for the plants in our garden!

I have to admit your wide guess was a hell of a guess! I can’t believe how you narrowed it down to that. I was up all night on Saturday trying to find out about the different vitamins and minerals and things that cause seizures etc.... there’s a lot I learned! But praise God! And thank you for all your help!

PS I asked the vets about the LEDs and they laughed in my face, so that was clearly not the problem.
Caden23
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Indian Ringneck - Green Cheek Conure
Flight: Yes

Re: GC Conure Head Twisting 180 degrees and turning in circles

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:46 am

Thank you so much for thinking of us and coming back to give us news! And I am so glad you were able to correct the situation.

Do NOT overdo it with the vitamins! Too much kills just as well as too little so one needs to be very careful not to give too much or too little - I know, easy said than done, right? You need to choose one method and one alone. Let me explain. Formula already has vit D3 AND calcium as well as all other vitamins and minerals. So does the supplement you are giving. So, if you feed formula, put the supplement in its food and, on top of that, you add the calcium supplement, you are going to end up with a very sick little bird because you would be tripling the amount it needs.

I suggest you feed it a nice gloop made with different kinds of whole grains and a nice selection of veggies like broccoli (rich in calcium), carrots, squash and sweet potatoes (lots of betacarotene and other good stuff), corn (they just plain LOVE it and it's rich in vit E), peas (nice level of protein, fiber and some vitamins), etc. Add flax and sesame seed (just a bit, mind you) to it and you have a nice staple food that is not high in protein and fat but it is high in fiber and moisture (just like their natural diet would be). Serve it with raw produce (different kinds to round up the diet) and, until the bird is a juvenile (6 months old), also give it some soft seed (like millet mixed with quinoa) but only after it has finished eating its gloop and produce (babies eat more often than adults so he will go back for the seed during the day). For dinner, a good quality budgie seed mix with small pieces of nuts is perfect (start with little pieces of almonds that are also very rich in calcium). AND the vitamin/mineral supplement (because it also contains calcium and vit D3). Now, for the next two weeks, I would also give him a couple of dosages a week of the Zolcal D in its water because, obviously, his calcium levels were almost completely depleted and you need to replenish them but no longer than that UNLESS you stop giving it the vit/min supplement because too much calcium causes hypercalcemia and too much vit D3 causes hepatic lipidosis. Like I said, too much is as bad as too little and the key to good nutrition is balance.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17202
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: GC Conure Head Twisting 180 degrees and turning in circles

Postby Caden23 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:52 pm

Hi Pajarita,

Thank you again I wanted to attach a few pics of smokey a couple weeks back but was unable and now I finally managed to, so here you go!

I ended up hand feeding him for 5 days in total, the 4th and 5th day I had to force him as he was resisting and so I made a fresh batch or sweet potato mash which he loves!

I made a few alterations to the chop like you recommended and stopped the Vit supplements and only carried on the calcium supplements (Zolcal D). I tried to give him some fine chopped almonds for calcium but he doesn’t like it..... so I am mainly focusing on like a vit rich chop and less on the vit supplements. For the past month he seems to be getting a lot better. I got him a sleeper cage in my room for the night and I picked up a Java tree branch for him during the day. I also got both smokey and Kitty DNA tested and it turns out they are both males. But yes thank you again! You were very helpful, and I will not forget.
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Caden23
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Indian Ringneck - Green Cheek Conure
Flight: Yes

Re: GC Conure Head Twisting 180 degrees and turning in circles

Postby liz » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:11 am

I don't know your species. I have Amazons and Cockatiels. I can only tell you what I do with mine.

I use a 5 whole grain mix, their favorite being ferro and cook them like I do rice for myself. They all love it and I feed it with veggies for breakfast.

Since my Amazons are the last to be fed of my critters, they get to pick an unsalted pistachio still in the shell. I do not mix nuts in with their food. Nap time has been chosen for 2 pm. I let them pick their own unsalted cashew from the jar. They nap better with the extra treat. I give them seed as an evening food and let them pick their own almond still in shell to make sure they get enough food before bedtime.

I don't know if any of this helps you but I felt I needed to share.

I took in a seizure cockatiel that a shelter could not care for. He only had one seizure with me. I must have done something right with him.

I cannot give you advice. Pajarita knows so much more than I. All I can do is tell you how I care for mine. I hope something helps you.
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liz
Macaw
 
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