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MOTM March 2012
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I see a lot of threads on here regarding Quarantine and in particular people who don't do the full 30 day or 45 day Quarantine period because "they have always done this and never had a problem".

Firstly I ALWAYS Quarantine new birds for a Minimum of 30 days, sometimes longer if I think it is needed, in a separate room at the very least.

That being said there are some things Quarantine alone will not stop.

I am speaking from personal experience here. Some of you will already be aware of this others will not.

Myself and a friend recently purchased two Hahns Macaws from a pet shop, (I know these aren't Budgies however I feel this is extremely important information hence posting it here, as it counts for ANY bird or indeed animal).

They were quarantined in her house in a spare room for 3 weeks before I could bring them home as I was sorting out space and cages etc.

On the day I collected them I took them straight up to my Avian Vet for their beak trims and microchipping and to get an eye exam done on Reva. (Pics in my siggy).
Reva has perminant squinty eyes, we had been assured on separate occasions he had been checked by a vet and was healthy, he had come into the shop with his eyes like that. He is 09 rung and was in that shop as a chick, this makes him nearly 4 years old.

The first thing my Avian Vet wanted to do was a test for Psittacosis on the off chance, purely because of the eyes.

We had the test and he came back Positive, with a high antibody level indicating a long term infection.

So instead of them being able to come home to me they went round a relatives where they are currently in strict Quarantine. They are being treated with antibiotics to try and clear the current infection. This is a 6 week treatment and we have just reached week 3. After the treatment is complete I have to wait 3 MONTHS to re-test them and see what their antibody level is.

Assuming we come back with an all clear to bring them home I have to re-test them every 6 to 12 months for life to check the antibodies are not rising indicating re-infection.

If they come back Positive still we have to re-treat and likely have to try something else.

(Good thoughts/ Vibes for the birds at this time is greatly appreciated).

I have to spray MYSELF down with disinfectant when I enter the room, put on overalls and gloves, spray the whole cage down get it thoroughly wet before cleaning their poo up to prevent any feather dust or dried poo dust rising into the air. Everything has to be disinfected daily in the room, I change their antibiotics daily, I then have to spray myself down again before taking off my overalls, then spray my clothes underneath just in case, then my bare arms before I leave the room. This takes around 30 minutes a day, so these birds can only have that much human attention a day at the moment. Once I have left the room I have to wash the disinfectant off my arms, then use a hand gel all over my arms and leave it to air dry.

I took another one of my birds to be tested which luckily came back negative so my aviary flock is clear of infection. I will be getting Munchkin and Rocky tested as well as I am in most contact with them personally and I am not risking them.

So here we are three weeks in, thats 6 weeks after my friend had them at her house. Over the weekend one of her Budgies suddenly died, then just as she was leaving for the vets a Lovebird went 'off' and fluffed up. He passed at the vets.
Yup ALL her birds are now at risk of being infected even though they were Quarantined for 3 weeks before I had them. The Budgie came back Positive for it.
ALL her birds now have to be treated for 6 weeks and then 3 months till re-testing.

As I am at risk myself and so are my friends and anyone in contact or who has been in contact with these birds, I now have to take antibiotics for 2 weeks as a precaution, I have had to have a chest xray to check whether or not I have it, if I do it will be a longer course of antibiotics which make me quite ill.

It took 6 weeks from when those Macaws entered her house for the first sign from one of her birds, if you don't even bother to Quarantine think how many birds could be infected before you even knew about it, what if your a breeder? You unknowingly infect your breeder birds, you sell those chicks to new owners, the stress by the move causes the infection to become active and the chicks all die.
It is likely that the Hahns are carriers although the eyes do indicate an actual infection at some point as the muscles have been eaten away at hence his perminant squint. Birds can hide this disease for years and never show any signs of it, if they are shedding it that whole time think how many birds and humans can be infected, in humans it manifests as flu like symptoms but can and will KILL if left untreated.

This is a disease Quarantine alone will not stop. ALL new birds from now on are being tested for this disease, and any others my vet might thing is needed. There is no point in risking the health of your current birds.

So is Quarantine really worth it?
YES!!!
Quarantine and screening is a must for anyone!

I can only hope by posting this that someone, even just one person stops and thinks and prevents anything like this happening to themselves and their birds.
It is not a situation I ever wanted to be in and would never wish on anyone, the stress we are all under because of it, and the stress on the birds who crave human attention and have to go through all this treatment and vet visits, all because they were not properly checked out and treated in the first place.
Don't let this happen to you!

EDIT: Just to add approx 60% of birds have this disease!!
 

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Goodness me, what a nightmare! I really don't know what I'd do if I found myself in such a situation. I wish you well with the whole recovery process, and tonnes of positive vibes and energy to you and your fids at this time.:hug:
 

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EXCELLENT advice that everyone should heed, Amelia!

I'm so sorry that you and your friend are going through all you are and want you to know that we really appreciate your sharing the details of the unpleasant experience in hopes of educating our members and preventing unpleasant "surprises" down the road.

Sending much love, healing energy, positive thoughts and prayers to you, your friend and all the birdies you both have.
 

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MOTM March 2012
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Goodness me, what a nightmare! I really don't know what I'd do if I found myself in such a situation. I wish you well with the whole recovery process, and tonnes of positive vibes and energy to you and your fids at this time.:hug:
Thank you. It's a horrible situation to be in but I'm just glad my Boys are finally getting the help they need and can only pray it doesn't spread to any of my other birds. Though according to my brother with the amount of disinfecting I'm doing it's total over kill and no bacterias or diseases should survive it lol.
 

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MOTM March 2012
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
EXCELLENT advice that everyone should heed, Amelia!

I'm so sorry that you and your friend are going through all you are and want you to know that we really appreciate your sharing the details of the unpleasant experience in hopes of educating our members and preventing unpleasant "surprises" down the road.

Sending much love, healing energy, positive thoughts and prayers to you, your friend and all the birdies you both have.
Thank you :)
 

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I had Lemmy for a week before I realized something was terribly wrong. She went to the vet and long story short she had chlamydia. One symptom was similar to yours...my Lemmy had weeping eyes and all the feathers around her eyes were wet and matted. I had all the tests and they came back negative. She was not shedding the disease at the time. Initially the vet thought she did not have it because of the negative test so she had only 2 weeks of doxy shots. But her condition declined rapidly after the two weeks. Back to the vet who was then certain it was chlamydia. She got 2 months of shots afterward. This treatment cost me a fortune. If anyone would have told me I would spend over a thousand dollars on a budgie's vet visits I would have laughed at them but I did. I am a tidy birdy momma but I did not go to extremes with cleaning. I did keep hand sanitizer nearby during her illness. A month after all the shots, I got Yuki. I tried to quarantine Yuki but it was impossible as Lemmy freaked out with absolute joy over another budgie in the house. I gave up and put them together and it was pure birdy bliss on the part of both birds. Oddly Yuki never got chlamydia but she did come to me with crop stasis! More vet bills! Even with all the beak kisses and preening, neither got sick from one another. A stroke of luck indeed.

I do think it is best to quarantine but sometimes it just doesn't work out. Sorry to hear about your experience with psittacosis. It is an awful disease. You are quite lucky to have such supportive friends that will take in your birds. Thanks for sharing your story! You always have great advice.
 

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Great Post :D

Everybody please, please, please QUARANTINE! if a death/illness can be prevented by following the 30 days quarantine rule then DO IT!

Sending good vibes to you and your birdies :)
 

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Amelia I read about your Macaws on TalkParrots and I wanted to say that you really are doing such a wonderful thing for those birds, you really are saving their lives!! And I'm sure they are so thankful to you for it, even if they don't know about it right now :)

Thank you for posting this thread and reassuring everyone of how important it is! I know that everyone has their own situation and sometimes rules need to be broken, but if and when possible, it really should be followed! :)
 

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I dont know what to say. WOW! Karma to you for all you are doing. And I hope people heed your warnings. Alot wont but I have kept quarentine for all mine so far for 1 month. I dont see why a couple more weeks would hurt. Thanks for all your doing and the sad story.
 

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Amelia,
Your post reinforces the importance of quarantine so well the TB Staff has decided to make it into a Sticky. I'm also sending karma your way for sharing this information with everyone. Thank you, again! :hug:
 

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Thank you Amelia for all your info. I am sorry to see all that you are going through, and I hope others heed your warnings, and maybe save some birdy lives.
I am curious on what you are using as a disintectant, as I know many of us are nervous about what we can safely use around our birds.
 

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Ugh, what a nightmare!

I always, always, always test ALL new birds who come into my home for PBFD, polyoma, and psittacosis. It doesn't matter how healthy they look or how much I trust the breeder that sold them to me. They go right to the avian vet and get tested.

I've had new budgies test positive for PBFD not once, but twice. The first time they came from a bird show, so that I wrote off as "don't buy from bird shows." But the second bird came from a local Petsmart. That freaked me out. They touted their "vet approved" status all over the paperwork and the box they sent her home to me in. Yet when I brought her back and told them about the test, a) they didn't know what PBFD was and b) they didn't care once I explained it to them. Chances are, they probably put her right back in the cage once I left.

I know that babies who test positive for PBFD can go on to fight the disease, and I could've kept testing every 30 days to find out if they had. I know false positives can happen, too. But I decided both times that I couldn't accept the risk to my flock. From what I've read, PBFD can survive without a host for up to 5 years and there's no cleaner proven to effectively kill it - it's one heck of a mess to have in your home. (Bleach can sometimes kill it, Virkon-S can sometimes kill it, but neither is a guarantee.) So I returned them to where they came from.

If it helps anyone any, Avian Biotech does testing for diseases like this. After my last PBFD escapade, I wanted to know if the room was infected. I quarantined her in our office, so I wanted to know if the computer... throw rug... clothing... etc were all safe or not. They mailed me a swab and I ran it all over the whole room, then mailed the swab in. The fee was $25. The results were e-mailed to me and it came back negative, so I knew it was safe to take things out of that room.

And that leads to one other piece of advice that I've learned the hard way, twice - don't quarantine in an area with anything that you care about. If you're not comfortable with the idea of throwing something out, get it out of the room or at least move it as far to the other side of the room as you can. And this includes the table that the cage is on - don't put it on good furniture or a table that you'd be sad to lose. I use these shelves and pop off the top tier, they make great bird cage stands for me. (I quarantine 1-2 budgies in this cage, and while it's longer than the shelf, it still works.) I take the top tier and use it as a short stand, for say putting dishes on next to my computer.
 

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MOTM March 2012
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Amelia,
Your post reinforces the importance of quarantine so well the TB Staff has decided to make it into a Sticky. I'm also sending karma your way for sharing this information with everyone. Thank you, again! :hug:
Ok wow wasn't expecting that lol, but if it helps even one person it is worth it!
Thanks :)

Thank you Amelia for all your info. I am sorry to see all that you are going through, and I hope others heed your warnings, and maybe save some birdy lives.
I am curious on what you are using as a disintectant, as I know many of us are nervous about what we can safely use around our birds.
I am using F10 SC, I buy it from Scarletts Parrot Essentials, however you may be able to find it near you, it is a veterinary disinfectant.
Expensive but worth it.
If diluted correctly there is nothing to worry about. I am spraying myself with it everyday and I am so far fine lol.

Ugh, what a nightmare!

I always, always, always test ALL new birds who come into my home for PBFD, polyoma, and psittacosis. It doesn't matter how healthy they look or how much I trust the breeder that sold them to me. They go right to the avian vet and get tested.

I've had new budgies test positive for PBFD not once, but twice. The first time they came from a bird show, so that I wrote off as "don't buy from bird shows." But the second bird came from a local Petsmart. That freaked me out. They touted their "vet approved" status all over the paperwork and the box they sent her home to me in. Yet when I brought her back and told them about the test, a) they didn't know what PBFD was and b) they didn't care once I explained it to them. Chances are, they probably put her right back in the cage once I left.

I know that babies who test positive for PBFD can go on to fight the disease, and I could've kept testing every 30 days to find out if they had. I know false positives can happen, too. But I decided both times that I couldn't accept the risk to my flock. From what I've read, PBFD can survive without a host for up to 5 years and there's no cleaner proven to effectively kill it - it's one heck of a mess to have in your home. (Bleach can sometimes kill it, Virkon-S can sometimes kill it, but neither is a guarantee.) So I returned them to where they came from.

If it helps anyone any, Avian Biotech does testing for diseases like this. After my last PBFD escapade, I wanted to know if the room was infected. I quarantined her in our office, so I wanted to know if the computer... throw rug... clothing... etc were all safe or not. They mailed me a swab and I ran it all over the whole room, then mailed the swab in. The fee was $25. The results were e-mailed to me and it came back negative, so I knew it was safe to take things out of that room.

And that leads to one other piece of advice that I've learned the hard way, twice - don't quarantine in an area with anything that you care about. If you're not comfortable with the idea of throwing something out, get it out of the room or at least move it as far to the other side of the room as you can. And this includes the table that the cage is on - don't put it on good furniture or a table that you'd be sad to lose. I use these shelves and pop off the top tier, they make great bird cage stands for me. (I quarantine 1-2 budgies in this cage, and while it's longer than the shelf, it still works.) I take the top tier and use it as a short stand, for say putting dishes on next to my computer.
Yup, I use Avian Biotech, do my Psittacosis with the vets however for same day results.
Will be doing a lot more testing now on all newbies, if Avian Biotech test for it so will I!
 

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Wow. How horrible! I had no idea that psitticosis was still that common. Other problems, yes, but that I've not yet met...or at least I hope I haven't. I'm so glad you caught it before bringing it home; to even imagine the devastation that could have caused among your birds is to frightening to think about.

Also a scary thought is how that pet store acted as a dissemination point for this disease -- people who bought babies infected by proximity to these birds, people who bought baby birds from them, people who handled the macaws, who cleaned up after them and shed aerosolized poop on other people...how far did they spread this disease in the local bird community? Makes me worry about even walking into pet stores, especially the bird ones who board other birds. Who knows what they're bringing in with them? Also, hearing how resistant some diseases can be, I now fear bringing home the used cages I've been buying up and refitting. Yes, I disinfect, then bleach, but I'm not completely trusting that I can clear them. And I just got the nicest little flight cage for just $5, which is now sitting in my back yard waiting for a coat of paint. *sigh*

I hope your story with the little Hahns has happy ending. We're sending prayers, good vibes, positive energy and anything else useful in your direction. And thank you for sharing what you're going through. We who become complacent need a reminder now and again never to ease up on the vigilance in protecting our babies.
 

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MOTM March 2012
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow. How horrible! I had no idea that psitticosis was still that common. Other problems, yes, but that I've not yet met...or at least I hope I haven't. I'm so glad you caught it before bringing it home; to even imagine the devastation that could have caused among your birds is to frightening to think about.

Also a scary thought is how that pet store acted as a dissemination point for this disease -- people who bought babies infected by proximity to these birds, people who bought baby birds from them, people who handled the macaws, who cleaned up after them and shed aerosolized poop on other people...how far did they spread this disease in the local bird community? Makes me worry about even walking into pet stores, especially the bird ones who board other birds. Who knows what they're bringing in with them? Also, hearing how resistant some diseases can be, I now fear bringing home the used cages I've been buying up and refitting. Yes, I disinfect, then bleach, but I'm not completely trusting that I can clear them. And I just got the nicest little flight cage for just $5, which is now sitting in my back yard waiting for a coat of paint. *sigh*

I hope your story with the little Hahns has happy ending. We're sending prayers, good vibes, positive energy and anything else useful in your direction. And thank you for sharing what you're going through. We who become complacent need a reminder now and again never to ease up on the vigilance in protecting our babies.
It is a very scary thought, they had them for around 4 years. ANY bird in that time if they were infected when they had them will have a chance of getting it!
All staff members, members of the public who go in there regularly like I used to!
 

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Also, hearing how resistant some diseases can be, I now fear bringing home the used cages I've been buying up and refitting. Yes, I disinfect, then bleach, but I'm not completely trusting that I can clear them.
My first two PBFD budgies lived in a big $100 brand new flight cage. I intended to move the rest of the flock into it when their quarantine was over (bad idea). The thought crossed my mind that I could clean it, put it on Craigslist, and get some of my money back. I'd never in a million years actually do that, but I realized how very possible it was. I'd never buy a used cage, I'd rather pay for a new one and have the peace of mind.
 

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MOTM March 2012
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just thought I'd add to this as well, most of you kow 3 weeks after I got the Hahns I took on another rescue, a Patagonian Conure Charlie, he also came back positive for Psittacosis! The person I got him from was notified as he had birds and I did tell him to contact the person he originally rehomed him to (I was his 4th home in about as many weeks).

Charles however due to his condition had to stay in the house so the two other birds in my house, Rocky and Munchkin are also on treatment as a precaution.

The Hahns have now finished their treatment and will be re-tested in June, Charles and Rockys treatment finishes this Saturday I believe and Munchkins finishes on the 22nd due to a reaction he had to the medication.

I have been told my test kits are finally being sent out from AvianBiotech as I plan to re-test my flock before putting my pairs down to breed, also need to do a DNA on Charles and PBFD on him.
 

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What a wonderful thing, to be sharing your experiences, Amelia!

I sincerely hope it makes people THINK, before they decide to break a quarantine period.
 

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I really want to adopt 2 more budgies but after reading all this threads.. I must say I'm a little scared and hesitant. Since I have 2 at home already one is 6 yrs old and the other around 1-2 years old, both of them are really healthy. So I'm thinking really hard and hoping to make the right decision >.<
 

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MOTM March 2012
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I really want to adopt 2 more budgies but after reading all this threads.. I must say I'm a little scared and hesitant. Since I have 2 at home already one is 6 yrs old and the other around 1-2 years old, both of them are really healthy. So I'm thinking really hard and hoping to make the right decision >.<
As long as you quarantine correctly and get the blood work done when you get them you will right away minimise your risk of bringing anything home.

Nothing is 100% fool proof though and there is always going to be a chance. We just have to work with what we are given :)
 
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