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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I'm the happy owner of Axel (Axelito) for over 20 years now. I'm fortunate to have great avian vets in the San Francisco Bay Area including Dr. Speer. However, the below symptoms of Axel has my vet and his associates unsure of the issue.

Brief history:
* He has been generally very healthy until last November 2011
* In Nov. he almost died with an extremely low anemia. There was no blood loss. The vet couldn't find the issue. The only thing I can think of is I left him briefly next to a plant and I should not have let him sit in it because it had little rocks like pumice rocks that he might have thought it was harrison's bird bread that I break up or seed
*Also, I let him play with paper clips and binder clips which can have lead and zinc :(
* He recovered in Nov. and his anemia percent went to normal
* He does have a heart murmur

However, he started to turn his head in what some generally call stargazing in early 2012 (January). The vet thought his vision could be bad in one eye which seems correct. Unfortunately, the turning of the head has gotten much worse. It was mainly happening at night which was odd. So eventually we learned that having lights on at night helped. Nevertheless, this has continued throughout the day. He has dropped weight (was healthy around 126 grams not at 116 grams).

Has anyone had experience with this? It is hard to find the source. I have mentioned PMV, but he didn't think that could be it.

Many thanks

see stargazing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUMOuAYO9Qg
 

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What do his poops look like? Are you hand feeding him? Any other symptoms?

At his his age, a stroke would be possible, even.

Stargazing is a symptom of PMV and at Axels' ripe old age it is harder to deal with.

It may not be PMV, but if he is having any issues with the nervous system I would definitely make sure he is getting enough calcium and B vitamins and anything else he might need. You should also look at the sticky thread on PMV. Make sure he is getting organic applecider vinegar in his water, a drop ought to do it and I wouldn't hesitate to give him probiotics too. He could use a good upsurge of nutrition and probiotics will help assimilate his food better and help with weight gain.

I also would get this bird on some milk thistle and clean out his liver if he is toxic from lead poisoning.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A stroke has been mentioned at the vets' clinics which at his age isn't surprising, but breaks my heart. The vet tried Isoxsuprine, omega 3s and metacam. He did seem to hold his head up much longer and start cooing and being normal after this med combination. However, I'm not sure if he built a tolerance up to the meds, but their positive effects became less noticeable. These meds are currently being reconsidered after a series with calcium EDTA. The results of lead won't be back from another few days.
Thanks for the mention of sticky thread on PMV. I did see that and it was helpful; I mentioned PMV to my vet after reading it.

I had to hand feed twice. His poop was getting dark green so I knew he was starving so I had to hand feed him. I think his energy level is low due to not being able to sleep well (and his age); it makes his eating a challenge. He is eating on his own and holding some weight now. Besides the head turning/twisting there are no other symptoms (E.g., he had his weight evenly balanced on both feet, red cell count is normal). White cell count is a little high. One quick treatment was one course of corticosteriod. He didn't respond positively and I was told this might have caused the wbc to be a little high.
I'll mention apple cider and probiotics along with calcium and b vitamins to vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That is interesting about your Robin. The issue with him is at night with light he seemed to calm down. I would think stimuli (light) would have made it worse.
Just spoke to avian vet and he is willing to call UC Davis about advanced imaging, but with his age (anesthesia could kill him), the chance that images might not be clear and it is costly I'm not sure it is worth it.
However, I don't like the idea of euthanasia. I'll see if bringing him home with palliative care is possible since I'm not likely to find a magical treatment...
 
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