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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!

To make a long story short, Zappy freaked out again last night about a tiny sound and startled himself into a frenzy where he ping ponged around his cage. He only broke one blood feather (better than the eight he broke/lost last time), but he lost four flight feathers that had fully come in. I was already going to take him to the vet on Friday. Last time I saw her, she said that if we couldn't get his behavior under control, I would have to seriously consider anxiety medication.

Well, I'm seriously considering the medication. Zappy sings and does tricks and is the most cuddly bird you can imagine. I'm terrified that the medication will take that away and make him lethargic.

Have any of you had any experience with anxiety medication? Is there a type that will calm him down but that will not take away the singing and loving behavior that makes us both so happy?

Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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I haven't seen the prior threads so I apologize if I'm giving advise already given. Are you covering Zappy at night? I cover three sides of my tiel's cage but leave one side half way uncovered and always leave a night light on. Have you ruled out car lights, shadows, things like that that may be startling him when he sleeps? I've heard of tiels being given anxiety medicine but am not that familiar with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here's the link to the previous Zappy threat.

http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=115161

Right now, I cover the top of the cage at night (he freaks out if he can't see, which provoked a past night fright/blood feather break). He has three night lights. I have black out curtains. He has a fan and soothing music in an attempt to block out noise. I bought an aquarium and tried to get him to sleep in it, but every time I try, he ends up pacing for at least an hour before I give up and return him to his cage.

Last night, he fluffed/puffed (whatever it's called when they puff up and shake out their feathers). When he did that, he hit his beak on the cage bars. The noise startled him, and he started flailing.

THEN, right after I posted my question this morning, he was on my shoulder. I dropped his toy on the ground, and he flew off my shoulder because of the sound. He landed on his tail and broke his longest tail feather.

I'm at my wit's end. I've been trying to behaviorally deal with his issues for a year, but I just can't see him losing his hypersensitivity to sound (and possibly to movement).

Anxiety medication is my last option, but it's the only one I can think of at this point.
 

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I don't have any experience with anxiety medication, but I've read that AviCalm is non-sedating so it wouldn't make him drowsy and would take away the anxiety. It's for 'tiels with anxiety as well as hormonal and plucking 'tiels. I'm getting some for my 'tiel to try out in a few days because she has been very hormonal and it goes on for a while this time of year. :)
http://www.amazon.com/Avitech-AviCalm-Calming-Supplement/dp/B00I2LT1YK

I would go with my safe bird store for ordering it though, much cheaper:
http://www.mysafebirdstore.com/PLUCKERS_OVERPREENERS-Avitech_AviCalm_4_OZ.html
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks for the info! The reviews on AviCalm look promising. I'm going to ask the vet her opinion about it tomorrow. When she talked about anxiety medication during a previous visit, she said that she wanted him on something that would have a side effect of him never singing again. I'm praying that's not the case and that she thinks AviCalm is a good idea.
 

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I think it would be ok to try it out as an alternative, hopefully your vet thinks so too. The side effects are pretty extreme for the vet's meds. If you want to increase the potency of it if he needs just a bit more relaxation then "the potency of L-Theanine is amplified by B vitamins and lethicin" it says.
Since it is a pretty natural supplement I don't think she would say it is dangerous, she would probably say it has a chance of not working and that her medication does. I would tell her that you'd like to try it before using heavy meds that would make him miserable it sounds. Sometimes it just takes a simple vitamin that solves all your problems rather than meds. If you're deficient in something, no amount of meds is gonna help that you know? :D
 

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I've read good things about avi-calm. I also think a member here used to give her bird chamomile tea but I can't see to find the post. Does anyone else remember that?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just wanted to update everybody. The vet said that Zappy is one of the most hyper-vigilant birds she has ever seen. We have decided to try out AviCalm first (I'll have to look into the chamomile tea as well). I'm praying that works because otherwise we'll have to give him Haldol. Apparently, the side effect of that medicine is that he will become dull to the extent that he won't sing or perform his tricks anymore. He would just kind of sit there. So fingers crossed for AviCalm! It should be here Thursday.
 

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Aww poor Zappy. Tell Zappy he's not alone because I take anxiety meds too, lol.
So here's some people advice that I know relaxes Choco (my tiel) too.
What kind of soothing music do you put up for him? Everytime I'm feeling a bit on edge and don't wanna take more meds I just put on my ambient music (I found a really great app) and every time I do this Choco starts to beak grind. You may have already tried this but try this free app out for your Zappy? Choco seems to love it and so do I. :D
This is the one I've been using, but now that I found their site I'm gonna download all of them. haha. http://www.ipnossoft.com/app/relax-melodies/

Also why not buy him a sleeping cage with no toys at all so if he does have a night fright he doesn't get hurt. It might be easier for him then the aquarium. I heard some people do this.
 

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I hope that it works. :)

I've read some people say it takes a week or so to kick in. You can give leafy green vegetables and eggs to help strengthen the calming effect because those have lots of B vitamins in them.

Lavender herb is also calming and has a calming effect (lavender oil is the one you will hear about that you don't want and that is bad for parrots, the flower is fine). Some people put springs of lavender around bird cages to help stop night frights (don't put in the cage cause of pesticides, also can smell really strong). You can buy sprigs at flower stores, but it is hard to find organic lavender so don't feed them that, but smelling it should be fine. My 'tiel has organic lavender in her herb salad that she eats all the time. http://www.twinbeaksaviary.com/herbsalad.html

Here is something on the Chamomile:http://blog.birdsupplies.com/3-natural-bird-calming-medicine-solutions
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I really appreciate all the info, everyone! The AviCalm arrived early (yesterday!), so I'm really happy about that. I'm going to try everything that you all have recommended as well, so thanks for that. :)

Also, he does have a sleep cage without any toys. I think what I need to find is a cage with more horizontal bars. When he gets hurt, he sticks his wings through the bars and then yanks...out come all of his feathers!

Anyway, thanks everybody! :)
 
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