My paralyzed bird

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charliebird
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My paralyzed bird

Post by charliebird » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:15 pm

Hi everyone,

I just found this forum and thought I would post about my pet bird, Charlie! Charlie is a 26 year old Blue Crown Conure that I took in from his former owner after he was completely paralyzed. The owner did not care properly for him all the years he had him; Charlie ate nothing but sunflower seeds, causing severe nutritional deficiencies in calcium among other things.

Eventually, Charlie's nutritional deficiencies left his bones so weak, and his muscles atrophied from lack of use/exercise (he was locked in a small cage for 25 years) that he fell, and not surprisingly broke his back in the lower lumbar area.

Charlie was still alive, though clearly not doing well, but I brought him to a reputable avian certified vet, and they were able to put weight on him and get him the critical care he needed. Charlie had a fighting spirit and wanted to live, so he did!

He lives in a normal bird cage, but it does not have perches; he rests on his keel bone, and I keep the bottom padded with a magnetic therapy pad, fleece and sheepskin to prevent bed sores and pressure to his keel.

I have had him for a year now since his accident, and although he will remain paralyzed in both legs, he is healthy and happy!

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critters
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Re: My paralyzed bird

Post by critters » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:26 am

:whale: I don't know that there's ever been a complete paraplegic bird around the board; Charlie's the first to my recollection!!

charliebird
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Re: My paralyzed bird

Post by charliebird » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:35 am

I think they are not common, since birds are so sensitive, they often do not survive such traumas. I only know of one other bird like Charlie, a Cockatoo who belongs to a couple in Australia that rescued him off the side of a road after being hit by a car (the Cockatoo was wild originally). He has no use in either leg, but also has limited use of his wings (can flap but not fly) Charlie can actually fly if he wants to and gain height!

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Re: My paralyzed bird

Post by critters » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:58 am

charliebird wrote:) Charlie can actually fly if he wants to and gain height!
Hmm, interesting! I'd bet that's at least something of a help in preventing sores.

charliebird
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Re: My paralyzed bird

Post by charliebird » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:04 am

Unfortunately no; he does not fly often (only if he's spooked by something) and I don't encourage him to fly independently since he has no way of landing..I have to keep all my furniture, etc. padded with towels and such when he's out in case he does spook and take off flying. Most times he will fly back to me and land in my hand, but if he's really spooked he will try to land on hard surfaces, which could seriously injure his keel bone.

I just keep a watchful eye on him and take precautions (carpeted room, towels on book shelf, top of cage, etc). The vets are surprised he has gone this long without serious bed sores or injury to his keel; I put him on sheepskin fairly quickly, the good kind meant for people to prevent bed sores. The fleece also is very soft and non-irritating (easier to spot clean and wash too)

sdrakkan
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Re: My paralyzed bird

Post by sdrakkan » Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:36 pm

What a CUTE boy he is! And a fighter!
http://sabrieldrakkan.deviantart.com/
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4 Ball Pythons, 1 Cornsnake, 3 Boas, 3 Tarantulas, 1 Quaker Parrot, 2 Tuxedo Cats, and 21 darling rescue Rats.

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Re: My paralyzed bird

Post by Christine » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:39 am

He is beautiful and lucky to have you! Please come back often...what an inspiration you are! :welcomepurple:
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Christine... and Bailey, playing at the Bridge
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charliebird
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Re: My paralyzed bird

Post by charliebird » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:35 am

Thank you! I am glad to be here, and hope I can be of some assistance to others, although my only experience with paralysis is in birds and does not appear to be that common...it's usually too late long before they get to the point of paralysis. I'm curious though, has anyone else had experience with acupuncture in their paralyzed pets? I have been bringing Charlie in at least once a month for laser acupuncture to help with phantom pains and the stiffness is legs/muscles develop. One leg is very stiff while the other is fairly flaccid. He has responded well to it; it increase flexion in his legs, and he falls asleep during the process because it must feel good!

mr bill
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Re: My paralyzed bird

Post by mr bill » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:09 am

my ringneck parrot has had an accident today that hs left him unable to move his legs, I suspect a broken back. his ear piercing voice has become a whisper. He shows no sign of pain. He's able to drag himself around with his beak, he's calm, eating and drinking. Your experiace and any additional input is usefull and appreciated by both me and my ;itt;e green friend Lewis.

charliebird
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Re: My paralyzed bird

Post by charliebird » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:44 am

Hi there, im sorry to hear about your ringneck! My best advice would be to bring your bird to a certified avian vet or a vet near you with extensive bird experience. He will need xrays to determine if there is an actual break and if so where it is located and most likely medication for pain and possibly swelling around tne affected area which could make the paralysis worse. A vet will also be able to determine any other underlying medical issues that may have contributed to the fall..in charlies case he had metabolic bone disease and severely atrophied muscles which left him with arthritis essentially before his accident. Charlie wouldnt have made it if not for the vets due to the seriousness of his overall condition. That being said, if the vet determines it is a break and the bird has no other major medical issues and still shows a will to live, than I think its worth the medical expenses and extra tlc to give him a happy life despite the handicap.

Let me know what happens or if you would like someone to talk to about it all!

charliebird
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Re: My paralyzed bird

Post by charliebird » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:44 am

I just realized you may find a referral useful for a vet! I dont know where you are located but you can search for an avian vet here: aav.org/search/index.php

Kiddo1969
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Re: My paralyzed bird

Post by Kiddo1969 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:47 am

Hello..
We had the most horrific accident last night. I was preparing a baby for shipping to its new owners (baby wing clip and nail trim). When I was done, the lil wee one climbed into my robe as I gathered the few feathers and put them into a Baggie for the owners and labeled it with the date. As I was doing it, my mini-doxie came running into the kitchen and jumped into my lap. Little did I know he stepped on the baby....and appears to have broken it's back at the point of where it meets the pelvis. I was devastated and felt like a knife went through my heart. The baby didn't even make a cry. When I went to retrieve her from my robe, I noticed she wasn't moving her legs and was just flapping across the floor. (I always leave several puter primaries once they fledge so they can still fly but not sustain long distance or height as the new owners train). She made no sound as I examined her lower extremities. One leg is definitely damaged. Today, she is showing some reaction to attempts to touch the other, which I am hoping is a good sign, that maybe she isn't totally paralyzed. We have moved everything to the bottom of the cage. She has fleece bedding until I can get to the store tomm (I was personally in the ER myself today all day). We have a dog/cat food can lid with water so it's shallow for her, food right on the bottom (both on a new fresh towel for her) along with millet and as I am handfeeding two babies, have given her some handfeeding formula to ensure she is getting fluids and nutrients as we adapt and see where this all goes over te next little while. Your forum gave me high hopes that this blessed little darling will be able to adapt, especially once her wing grow back in (she's only missing a few feathers (what I refer to as a baby trim) and as I said, the reaction with the one leg today gave us high hopes maybe she will get some partial use of even one leg. We always take in and/or keep lame, injured, etc birds but I was afraid I was going to have to put this beautiful baby down. Thank you sooooo much for giving me such high hopes that we will be able to enjoy many years with her. She moves around like crazy! Those wings flap like she's an Indy car driver and SHES full of fight and spirit! I will also look into the bedding and cage bottom coverings you've recommended. You have no idea the hope you have me tonight. I will sleep well and with happiness in my heart tonight knowing our girl has a chance a good life still with us now! Thank you so very much!!!! Marianne! ❤️

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critters
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Re: My paralyzed bird

Post by critters » Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:18 am

:slant: I used to crittersit for people who haId a severely disabled bird. I don't know much about the medical end for birds, but I wonder if birds can take steroids? Steroids are a world of help with spinal cord injuries.

charliebird
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Re: My paralyzed bird

Post by charliebird » Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:52 pm

Hi Marianne,

Sorry to hear about your little ones accident! I hope you are able to get him or her in to your avian vet as soon as possible. They will need to take xrays to determine the extent of any damage (any breaks or just swelling). A pain medication as well as anti inflammatory will be extremely helpful and critical at this stage so early on.

Charlie unfortunately had to undergo extensive vet visits for acupuncture to help manage pain associated with nerve endings, etc that continue to fire off and cause phantom pains common in paralysis or loss of limbs.

I hope your baby is simply bruised and swollen, and will make a full recovery with your vets assistance!

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critters
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Re: My paralyzed bird

Post by critters » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:52 am

charliebird, you might ask to see if birds can take gabapentin for nerve pain. It's a godsend for cats, dogs, and humans!

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