Pet Birds

I don't know much about avian medicine or care.  I will try to get one of my colleagues to write this page for me soon

Meanwhile a few basics, articles etc

Lead Poisoning in Birds

Lead poisoning is the most commonly reported poisoning of pet and wild birds.

Clinical signs of poisoning vary and depend on how much lead is ingested by the bird.

Signs include the following:
·Loss of appetite, listlessness, and weakness
·Loose droppings, sometimes abnormally colored (eg, pink, tan, black, or bloody)
·Vomiting and increased thirst
·Neurologic signs including blindness, uncoordination, lameness, and seizures

Diagnosis of lead toxicosis is made by measuring blood lead concentration. This is a simple test requiring small amounts of blood.

Radiographs may be helpful in making the diagnosis and determining the duration of treatment by revealing lead particles in the gastrointestinal tract.

Treatment consists of EDTA for 5 or more days and supportive care.   The prognosis is
only fair.

Causes of lead poisoning include exposure to old paint, plaster, galvanized wire, putty, solder, and batteries.  Curtain weights, costume jewelry, tiffany lamps, stained glass, and mirrors; all frequently contain lead.  Outdoors, lead fishing weights and shotgun pellets are a common source of poisoning to waterfowl and shore birds.

Teflon Poisoning in Birds

Birds are very susceptible to polytetracluoethylene poisoning due to overheating pots and pans with non stick surfaces

Symptoms of Teflon poisoning include respiratory distress, wheezing, acting drunk or ataxic, weakness, and seizures.  Actually the most common symptom is finding your bird dead or dying gasping for breath.

Birds are also sensitive to tobacco smoke, ammonia fumes, aerosol sprays, and very sensitive to carbon monoxide.

Note; silicon coated cookware is considered NON toxic to birds.

Watch Out for Obesity in Pet Birds

In the wild, birds burn high amounts of calories flying, foraging, and keeping warm.  That's not the case when birds are kept in cages in our warm homes.

In addition to greatly reduced activity, pet birds are often fed much higher calorie diets than they would normally get in the wild.  Sunflower seeds, which most birds love, are especially high in calories.

Risks of obesity in pet birds:

Liver Disease
Fatty Tumors
Breathing Problems
Reproductive Problems
Shorten life

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