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Hello and a Conure Health Question

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Hello and a Conure Health Question

Postby ChicagoBirdMan » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:00 am

I have a green cheek conure, Jake, that is about six years old that has a high liver count and a very high cholesterol count. He is on a very low fat diet and takes holistic medicines from Animal Essentials that was recommended by our avian vet. He takes Liver Defense for his liver and Heart Defense and Mushroom Defense for his cholesterol. Even on the medicine and restricted diet his cholesterol continues to be very high. I also have a second conure, Irie, who is about the same age is on no medication and has been on the same diet as Jake and has no problems with any of her blood count numbers. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions of what else I can do to bring Jake’s numbers down please let me know. We love Jake and do not want to lose him prematurely. Right now he acts like a normal conure but the vet said if his numbers keep going up it will kill him. Thank you in advance for any help.
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 2
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Conures
Flight: Yes

Re: Hello and a Conure Health Question

Postby Pajarita » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:31 am

Welcome to the forum and I am sorry poor Jake is in so much trouble - but it's all too common with GCCs, I am afraid. The thing is that GCCs are mainly fruit eaters so any free-fed protein food is real bad for them. You did not say exactly what his diet is and what is free-fed and what is portioned and that's info that is essental to the advice.

But I can tell you what I do with my birds that have advanced liver damage (you also did not say what the actual results were and whether it was bile acids or AST and it also makes a difference because one is specific to liver function while the other one is damage and not really specific). Yes, low protein diet and no animal protein whatsoever is a must but in order to achieve it, you can't free-feed any protein food. You also have to reduce fat and increase moisture and fiber making sure it's not 'added' fiber (as in pellets) which does't work (there are studies done with grays). It needs to be natural food fiber as in lots of fruits and veggies as well as whole grains. My birds get gloop doctored with milk thistle, dandelion root, methionine and theanine or artichoke capsules (I alternate). They also get liquid non-alcoholic milk thistle extract in a mixture of 2/3 spring water and 1/3 aloe vera juice from the inner filet (not gel and not from the whole leaf) for drink. Flight, a strict solar schedule with full exposure to dawn and dusk is also required (this is because you need to reduce as much as possible the inevitable stress that captivity always causes as a stressed out body will not have the 'strength' to heal itself). But I might as well tell you that you can't expect fast results. It simply does not happen and it's not even any good for parrots. Every time an avian vet tries to speed things up with mammal meds, the bird ends up dead. It's the way things are with them. Everything takes a long time and getting them back from the brink takes a lot of work, a lot of thought, a lot of research and a lot of patiently waiting. And, most of all, NO STRESS so taking the bird to the vet often to check on their blood work is actually counterproduictive because of the huge stress they go through from it, same as medicating in their beak: NO GOOD! You need to medicate them by mixing the meds with their food or water. I have several birds with liver damage - two of them with advanced when they first came (one of them an amazon that is guesstimated to be in her fifties) but they are all still alive and doing well and the amazons actually went from very bad to borderline normal levels so, yes, it can be done but you need to follow a very strict protocol for the rest of their lives and not rush things. Steady and slow works better than fast for them.

Norwegian Blue
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 16965
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

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