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African Grey Parrot Talking - Seizures in Parrots and their Causes


Staff member
A seizure is best described as a sudden loss of consciousness and a loss of mobility. They can be mild to severe; whether mild or severe your parrot will need to see an avian vet as soon as possible. The vet should do a complete blood work up, and x ray and a radiograph.

Here’s what you should look for if you think that your bird is having seizures.

  • Your bird might become uncontrollably vocal.

  • He may lose temporary consciousness.

  • He may fall of his perch.

  • He may flap his wings uncontrollably

  • His body might become very stiff.
There are many causes of seizures in birds, ranging from lead and zinc poisoning, to brain tumors. If there has been a trauma to the brain from flying into something hard at high speed. If there is liver damage from being fed a seed only diet. Some insecticides that we use in our homes can cause seizures. Infections from chewed off feathers can cause seizures. This is why the avian vet needs to do a complete and thorough examination. Most birds will recover from a seizure quite quickly so be watchful if you think that your bird is having seizures.

African Grey Parrots fed on a seed only diet can suffer from hypocalcaemia; this is a lack of calcium and vitamin D3. This is easily treatable by rectifying the bird’s diet, by introducing fresh fruit and vegetables in his food, Calcium can also be added to drinking water Hypocalcaemia can cause seizures.

Whatever the vet finds needs to be treated. If it’s an infection, your bird will need antibiotics, if its hypocalcaemia it will need calcium and a change of diet. If its hypoglycemia it will need sugar. Birds that have head trauma or brain damage due to a tumor may need surgery which hopefully the vet can perform. Until the treatment has taken effect your vet may suggest Valium being added to its cereal dish.

Remember to be supportive by offering warmth, quiet, and somewhere safe to stay. Keep a good supply of clean water in his cage and offer him a good nutritious diet.

Seizures are treatable with medication so don’t immediately think that the bird needs to be put out of its misery by putting it to sleep. Although in some cases this may be suggested by the vet in the case of trauma or tumors. It’s a difficult decision so weigh up the pros and cons carefully and do the very best for your bird.

If you find this thread/post informative, feel free to share it with your family or friends as it might be helpful to them.

Stay safe!​