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Guest Jane Doe

I'v been asked if I would contribute to this by a board member, I think it's a good idea to raise awareness of this illness. I'm currently treating my rescue cag for aspergillosis indefiantely with Lamisil and nebulise twice a day with F10 disinfectant which is mixed with distilled water, he's been on treatment about a month now and has improved greatly from when he suddenly became quite ill. The general vet first thought it was a crop infection, antibiotics were given sickness stopped but was replaced with polyura which is virtually no urine content in he poo just water and green poo somethimes just water. There was loss of appetite breathing more rapid and heavy, tirdeness and a cough, weight loss. went to the avain vet, after a long consulation the most probable cause was apergillosis. The vet would have preffered to do bloods, Xray and if needed an endoscopy to get a proper diagnosis but he was too poorly for tests, I didn't think I had time to try and stabalise him and didn't think the nebulising, a uv lamp and avipro would be enough to stabalise him, I took the option of medication (lamisil) without tests, I had to sign a discalimer of course, he had a pssiticosis test by collecting poo which came back negative.

I'v been told it isn't contagious as such, it is something that a bird develops through things like monkey nuts with fungal spores, dusty poor quality seed being near fumes, too near a kitchen, draughts, stress, basically things that lower the immune system and allow these fungal spores to grow into granulomas. There are two types acute and chronic, acute, they say chronic can be more dangerous as it comes on over time, can be a difficult illness to diagnose because the symtoms mimic respitory infections which a vet would prescribe antibiotics for. He had occasional boughts of heavy breathing from the time he was with the previous owner, it was put down to a dusty seed which they replaced with something not much better but it wasn't dusty! Stress and airsac damage from being near the kitchen, the general vet dismissed the idea of asper when I took him there soon after taking him on, the antibiotics did little for the heavy breathing bouts. It's better to go to an avain vet, hopefully they are more aware although as I say it is difficult to test for wihout invasive procedure or until the symtoms present themselves in a way that gives a strong indication. Here's a link I found useful







Here's another link on monkey nuts, the bit to read is hazards toxicity and hazard to health, quite a long way down the page


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This is a copy of my original posting about Chloe and Aspergillosis. Like Jane we have both had our own experiences of the horrible illness. I did not realize there were two types and my Chloe had the chronic type.


Here is the original posting:


I have only been registered with this site a few day but would like to share our experience and hopefully stop anyone else suffering the loss of their special baby under similar circumstances.


Back in July my husband and I started to decorate our lounge. We had put this off for sometime as we were concerned how Chloe would take to the change. We removed the carpet from the room in preparation for decorating, Chloe was not in the room at the time. We returned her to her house (cage) and then went to the kitchen to prepare dinner.


About ten minutes later we returned to the room to find Chloe had removed about a dozen feathers from under her wings. Prior to this Chloe had never pulled out any feathers. Immediately we removed her and her cage from the lounge and set her up in the dining room. Two days later we took her to our avian vet for her annual check up and to have the feathers looked at. He was confident that as he had seen her so soon after starting to pull her feathers that this would not develop into a more serious habit. We continued to take her to the vet regularly for various injections to help the feathers grow and to keep infections away but she did continue to remove the new pin feathers.


It got to a point at the end of September that both us and the vet decided to stop treatment as her feather pulling was not getting any worse and the removal of the pin feathers would stop as soon as it started. At the beginning of October the day before we were due to go back for a check up we notice a wheezing sound. We took Chloe for her check up and the vet listened to her chest and said it was clear and she may be lacking Vitamin A or it could be a built up of feather dust. He gave her an injection and things seemed to get better.


All this time we had been hiding Monkey nuts in her house to encourage her to forage and distract her from feathers. We never brought value nuts, only good quality human consumption roasted monkey nuts. About 10 days later the wheezing came back and she would scratch her throat area. We went back to the vet and treated her for a bacterial infection. A couple of days later still no improvement and he decided she had Aspergilosis a fungal infection.


We questioned ourselves where had our little girl got this from. I cleaned her house daily it was always so clean, her food was fresh, I would not give her anything I would not eat myself. Basically it had come from the monkey nuts. When you crack a monkey nut there is a dust which can contain fungus spoors. Because Chloe was having treatment for her feathers her immune system was lower which enabled the fungus infection to take hold. According to our vet once this nasty infection takes hold it is very hard to treat. During her last days she would not eat or drink anything and she became very poorly. Sadly there was nothing else we could to for our girl but make the decision to let our little girl go to sleep, and have sweet birdy dreams. Making that decision was so hard and to this day I still cry about those last minutes of her life. It is something I will never forget. My heart goes out there to anybody who has to make this decision.


From our sad story there are a few things fellow parrot owners could learn, to stop them suffering the heartache and pain that we are.

When you change your parrots environment is it really necessary?


Think of the times your parrot may have suffered stress i.e. after a holiday, the immune system is lower allowing for possible infections to take hold. Under normal conditions monkey nuts are not a problem for parrots, if I could turn the clock back my little Chloe would never have had monkey nuts, and my advise to fellow parrot owners is are they really necessary. NO they are not so don't take the chance its not worth it. My vet said that he sees 2 or 3 cases of Aspergilosis a month which is quite a lot and African Greys are succepable to this condition.


Its has been 5 months since our little girl passed on and not a day passes where a tear is not shead for her. She was one very special little girl.


Our life has been so so sad without our Chloe and both my husband and I have decided in may now be the time to try and move on bring a little happiness back into our life.


We are thinking of maybe getting two babies from the same clutch and preferably 2 hens. We would like them to share the same cage too.


Anybody who has any experience of two greys or advise, your thoughts would be much appricated.


Thank you for reading this.


God Bless Chloe.xxx


Chloe's Mum




Well 11 months on and Poppy and Charlie a brother and sister, have been home with us just coming up to two weeks now. Through the sad loss of Chloe I have been bless with two more beautiful greys.


Please read mine and Janes storys and think carefully. I am sure there are others with similar experiences of this dreaded illness. All we want is for us all to have healthy happy parrots.

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Guest Jane Doe

Casper passed over on 19th January 2007


Fly free and live without suffering Casper, I love you and will always remember our happy times together. Till we meet again.

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Hi, i noticed your sticky on "ASPERGILLOSIS" so thought I would send you my experiences (I have posted this on another parrot forum and copied it below) which may help other members. I can't add it to the sticky as it is locked....


Just thought I would give my views / experience on this one. Aflatoxins can be present in all types of nuts. It is an naturally occuring bacterial carcinogen (sp.) that grows inside nuts (whether they be sunflowers, wallnuts, almonds or monkey nuts). I used to work for a company that imported sacks of nuts, put them into mixes and package them up for the major supermarket chains to sell for xmas. We did aflatoxin tests on the nuts to ensure the levels were in the permitted range.


Therefore I would always go for human grade nuts / feed as they will (by law) have been tested to ensure the aflatoxin levels are in the permitted range.


The only way I could see monkey nuts being worse than any other is the fact they break and dust clouds are released which may enter the lungs of a bird and cause infection. However what I would also add is that the dust from other seed will be present in almost all seed mixes is also likely to be inhaled whilst the bird is fishing about in the seed bowl so IMO opinion monkey nuts are no better of worse than other nuts or seed.


Those who wish to take extra caution may buy roasted nuts as the roasting process kills bacteria.


This is futher info taken from later in the thread...


I can't actually remember the permitted level (it was 10 years ago when I tested them on a uni work placement). We had to take selected nuts out of each sack (the sacks were from the same crop and kept in the same condition so the theory was if one nut showed excessive levels the entire bag would) and grind them up and put some special solution into it which changed colour and we compared the colour to a shade chart to see if it was in the permitted level. There were more exact ways to do do the test with more expensive equipment but most of the time the colour was in the low range and I can't honestly recall having one test that showed excessive levels or anywhere near the max. permitted level.


If i recall correctly yes the storage is an issue but the aflatoxins increase at their most potent rate during the growth of the seed/nut.


In a dry state yes aflatoxins are safe in heat (but they would not grow)but in a nut there is moisture / oil which is why they can grow so roasting the aflatoxins in these conditions does have an effect i was lead to believe. Check out... http://www.aflatoxin.info/aflatoxin.asp for more info (I double checked to make sure I was correct).


I understand that birds tolerances to aflatoxins might not be the same as humans but the levels we found in human grade nuts and seeds were so low (and remember it is a NATURALLY occuring bateria in nuts and seeds to it wont be erridaticated), that these would be the best choice to give to birds. Also human grade stuff will be kept and transported in better conditions than non human grade stuff (which may prevent aflatoxin growth as well).


Anyway my main point is that monkey nuts are not the only culprit which people should remember.

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Hi Sorry for starting a new topic on this subject but I am unable to post on the sticky relating to this, and as I am a new member who especially registered because of my recent and devasting experience with this, I did want to assist in the discussion.


We had only had cockatiels before getting Freddie, a BFA, 20 years ago. We saw him in a pet shop, found out he was a wild caught bird who had been thru owner after owner and we just felt sad for him. I know it is not a good idea to buy from pet shops but the pet shop owner was willing to sell him cheaply in order to find him a new home and we were smitten with him.


We took him home, and after 8 months of patient work, we could finally give him a head rub and although he became tamer during the 20 years we had him, and would come outof his cage to sit on your shoulder and wander around the house, he has never handlable tame and always a very opinionated, stubborn and individual bird who would bite if you tried to touch his body but we loved him.


2 weeks ago, he started having slight breating problems and lost his very load voice, we took him to our avian vet who diag. Aspergillosis. Unfortunately the plague was very low down, near his voice box, but he was put on a regime of nebulisation2 x daily with F10 and Sporanox 1 x daily.


After a week there was little improvement, in fact his breating had got worse and our vet decided the only thing to do was to insert tubes into each air sac in order to help his breathing as he was having so much trouble due to the fungal plague low in his throat.


His breathing improved for a couple of days and we, at first, though we were making headway but sadly it was not to be. The situation got worse again and he was also put onto antibiotics as the lab results of the sample taken fromt he plague also showed bacterial infection.


We rushed him, under referral, to a renowned avain vet 200 miles from us where they tried desperately to save his life but sadly we lost him on 22 August and I am so devasted.


Detailed checking found that he also had a severe respiratory infection, the Aspergillosis had also infected one of his lungs and he tested positive for psittacosis. All of this was too much for his little body to handle and he passed away shortly after coming round from the anaesthetic.


The point of this painful tale is that the Aspergillosis hid the signs of the underlying bacterial infection and he was still eating reasonably right up until the night before his death. We had always fed him, good quality parrrot mix and fresh fruit and veg but the parrot mix was a seed based mix with dried fruit and also shell on peanuts. The vet advised that seed based mix should not be given to parrots as it is too low in Vitamin A [which is necessary for the immune system] and of course calcium. We were aware of the lack of calcium which was why we provided that in a supplement but were never aware of the lack of Vitamin A.


We never knew how old Freddie was, as I say, he was with us for 20 years and it may be that his age was also against him as well as the other problems, however I am left totally distraught and keep wondering if I unknowingly caused his death and could have done more to prevent it.


I, of course, have now arranged to be checked for psitticosis as I was the one who was treating him during his illness and I am also getting our little cockateil, who is also now withdrawn at the loss of his companion [they were kept in separate cages about 5 feet apart] tested as well, but the importance of providing the right food must never be underestimated.

Taken from https://www.parrot-link.co.uk/topic/19014-aspergillosis/

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