You can readabout Aspergillosis on these online articles:
Written by Katrina Coleman - The Silent Parrot Killer
Written by Drs. Foster & Smith - Aspergillosis in Birds
Written by Virginia Caputo - Aspergillosis and Jardine's Parrot
Last night, I went to the library and decided to borrow some BirdTalk magazines. One issue (May 2008) I picked up really sparked my interest. In the corner of the cover, there was the heading, "Aspergillosis: Is Your Bird At Risk?"
I came home and flipped through the pages, and finally got the big story. The story was about Baby, a 9 year old Blue & Gold Macaw. He was everybody's best friend, until tragically, he was diagnosed with Aspergillosis disease and passed away only 6 weeks later.
I read line to line, and felt so touched by the author, who was Baby's owner. The article felt so real, and all the emotions went through. The article was also very helpful on noting on how to detect signs of aspergillosis, prevent the disease, and much more.
After reading Baby's heartfelt story, I am now fully determined to not let this happen to Peanut.
To motivate me to do all the best that I can for Peanut, I have decided to write daily journals here of my routines. I also hope that through my entries, I can motivate some of you guys to also do whats best for your budgies/parrot's health :
The following information was taken off by the "Aspergillosis Hits Home" article in the May 2008 issue of BirdTalk Magazine. The author of the article is Katrina Coleman
Prevention is Key
- Here are a few simple but critical preventative measures to include in your daily routine.
Where to Look
- Change your bird's drinking water twice a day and anytime it has been contaminated in any way (e.g. bathed in it, dunked food in it), or accustom your bird to drinking from a water bottle.
- Offer fresh food everyday.
- Remove fresh produce after 4 hours.
- Fresh air and exercise are very important, a lack of them can compromise the immune system.
- Wash and disinfect cages, toys and perches weekly.
- Provide good ventilation.
- Provide clean bowls (stainless steel is preferable).
- Prove extra nutrition to your breeder birds.
- Make sure nesting material are clean and dry.
- Eliminate poor ventilation, poor sanitation, dusty conditions and close confinement.
- Place an air filter in the room.
- A list of possible contaminates include:
Some Symptoms to be on the look out for include:
- peanuts (note from softie - when offering peanuts, make sure it is de-shelled. The shell is a perfect place for aspergillosis to grow and can be risky.)
- sunflower seeds, if their growing season was really wet or the seeds weren't harvested on time (in essence avoid sunflower seeds since there is no way to detect their history)
- corn-cob bedding and other organic matter
- walnut shells
- wood bark (mulch)
- the air during spring planting and fall harvesting on farms
- construction sites where soil is being moved
- damp nesting materials
- potting soil and peat moss; don't transplant or plant when your birds are around
- wet shavings or other litter
- dried corn
- moldy parrot seed
- a warm, humid environment, which can spread up the deterioration of nutrients in a parrot's food and increase the possibility of spores becoming rampant
Here are a few stressors you should be concerned about:
- nasal discharge
- weight loss (especially if the bird appears to be eating well)
- flaky or de-laminating beak
- unstructured or frayed feathers
- black-edged feathers on the outside of the wings
- extreme itchiness
- tail bobbing
- labored respiration
- change in the pitch of voice
- loss of voice
- extreme change in behavior
The information above was taken off by the "Aspergillosis Hits Home" article in the May 2008 issue of BirdTalk Magazine. The author of the article is Katrina Coleman
My Daily Routine
- Spending much of the day in restricted isolation
- smoke inhalation
- prolonged antibiotic therapy
- being a breeder bird (laying eggs and caring for the young)
- aspiration as a baby
- Disinfect his water bowl in the morning, and late afternoon
- Do a quick wipe on the bars of his cage
- Only let uneaten parrot seed available to him up to 3 days.
- Offer fresh veggies and fruit during the day
- Do quick and fun "flying exercises" throughout the day to keep his heart rate at a healthy pace.
- Wipe down window sills before and after he's perched on them.
- Change bottom liner every morning
- Take him out of his cage for at least 5 hours a day
- Set him to sleep at latest 9pm (since he wakes up earlier now due to the sunlight)
My Weekend Routine
- Disinfect entire cage
- Change toys and perches around
- Wash toys that are plastic and washable
- Give him a bath!
- Do a full body exam to make sure he is not injured, plucking, etc.
Please note that these tips are not just to prevent Aspergillosis, but a whole line of other bird diseases. These measures should be taken in the first place, as the health, both mental and psychical, of your birds come first.