can birds die from seizures

Birds are prey species, which means they will attempt to hide all signs of disease until they can no longer do so. Therefore, any signs of illness should be investigated carefully. The following are common emergency presentations we see in pet birds:

Set up a hospital cage, where food and water can be easily accessed. Remove perches, add padding. See our “Setting Up a Hospitalization at Home” video or the Special Needs Birds care sheet.

Warmth: with the exception of birds that have been accidentally overheated, most birds benefit from warmth. Warm your bird with a space heater in a small room, with a desk lamp, or in a box or aquarium on a heating pad set to low. Be sure the temperature remains between 80-90 degrees, and watch carefully for overheating. Birds that are too hot will move away from the heat and may pant.

Food: Birds that have not been eating well (judged from the presence of smaller than normal, dark stools) can be given karo or pancake syrup in water by eyedropper or syringe, in small amounts every few minutes.

Many sick birds that are warmed and given syrup brighten up and begin eating on their own. Keep the bird warm, protect from falls, make sure food and water are right in front and easily accessible, and call the clinic for information on how to reach on call staff.

Typical calls to our clinic involve birds that are “maybe a little lethargic, sometimes diarrhea, not eating as well as normal, just a little puffed up and sleeping more.” Practically every disease a bird can have, mild or severe can present with these exact symptoms. As birds are masters at hiding signs of illness, we recommend an exam for any “ADR” bird, along with testing and laboratory work to help us distinguish between the many possible diagnoses.

Birds, like all our pets, are susceptible to a variety of bacterial, viral and fungal infections. But, unlike mammals that usually act sick when they are feeling bad, birds try very hard to hide their illness. In the wild, birds are part of a flock and an ill or injured bird would attract the attention of predators, thereby endangering the whole flock. They often maintain this “I’m okay” attitude until they are critically ill. As a result, many bird owners need to be aware of small, subtle changes that may signal illness.

So how will you know if your bird is ill? Start by observing and making a mental note of your healthy bird’s normal behavior and habits. Once you know normal, it will be easier to spot abnormal. Let’s look at some of the things on your “check list”:

Behavior: This will probably give you your first hint that something is not right. A normal bird is active, vocal and interested in its surroundings. A sick bird may also act this way when you are present, but not when it is alone. So, look around the corner to observe your bird before it sees you. A sick bird would be fluffed up, sitting in one spot and appearing sleepy. It may even be sitting on the cage bottom. A sick bird is usually quieter than normal, not talking or screaming. A sick bird may want more petting than usual or a usual cuddly bird may not want to be touched. It is the change in behavior and patterns that tell you something is wrong.

Droppings: A normal bird dropping has three components. The dark, solid portion is feces. The white part is urates. The clear liquid portion is urine. The color of the solid portion may change, depending on what it has eaten. However, the volume and firmness should remain the same. A lack of solid consistency to the feces is true diarrhea, and is cause for concern. The white portion should always be white. Changes in urate color may indicate disease or poisoning. The amount of clear urine may increase with high fluid intake or as a result of disease. One or two abnormal droppings are usually nothing to worry about, but consistently abnormal droppings over an entire day or two would warrant a call to the vet. Blood in the droppings is always abnormal.

Appetite: Many birds will maintain their appetite until the day they die. However some ill birds will eat only one food. Some will gorge on grit if it is available; (it shouldn’t be). Others will stop eating altogether. Occasionally a bird will drink a lot but not eat.

Body condition: Pick up bird and run your finger down the center of the breast. You should be able to feel the keel bone in the middle of the pectoral muscles. A bird that has lost weight will have a very “pointy” sharp chest. Do this on your healthy bird so you will know how normal is supposed to feel.

In summary, if you suspect that something is wrong, it’s worth a call to an experienced avian veterinarian.

The following s show how to set up a hospital cage at home, how to hand feed drops of sugar water, and other tips.

Birds can be safely restrained with a towel, holding them firmly around the neck. The neck and trachea of the bird are very strong; therefore it is difficult to injure or strangle a bird by holding around the neck. Take care not to restrict the bird’s body, as this can interfere with breathing. See our video here.

Use a solution of karo or pancake syrup in water to feed an ill bird that may not be eating well. If the bird shows signs of distress or begins breathing heavily, release him at once. Feed one drop a time for a total of 5-6 drops. Then offer regular food within easy reach while the bird rests in the hospital cage.

Broken blood feathers may bleed when damaged. Hold the bird securely in the towel, and apply direct pressure to the bleeding area as shown. Pressure may need to be applied for as much as 4-5 minutes. Call for additional instructions.

An ill bird in an aquarium, half on a heating pad set on low. The temperature should be kept at 80-85 degrees. Food and water should be easily accessed. keep perches low, with padding.

To determine whether your bird is sick, start by observing and mentally noting its typical behavior and habits if it is healthy. Knowing what is normal will make it simpler to identify abnormal. Let’s examine a few items on your “check list”:

Food: Karo or pancake syrup diluted with water can be administered to birds that have not been eating well, as indicated by the presence of darker, smaller-than-normal stools, using an eyedropper or syringe, in small doses every few minutes.

In conclusion, it is wise to contact a knowledgeable avian veterinarian if you have any suspicions about something being amiss.

When given syrup and warmed, many sick birds become brighter and start eating by themselves. Keep the bird warm, shield it from falls, make sure food and water are nearby and easily accessible, and give the clinic a call to find out how to get in touch with the on-call personnel.

Similar to all other pets, birds can get a range of bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. However, birds make a great effort to conceal their illness, in contrast to mammals that typically act ill when they’re feeling under the weather. When a bird becomes ill or injured in the wild, it draws the attention of predators and puts the entire flock in danger. They frequently don’t change their “I’m okay” demeanor until they are very sick. Therefore, a lot of bird owners need to be mindful of minute, subtle changes that could indicate illness.

How can I tell if my bird is having a seizure?

There are three parts to a seizure. The first stage is known as the aura phase, during which your bird may exhibit behavioral changes. The second stage, known as ictus, is a confused state during which it is difficult to synchronize muscle movements. Your bird will drop to the bottom of the cage as it loses its balance. Frequently, the body will stiffen, causing your bird to jerk violently, possibly spitting and vocalizing. This phase usually lasts 5 – 20 seconds. The third stage, known as the post-ictal phase, can extend from a few minutes to several hours. Your bird may exhibit varying degrees of fatigue, lethargicness, bewilderment, disorientation, restlessness, or agitation.

What should I do if my bird has a seizure?

Your bird needs emergency veterinary care if it is having a seizure. While you’re waiting, put your bird in a cage with soft bedding on the bottom, take out the swings, perches, and toys to prevent injuries, and put the food and water bowls in convenient places.


Can birds have seizures and die?

Kidney or liver failure can cause the body to be poisoned by improperly processed metabolites (systemic toxemia) resulting in convulsions. Environmental Stressors: Hyperthermia (over-heating) can occur if birds are left in the sun with no shade and inadequate water, leading to convulsions and even death.

What causes a bird to have a seizure?

What causes seizures in birds? Some disorders leading to seizure may be primary such as tumors, infections (bacterial, Chlamydial, viral, or fungal in origin), heatstroke, vascular events affecting the brain, or trauma (such as flying head-first into a solid object).

Can a seizure cause death?

A seizure may cause a person to have pauses in breathing (apnea). If these pauses last too long, they can reduce the oxygen in the blood to a life-threatening level. In addition, during a convulsive seizure a person’s airway sometimes may get covered or obstructed, leading to suffocation. Heart rhythm.

What is sudden death of a bird?

Your pet bird will die suddenly if their organs fail. Unfortunately, not only can organ failure result from a lack of food and water, but also genetic abnormalities, other illnesses, and more.