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They said depending on what they show, it
might be necessary to do a liver biopsy. What do people think - is it crazy to put a poor bird through a liver biopsy? I don't know.

One of the ways i decide about tests for me, family, pets, and even cars is
whether the information gained from the test is *actionable* That is, given the results of a test are a, b, or c, what are the actions (treatments) for each result.
for instance, one of the classic cases if the case of a child who has taken a bump to the head. all the easy neurological test say all is OK, but it could be a concussion. The tests (x-rays, which are a real frightening discomfort to a child who is already upset and unhappy) has two results: the child has or does not have a concussion. in either case, the treatment is to take the child home and watch carefully for a few days in case problems show up. hmmm... why do the tests?? in the course of raising our three kids, we faced this scenario too many times, and always elected to take the child home and skip the trauma of the tests (x-rays).
this is just one example. i have seen many others.

in this case, before putting the bird through a very challenging trauma, ask about the results and the treatments. if the conditions are un-treatable or the treatments are not feasible (costs, side effects, etc.), or the treatments would still be to do the same diet thing, don't do the tests. And decide beforehand if the results that tell you the bird has an inoperable liver tumor (let's hope not!!) are results you even want to know.
thanks for the update, i sure hope the green 'hamster' gets better. i'll bet he's always been a bit of a 'ham' and now we know why!

Cheers,
keep us posted,
~steve
One of the ways i decide about tests for me, family, pets, and even cars is whether the information gained ... is, given the results of a test are a, b, or c, what are the actions (treatments) for each result.

very good point. I asked the doctor exactly that; she said, "maybe actionable, depending on what the test shows"...
thanks for the update, i sure hope the green 'hamster' gets better. i'll bet he's always been a bit of a 'ham' and now we know why![/nq]thanks! the good news is that the blood work came back showing nothing wrong whatsoever. They don't want to do the liver biopsy any more, which is good. So, now they have no idea what was wrong, but whatever it was, it seems to have gone away. I'm back to my original hair-brained thought of an overdose of the flax seed oils, which aggravated the liver temporarily. He's now on a strict diet (no seeds, nuts, or oils of any kind; less protein - just lots of carbs, and Zupreem pellets, whereas before he also got Lafeber AviCakes).

He's pissed, since now he can't have many of the treats he likes, and I'm not sure how to get him to eat the pasta, oatmeal, beans, and other stuff he is supposed to eat to get his weight back up. Does anyone have any idea what I could possibly put on these things to make him like them more? Also he's plucking a bit more (which is something that flax seed oil had fixed). Other than that though, he seems to be back in great shape - eats, normal behavior, normal color poop, and no undigested seed in it.

So all in all, I may have gotten high blood pressure over this incident, but I think it ended about as well as it possibly could have. And if this was just a stunt to get more attention, I guess he learned his lesson (what with the barium trace, crop wash, and so on)!!

Mike Levin
thanks! the good news is that the blood work came back showing nothing wrong whatsoever. They don't want to do ... up. Does anyone have any idea what I could possibly put on these things to make him like them more?

Why can't he have a few seeds, sprinkled in with those foods you want him to eat? As long as they're given in moderation, he should be able to have a few treats. It's not just life you're trying to provide, but quality of life, which includes a treat once in awhile. Emotion: wink
Becky
Cook it. My AG gets oatmeal in the morning every day, spaghetti and a soak and cook mix (Beak Appetit) every other day. I'd recommend a premium pellet like Tropican or Scenic rather than Zupreem.
Hi Mike,
Was it Fatty Liver is that the issue they said?
That is what it sounds like from the diet change they gave.

The tarry black poop is usually a sign of bleeding in the upper Gastro tract.
more on poop and what it means can be read here
http://www.birdhobbyist.com/articles/Poopology101.html
There are a lot of great articles and write ups on Liver issues if that is indeed the case
Do a google search
Also maybe check
http://www.birdcareco.com/index.html
and
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=15&cat=1829&articleid=2430 http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww61eiii.htm
http://www.quakerparrots.com/qtips/fatty liver disease pancreatitus.htm
other parrot illness and info about them
http://www.peteducation.com/category summary.cfm?cls=15&cat=1829

also a good parrot illeness list and write ups
http://www.healthgene.com/avian/infectious.asp
Most importantly I guess is has the poops returned to normal? or are they at least starting too look more normal?
Good luck to you and your Fid.
Wee
Why can't he have a few seeds, sprinkled in with those foods you want him to eat? As long ... not just life you're trying to provide, but quality of life, which includes a treat once in awhile. Emotion: wink Becky

you're right; I'll give it a shot, but the way he is, he'll eat 'em and then try to ignore the rest! :-)

Mike Levin
Cook it. My AG gets oatmeal in the morning every day, spaghetti and a soak and cook mix (Beak Appetit) every other day. I'd recommend a premium pellet like Tropican or Scenic rather than Zupreem.

thanks! I'll give it a shot.

Mike Levin
On 12/5/05 12:04 AM, in article
Hi Mike, Was it Fatty Liver is that the issue they said? That is what it sounds like from the diet change they gave.

nope - they didn't say fatty liver; they said "smaller than normal" liver...
The tarry black poop is usually a sign of bleeding in the upper Gastro tract. more on poop and what ... pancreatitus.htm other parrot illness and info about them http://www.peteducation.com/category summary.cfm?cls=15&cat=1829 also a good parrot illeness list and write ups http://www.healthgene.com/avian/infectious.asp

great - thanks!!!
Most importantly I guess is has the poops returned to normal? or are they at least starting too look more normal?

yep - the poops look completely normal.

Mike Levin
Also a quick note... for those of you with IPod or access to Podcasts. This months "Parrot Chat" featured and avian vet discussing "poop" and what to look out for. It was pretty informative, especially for new owners.