What are the symptoms of a budgie having a stroke?

Written by carol sarao
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What are the symptoms of a budgie having a stroke?
Although strokes are uncommon in parakeets, you should be aware of the symptoms. (Sittich image by Petra Kohlstädt from Fotolia.com)

Budgies, also known as parakeets, are lively, colourful birds that can make appealing pets. Budgies are fairly hardy, and not difficult to keep if you provide them with proper food, housing, exercise and companionship. It is possible for a budgie to suffer a cerebral apoplexy, or stroke; fortunately, these are quite rare. According to the Birds Online website, older budgies are more at risk. Knowing signs of a stroke can help you get your budgie to an avian vet for prompt diagnosis and care.

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Falling and Vocalization

Your parakeet will suddenly fall from the perch, and may scream out loudly in confusion. According to the Birds Online website, a stroke sometimes happens without any warning when the bird is calm, relaxed or even asleep. After falling off the perch, the bird will lie on the floor of the birdcage and appear unable to move. The Practical Pet Care website advises you to put a soft towel on the floor of the cage, remove or lower the perches to avoid chance of injury and take your budgie to a board-certified avian veterinarian immediately. Do not place a bowl of water next to your parakeet to encourage it to drink; it could flap in and drown.

Paralysis

The most frequent symptom of apoplexy is that one side of the bird's body--including toes, foot, leg and wing--appears paralysed, and will hang down limply. Generally only one brain hemisphere is affected, which causes paralysis on the opposite side of the body. The bird will usually be unable to perch as before, and may even be unable to get up. It may use its working wing to flap about on the floor of the cage, or may lie fairly still.

Blindness

The parakeet will be usually be blind in the eye that is on the affected side of the body. It may stagger, lurch and twirl on the bottom of the cage in disorientation. Occasionally, the bird may appear blind in both eyes. Your vet can evaluate the extent of the parakeet's blindness.

Lack of Appetite

Following a stroke, your budgie will lose its appetite, another reason for taking a budgie that has suffered a stroke directly to an avian vet. Birds have quick metabolisms and can starve to death very quickly. The vet can start emergency feedings, and help determine if the parakeet needs to stay at the veterinary hospital, or be released to your care. If the bird is able to hold its head up, you may be able to feed it at home using soaked or sprouted seeds. According to Birds Online, some parakeets recover fairly well from strokes; for others, the prognosis is poorer. Your vet can help you decide the best course of action for your parakeet.

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