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Abstract

Case Description—A 7-year-old and a 10-year-old Congo African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus; parrots 1 and 2, respectively) were evaluated because of neurologic deficits.

Clinical Findings—Parrot 1 had an 8- to 9-month history of lethargy and anorexia, with a recent history of a suspected seizure. Parrot 2 had a 6-month history of decreased activity and vocalizing, with an extended history of excessive water intake; a water deprivation test ruled out diabetes insipidus, and psychogenic polydipsia was suspected. Both birds had ophthalmologic asymmetry, with anisocoria detected in parrot 1 and unilateral blindness in parrot 2. Metal gastrointestinal foreign bodies were observed on whole-body radiographs of both birds, but blood lead concentrations were below the range indicated for lead toxicosis. Findings on CT of the head were consistent with hydrocephalus in both cases.

Treatment and Outcome—Parrot 1 received supportive care and died 3 months after the diagnosis of hydrocephalus. Parrot 2 was treated with omeprazole and prednisolone for 10 days without any improvement in neurologic deficits; euthanasia was elected, and hydrocephalus was confirmed on necropsy. No underlying or concurrent disease was identified.

Clinical Relevance—Hydrocephalus should be considered a differential diagnosis for parrots evaluated because of CNS signs. Computed tomography was an excellent screening tool to diagnose hydrocephalus in these patients. Compared with MRI, CT is more frequently available and offers reduced scanning times, reduced cost, and less concern for interference from metallic foreign bodies.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association