Chlamydia psittaci - also referred to as Psittacosis, Parrot Fever or chlamydiosis. The word Psittacosis comes from the Greek word Psittakos, meaning parrot. Chlamydia are gram negative, spherical, (0.4-0.6 micron diameter), intracellular parasites that people sometimes referred to as "energy parasites" because they use ATP (a crucial energy containing metabolite) produced by the host cell, hence, the term "energy parasites.
Incubation periods in caged birds vary from days to weeks and longer. Most commonly this period is approximately 3 to 10 days. Latent infections are common and active disease may occur several years after exposure. The incubation period of this disease is however difficult to assess due to these chronically infected birds that develop persistent, asymptomatic infections.
In birds, C. psittaci may manifest itself as an upper respiratory infection with nasal, and or ocular discharge, diarrhea, or a combination of all three. In some cases, birds may be infected but show no signs. These cases are of concern because these birds may become carriers and shed the organism.
A major concern with C. psittaci is the zoonotic potential of the organism. A zoonotic disease is an infection which can be transmitted from animals to humans. C. psittaci is also one of the major causes of infectious abortion in sheep and cattle.
*C. psittaci is related to Chlamydia trachomatis, the most common human STD, and Chlamydia pneumonia, a cause of human pneumonia. Chlamydia pneumonia is also being investigated as possibly being associated with cardiovascular disease in humans.
Transmission: Transmission of this organism from one host to another is primarily through the air. The bacteria is shed from an infected bird in the nasal and or ocular secretions, fecal material, and feather dust. The organism remains remarkably stable outside the host body and dries as a dusty substance. This dust or aerosol contaminates the air that is then inhaled by another possible host. Susceptibility as well as the amount of contamination determine whether or not the new host becomes infected with the disease. Vertical transmission through the egg has been shown in domesticated ducks.
The disease has a greater chance of spreading in overcrowded conditions, stale air environments, nest-boxes, and brooders. Pet shops, bird marts, and quarantine stations are also high risk areas.
*Transmission of the Chlamydial organism from birds to humans has been confirmed in a number of cases. Although psittacosis infection in humans is rare it is potentially dangerous for persons who are sick, elderly, immunosuppressed (e.g., HIV patients) or pregnant. These people should consult their doctor for more information concerning Chlamydia psittaci.
In young birds clinical sings can include rough plumage, low body temperature, tremor, lethargy, conjunctivitis, dyspnea, emaciation, sinusitis, yellow to greenish droppings or grayish watery droppings may also be displayed. Adult birds may develop symptoms such as tremors, lethargy, ruffled feathers, progressive weight loss, greenish diarrhea, occasional conjunctivitis, and high levels of urates in droppings. Birds infected with Chlamydia may develop one or several of these symptoms as the disease progresses.
Clinical changes associated with a Chlamydia infection include WBC elevated 2-3 times, Hct decreased 25-40%, SGOT elevated at least 2-3 times the normal levels, LDH elevated by at least 20%, and AST elevated by at least 2-3 times the normal limit. Other, more slight changes can occur in blood hematology and chemistry.
*In humans: abrupt onset of fever, chills, headache, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, malaise, myalgia, and conjunctivitis can occur as a result of a Chlamydia infection.
Prevention: Preventing the organism from entering your facility is the best method of prevention. Test and quarantine all new birds before entering them in your aviary; avoid bird marts and bird fares where the disease can spread. Commonsense hygiene includes the removal of fecal material, and quality air circulation,
Treatment: Most treatments involve the use of tetracycline and its derivatives such as Vibramycin, Doxycycline, Oxytetracycline. The antibiotic can be given by intravenous or intramuscular injections. Antibiotics can also be given orally or mixed with palatable food. Treatment periods generally last about 45 days varying slightly depending on the treatment. *Calcium should be withheld because tetracycline binds to calcium. Citric acid in the bird's drinking water can increase the levels of antibiotics in the blood.
*In humans tetracycline and its derivatives are generally an effective treatment for Chlamydia.
Diagnosis: Fecal analysis, blood analysis, immunoflourescent testing, as well as PCR and nested PCR testing are excellent tool to help determine a Chlamydial infection.
Sample: When testing individual birds, a whole blood sample is recommended in conjunction with a cloacal and/or throat swab when possible. If the sample tests positive the bird should be placed in quarantine and treatment should be begun immediately.
Postmortem swabs or samples of liver, spleen, or kidney tissue in a sterile container may also be submitted.
Environmental testing using swabs of aviaries, countertops, fans, air-filters, nest-boxes, etc. is extremely effective in determining the presence of Chlamydia psittaci DNA in the environment.
Handling: Prior to shipping samples should be stored at 4 C. (refrigerator). Samples must be shipped in a padded envelope or box. Samples may be sent by regular mail, but overnight is recommended.
Just some Doxy info with another additive for a quicker application..
Treatment for Ornithosis/Psittacosis in Caged Birds
Doxycycline is a broad spectrum antibiotic for the treatment of Ornithosis in finches and Psittacosis in Parrots. Ornithosis and Psittacosis are now known as a Chlamydophila infection.
A slow molt or lack of activity in the flock is an indication that something is wrong. A “one eye cold”, beak scratching, sneezing in juveniles or “pinched” triangular eyelids in adults are outward symptom of Ornithosis. During breeding season infertility, failure of hens to lay eggs, dead in shell, dying babies (from 1-5 days of age) and sudden death in breeding hens are signs of Ornithosis.
Without veterinary testing, it is difficult to confirm Ornithosis as the cause of these symptoms. So if you have an avian vet who can perform these tests I always advise this route, but if you do not have access to an avian vet, a short course of Doxycycline & Megamix becomes a useful and safe method for detecting Ornithosis. A positive response to a 3 day long course, confirms the presence of disease and the need for a longer treatment which can be from 3 days to 30 days, or until you see a negative response to the treatment. No harm can be done by administering this treatment, even when Ornithosis is absent from your flock.
Metal containers (except stainless steel) and minerals present in shell grits and mineral supplements have a negative effect on proper absorption of Doxycycline into the bird’s body. In the past it was always advised to remove all minerals and metal containers in order to achieve a full therapeutic effect from Doxycycline. However, removal of minerals during Doxycycline treatments has been found to inhibit recovery and create a degree of infertility and egg binding problems.
The addition of minerals may continue when Megamix is added to the drinking water during the Doxycycline treatment. The addition of Megamix has an acidifying effect on the crop contents that helps reduce Thrush infections that can be associated with Doxycycline treatments.
A positive response to the Doxycycline/Megamix treatment would result in
• Smaller and less watery droppings
• Birds will become more active
• An increased noise and activity level
• Feather quality improves
A negative response to the Doxycycline/Megamix treatment would be directly related to a Thrush (Candida) infection. These symptoms would include
• Birds will fluff up and look tired
• Droppings will become dark green and watery
• Birds will become inactive
• Birds may vomit
A 3 day trial treatment to determine the presence of Ornithosis should begin at least 8 weeks before the start of the next breeding season because Doxycycline may temporarily render healthy birds sterile. If your initial trial determines that the entire aviary should have the 30 day treatment, it should be completed 4 weeks before the next breeding season begins. The best time for treatment would be at the completion of the annual molt before the beginning of the austerity period begins. I have treated my own flock with Doxycycline/Megamix every July for the last 5 years, immediately before I start the 4 weeks Austerity Diet, with great success.
If the initial trial of Doxycycline/Megamix determines that one or a few birds would benefit from the complete 30 day treatment, those birds should be separated from the rest of the flock for treatment. Unless your previous breeding season showed widespread infertility and nestling mortality across a large number of nests, it is wiser to remove unproductive pairs to a hospital cage for a course of Doxycycline/Megamix rather than treat the entire flock.
If the entire flock shows a positive response to the 3 day Doxycycline/Megamix trial, I recommend housing the birds in small holding cages so that as you begin to see negative responses in individual birds you can easily catch them to be removed from the treatment. Not every bird will need the full 30 day treatment. The length of time for treatment will be determined by the infection rate of each bird. Some birds may continue to show a positive response until day 7, others until day 15 and still others may go the full 30 days without ever showing negative signs. Once you begin to see inactivity and a fluffed posture in individual birds, they should be pulled from the treatment and given KD Water cleanser for 2 days. If these birds do not rebound after 2 days on KD, they should be placed in a hospital cage, provided heat and administered Nystatin for 5 days to eliminate a Thrush (Candida) infection. After that they can go back on their normal drinking water regimen until the rest of the flock completes the Doxycycline/Megamix treatment.
Those birds that show a negative response early in the treatment are the healthiest birds in your flock, while those that go the full 30 days may be carriers and should be removed from the breeding program.
Birds do not develop immunity to Ornithosis and may become re-infected after treatment. The introduction of new birds is a common source of Ornithosis to previously healthy flocks. New birds must be quarantined for at least 6 weeks before being introduced into an existing flock. They should always receive a trial course of Doxycycline/Megamix treatment while in quarantine. If the new birds show a positive response to the 3 day trial, they should receive the full treatment or until they show a negative response. By treating all new birds, you can lesson the probability that you will have to treat the entire flock before each breeding season.
• 1. A complete treatment with Doxycycline/Megamix should only be administered when there is a positive response to the treatment trial.
• 2. Doxycycline/Megamix should be continued until birds become quiet and fluffed up. This may be as short as 3 days (in aviaries with no Ornithosis) to 30 days (in birds infected with Ornithosis.
• 3. The food should be enriched daily with vitamins and minerals during the course of treatment. These supplements may be added to the dry seed or into a soft food.
• 4. The surfaces of cages, aviaries and food stations must be disinfected once a week during the Doxycycline/Megamix treatment.
• 5. After the Doxycycline/Megamix treatment, KD Water Cleanser should be added to the drinking water for 2 days. Do not add anything else to drinking water containing KD Water Cleanser.
• 6. If treatment goes too long and birds do not rebound when KD is added to their drinking water, they should be given Nystatin for 5 days to eliminate the Thrush (Candida) infection.
• Dosage and Administration:
• 1. 20% Doxycycline – ¼ teaspoon per liter/quart of drinking water
• 2. Megamix – ½ teaspoon (2.5ml) per liter/quart of drinking water (some aviary situations may require more or less Megamix depending upon the acidity/alkalinity of the drinking water used. If you have been using Megamix in your drinking water, use the same amount when using the Doxycycline/Megamix cocktail
• 3. Mix fresh each day of treatment, do not mix large quantities and hold it for several days. Remove all other sources of moisture during treatment period. This would include bath dishes unless they also contained Doxycycline/Megamix, fruits, veggies and greens.
This product is not intended or approved for stock whose meat or eggs are intended for human consumption. Consult your veterinarian for authorization and supervision in administering this or any antimicrobial medication.
• Small Doxy/Megamix Cocktail - 50g Doxy - 100ml Megamix
• Large Doxy/Megamix Cocktail - 100g Doxy - 250ml Megamix
• 50 gram Doxycycline ONLY
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I will come back to add as I go so i don't get booted off..BRB
Here are a few very good herbs!! we will recap at the end..
•ALFALFA-- Aids in allergies and arthritic conditions of parrots by removing toxins from the body; neutralizing acids, and purifying the blood. Alfalfa stimulates the appetite, and aids in the assimilation of protein, calcium & other nutrients.
•ALOE-- Fresh aloe gel is a perfect application for small cuts, abrasions, and rashes on parrots' skin. It dries and heals the injury.
•CAYENNE-- The active ingredient, capsaicin, is an appetite stimulant and a good natural treatment for sinus congestion in parrots. Used topically, it is an anti-inflammatory agent. Parrots enjoy its fiery taste.
•CHAMOMILE-- One of nature's safest and mildest sedatives useful to calm birds in stressful situations. Studies show that this herb also kills the yeast fungi Candida albicans as well as certain staph bacteria.
•CINNAMON-- Exerts mild anti-fungal effect on candida and other types of yeast, and aspergillus. It also has a mild anti-bacterial effect against strep and staph bacteria.
•DANDELION-- Helpful in diseases of the liver and digestive organs. Useful in the treatment of arthritis.
•ECHINACEA-- Used as an immunostimulant. May speed recovery in some cases of poxvirus and in debilitated birds. Also possesses anti-bacterial properties.
•EYEBRIGHT-- Useful herb for protecting and maintaining the health of parrots' eyes. A strong tea of eyebright, used as a wash, is perfect for irritated eyes on all pets.
•GARLIC-- Has anti-oxidant properties as well as anti-parasitic properties which kill intestinal parasites. Protects the liver from the damage of chemical pollutants in the air and in food and water supply. Researchers at the University of Cambridge in England found that garlic juice is as strong as the antifungal drugs, Amphotericin and Nystatin, against Candida, a fungal problem sometimes found in parrots. Should be used sparingly and in the form of fresh garlic, not the concentrated garlic powder. Garlic belongs to a family of plants that may cause anemia in animals if given for long periods of time.
•GINGER-- Excellent to prevent motion sickness when parrots must travel. Use a few drops of ginger extract in the water, and slices of fresh ginger offered the night before the bird must travel. Very useful against nausea and regurgitation.
•KAVA KAVA-- A member of the pepper family, and popular among people in the South Pacific islands since earliest times, Kava Kava has sedative and tranquilizing effects. It is useful in some cases of feather plucking and hyperactivity of parrots. This herb is quite strong and therefore must be used sparingly.
•MILK THISTLE-- Seeds contain silymarin, a flavonoid that is effective for liver disorders. This is the main herbal ingredient of Aloe Detox and the number one herb for the treatment of all liver problems. Milk thistle has been used without side effects for years.
•PASSION FLOWER-- Passiflora incarnata, also commonly known as Maypop acts as a gentle sedative and may be our best natural parrot tranquilizer. Parrots that engage in feather destruction may respond favorably to either Passion Flower, Kava Kava, or St.Johns Wort. Hyperactive parrots or those with compulsive behavior patterns may be helped by Passion Flower.
•PAU D'ARCO-- Or Taheebo is considered a "miracle bark" from a South American tree, with anti-fungal properties effective against candida and intestinal parasites in humans and parrots alike.
•ST. JOHNS WORT-- Hypericum has anti-depressant qualities and can be tried as a substitute for Haloperidol in some feather-plucking parrots. Not all herbs work the same in all parrots so it may be necessary to try more than one for some symptoms. St. Johns Wort could possibly be a problem if administered to parrots that live outside with access to direct sunlight. The reason for this warning is that there were studies of sheep that ingested extremely large quantities of pure hypericum-perforatum and died of phototoxicity. This may or may not apply to parrots. No studies have been published on the use of St. Johns Wort in parrots.
•SEAWEEDS-- Sea vegetables such as Kelp, Wakame, Undaria, Kombu and Nori protect parrots as well as humans against several gram positive and gram negative bacteria known to potentiate carcinogens in the system. They posses anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-tumor properties. They are powerful immunostimulants.
•SLIPPERY ELM-- Used externally for wounds, burns, rashes, abscesses, boils, or insect bites, and internally for the lungs, coughing, vomiting
•VALERIAN-- Used as a sedative and pain reliever, stronger than most other herbal sedatives. Should be used only with the advice of an experienced herbalist.
•WITCHHAZEL-- Applied topically in a spray, it has astringent and healing properties and relieves itching. Can be used in addition to or as an alternative to aloe vera spray when parrots have itchy skin. Unlike aloe spray, witch hazel usually is preserved with alcohol so it should not be sprayed near the face of a parrot. I prefer aloe spray because of the potential of inhalation of the alcohol in witch hazel.
and also Sesame Seed!! Huge benifit to these birds!! I use 1 small bag a week mixed in their seed..
Close to the other list but I like the detailed info here..
ALFALFA--The leaves of the alfalfa plant are rich in minerals and nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and carotene. It alkalizes and detoxifies the body, especially the liver, and it contains an anti-fungal agent. It is an excellent appetite stimulant and overall tonic and an excellent source of chlorophyll and vitamins. Treating with alfalfa leaves is perfectly safe, but alfalfa seeds contain a slightly toxic amino acid unless used in sprouted form. I keep a shaker of chopped organic alfalfa leaves and use it on my parrots' soft food mix twice a week.
ALOE-Known as the medicine plant, aloe vera is excellent for the treatment of wounds, burns, bites, cuts, abrasions and rashes. It helps to prevent infection in injured skin and it is an exceptionally effective pain killer. Many cases of feather plucking in parrots have been treated successfully with a spray of water and aloe vera gel or powder. It also can be used internally as a powerful detoxifying agent. There are several documented cases of complete recoveries in parrots treated with an aloe concentrate and detoxifying herbs, even though the birds had been considered terminally ill!
CAYENNE-Also known as capsicum, it is an overall digestive aid containing liberal amounts of Vitamins A, C, B-complex, calcium, phosphorous and iron. It is also anti-inflammatory and helps arthritic conditions. Parrots love the fiery taste of cayenne and will try new and unfamiliar foods, such as sprouts, when you sprinkle on this healthful herb.
CHAMOMILE-A mild tea made of this popular herb can be substituted for the drinking water of parrots when they need a calming influence. It is a wonderful natural tranquilizer which soothes the nerves and the digestive tract. As an added bonus, it contains calcium in an easily-assimilated form. This is an excellent natural alternative to tranquilizers for a parrot that is upset by traveling. "Night thrashing" in cockatiels can be treated by offering a bedtime tea of chamomile.
DANDELION-We spend millions on herbicides to kill the dandelions in our lawns while we spend more millions to buy the vitamins and minerals contained in them! Dandelion leaves are full of Vitamin A, B1 and C plus blood purifying substances. Parrots love the taste of this bitter green plant which is a wonderful tonic for them. If you have older parrots in your care, be sure to include dandelion leaves in their diet as it is one of the most effective supplements for the prevention of arthritic conditions.
GARLIC-Currently being studied by the National Cancer Institute for its anti-tumor properties, garlic has been shown to contain eighteen anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial substances. It is a mild natural antibiotic which is safe for parrots in small amounts. It also stimulates the immune system and kills parasites. It can help to eliminate lead, zinc, and other toxins from body tissues. If you offer your feathered friends garlic, give them one or two thin slices of a fresh garlic clove, or save them one of the tiny cloves in the middle of the large garlic bulb so that they can peel it, which is a favorite sport of parrots!
GINGER-Called the "wonder drug", the ginger root is actually a rhizome which is similar to several foods known to be consumed in the wild by parrots. It has been used for two thousand years by the Chinese to treat nausea and upset stomach. It is no coincidence that the Japanese serve fresh ginger slices with sushi as insurance against the parasites sometimes found in raw fish. Ginger is a wonderful remedy to use with baby parrots that go through brief periods of colic or throwing up their formula. I mix their formula in ginger tea instead of water and the problem is solved immediately. You can make the tea by steeping two or three slices of fresh ginger root in the water for ten or fifteen minutes. If your parrot must travel and is prone to motion sickness, ginger to the rescue! Add fresh ginger to the food and drinking water several hours before the trip and put a few slices in the carrier. Parrots seem to have an innate sense of what they need and will munch on the ginger to "quell their queasiness" during the trip.
Tumor Info Via Lupron:
Lupron & Its Use In Avian Medicine
By: Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.
For those that spend time on the Internet, lately there has been a lot of talk of using the drug Lupron for a variety of problems found in birds. It has been touted as a ‘miracle’ cure by some proclaiming it solves medical problems ranging from chronic egg laying (usually seen in cockatiels) to feather destruction to behavioral issues such as biting and aggressive behavior. These types of claims merit investigation from all avenues and in researching this article, I have obtained information from the manufacturer, research veterinarians and veterinarians that have pioneered the use of this drug in aviculture as well as anecdotal information from pet bird owners. It is hoped that this information will educate you in order to allow you to make the right decision for your bird and it’s situation.
What is Lupron? Lupron Depot belongs to a class of drugs called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists. It is used to decrease the human body’s production of specific hormones, natural chemicals that influence the behavior of certain cells. Because Lupron Depot can reduce the production of both male and female hormones, it is used to treat specific conditions in men, women, and children. The manufacturer performed no clinical trials of this drug on birds and makes it clear that veterinarians are prescribing it ‘off label’ something that is commonly done with most human drugs that are used on animals.
What are the Conditions for Which it is Prescribed? In humans, Lupron is used to treat prostate cancer, endometriosis, fibroid tumors and early puberty. In birds, it has been used to alleviate chronic egg laying and other reproductive problems as well as behavioral problems including aggression and feather destructive behaviors.
What are the Side Effects, if any? In humans, Lupron has had many side effects ranging from hot flashes (in men as well as women), sexual side affects, headaches, increased testosterone production, poor control in the pubertal process, bone pain, bone loss, kidney problems, spinal cord compression, psychological and neurological problems.
Fortunately, in checking with veterinarians that have prescribed Lupron for treatment in birds, none of these side effects have been observed. This is most important due to the high incidents of bone loss in humans but not in birds. Birds, of course, have hollow bones and the possible loss of bone in birds could be disastrous. This concern, however, seems to be not a problem in birds taking Lupron. The only side affect that has been reported is a mild, brief facial skin flushing in a Scarlet macaw. Dr. Brian Speer did state that at present time, with the use of Leuprolide acetate in birds, adverse drug-associated effects are not recognized or documented. In non-domestic avian species, veterinarians typically have to use drugs off-label, as there are precious few true understood drugs that can be applied to the multitude of species and age groups of birds that we must provide medical care for. With off-label use comes some good, and some potential bad - needless to say.
Is Lupron Successful in Preventing Chronic Egg Laying? Chronic egg laying is defined when a hen lays repeated clutches or larger than normal clutch size. This can exhaust the hen and reduce calcium to dangerous levels. Lupron, along with environmental dietary changes, helps to decrease the level of reproductive hormones thereby stopping egg production. Dr. Jim Miliam first reported on using Lupron several years ago as a way to reduce egg laying in cockatiels. Both Dr. Heather Bowles and Dr. Fern Van Sant, veterinarians that prescribe Lupron for their avian patients, stressed very highly the importance of providing appropriate diet, photoperiods (daylight hours) and other environmental changes such as removing ‘nest like’ or stimulating toys or cage accessories and moving the cage to a new location in addition to Lupron injections. Dr. Bowles reports that the Fallston Veterinary Clinic treated 210 birds with reproductive disorders and found the treatment to have improved or resolved in approximately 83% of the cases. Lupron has also been reported successful in treating tumors and cysts. Dr. Bowles reports that treatment may be intermittent or chronic to remain effective.
However, Dr. Miliam also reported a rebound effect in which the birds actually laid more eggs after the effect of the drug wore off. According to Dr. Susan Clubb, “as a GNRH inhibitor, when the drug is no longer acting to inhibit the GNRH, there is a rebound of the negative feedback system controlling the production of gonadal hormones.” Dr. Clubb reported that she had tried, on a very limited basis, using Lupron to induce egg laying in birds which were not doing so, without much success. Dr. Clubb occasionally uses Lupron for reproductive problems to inhibit egg production for a while but warns owners that the effect is not really long lasting.
How Is Lupron in the Management of Undesirable Behavior? It seems that it depends on what is causing the undesirable behavior. Behaviors such as aggression, regurgitation and inappropriate sexual activities demonstrated improvement with Lupron and behavioral counseling. Dr Bowles reports that using Lupron, while the owner also works with a qualified avian behaviorist, can alleviate some of these symptoms so the owner may learn appropriate methods for handling their bird. She does state quite strongly, however, that Lupron is not a ‘quick fix’ and that all owners should receive instruction on how to handle their bird properly. Dr. Brian Speer advises caution with the use of Lupron for treating undesirable behavior. Although Dr. Speer acknowledges these products can produce a transient drop in the behavior, this “does not address the nature of the signals being received and sent between bird and owner, and hence, cannot be viewed as curative in intent or result.”
Is Lupron Successful in Resolving Feather Damaging Behavior? Again, it depends on what is causing the feather destruction. If it seems to be hormone related, several veterinarians reported success in treating with Lupron. For example, Dr. Susan E. Orosz reported success in feather damaging behavior reduction in birds that were also exhibiting reproductive behaviors. Dr. Kenneth R. Welle recommends using Lupron to treat feather destructive behavior but only in birds that are mature and also exhibiting inappropriate sexual behavior. Dr. Bowles reports in 31 cases of ‘reproductive hormone” related feather destruction, a 66% success rate with a combination of Lupron and dietary and environmental changes. As a side, Dr. Bowles did report that parrotlets, unfortunately, did not seem to respond well to Lupron in preventing feather damaging behavior. However, Dr. Van Sant stated that she had seen an improvement in parrotlets treated with Lupron as well as appropriate environmental changes.
How Long Should Lupron Be Administered? This, of course, needs to be discussed thoroughly with your veterinarian, however, all of the veterinarians interviewed that Lupron should be administered for periodic treatment for particular disorders. None felt that birds should be treated with Lupron year round unless it was under extreme circumstances. Dr. Bowles reported treating a budgie with an inoperable ovarian tumor that is inoperable (the owner does not want chemotherapy) and the clinical signs greatly improved. Also, an African grey that continuously formed ovarian cysts making her severely ill but a heart condition prohibits performing anesthesia and surgery. Lupron can also aid in stabilizing a bird for surgery and reducing the size and vascularity of the ovary & oviduct for removal.
In Conclusion I hope you have found this information useful, as I know I learned a lot doing the research. I believe each person needs to discuss these issues with their own veterinarians to make the correct decision for themselves. Remember that all the veterinarians consulted for this article stressed the need and importance of having an appropriate diet, correct housing, enrichment items, a clean environment and appropriate owner/bird interaction regardless if the proposed the use of Lupron or not.
Dr. Speer stressed the high cost of the drug (currently a class action lawsuit is pending against the company due to the price of the drug) and stated he would really love to see the costs of multiple and repeated injections re-placed into primary environmental and behavioral therapies for many birds. Dr. Speer also expressed concerns about “excessive use - primarily in that the REAL issues rarely are discussed or addressed; these include pair bond reinforcement, reproductive imprintation, and other issues that must have a primary behavioral intervention if true success is to be achieved.” He admitted Lupron can be an effective tool - but rarely will function as a sole "treatment" for the resolution of reproductive hormonally related issues.
Research Sources –
Heather L. Bowles, DVM, AVBP
Susan Clubb, DVM, AVBP
Heidi L. Hoefer, DVM, AVBP
Teresa L. Lightfoot, DVM, AVBP
Lupron Depot Web-Site
Jim Miliam, DVM, AVBP
Susan Orosz, DVM, Ph.D.
David Phalen, DVM, AVBP
Brian Speer, DVM, AVBP, ECAMS
TAP Pharmaceuticals Products, Inc.
Kenneth R. Welle, DVM, AVBP
Donald Zantop, DVM, AVBP
OTHER NAME: LEUPROLIDE ACETATE
Pronunciation: (loo-PRO-lide ASS-uh-TATE)
Class: Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog
- Injection 22.5 (3-month depot)
- Injection 30 mg (4-month depot)
- Injection 45 mg (6-month depot)
- Powder for injection, lyophilized 7.5 mg
- Injection 5 mg/mL
- Microspheres for injection, lyophilized 3.75 mg
- Microspheres for injection, lyophilized 7.5 mg/mL
Lupron Depot-3 Month
- Microspheres for injection, lyophilized 11.25 mg
- Microspheres for injection, lyophilized 22.5 mg
Lupron Depot-4 Month
- Microspheres for injection, lyophilized 30 mg
- Microspheres for injection, lyophilized 7.5 mg
- Microspheres for injection, lyophilized 11.25 mg
- Microspheres for injection, lyophilized 15 mg
Lupron for Pediatric Use
- Injection 5 mg/mL
Lupron Depot 3.75 mg/11.25 mg (Canada)
Lupron/Lupron Depot 3.75 mg/7.5 mg (Canada)
Lupron/Lupron Depot 7.5 mg/22.5 mg/30 mg (Canada)
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A synthetic luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist that acts as a potent inhibitor of gonadotropin secretion when given continuously and in therapeutic doses. After initial stimulation, chronic administration results in suppression of ovarian and testicular steroidogenesis.
Not active orally.
Bioavailability subcutaneous is comparable with IV.
C max is 4.6 to 25.3 ng/mL. T max is 4 to 5 h.
Every 3 mo
C max is 36.3 to 127 ng/mL. T max is 4 to 5 h.
Every 4 mo
C max is 59.3 to 150 ng/mL. T max is 3.3 to 4 h.
Every 6 mo
C max is 82 to 102 ng/mL. T max is 4.5 h.
Protein binding is 43% to 49%. Mean Vd ss is 27 L.
Inactive metabolites are pentapeptide (metabolite Ι), tripeptides (metabolite ΙΙ and ΙΙΙ), and dipeptide (metabolite ΙV).
Plasma half-life is 3 h.
Renal Function Impairment
Pharmacokinetics have not been determined.
Hepatic Function Impairment
Pharmacokinetics have not been determined.
Majority of patients studied were 65 y and older.
Indications and Usage
Palliative treatment of advanced prostatic cancer; management of endometriosis in women older than 18 y (depot preparation); treatment of children with central precocious puberty (CPP [pediatric injection or depot pediatric]); uterine leiomyomata (depot preparation).
Pregnancy; lactation; hypersensitivity to GnRH, GnRH agonist analogs, or product components; undiagnosed vaginal bleeding. Eligard is contraindicated in children.
Dosage and Administration
Advanced Prostate Cancer
Injection; subcutaneous 1 mg/day. Depot; subcutaneous ( Eligard only) 7.5 mg/mo, 22.5 mg every 3 mo, 30 mg every 4 mo, or 45 mg every 6 mo. IM ( Lupron only) 7.5 mg/mo, 22.5 mg every 3 mo, 30 mg every 4 mo.
Injection; subcutaneous Starting dose: 50 mcg/kg/day as single injection. If total downregulation not achieved, titrate upward by 10 mcg/kg/day, which will be considered the maintenance dose. Depot; IM Starting dose: 25 kg or less, 7.5 mg every 4 wk; 26 to 37.5 kg, 11.25 mg every 4 wk; greater than 37.5 kg, 15 mg every 4 wk. If total downregulation not achieved, titrate upward in 3.75 mg increments every 4 wk, which will be considered the maintenance dose.
IM 3.75 mg as single monthly injection or 11.25 mg every 3 mo (depot preparation).
IM 3.75 mg/mo or one 11.25 mg injection with concomitant iron therapy. Recommended duration of therapy is 3 mo or less.
• Because of different release characteristics, a fractional dose of the 3-, 4-, or 6-mo depot formulations is not equivalent to the same dose of the monthly formulation and should not be given.
• Prefilled dual-chamber syringe and single-use kit with 2-syringe mixing system
• Allow Eligard to reach room temperature before using.
• Prepare injection following manufacturer's instructions. If microspheres (particles) adhere to the stopper, tap the syringe against finger; remove needle guard and advance plunger to expel air from the syringe. Inject entire contents of syringe IM ( Lupron ) or subcutaneous ( Eligard ). Mix and administer immediately because suspension settles very quickly; reshake suspension if settling occurs.
• Prepare injection following manufacturer's instructions.
• Use syringes included in the kit or low-dose insulin syringes.
• Do not administer if solution is cloudy, discolored, or contains particulate matter.
• Rotate injection sites.
Store injection below 77°F. Protect from freezing and light; store vial in carton until use.
Store Lupron Depot at controlled room temperature (59° to 86°F). Does not contain a preservative; discard if not used immediately after reconstitution.
Refrigerate Eligard between 35.6° and 46.4°F. Administer within 30 min of mixing.
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None well documented.
Laboratory Test Interactions
Diagnostic tests of pituitary gonadotropic and gonadal functions during treatment and up to 12 wk after discontinuing depot preparation may be misleading.
Vasodilation (68%); ECG changes/ischemia, heart failure, hypertension, murmur, phlebitis/thrombosis (at least 5%); angina, arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, deep thrombophlebitis, hypotension, MI, tachycardia, varicose vein (less than 5%); syncope (less than 2%); pulmonary embolism (postmarketing).
Headache/Migraine (65%); depression, insomnia/sleep disorders (31%); asthenia (18%); dizziness/vertigo (16%); decreased libido (11%); neuromuscular disorders (10%); nervousness, paresthesia (8%); anxiety, memory disorder/amnesia (6%); abnormal thinking, confusion, convulsion, delusions, dementia, fatigue, hypesthesia, lethargy, malaise, mood swings, numbness, paralysis, peripheral nephropathy, personality disorder, syncope or blackouts (less than 5%); emotional lability, personality disorder, somnolence (less than 2%); paralysis, spinal fracture (postmarketing).
Hot flashes/sweats (98%); skin reaction (12%); acne/seborrhea (10%); dermatitis (at least 5%); carcinoma of the skin or ear, clamminess, dry skin, ecchymosis, hair loss, herpes zoster, itching, local skin reactions, nail disorders, night sweats, pigmentation/melanosis, skin lesions (less than 5%); rash including erythema multiforme (2%); hirsutism, skin striae (less than 2%); hair growth, photosensitivity, rash, urticaria (postmarketing).
Abnormal vision, amblyopia, blurred vision, carcinoma of the ear, conjunctivitis, dry eyes, epistaxis, pharyngitis, tinnitus (less than 5%).
Nausea, vomiting (25%); GI disorder (16%); altered bowel function (14%); anorexia, constipation (at least 5%); colitis, diarrhea, duodenal ulcer, dysphagia, enlarged abdomen, eructation, GI bleeding, gastroenteritis, gingivitis, gum hemorrhage, hepatomegaly, hernia, increased appetite, increased sputum, intestinal obstruction, peptic ulcer, periodontal abscess, rectal polyps, taste disorders, thirst or dry mouth (less than 5%); abdominal pain, dysphagia, gingivitis (less than 2%).
Vaginitis (28%); testicular atrophy (20%); urinary disorders (17%); breast enlargement, gynecomastia (7%); breast pain or tenderness, impotence (at least 5%); urinary retention, urinary frequency (5%); vaginal bleeding or discharge (2%); balanitis, bladder carcinoma, bladder spasms, dysuria, epididymitis, incontinence, lactation, menstrual disorders, nocturia, penis disorders, testicular pain, testis disorders, UTI (less than 5%); cervix disorder, prostate disorder (less than 2%); prostate pain (postmarketing).
Anemia (at least 5%); leukopenia, lymphedema, lymphadenopathy (less than 5%).
Increased triglycerides (12%); increased total cholesterol (7%); abnormal LFTs, decreased albumin, decreased bicarbonate, decreased and increased platelets, decreased and increased prostatic acid phosphatase, decreased and increased urine specific gravity, decreased HDL, decreased Hgb/Hct/RBC, decreased potassium, decreased total protein, eosinophilia, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, hyperphosphatemia, hyperuricemia, increased BUN, increased calcium, increased creatinine, increased PT, increased PTT, increased WBC, thrombocytopenia, uricaciduria (at least 5%).
Injection-site reaction (38%); abscess at injection site (5%).
Edema (21%); weight gain or loss (13%); dehydration (8%); peripheral edema (at least 5%); abnormal healing, diabetes, hypoglycemia, hypoxia, thyroid enlargement (less than 5%).
Joint disorder (16%); myalgia (8%); bone pain (at least 5%); joint pain, leg cramps, neck pain (less than 5%); extremity pain (3%); arthritis (less than 2%); decreased bone density, fibromyalgia, tenosynovitis-like symptoms (postmarketing).
Respiratory disorders (11%); dyspnea, sinus congestion (at least 5%); asthma, bronchitis, cough, emphysema, epistaxis, hemoptysis, lung edema, pharyngitis, pleural effusion, pleural rub, pneumonia, pulmonary fibrosis, rhinitis (less than 5%).
Pain (33%); fatigue or malaise (21%); edema (14%); flu syndrome (12%); allergic reaction, androgen-like effects, cellulitis, chills, cyst, enlarged abdomen, enlarged thyroid, fever, infection or inflammation, hiccup, lung disorder, neoplasm, sinusitis, temporal bone swelling, voice alteration, weakness (less than 5%); accelerated muscle maturity, body odor, dry mucous membranes, rigors (less than 2%); anaphylactoid reactions, asthma, pituitary apoplexy (postmarketing).
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Closely observe prostatic cancer patients with metastatic vertebral lesions or with urinary tract obstruction during first few wk of therapy. Monitor therapeutic response by measuring testosterone serum levels, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), and prostatic acid phosphatase. After 1 to 2 mo of initiating CPP therapy or changing doses, monitor GnRH stimulation test, sex steroids, and Tanner staging to confirm downregulation. Verify downregulation in patients whose weight has increased significantly while on therapy. Monitor measurements of bone age for advancement every 6 to 12 mo.
Category X . Exclude pregnancy before initiating therapy in women of childbearing potential; use nonhormonal method of contraception during treatment.
The safety and efficacy of leuprolide, apart from the pediatric formulations for treatment of CPP, have not been established.
Injection contains benzyl alcohol, which can cause local hypersensitivity reactions. Depot preparation is preservative-free.
Bone density changes
Use of depot preparation may result in decreased bone density. Decreased bone mineral content risk factors may cause additional bone loss with long-term use.
Duration of therapy
Consider discontinuation of CPP therapy before 11 y of age in women and before 12 y of age in men.
Ureteral obstruction/spinal cord compression
Has occurred in prostatic cancer patients treated with LHRH agonists.
Worsening of symptoms
Increase in clinical signs and symptoms of CPP, prostatic cancer, endometriosis, and uterine leiomyomata may occur during early phase of therapy because of transient increases in gonadotropins and sex steroids.
• Review dosing schedule with patient.
• Advise patient to review information pamphlet that comes with product before starting therapy and periodically thereafter during prolonged treatment.
• Advise patient that leuprolide depot will be prepared and administered by health care professionals in a medical setting.
• Advise patient, family, or caregiver of patient receiving leuprolide injection that the medication will usually be prepared and administered by health care professionals in a medical setting, but that home administration is possible if health care provider believes that it is appropriate and safe.
• If patient will be administering at home, teach patient how to store, prepare, and administer the dose, and dispose of used equipment and supplies. Advise patient to review the patient information leaflet before starting therapy and to read and check for new information each time the medication is refilled.
• Instruct patient being treated for prostatic cancer to immediately report difficulty urinating, leg weakness, or abnormal sensations in legs.
• Advise patient that symptoms of the condition may temporarily worsen during the first few wk of treatment and to notify health care provider if symptoms become intolerable or persist for more than a few wk, or if unusual signs or symptoms develop.
• Advise patients that injection-site reactions (eg, burning, itching, swelling) can occur, but that these are usually mild and go away. Instruct patients to notify their health care provider if injection-site reactions are bothersome or do not go away.
• Instruct women of childbearing potential to use effective nonhormonal method of contraception.
Copyright © 2009 Wolters Kluwer Health.
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More Leuprolide Acetate resources
• Leuprolide Acetate Side Effects (in more detail)
• Leuprolide Acetate Use in Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
• Leuprolide Acetate Drug
This was found on another site which is listed..I thought it was some great info for treating Tumors..
TUMOR SHRINKING?!!! PLEASE HELP MY POOR BUDGIE!!
1. New Member Of BirdBoard.Com
TUMOR SHRINKING?!!! Please Help my poor budgie!!
I am so glad to see some optimistic posts here about holistic treatment towards tumor shrinking. My beloved budgie has a tumor and my vet said that a surgery is not going to be a safe option for her. Please post some holistic treatment, the aloe recipe (that has been mentioned by someone in here), and anything else that an be helpful to shrink the tumor. Thank you in advance and please do post (or email or call me) sometime soon. My birdie is in desperate need of help!
1. God bless you, Harriet for starting this thread. I have a little budgie girl that is not even 4 years old yet and has a tumor. It is internal, possibly kidneys. My husband and I took her to a wonderful bird vet today and we learned the news that we dreaded. We were hoping she was just having trouble laying an egg. Noticed the bulge on her belly a little over a week ago. We weren't able to get her in to see anyone until today. I will also note that she was my mom's parakeet, but I inherited her when my mother passed away. I never thought I would have a bird, but she has been a blessing and a wonderful member of the family. I can't imagine life without her, especially this soon. I am still learning as well because I had never been around birds before she came into my life.
The vet today was so compassionate. He did not recommend surgery. We MIGHT be able to try it, but it might be a death sentence for her. He said it is dangerous enough when it is external, but even more so with this... She is okay and happy right now, but if she gets to where she cannot go to the bathroom anymore, etc. she will have to be put to sleep. (It is very swollen around her lower belly and behind. She has been wiggling her rear a lot...) We are extremely distraught. But I am also not the type of person to give up or take no for an answer.
That being said, I remembered hearing about a vitamin E study last week on the news that said vitamin E can shrink/kill tumors. It is an ongoing study which started almost 20 years ago. I thought you might like the information. I believe this article I just found is about the same study:
Vitamin E Could Kill Cancer Cells Without Damaging Healthy Tissue | SciePedia
Also, I just found this vitamin E bird supplement:
Nekton-E Fertility Supplement at PETdiscounters.com
Buy Nekton-E Vitamin E Supplement for Birds 70g - Bird Vitamins and Supplements Online at Arcata Pet Supplies
I also found this article:
ScienceDirect - Meat Science : Effect of dietary tocopherols and tocotrienols on the antioxidant status and lipid stability of chicken
The study showed shrinkage in tumors in one day with tocotrienol. The Nekton-E contains tocopherols. From the last article I posted above, they both have antioxidant properties... I am going to go ahead and place an order tonight for the Nekton-E as well as the Nekton-S multivitamin it suggests to use with it. I will try to find a tocotrienol supplement for her as well.
This may not work, but I am willing to give it a shot. If nothing else, she could use the extra vitamins. It can't hurt. And as my husband pointed out, I just cured my skin recently using something that was not meant for that purpose... Harriet, and anyone else who is in our shoes, I feel for you! At the very least I am going to spoil that little bird and make her as comfortable as possible while she is still here with us. And God willing, I will find a way to cure her and prolong her life. I firmly believe in the power of prayer. Miracles ARE possible! Don't give up hope and faith.
Love and Blessings!
HEMP OIL-PLANT FOR TUMORS!!! <<<--Notice this!!
More info on Chlamydia psittaci, easier to understand
Symptoms of psittacosis are variable. They depend upon the strain of Ch. psittaci with which the bird in infected, the bird's immune system status, species, age, and the presence of other concurrent infections. Mild outbreaks of psittacosis may go unnoticed because there will be very few symptoms. Alternatively there may be very mild respiratory symptoms and diarrhea (Avian Disease Manual, 1983)
Symptoms are usually related to respiratory and digestive system involvement. During the acute phase those symptoms may including: (Gerlach, 1986b)
(shortness of breath, noisy breathing, "runny nose," sinus infection)
Polyuria (excess urine)
Loss of appetite
Yellowish, grayish, or lime green urates
Subacute or chronic psittacosis may show the following symptoms (Gerlach, 1986b)
Unusual head positions
Opisthotonos (neurologic disease in which the top of the head is bent over and approaches the back. Avian viruses, Function and Control, Branson W. Ritchie, DVM, PhD.)
Partial or complete paralysis of the legs
In addition to the above manifestations, other symptoms may be noted (Fudge, 1984)
Lack of normal molt
Poor condition in beak and nails
Swollen, infected eyelids
Wasting of breast muscles
Prognosis . . .
The outcome of treatment varies, depending upon the individual bird's species, age, immune status, length of illness before treatment was sought, the virulence of the strain with which it is infected, mode of treatment, and its response to that treatment. In general, the sooner the treatment is sought, the better the outlook. Prevent of the spread of psittacosis throughout a collection or aviary is very important. Precautions must also be taken to protect human caretakers. It is recommended that you take the following precautions: (information taken from several sources)
Isolate all sick birds.
Isolate incoming (new) birds for thirty to forty five days. (Longer is better)
Test suspicious birds (those with loose droppings, weight loss, or respiratory problems.)
Work with your avian veterinarian and treat infected birds with Doxycycline for 45 days.
Thoroughly clean and disinfect cages, surroundings, and equipment used for a psittacosis bird. Quaternary ammonium disinfectants have proved very effective against this bacteria. (i.e. A-33, Barquat, Cetylcide, Floquat, Hitor, Merquat, Omega, Parvosol, Quintacide, Roccal, Zephiran. [Avian Viruses, Function and Control] As well as Roccal-D, Betadine and Environ-One-Stroke)
Keep circulation of feather dust to a minimum.
Droppings from an infected bird should be soaked with disinfectant and placed in a sealed plastic bag prior to disposal.
Contact with infected birds by humans should be kept to an absolute minimum. Strict quarantine techniques should be used.
Any Flu-like symptoms in human caretakers should be monitored and a physician should be contacted. Just as with birds, human psittacosis is treatable, but can develop into a serious problem without proper treatment.
What is psittacosis?
Psittacosis is an infectious disease in humans that has mild, non-specific flu-like symptoms. Psittacosis refers to any infection or disease caused by Chlamydia psittaci, one of several microorganisms in the genus Chlamydia. This disease can be transmitted from infected birds to humans. Parrot disease, ornithosis, and chlamydiosis are other names for psittacosis.
What are the signs of infection among birds?
Chlamydia psittaci infects wild and domestic birds and poultry. Birds which contract the infection include parrots, canaries, pigeons, chickens, ducks, and turkeys. The time between exposure to Chlamydia psittaci and the onset of illness in caged birds ranges from three days to several weeks. Sick birds show signs of:
• weight loss,
• breathing difficulties,
Birds can have a latent infection. "Latent" means they appear healthy and do not show any symptoms now but they can show symptoms later. These infected birds carrying the Chlamydia psittaci bacteria may shed the organism intermittently or sometimes continuously for weeks or months. Stress associated with nutritional deficiencies, overcrowding, breeding, egg-laying and prolonged transport may cause birds with a latent infection to shed infectious agents. When shedding occurs, the infected birds excrete the bacteria in the feces and nasal discharges and the bacteria can remain infective for several months.
How is psittacosis recognized and treated?
For accurate diagnosis of psittacosis, a doctor must know that the person has been exposed to birds and that the suspected birds are infected with Chlamydia psittaci. Laboratory examinations can identify the organism and detect the signs of infection. Patients who develop psittacosis require treatment with specific drugs. The disease is very responsive to tetracycline but is resistant to penicillin
Treatment is usually via antibiotics, such as doxycycline or tetracycline, and can be administered via drops in the water, or injections. Many strains of C. psittaci are susceptible to bacteriophage.
Here is the Poopology, this way you know what your looking at when it comes to her droppings and if they are looking better or not..Keep in mind, Green can also be liver issues, so green tea should be used to flush out the liver & kidneys 3 times a week
• Too much wet, green food. (lettuce can often be a culprit if fed in large quantities). Give greenfoods every other day,just a little,give them greenfoods once a week and they will gorge themselves and then end up with loose droppings.
• Wild foods that have maybe been contaminated with weed sprays, dogs droppings etc. I would never feed them wildfoods and risk my birds becoming ill,why not grow your own on the window sills at home.
• Bacterial infection. (Salmonella etc.)
• Food poisoning can be caused by spoiled food,spoiled greens or fouled water.The bacteria causing botulism will multiply to such an extent that if ingested the toxins produced bring serious illness and often death.If the birds wings droop,it is unable to fly and the legs become paralyzed death will almost happen.In a milder case a pinch of epsom salts dissolved in two tablespoons of water and given directly into the birds beak using a medicine dropper will help the bird recover.
• Chills or colds (often during damp, wet, windy cold, weather) ,it's hot so we open the window but do not realise our budgie is sitting in a cross draught until it becomes ill,take care remember draughts kill birds.
• Digestive upsets for multiple reasons including mouldy food ,always remove any softfoods,fruit or greens within six hours of feeding them to your birds.
• Pregnant Hens (normal) Their droppings are copious, in quantity and loose. You will not believe the meaning of the word copious until you witness this.
• Egg-bound Hen .See my complaints page.
• Any toxins (irritants/poisons - inc. "poisonous" plants etc. including those that may be growing near enough to the Aviary, so that the bird has access through the mesh and they have disagreed with the birds' digestive system .If in doubt never give your birds new perches,leaves or plants until you can guarantee they are safe.
• Chewing Aviary panels that may have something on them that disagrees with the bird. Zinc poisoning- Wash all your wire down using a paint brush and vinegar,this works.
• Frosted Fruit or Veg. An easy one this do not feed it.
• WORMS,cleanliness in you birdroom will keep worms away,if you suspect worms take the bird with sample droppings to the vets and a wormer will be supplied.
• Diarrhoea is nature's way of ridding the body of something that the digestive system is not happy with.
The droppings can be lots of different colours, which can denote, in many cases, what has caused the diarrhoea. (If it's really bad and you are worried - consult an Avian Vet- Don't delay, as one days' illness in a bird is equal to 7 days in a human).
• Remember birds won't show they are ill until they are really ill. It's their way of protecting themselves in the Wild, when predators would pick off any bird that looked different to the rest and other birds would pick on them.
• The last thing you really want to use to treat diarrhoea are Anti-biotics, as the guts' natural Good Bacteria is already compromised and using Anti-B's kills off bacteria - both good and bad.
• The best thing you can do if the bird appears unwell, as well as having loose droppings, is to keep it warm
- use a hospital Cage or improvise - see Barrie's propagator.
• When a bird is off colour, for whatever reason, it feels cold, that's why it sits fluffed-up. The very act of sitting means it isn't keeping warm by flying around. It's usually off it's food too.
• Once you have it in the hospital cage, make sure the atmosphere is not too dry, (have a shallow bowl of water in the cage) as the bird has lost body fluids in the diarrhoea, and will be prone to dehydration especially if the atmosphere is too dry and it's not eating or drinking.
• On the hospital cage floor, use layers of paper which are easily rolled up and disposed of, as they get soiled or Easibed which will absorb the droppings, so that the bird is not paddling around or sitting in them.
• Offer tempting foods (depending on the bird species) - nothing sloppy - no fruit/veg at the moment. Try EMP egg food, lightly dampened with boiled, drained sweetcorn. You can add a sprinkly of Electrolyte/Pro-biotic to this. Millet Sprays are taken by most birds and are easy to digest.
• Putting a pro-biotic into the birds drinking water (check the tub for quantities). This helps replace lost body fluids and essential sugars, salts & minerals that the body needs to survive. It's like an electrolyte that athletes use after sweating a lot, to replace the body's essential fluids, that have been sweated out. It also has the effects of Actimel, which replenishes the good bacteria in the digestive system.
• The Good bacteria are necessary to digest the food that the bird eats. Bad Bacteria kill off the good bacteria and the food doesn't get digested properly and starts to ferment (then you get Hubble, bubble,boil and trouble syndrome in the guts!!) - hence the digestive upset.
• You could also add a little glucose to the water which will help encourage the bird to sample the drink and will also act as a food source.
• Encourage the bird to drink. If, and only if you are proficient in feeding a bird via a crop tube or feeding syringe, should you dissolve some pro-biotic in warm water and feed it straight into the birds' crop. If you are not proficient, please don't even try.
• You could try and tempt the bird with some of the above solution off a bent funnel spoon Don't tip it into the beak, let the bird take it very slowly, because if you force it into the beak then the bird could aspirate (i.e. choke because the fluid goes into the lungs instead of into the gullet and then down into the crop).
• There is a very fine line for error when feeding the bird via the beak, as the bird has to physically to shut off the access to it's trachea (windpipe) when it's feeding and drinking. If it's stressed becos it's ill and/or you are trying to get it to take liquids then, in it's panic, it could breathe the liquid in or the "shutting-off" process doesn't happen. Either way the fluid could go into the lungs - or come out of the bird's nostrils. Neither of which is ever a good thing and can in some instances Kill the bird!!
• If the bird has had digestive problems over a few days then squashy droppings can accumulate and clog the vent area. This can create it's own problems, as the bird then has difficulty in passing any more droppings, as the vent becomes blocked! This in itself can put a bird off eating, as it's digestive system becomes back-logged and has no outlet!This can often be the result of a kidney complaint and the special mixture for a treatment of kidney disease which is very frequent at budgies can be used.
8,0 gram sodium chloride or common salt (NaCl)
0,13 gram calcium chloride (CaCl2)
0,2 gram potassium chloride (KCl)
0,1 gram magnesium chloride (MgC2)
0,05 gram disodium hydrogen phosphate (Na2HPO4)
1,0 gram sodium hydrogen carbonate (NaHCO3)
1 gram glucose
• This powder can be mixed in one litre of distilled water.
• You must then catch the bird up and GENTLY soak the area with warm water (never hotter than your blood heat - test the temp on your wrist first - it must not feel hot or too cool). Use a wadge of cotton wool and keep irrigating the clotted mass of droppings until they are soft enough to remove - never force them off as you can rip the skin and feathers off the birds' vent area.
• Once you have removed the droppings, thoroughly dry the vent area. Then apply vaseline, olive oil or anything you would put on a baby's bottom for nappy rash. This helps prevent droppings sticking in future and also soothes the area.
• Keep the bird warm until it dries out.
It was 1959 when i realised a birds droppings and a cars spark plugs could tell us such a lot about the internal workings of car and bird,since that day 49 years ago i have always introduced dropping boards into the aviaries.I have a piece of ply under the perches that can be removed for regular cleaning,this collects the droppings and i can check daily if anything is requiring more attention.
Understanding your bird's droppings could save your bird's life.
It is true that when a bird becomes sick that their health can deteriorate quickly. But it's rarely true that when a bird become sick, it dies suddenly without showing symptoms of illness. The symptoms are there, we just have to learn how to recognize them.
Changes in the droppings can be a very early indicator that the bird is sick. Know what normal droppings look like so you can recognize a change in color, consistency, order, and/or amount. Use paper at the bottom of the cage so that the dropping falls flat and clean onto the paper. This will enable you to recognize any changes in color, consistency, order, and/or amount. If you are able to notice this change you could save your bird's life.
If you use wood shavings at the bottom of your cage and you miss a change in color and consistency in the droppings then you failed your bird. It is wrong to use wood shavings at the bottom of your cage so that it looks nice and you do not have to clean the bottom of your cage as often if it interferes with evaluating the droppings for signs of health problems.
There are three components to most droppings. Urine consists of a crystal urine called urates (white chalky material) and a non-crystal urine called urine (clear water). Sometimes the 2 types of urine are mixed, creating a cloudy white urine.
Important changes include color changes and amount.
Green or yellow urates = Liver Disease, Anorexia
Brown or chocolate urates = Lead Poisoning Red urine or urates
Red Urine or Urates = Internal bleeding
Increased urine = Disease, Eating food high in water, Drinking a lot
The third part of the droppings is the feces which comes from the colon and consists of digested food. The color varies depending on the types of food eaten. Red pellets and strawberries produce a red colored dropping. (This does not apply to the urine..) Seed and green vegetables produce a green dropping. (This does not apply to the urine.) Blueberries and blackberries produce black droppings. The feces should be solid and tubular like a worm. It can be coiled up or uncoiled and it is okay if it is broken into pieces.
Diarrhea is not excessive urine in the droppings. Diarrhea is the fecal material not holding its tubular shape. Instead it is the consistency of pudding. Look for blood in the feces. If the feces is fresh and black in color and there were no blueberries in the diet then this indicates melena. Melena is black droppings caused by bleeding high up in the digestive system. When the blood passes through the lower digestive system, it is digested, turning the red blood into a black tarry color, staining the feces black.
Color which cannot be explained by the diet should be investigated by your veterinarian. Don't forget to look for real worms like tapeworms and roundworms.
If you notice black droppings (indicating internal bleeding) at the bottom of your bird's cage, stop and go to your veterinarian. If you wait until the bird is weak, not eating, and fluffed up, then you have a race against the clock to save the bird's life.
Watch your bird's droppings everyday and learn what they look like normally. When you notice a change, identify what portion of the dropping has changed. If you cannot explain the change by the bird's lifestyle, then act immediately and contact your avian veterinarian.
Courtesy of Dr. David J. Kersting, D.V.M.
The droppings reveal a wealth of information for the observant owner and are a good indicator as to the health of the bird. With experience, you can easily monitor the health of your bird by observing for any dropping changes. The early recognition of a dropping change allows you to implement an immediate recovery plan that protects the health of the pet bird. A Water Cleanser or Megamix is used as the first line of defense against illness and works well at the first sign of a change in the droppings.
Abnormal Bird Droppings:
1. Increased size
2. Oily, bulky
3. Discolored to a shade of green. Any color from khaki to forest green.
4. Are often wet.
5. Carry a smell.
Loose droppings (can be caused by stress, disease, or certain foods), or droppings that contain undigested seeds (i.e PDD) can be sign of diseases. Also change in color of droppings (please see below).
Healthy Bird Droppings:
1. Small with a white cap.
2. Usually have a down feather attached to it.
3. Have no sign of wetness surrounding it.
4. Have no smell.
In young birds clinical signs can include: rough plumage, low body temperature, tremor, lethargy, conjunctivitis, dyspnea, emaciation, sinusitis, yellow to greenish droppings or greyish watery droppings.
Adult birds may develop symptoms such as: tremors, lethargy, ruffled feathers, progressive weight loss, greenish diarrhea, high levels of urates in droppings and occasional conjunctivitis
The three components to most droppings.
1. Urine consisting of a crystal urine called urates The clear part and is like water. Sometimes the Urine and Urates will combine and form a cloudy liquid, don't be alarmed if you can't always tell the two areas apart.
Urates (the chalky white part)
• Green: Liver Disease or Anorexia
• Yellow: Liver Disease or Anorexia
• Brown: Lead Poisoning
• Red: Fresh Internal Bleeding (low in the digestive track) or Kidney Disease
• Black in stool: Old blood
• Increased Urates: Dehydration* and possible kidney problems (*Birds suffering from dehydration may have crinkly skin around theirs eyes. Another way to diagnose dehydration is to pinch their skin for a second. Dehydrated skin will remain tented for several seconds, rather than bouncing right back. Click here for information on hydrating a bird).
2. A non-crystal urine called urine (clear water). Sometimes the two types of urine are mixed creating a cloudy white urine. Important changes include color changes and amount. This part will appear chalky white and has a consistency that isn't really watery or solid. The consistency could be compared to Elmer's' glue, without the stickiness.)
Urine (the clear watery part)
• Green: Liver Disease
• Yellow: Liver Disease
• Red: Internal bleeding (low in the digestive track), Lead Poisoning, Kidney Disease
• Increased Urine: Drinking a lot, Eating foods high in water or Disease (often bacterial)
3. The third part of the droppings is the feces which comes from the colon and consists of digested food and it's the only real solid part.. The feces should be solid; it can be coiled up or uncoiled and it is okay if it is broken into pieces. It may be straight, coiled, of even broken up in to smaller yet still tube shaped pieces. The color varies depending on the types of food eaten. Red pellets and strawberries produce a red colored dropping. (This does not apply to the urine.) Seed and green vegetables produce a green dropping. (This does not apply to the urine either.) Blueberries and blackberries produce black droppings.
Feces (the solid tubular part)
• Black or Tar-like: Internal bleeding (high in the digestive track) - potentially ingested something that is causing internal injury
• Pea Green: Liver Damage
• White or Clay color: Pancreas or digestive problems
• Yellow to Greenish or Greyish Watery Droppings: One possibility: Chlamydophila psittaci
• Lumpy or Undigested food: Incomplete digestion, PDD, Giardia, hypermotile intestine
Diarrhea is when the fecal material is not holding its tubular shape - instead its consistency is that of pudding. Diarrhea can be a sign of disease or stress -- as well as being caused by special food items One of the things to look for is blood in the feces. If the feces is fresh and black in color and there were no blueberries in the diet then this indicates blood in the digestive system (melena). When the blood passes through the lower digestive system, it is digested turning the red blood into a black tarry color, staining the feces black. If you notice black droppings and the color cannot be expained by the food it ate, take your pet to the vet immediately. This is serious and causes death if not treated in a timely manner. If you wait until your bird is weak and fluffed up, its chances are poor.
Any change of color that cannot be explained by the diet should be investigated by your veterinarian.
• Don’t forget to look for real worms like tapeworms and roundworms.
• Greenish diarrhea, for example, can be a sign of Chlamydophila psittaci - a disease transferrable to humans (commonly known as "Parrot Fever.")
Steatorrhoea is the formation of bulky feces. Stools may have an oily appearance or be foul smelling. There is increased fat excretion.
• Bacterial overgrowth
• Giardia - protozoan parasite
• Primary sclerosing cholangitis: Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a form of cholangitis due to an autoimmune reaction. A cholangitis is an inflammation of the bile ducts of the liver. Primary sclerosing cholangitis leads to cholestasis (blockage of bile transport to the gut). Blockage of the bile duct leads to accumulation of bile, which damages the liver, leading to jaundice and eventually causes liver failure.
This is a link to the Herbal Kitchen..Its a site, so you will need to take a look around and see what herbs you would like to use..However, I will create a list anyways..
Megabacteria - The name implies a very large bacteria , large yes because the cigar shaped organisms are almost twenty times the size of most common bacteria but new evidence suggest it is a fungus and not a bacteria as first thought.As a result of these new findings it was renamed and called Avian Gastric Yeast.Megabacteria are found in the digestive tract in the glandular stomach and the juncional zone between the glandular stomach and the gizzard.The transmission is thought to be by oral ingestion of the infectes feces.
by Cerise Duran
Part I - My Experience
My beautiful 6 month old Pacific blue mutation parrotlet was found on the floor of his cage, puffed up and with his head tucked under his wing His appetite was good, but he was very lethargic. I put him into isolation, weighed him (he had a 10% weight loss), provided heat, seeds, soft foods and water.
My veterinarian was out of town, so he was taken to a non-avian doctor the next day. At my request, a CBC and blood chemistry panel were taken, as well as cultures. Blood results came in with a very low white count, apparently an indication of a bacterial infection, and culture results were negative. He was put on antibiotics, but there were no signs of improvement.
Aggressive "nursing care" pulled this bird through the next 4 days, until my veterinarian's return. Heat and hand feeding saved his life. When my avian veterinarian returned, he gave me a call, and asked to see the bird since there had been no improvement from the antibiotics treatment.
This bird had arrived with a second bird, and the two had been sharing the same cage. The cage mate showed no signs of ever slowing down. He was highly energetic, and never skipped a beat. One morning, I was surprised to see the cage mate spitting up undigested beets! Well, he made the trip, along with the blue, to my veterinarian's office.
Luckily for me, my avian veterinarian is well informed, well read, and stays up on all the new "things" going on in the world of avian medicine. He checked the bird's droppings under the microscope. I took a look at the microscope, and there it was - Megabacteria! Both birds had the bacteria, but only one of them showed noticeable symptoms!
Medication was prescribed for the two birds, and viola! In 48 hours, the blue made a complete turn around! His energy returned, and he began to regain the weight he had lost. The two birds went on to make an unremarkable recovery, and the blue has since produced several clutches of babies.
Once the emergency was under control, I needed to deal with the "flock". So, I collected "sample" birds from every cage I had and made the trip back to my veterinarian. These birds were individually checked for Mega. Guess what! It was found in 25% of my cages.
The original two affected birds were the only ones to come from that particular source, and they came from a line of imported European birds. A European import fallow hen from a second source tested positive for Mega. One cage-full of babies, from parents that tested negative, had positive tests for the organism, while another group of babies from the same parents tested negative. The one oddity in the cage of babies that tested positive was a single bird from a third source that shared the cage with them. That bird came from an aviary with birds that had been imported from Europe. I notified all three aviary owners of the problem.
The imported fallow hen had been "looking suspicious" ever since laying her first clutch, and had become rather inactive. I decided to have my veterinarian give her a second exam. He found that this hen had "fat rolls" above her legs. She sat on her perch all day and did nothing while her mate fed her. She laid no more eggs that year, and looked scruffy most of the time. She was chosen as one of the "sample birds" that went in for testing for Megabacteria, and this would be her third trip in. Yes, she had Megabacteria! She was treated, became active once again, lost the fat rolls, and laid and raised 3 successful clutches in 1997. She is active to this day, and has never developed those fat rolls again.
I have described: A) the acute symptoms that appeared in my blue - a bird that looked very much like it would not live to see the 'morrow, B) the fallow hen that was infected but only looked "suspicious", and C) all the rest of the birds that were infected and displayed absolutely no symptoms! Other than these described symptoms, no others showed up with my birds.
Part II - What is Megabacteria?
Megabacteria is a recognized problem in both Europe and Australia. It's been seen primarily in canaries and budgies, and in particular "show" budgies, although other species have been affected. For the Europeans and Australians, Megabacteria is recognized as a common pathogen. For aviculturists and pet owners in the US, this is viewed by many as an exotic pathogen, and as such should be eliminated from our aviaries and pet birds.
In a publication by Lucio J. Filippich of The University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia, he states that: "Megabacteria are large, gram positive, rod-shaped organisms that are being increasingly found worldwide in the proventriculus or droppings of several pet bird species, especially budgerigars and canaries."
He goes on to say that Megabacteria has been reported to have been found in wild-caught European goldfinches as well as in wild-caught Australian sulfur-crested cockatoos. He states that budgerigar breeding colonies in Australia show a 64% infestation rate.
He describes symptoms of budgerigars in the acute stage to include severe drowsiness, lethargy, fluffed feathers - ending with death within 12 - 24 hours. Regurgitated blood can stain the feathers around the beak and neck. This same bleeding may result in droppings that are black or reddish-black. The chronic stage is more common, and is usually seen in budgerigars over one year of age, or just after the first breeding season. These birds become depressed, lose condition, fluff up and lose weight in spite of their apparent good appetites. Although the birds are often at the food dish, they only grind or mouth their foods, swallowing very little. Birds may regurgitate blood tinged food. They may "mouth gag" or "neck stretch" in an attempt to regurgitate. Their droppings may contain undigested seed particles, or even undigested whole seeds. These budgies will continue to lose weight over weeks or even months, then they either die or slowly recover. He cautions that what may appear to be a recovered bird will usually relapse later when stressed, naming molting or breeding as examples of stress. He also advises that these birds are of no value in a breeding program.
Dr. Speer says that the birds exhibit all the classic signs of having a severe stomach ache. Their fluffed appearance, tucked heads, sitting on the bottom of the cage, closed eyes and pained expressions all look like "us" when we have a stomach ache.
Diagnosis and treatment are relatively reliable and safe. Your avian veterinarian will have to test, diagnose, and prescribe the medication for you. The test in live birds is a simple direct fecal (a fresh dropping) wet-mount slide checked at 400 power or higher. Staining (including Gram's staining) is not necessary. Dr. Speer takes a great deal of time examining the slide, and he has found as few as one or two organisms in the last field checked. In less careful hands, these could have been missed.
Culturing for this bacteria, using conventional culture medium, is not effective. This bacteria can be cultured with great difficulty, but it has special medium requirements, which are not commonly available.
In necropsy examination, the lining of the proventriculus and ventriculus are swabbed for direct examination under a microscope. The organism produces a slimy coating on the mucosal surface of the proventriculus and ventriculus. This slimy coating will be thick with the organism, and diagnosis should be eminent. On some occasions, the bacteria can cause perforation of the proventriculus, which will lead to internal bleeding and death. This swab of the mucosal surface must be done on fresh tissues, not on tissues that have been subjected to preservatives such as formalin. Therefore, it will usually be the veterinarian or pathologist who originally opens the carcass that will have to run this test. It is not uncommon for the organisms, and hence the diagnosis, to be washed off in formalin-fixed tissues, unless fresh wet mounts have been prepared prior to tissue fixation.
Megabacteria is resistant to antibacterial antibiotics. One recognized effective treatment is with the antifungal drug, Amphotericin B. Filippich states that Amphotericin B works on certain components of the cell membranes of fungi. This same action does not apply to Megabacteria, since Megabacteria is lacking in that particular component based on electron microscopy studies. Just how it affects Mega is not known at this time. Mega is, at this time, assumed to be a bacterial organism, although there has been no absolute conclusion.
Treatment prescribed for my birds was the antifungal, Amphotericin B (Fungizone).
Part III - Management
I decided to treat the entire flock of about 50 birds ..... which is when I discovered that it would cost me well over $700.00! The pharmacist at the local hospital conducted a search and found that there was an oral suspension form. Well, you might know how I reacted when she told me that I could buy enough oral medication to treat the entire flock twice for around $30!
The oral form of this medication still is not commonly available in drugstores. Many pharmacists don't even know about it yet. If you ask for their help, they can do a search on their computers and will find that the medication is available.
The oral form was well tolerated by all the birds, they even seemed to like its taste. Every bird had to be caught and treated individually every morning and every night for 10 days. As part of the recommended treatment, about halfway through the ten day period, every cage was thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Perches and nest boxes, toys and barrier sheets, everything was either discarded or disinfected.
For prevention and containment, test the birds that you currently own (sample birds will probably be adequate for breeders with larger aviaries), then treat accordingly. If you find Mega in even one bird, you should treat your entire flock. Follow your avian veterinarian's advice for treatment, then retest your birds. For breeders, the use of a microscope for screening will be your best tool in elimination efforts.
Use Dr. Speer's "closed aviary concept". Have all new birds examined by your avian veterinarian, including appropriate tests, and maintain quarantine for a minimum of 60 days. Every new bird purchased should be considered a potential carrier. There are many types of birds that are regularly being imported from Europe, resulting in multiple opportunities for cross contamination. Over the course of 2 years, I acquired birds from 5 different breeders and had the organism found in birds from each and every one of them. I now have all new birds tested. The test is noninvasive, inexpensive, and accurate in the hands of a careful diagnostician. If even one bacterial rod is found, the bird should be considered to be infected and subsequently treated. If even one bird tests positive in an aviary, the entire aviary should be considered suspect, and efforts should be made to treat the entire flock. Retesting should confirm the presence or absence of the organism.
Keep your cages clean and use closed water bottles (the hamster style bottles, which may help to reduce the spread of many diseases within an aviary). Clean your cage thoroughly before housing a new bird in it. Do not cross contaminate by sharing used dishes or water bottles between cages. Always thoroughly clean and disinfect all feeding equipment.
Part IV - Afterthoughts
I feel very strongly that birds should not be dying from Megabacteria, were it not for the fact that too few of us are aware of the problem. The same goes for our avian vets. This is quite simply because the organism has not been recognized as a problem in this country until recently, although there have been a number of reported cases for several years now. Have your birds properly screened for this organism, and make the effort to eradicate it. If it is identified in single birds or in your flock, avoid water-based treatments. The probability of only a reduction, not an elimination, of this organism is greater with water-based treatment approaches. This will result in infected or carrier status birds still being sold from your flock, which will potentially go on to infect others, develop disease or damage your reputation in the future.
Although my experience has been with parrotlets, this problem is not limited to parrotlets. Birds of several kinds are still being imported from Europe, and you can bet that infected birds are still coming in. Be sure to check your birds. You may have this "unseen killer" in your aviary.
Questions and Answers
(1) How would using water bottles instead of bowls help? Does it have to do with the problem of "parrot soup" and pooping in water dishes?
Answer: For the single bird owner, it may not be much of an issue. In an aviary, however, it's a different story. This bacteria may be spread via particles of fecal debris floating in the air from flapping wings and vacuum cleaners, or being directly dropped from cage to cage. Although there has been no specific research done pertaining to how Megabacteria is spread, this mode has been proven in the spread of other diseases. It makes sense that contaminated debris (such as dried or even fresh droppings) falling into the water dish of another bird will cause the spread of this bacteria, because the water dish is an ideal medium for the growth of many bacteria.
(2) I know someone who had a case of Megabacteria in their birds which was diagnosed by a reliable avian vet. The birds were put on a treatment of a very diluted solution of hydrochloric acid for several weeks and that seemed to do the trick. By the way, that is the same treatment given in Avian Medicine: Principles and Applications by Ritchie, Harrison & Harrison.
Answer: I understand that this treatment has been used in the past. I also understand that this particular treatment has not been found to be consistently effective, according to Filippich, Dr. Speer and other vets in this country. Perhaps the Avian Medicine text is out dated as regards this particular bacteria and its treatment. That's not a slam, it's just that research changes things. What is accepted as good medicine today is often proven wrong or improved upon tomorrow! I would suggest that any veterinarians who are faced with treating this bacteria for the first time, those who are using the method of changing the pH level, and those who are considering using the water-based treatment from Australia should first consult with Dr. Brian Speer. His consultation number is 925-625-1878 and e-mail address for consultation is AVNVET@aol.com
. Consultation costs are very reasonable, considering the potential loss of birds, production and reputations that are at stake.
Also, I caught a note from Dr. Branson Ritchie on another list stating that the only recognized effective treatment for this bacteria is Amphotericin B. You might recall that he co-authored Avian Medicine: Principles and Applications with the Harrison's.
(3) Not knowing that much about Megabacteria, is this an organism that can lay dormant in a bird and for some unknown reason at any time it could start shedding it? If that is the case how would we test for it? If the bird is not shedding at the time the test would be inconclusive, just like for polyoma.
Answer: At this time, no real understanding of the nature of this beast is in hand. There are verified cases of false negative results. The current recommendation is that the bird is considered clean after three consecutive tests are performed, with negative results in all three tests.
The following are answers from Dr. Brian Speer:
(4) How long after a bird is dead can Megabacteria still be isolated from the mucosal linings?
Answer: We have been able to identify Mega on fresh wet mount of intestinal or proventricular mucosal scrapings in post mortems - even some fairly old carcasses - 2-3 days since death.
As I believe you know, histopathology usually will not demonstrate the organisms reliably, as they tend to wash off in the formalin during fixation, and gram stains (in my opinion) are fraught with the same problems.
(Since that time, Mega was found in a 5 day old carcass.)
(5) If Mega is a bacteria why are we treating it with an anti fungal antibiotic?
Answer: Technically, we do not know WHAT Mega is. It morphologically resembles a bacterium, but therapeutically responds to an antifungal which should have no effect on bacteria. We know that it is a beta-hemolytic organism that can be grown (with great difficulty) on blood agar media.
(6) For human purposes, Amphotericin B is a last resort drug and must be used for 30 days to be effective. Why only 10 days for a bird?
Answer: Ten days has been shown to be clinically effective. Human treatments are based on IV use for severe systemic fungal disease - which Megabacteriosis is not.
(7) After a 10 day treatment can it be considered cured? Since there are false negatives, and lack of expertise in the department of detecting low numbers of rods, how can we ever be sure it is gone.
Answer: By monitoring for confirmation of it's absence over time, we may be able to claim a cure. In general, I feel much better when there have been no organisms seen on a series of three independent checks in birds, as long as the environment and traffic flow are secure.
(8) If we can never be sure it is gone and since no one can say what the incubation period is then would it be practical to treat on a regular basis, say annually.
Answer: This is the approach adopted by the Australian train of thought - with the concurrent statement that there is an incidence of up to 60% subclinically infected birds there. Routine treatment will reduce numbers, but still allow subclinical infection and spread of the agent. The Australian data has clearly shown that.
(9) What harm or good would it be to treat all of the for sale birds again just two weeks prior to shipping.
Answer: There is no harm known with Amphotericin B treatment other than the cost and labor involved. But, a collection that is free of the organism (a fair but longer term goal) will not necessitate this approach. Also realize that this may make detection of the presence of the organism in your birds leaving (the true sentinels for your management program) much more challenging, therefore, may lead you to more of a false sense of security as to your standing pertinent to this organism's presence in your flock.
(10) Can a sun lamp or UV lighting protect or clean in an indoor aviary situation?
Answer: We have no factual data to support or deny this thought. UV light should not hurt, but we do not know if it will help.
(11) Would you recommend new cages considering all the little welds and wired together spots on cages being able to harbor the Mega?
Answer: No. In general, good quality cleanliness is the key. A "Germ free" environment is both impractical as well as technically impossible.
(12) Someone said feeding citrus fruit could help prevent Mega. Is there any truth to that statement?
Answer: Not much. Some canaries tend to have less disease when eating or drinking acidified food / water. Parrotlets are not canaries, and this approach is not an acceptable TREATMENT, it only reduces numbers of organisms present.
(13) How about other species being affected with Mega?
Off of the top of my head, Mega has been seen in many psittaciformes -- but predominately in the smaller species; it has been seen in several small passeriformes (particularly canaries, finches, etc.). It has been reported in the ostrich and a few other ground feeding species.
Brian Speer, DVM
Diplomate, ABVP, Certified in avian practice
Many thanks to Duran, Cerise for permission to print this article.
Sorry, I know this is a ton of information!!! Hopefully you have a printer..If not, perhaps go to staples or Kinkos and print it off...Almost finished..
I may have posted this on the other thread...
holisticbird.org main page index
Budgies are prone to tumors because they've been carelessly bred for so long. That is the quick answer. Budgie people say if it makes it to 7 it will have a reasonable lifespan but most birds that have been in-bred or line bred & come from pet shops have a life expectancy of 5 years, 7 with good care.
All tumors are not the same; if it is a fatty tumor foods & herbs may help - to keep the tumor from increasing if not actually reducing it. They are prone to them in certain areas & if in a life threatening region the bird should see a vet. (Bird should see a vet anyway) Also they often recur. Having budgies myself I would venture to say the problem will be getting the food & herbs past the beak. The other thing is if there is a tumor that can be seen there are probably ones which are not visible.
Without more detailed info I would give as much sprouted seed as possible, alfalfa for greens - not dried rabbit pellets but fresh if possible if not anyway you can get it in; strawberries; barley & tofu as well as Echinacea to stimulate immune system & help with stress. I'd plant (just sprinkle on sterile soil) alfalfa & radish seeds & offer as they grow - put outside cage so they can be reached from inside. This works with my most stubborn - they aren't being "offered" the sprouts so they want them & nibble the greens & pull them up, get the nutrition then look so pleased that they got over on me.
Is the budgie a willing eater of anything but seeds? has it been seen by vet? What type of tumor? where? biopsied? growing? color? More data, more ideas. Kat
Hi Chris, I don't raise budgies or know much about them so I hope one of the many lurkers on this list will come forward to help you. I have heard and read that budgies are prone to getting tumors. I don't know if these are just domestically raised budgies or if wild budgies that have not been the result of human breeding programs are also 'prone' to tumors...or if it is more true with English or American type budgies.
You didn't mention in your post if the vet said your bird's tumor was a fatty tumor or another kind of tumor. You also didn't mention the foods your bird is eating or what kind of an environment (cage, chemicals, routine etc) your bird is exposed to. You said that the vet gave your bird some medicine but didn't say what it was. All of these things are important and give people something to go on when they are trying to help you.
Some people believe that genetic predisposition for diseases (in animals) should not be helped even if they can be. This was brought home to me when I wanted to share a study about how large amounts of Vitamin C can help to prevent and heal dysplasia in dogs. I was not allowed to post that information to the dog list because if there was a cure or prevention for dysplasia, then breeders would not feel it necessary to eliminate dysplasia-prone dogs from breeding programs. In their view, the suffering of the people and their dogs was a cruel but necessary means to the end of dysplasia at the genetic level.
There are some herbs that have been found to have anti-tumor effects. Maitake and shiitake mushrooms, cat's claw, and essiac tea have all been effective under different circumstances. Another that I've been hearing good things about is called IP6 . It's made by Enzymatic Therapy. (Here's a plug but I have no connection with the company: Enzymatic Therapy is a very innovative company that has been working closely with Germany, the country responsible for much of the scientific validation of herbal medicines. They work under the guidance of Michael Murray ND- author of Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements, Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, and others; and have won high praise from Dr. Julian Whitaker.
The problem is that some herbs help in some cases but not in others. It's pretty much a 'shot in the dark' because we still don't have enough information about precise actions and precise causes. Other factors include the nutritional profile of the body that needs to be healed.
I think we will be seeing a way to solve that problem for our birds shortly. They are doing it now for dogs and cats. (for those who can afford it.) It's a test called Bio Nutritional Analysis. BNA looks at blood values to determine which nutrients are being used up by the body in its fight to stay well. These are the nutrients that need to be supplied in greater amounts.
BNA would help to answer the question why two birds on the same diet do not enjoy the same health. Each body is an individual and each may utilize nutrients in a different way depending on genetics, emotional health, metablolism, reaction to stress, etc.
If you or anyone else is interested in finding out whether they have begun to determine nutritional blood profiles for birds, have your vet call 800-361-2313. The BNA program is available to all veterinarians directly through Antech Laboratories working under the guidance of Dr Martin Goldstein, DVM, who developed the program.
Nutrients that have been found helpful in fighting cancer include: CoQ10, Vitamin C, and flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil contains Omega 3 fatty acids. Most seed mixes contain only omega 6 fatty acids.
Although animals can produce their own Vitamin C and CoQ10, it is entirely possible that ailing animals could be malfunctioning. If this is the case, then they may not be producing adequate amounts to meet their needs.
Again, it is important to know what your bird is eating. Sometimes a seed mix isn't enough. I firmly believe that nutrition is the major player of good and bad health.
Budgies are extremely prone to tumors, in fact I read in a avian medicine book that budgies are more prone to tumors than any warm blooded animal. From my experience I can well believe this. I see many, many budgies with tumors pass through our shop, in fact we have an aviary especially devoted to such birds that are still enjoying a reasonable quality of life but are not sellable because of developing tumors. Of maybe 8 or 9 pet budgies we have had die over the last 8 or 10 years, all but 2 have died from tumors, and those two had ovarian cysts - another common problem. None were over 5 or 6 years old. None of my other birds (and budgies are in the minority in our house) have ever had a tumor.
It seems to be a captive budgie problem - I have never heard any report of wild budgies getting tumors - of course a wild bird with a tumor is not going to survive long so we may gain a false impression of the incidence of tumors in them. However a wild budgie leads a very active and spartan life - often surviving on native dry seed alone for long periods - and the fatty tumors I will discuss below are not going to be a problem. The wild budgie is a pretty small bird, weighing less than 30 grams, whereas our captive bred birds here are rarely under 45 grams, and I have had some with English blood in them which have reached over 80 grams - approaching the weight of a cockatiel! Fatty tumors are most common in these larger birds, but I don't see any difference in frequency of malignant tumors between sizes. I think it is essentially a factor of intensive inbreeding to establish the many colours of budgies.
The tumors are of many types, and that complicates any attempt to find a cure. many are fatty lipomas, usually on the chest, and in themselves pretty harmless, except if they continue to grow eventually the skin gives up and ulceration starts. Diet is obviously a major factor in controlling these. A low fat diet is best, and that means not giving pellets - at least the pellets we have in Australia. We use White French Millet, a low fat seed type - only about 2% fat - and combine this with as much fresh vegetables as we can persuade the budgie to eat. The lowest fat content in pellets we see here is 4% or higher.
Malignant tumors most commonly affect the liver, kidney or reproductive organs. A male budgie whose cere starts to turn from blue to brown is most likely suffering from a tumor on the testes. I know of no cure for them, indeed I have never heard of anything that will even slow the tumors. Most will become too large within 3 months of identification, or even quicker. Some inexplicably will stop growing, as with the occasional human tumor, but I have never worked out a reason for remission of budgie tumors.
I believe that al that can be done for such birds is to provide the best possible conditions both in diet and environment for the bird - in the hope that the bird's own immune system can prove effective, and to be prepared to euthanise when necessary to avoid suffering.
Mike Owen Queensland
According to my research the most common internal tumors for budgies are kidney & ovaries (only on females, so knowing the sex of your bird is also important). My budgie died of a right ovarian CYST which is also very common & the vets were calling it a tumor until the necropsy was done, so that's another possibility. I now know that my budgie could have most likely been helped by Dr McClugage, had I known about holitic pet care then. I think both of these budgies would benefit from a phone consult with Dr McCluggage, the holistic vet I consult with. I'm very impressed with all he's done for my birds. Dr McCluggage uses Homeopathy, but also many, many other forms of treatment (see his listing at the bottom of the page).
To address a few things Gloria mentioned: from what I understand, tumors are more prevalent on budgies in captivity, the product she was naming is IP6, my mother's cat was put on this for her cancer by the famous Smith Ridge Vet Clinic (Dr Martin Goldstein) and was told the *only* brand she was to use was Cell Forte', it's available on-line & in most health food stores.
I talked to Dr McCluggage about the Bio-Nutritional Analysis pioneered by Smith Ridge Vet Clinic and he isn't a big fan of it. He feels that (like other conventional tests) it lumps all pets into a group & doesn't take into account the individuality of the pet. What might be normal for one pet isn't normal for another, so while there may be benefits to it, a small percentage of pets could actually be thrown off by being forced to fit within certain parameters. Then again, I have heard wonderful stories from people that have had it done. Just something to keep in mind.
There is another treatment out for cancer called PolyMVA (www.polymva.com
). I don't know about it's use in birds, but they are using it with other pets & people with tremendous success. It actually fixes the part of the cell that goes wrong, causing a cell to become cancerous. Currently, the FDA is in the process of approving it specifically as a cancer treatment (that shows how serious the claims are about it's benefits), right now it's just called a supplement.
Another view to consider is that we have cells that go wrong ('cancer' cells) in our body everyday & our immune system takes care of them. When cancer cells produce in great numbers, as in the case of tumors, it means something is wrong with the body & immune system. This can be caused by diet, environment, toxins, genetic predisposition, etc, etc. Bringing the body (& immune system) back into balance helps it be better able to deal with the cancer. This is the theory behind the BNA mentioned above. Bringing the body back into balance COULD (but doesn't always) mean the body might totally get rid of the tumor. The body knows the tumor isn't supposed to be there, it just needs the right tools to be able to deal with it.
Here is Dr McCluggage's information: David McCluggage, DVM 9390 Rogers Road Longmont, CO 80503 303-702-1986 Fax- 303-702-9602 Small Animal, Avian, Exotic He practices: -AC(IVAS) Acupuncture (International Veterinary Acupuncture Society certified) -AK Applied Kinesiology -BF Bach Flower Remedies -CH Chinese Herbs -WH Western Herbs -CR(AVCA) Chiropractic (American Veterinary Chiropractic Association certified) -CN Clinical Nutrition -CM Conventional Medicine -GT Glandular Therapy -HC Homeopathy Classical -NU Nutrition
I've consulted with him 6 times, for 4 of my pets & have had tremendous results from the treatments he prescribed, that's the only reason I recommend him in so many situations without any hesitation. He has also been the president of one of the holistic veterinarian associations and was a microbiologist before he became vet. I have no commercial interest in his practice or anything he prescribes, but I am an extremely satisfied client. He did more for my liver disease bird in 3 months, than conventional medicine (5 vets and 1 specialist) was able to do in over 3 years!! And when life long hormone injections or a spay surgery were the only options conventional medicine gave me for my egg-laying budgie, he took care of the problem naturally with Chinese Herbs. Here is an article about him: http://www.landofvos.com/articles/holvet.html
I am reading this thread with interest. I lost a slate colored lovebird "Mouse" last year to a tumor. She was nine years old. The tumor was pouchy and soft in the lower abdomen and she had it for two years.
I had bought some una de gato to give to Mouse after reading Cherane's posts on it last year but never figured out an appropriate dose or how to dose. Cherane, could you tell us in what form, how often and how much (by weight) you would use of una de gato?
Also, I didn't exactly understand, is calron (is that it?) the same as that NSG-3 (I'm guessing at that name too!)? I read the article but don't understand the source of the product except that I am assuming that it is not shark cartilage.
Linda, This is how I have done it and am doing now with Sheba till I get the Cantron. I take a 100 capsule and put 10cc's of sterile water with it..mix it up and I'm also adding Biotic Research vitamin E forte emulsion to this mixture (did you know the MD's are using vitamin E for lumps in breast) I dose at .1 per 100 grams..of body weight that is 1/10 of a cc...I do this up to three times a day or according to the movement of food...also they have the bark of une de gato... they also ate the bark through the day. Do not give this to birds who are breeding or laying eggs.!
In Shebas case I'm giving her .6 of a cc and using a 500 mg capsule of una de gato with 15 cc's of sterile water with a drop of emulsified forte E. Once a day I'm giving her the Nutr Clear by Biotic Research with one teaspoon in a 20 cc's of water and change the water after 6 hours..
This is out of a book called Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements by Michael T. Murray, N.D.
As a class of compounds, flavonoids have been referred to as "nature's biological response modifiers" because of their ability to modify the body's reaction to other compounds such as allergens, viruses, and carcinogens. This is evidenced by their anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antiviral, and anticarcinogenic properties. In addition, flavonoids act as powerful antioxidants by providing remarkable protection against oxidative and free-radical damage.
Quercetin (a flavonoid) has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity because of direct inhibition of several initial processes of inflammation. For example, it inhibits both the manufacture and release of histamine and other allergic/inflammatory mediators. In addition, it exerts potent antioxidant activity and vitamin C-sparing action.
Many flavonoids inhibit tumor formation, but again quercetin has consistently been the most effective. In experimental models, quercetin has demonstrated significant antitumor activity against a wide range of cancers, including squamous cell carcinoma; leukemia; and cancers of the breast, ovarian, colon, rectum, and brain. Unfortunately, there are no human studies to support the impressive results noted in animal and in vitro studies.
Quercetin is available alone in powder and capsule form. However, if the quercetin is used for its anti-inflammatory properties, products that provide a combination of the pineapple enzyme bromelain may provide additional benefit. Bromelain exerts anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory activity on its own and may also enhance the absorption of quercetin. Combination preparations of protein-digesting enzymes (like bromelain) and flavoniods potentiate each other's anti-inflammatory activity. The amount of bromelain (1,800) milk clotting units) should be equal to the amount of quercetin.
Recommended dosage range for quercetin is 200 to 400 milligrams 20 minutes before meals 3 times a day for humans.
Quercetin as apparently well tolerated in humans. Carcinogenic and teratoginic studies in rats and rabbits shown that quercetin is without apparent side effects even when consumed in very large quantities (2,000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight and 5 to 10 percent of total diet) for long periods of time (up to 2 years).
I don't know that all budgies will die in three-five years, though. Maybe there are breeders out there that have been selecting against this. Nancy Newman on this list raises budgies. Nancy?
Sorry - I'm a bit behind on my mail. Just now catching up. I was surprised when I read the original post about budgies and short lifespans. I remember when I was a kid (in the Stone Ages), that the expected lifespan of a budgie was about a year. We would buy them at the dime store and feed them the Hartz Mtn. seed and they would die in about a year.
When I started breeding budgies about 13 or 14 years ago, I started learning about the nutritional requirements and social interactions, etc. It is not hard to see why the budgies in those days only lived for a year or so.
I've been reading on the lists about budgies being more prone to the tumors and shorter lifespans. But maybe I've just been fortunate but I've never had a budgie with a tumor, and counting breeders and babies, there have been hundreds. Of course, I don't know about all the babies (now). But as far as pets, I haven't had any with tumors.
In my experience, the expected lifespan for a budgie with a good diet and relatively stress-free life (meaning large cage, social interaction, no threat from predators, etc.) is around 10-15 years. Now, this is the American budgie, not the English (the American are smaller).
Although they are smaller, they are still a member of the parrot family and have all the same requirements as the larger birds as far as nutrition and social interaction. They are wonderful companions and it is no accident that they have been rated as the number one seller in companion birds. Of course, the fact that they have a smaller price tag helps, but that small price tag in no way diminishes their value as a companion parrot.
I think that some of the problems that budgies are experiencing is due to the large-volume breeders who produce literally thousands of babies per month. I still prefer that a person purchasing a bird of any type (including budgies) go directly to a smaller-scale breeder. I feel that the chances of better genetics, better nutrition, better health and better socialization are greatly increased by doing so.
There are a couple of herbs that can be used to poultice tumors. According to Balch and Balch, many people have responded well to external tumors using poultices of comfrey, pau d'arco, ragwort, and wood sage.
Dr. Andrew Weil in his book "Spontaneous Healing" mentioned using bloodroot (sanguinaria canadensis)as a tumor poultice and having the tumor completely disappear. He had medical students try it with the same results. He first started researching bloodroot when he received a letter from someone who used it to dissolve moles and other growths including malignant melanoma. He ordered some of the prepared product after reading that it was a popular herb used by the Plains Indians for sore throats, respiratory ailments, and externally for growths on the surface of the body.
It has fallen into disfavor because it is toxic if taken internally (it interferes with cell division and pay promote mutations and cancer.) However, Dr Weil found several references that it dissolves abnormal growths on the skin without harming normal tissue, even dissolving some breast cancers that had eroded through the skin.
His dog had developed a growth about the size of a marble that looked like a black cauliflower.. He smeared a thin coating of the paste over the growth and repeated the application every morning for three days. On the fourth day, he saw blood running down her side. The tumor had turned grayish and seemed to be separating from the sin, leaving a gaping wound. He stopped applying bloodroot, cleaned the area with peroxide. Two days later, the whole tumor fell off, leaving a raw circular area that quickly healed over.
Later he used the same technique with a friend who had a mole on his chest. After two days, the mole became inflamed and was quite sore. On the third day, the mole became pale and started to swell. On the fourth day, it fell off, leaving a circular wound that healed quickly.
Over the years he has given this paste to medical students for removal of warts and moles. The results have been consistent.
On the other hand: Rodale's encyclopedia of herbs has a section of herbs that are considered unsafe. Here's what is said about bloodroot: Prevention magazine editors: Used by American Indians as a skin dye and to treat breast cancer, it shouldn't be used by reputable healers. FDA: Contains the poisonous alkaloid sanguinarine, and other alkaloids. James Duke: In toxic doses, bloodroot causes burning in the stomach, intense thirst, paralysis, vomiting, faintness, vertigo, collapse, and intense prostration with dimness of eyesight.
If you choose to use bloodroot, be sure it won't be consumed. It might be best for birds if it was covered. Also, it is best used for small growths. I would not be comfortable using it on large growths because of the pain and swelling caused by an immune reaction.
A friend of mine tried to us bloodroot for psoriasis. It left a tingly feeling on her skin, but she still has psoriasis. I don't think bloodroot will work for that kind of ailment because psoriasis is not a growth or tumor.
Bloodroot stings on cuts and open wounds.
As with anything, think carefully consider all the pros and cons before using anything without supervision.
If the malignant tumor is internal, then the treatment approach would be different. Unfortunately, not every cancer victim responds to every treatment. So, what works for one will not work for another. The mission is to find the treatment that will work for a particular individual, and that doesn't always happen. Part of the problem is eliminating the cause of the disease.
The cause can range from environmental factors (such as exposure to household toxins), to dietary factors (improper nutrition and pesticides), to genetics. In the case of budgies, we often are working against genetics.
Here are a few more treatments that have a following because they have been successful with some cancer patients. The reason these treatments are not recognized by the medical community is because they cannot be proven work on every individual using the scientific method.
Essiac Tea - (however, rhubarb is said to be toxic to birds and one of the ingredients in essiac formula is turkey rhubarb. I do not know how closely the two plants are related or if they are indeed the same plant, since I can't find a scientific name listed.) Another concern is the large amount of oxalic acid in sheep sorrel and turkey rhubarb. The cancer patient is expected to drink lwater to help flush the system. This would help to flush oxalates if budgies would drink large amounts of water. Unfortunately, it is not their nature to do so. So, essiac tea might not be the treatment of choice for budgies if used on a daily basis.) http://essiac-info.org/ http://essiac-info.org/herbs2.html
Another possibility Budwig's cottage cheese and flax oil diet http://www.positivehealth.com/
Quick ref on some herbs
Dandelion root & leaves- araxacum officinale: stomach, vitamins, potassium, calcium, kidneys
Oatstraw tops- Avena Sativa: calcium, magnesium, yeast infections, thyroid
Plantain leaf- Plantago: major kidneys, appetite, diarrhea, anti-inflammatory
Red clover leaf & blossom -Trifolium pratense: relaxant, antibiotic, inflammations, minerals
Milk thistle seed - Silybum marianum: liver repair, heart, lungs, circulation, worms
Echinacea herb- Echinacea angustifolia: antibiotic, antiviral, immunity,
Pau d' arco bark -Tabebuia avellanedae: blood cleanser, fights infections, liver, candida
Elder berry & flower - Sambucus nigra: respiratory, anti-inflammatory, blood, appetite
Yarrow flower - Achillea millefolium: blood, liver, virus & fungal inhibitor, tonic
Thyme leaf - Thymus vulgaris: antibacterial, kills & expels worms, diarrhea
Olive leaf - Olea europaea: feather problems, immune support, fights infection
Lavender flower -Lavandula angustifolia: digestion, essential oils, stress, metabolism
Wheatgrass powder - Triticum aestivum: circulation, amino acids, enzymes, chlorophyll
Garlic flakes -Allium sativum: antifungal, antioxidant, fertility, heart
Spirulina powder - Spirulina platensis: fertility, growth, stress, color, protein
Astragalus root - astragalus membranaceous: immune system, digestion, energy, kidneys
Barberry root - Berberis vulgaris: antiseptic, respiratory, blood purifier, liver
Chickweed herb - Stellaria media: C, B, D, Anti-inflammatory, stomach, respiratory
Kelp granules - Macrocystis pyrifera: iodine, thyroid, stimulant, mucous membranes
Licorice root - Glycyrrhiza glabra: expectorant, liver, anti-inflammatory, flavor
Wormwood herb -Artemisia absinthium: liver, aids digestion, appetite Stimulant, worms
Marshmallow root - Althaea officinalis: wounds, calcium, diuretic, demulcent, tonic
this is the website that i shared to you before. there are also some FAQ & testimonial:
This site is huge!!! please take a look at it in your spare time or when your not reading this entire post..LOL
Serious..So for example, I just clicked on Herbs on the home page of the posted link..There you will now see a list of herbs in Alphabetical Order which I think will be very helpful to see what herb does what...But again, we will list the most common herbs for your application