Zinc poisoning of parrot


Jules and the game fever

“It’s been going on for a week now. Jules has been sleeping a lot and sometimes he loses his balance. It shouldn’t be too bad, because he eats less than usual. However, I also noticed that he was drinking. a lot and that, by the same token, he urinated a lot. It must be the heat. It’s so hot this summer “.

On physical examination, Jules reveals his thinness which he had so carefully concealed under his feathers. His stools are green and he is drowsy. Her crop is empty and her mucous membranes are pale.

Diagnostic procedures are immediately undertaken because the condition of poor Jules is worrying. Anemia is confirmed thanks to hematology which does not reveal any sign of infection. The biochemical changes are worrying: hyperglycemia increased concentration of liver enzymes (liver), and increased uric acid. These changes suggest kidney, liver, and pancreatic damage. Glucose also passes in the urine (glycosuria). At this stage, the possible diagnoses are chronic zinc poisoning or diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes mellitus is very rare in birds and as the pathological changes are more consistent with zinc poisoning, a blood sample is submitted to the laboratory to detect its zinc content.

While waiting for the result, Jules is hospitalized and receives supportive care (fluid therapy, intubations, vitamins) and injections of EDTA calcium. Calcium EDTA is an antidote for zinc and lead poisoning. After 24 hours of treatment, Jules demonstrates a desire to heal. His appetite returns and intubations are no longer necessary. On the 2nd day of treatment, the polyuria (excessive urine production) subsides and Jules gets better and better.

A fax from the laboratory tells us that the level of zinc in the parrot’s blood is well above normal. This explains the response to EDTA treatment. If Jules had been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus his life would have been in danger, as to date there has been no proven long-term treatment in birds.

Jules is one of those lucky birds. He has no consequences left from his mishap.

Zinc poisoning of parrot

But where could he have ingested all this zinc? He had not been put in a cage or aviary made of wire netting or galvanized metal, and he had not played with coins. He was never left alone without supervision. Even when his masters were playing Monopoly, Jules was at their side and played with the pawns of the game. The one he prefers is the hat! Harmless you will say? Well, Monopoly coins are almost 98% zinc …!

Jules’ health problems were those of chronic poisoning. During acute poisoning, the bird may show weakness, convulsions and die quickly.

Ah, gaming fever!

Monopoly is now a thing of the past for the little sun conure. Today, Jules is playing checkers, with plastic pawns, of course!



Like it? Share with your friends!