Hypocalcemic-induced seizure activity is a clinical entity that is commonly diagnosed in neurologic African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). Plasma calcium levels are typically less than 6.0 mg/dL at the time of seizure activity, and although the underlying cause of the hypocalcemia has not yet been determined, many theories have been proposed. An African grey parrot that had been fed a seed diet for 8 years was presented with hypocalcemia and seizures and exhibited precipitously declining plasma calcium levels, despite aggressive calcium and vitamin A, D, and E supplementation for 4 days. Baseline magnesium levels in this parrot were determined to be 1.9 mg/dL; therefore, magnesium sulfate was administered at a dose of 20 mg/kg IM once. Twenty-four hours after supplementation, the plasma magnesium level was 3.3 mg/dL, and no further seizure activity was observed. We believe that a primary dietary magnesium deficiency may have been present in this African grey parrot, similar to a syndrome in leghorn chicks, which is frequently characterized by progressive hypocalcemia that is unable to be corrected by calcium supplementation alone.
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