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This morning at 3am, my cockatiel, Louie, had a stroke (or what I believe was one). It started out as him having a night fright. He has those every so often, especially when molting (he currently is). After his night fright, I calmed him down like usual and everything was normal. Then all of a sudden he started screaming a sharp cry that I've never heard from him and flew around my room. I had to hold him so he could not fly since he was running into things. I realized something definitely was not right so I called my dad to help me and he came. Louie was writhing in pain in my hands and calling short crys along with twitching. He favored his right side and leaned against my hands. He would stop for short periods and then go right back to it. He did this for two hours straight. After he calmed down a bit, he started twitching and chirping for 2 1/2 more hours. I could tell he was so tired, but he was in pain too. I believe that he was having a slight seizure or aftershock from the stroke during that time. He calmed down after that but we could not get him to eat or drink anything. I realize that he is very worn out and he is currently sleeping on a big fluffy blanket and looks peaceful. Both of his legs are functional, but he can barely move (again, weakness). I have heard that if cockatiels refuse to eat after a stroke, they will not be able to be healthy again and may die. I would like to know if there are any tips on how to feed him and what to feed him and if anyone has had a similar experience with their tiel! Also, he is about 9 years old. Any advice or comments would be much appreciated! Thank you so much everyone! :)
 

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I am not a expert in the bit, but what I do know that he needs a vet NOW! Get a emergency clinic, not just any old vet. But explain its a emergency to whatever vet you take him to increase the chance of getting in as early as possible.
 

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I am not a expert in the bit, but what I do know that he needs a vet NOW! Get a emergency clinic, not just any old vet. But explain its a emergency to whatever vet you take him to increase the chance of getting in as early as possible.
Emergency clinics are often less experienced than avian vets. Generally it's a better idea to look for a vet who sees birds regularly, assuming it's during regular business hours and there are choices.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the help everyone! I took your advice and took him to a vet! They said it could either have been a minor stroke, an ear infection, or a calcium deficiency. They leaned more towards a calcium deficiency since the type of seizure he was having was called a "star-gazer" seizure where he looks around and stretches out his neck. That means he feels unbalanced and dizzy. So, they gave me Valeum, antibiotics and calcium solutions for me to give to him orally. Fortunately, they lace it with sugar so he enjoys the flavor! They said if he doesn't have brain damage from this, he will start to act pretty normal within the next few days. Thanks so much and I'll keep you posted!
 

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or a calcium deficiency
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He has what is called Hypocalcemia. Below is some saved info:
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Hypocalcemia, and Seizures

When keeping and breeding we focus on supplying proper lighting and calcium sources to the hen. The is just as important to a male. If lacking, the bird would have problems assimilating calcium and a lack of compensatory mechanisms to maintain serum calcium levels, and an inability to mobilize skeletal calcium. Sometimes this can also appear as a vitamin D3 deficiency. When this happens the bird is very prone to having seizures.

Hypocalcemia and seizure activity tends to be a problem only with male cockatiels.

Treatment for hypocalcemia consists of calcium (injectable calcium with phosphorus at time of seizure), D3 (preferably exposure to sunlight or full spectrum lighting) and supportive care such as Sub-Q fluids, which will get the blood levels up, and multivitamin injections (must contain Vitamin A and E)

Another thought at the time for seizures was a malabsorption problem. I found this is partially true. Most greens contain oxalic acid. I didn't know this at the time except for spinach which with the calcium and reactions to oxalic acids form calcium oxalates. Stress causes a sudden increased acidity in the GI tract and also upsets the metabolic balance of fluids in the body. Everything is a chain reaction.

I had some birds that had to have a health inspection. One had a seizure in the vets office. He drew blood to have sent out to a lab. I told him to give a Calphosan shot (calcium and phosphorus) because it had worked in the past for me to bring a bird out of it. At the time I had only thought it to be a malabsorption problem. Blood calcium and phosphorus levels were real low. Similar to what is seen with African Greys which are also prone to hypocalcemia.

At the time I did not know what exactly the cause was. In reality simple capture increases the heart rate that can trigger a hypocalcemic bird into a seizure because there is not enough calcium in the bloodstream. Some mutations such a cinnamon, fallow and lutino, or splits to these mutations tend to have this problem. Heart rate is increased when trying to get a bird out of the cage, or chasing and netting. But if blood was drawn while the bird has a seizure it would show very low blood calcium levels. The quickest way to bring it out of seizure is injectable Calphosan, or orally, with a drop of liquid calcium under the tongue. The injectable calcium rapidly gets the blood calcium levels up.

Many greens are rich in calcium and phosphorus. Researching the nutrient content of foods is just important to the male. And also providing Full Spectrum Lighting so the body and produce D3 to properly convert and use the calcium from the diet.
 

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Glad you took him to the vet. I hope he recovers quickly. What a very scary experience I woulda gone crazy myself seeing my babies in so much pain
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you for taking time to help me out, srtiels! The vet believed it to be hypocalcemia and he is currently being treated for this. He is taking valeum (to help sedate him), an antibiotic in case there is any ear infection, and a calcium solution. I have been giving it to him orally. Does it matter if it is given to him under the tongue or not? Right now he cannot, or will not open his eyes. His left eye seems to be swollen shut. Not exactly swollen, but there is a bit of red on it. The other seems alright, but still he will not open it. He had his eyes open earlier in the day, but since we gave him the valeum, he hasn't opened his eyes since. He has been awake for part of that time too in order for us to feed him and such. He can move his legs a bit, but he is weak and prefers not too. He is strong enough to slightly resist us when we hold him to feed him, so I feel that is a good sign. Did your other tiel recover from this? Thank you so much for your support!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What a very scary experience I woulda gone crazy myself seeing my babies in so much pain
Yes, it was so frightening. I didn't think he was going to survive at all! It was terrible. I can honestly say that I've never been so scared in my life. I gave up my sleeping time and my whole day for him too, and probably all of this weekend.
 

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I think maybe tomorrow you ought to give your vet a call and ask about him having his eyes closed after taking the valium. It's possible it's a bit TOO sedating at this dosage. It's good that he's getting rest, but I'd just want to see what the doctor has to say about that, since he'll obviously need to be awake enough to eat and drink so he can heal. Good job taking him to the vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, last night at around 11:45 he had another mini seizure, and he was too weak to survive this one. My poor baby died. Thank you everyone for all of your help and support. It really helped a lot. I'm very appreciative.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear that. You really did your best for him, but sometimes it's just too much for their little bodies.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss. :(
 
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