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Old 06-29-2012, 06:49 PM
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Why do so many birds get sick and die young?

Since I have been on this forum, (very short time) I have noticed so many sick and dying birds. What are we doing wrong? When I was a child I knew an elderly couple who had a parrot for 40 years never had it to the vet.
Sometimes I wonder how many unnecessary tests are performed on our pets just as so many tests are performed on us by medical doctors.

Has anyone considered how much blood from a small bird it takes to do a blood panel ? Now consider taking that amount of blood from an already weakened sick bird, which has to knock him to the floor as far as fighting off whatever is ailing him.

We have been lucky enough to find a vet for our dogs who doesn't do unnecessary tests without doing the obvious in the beginning, then if his quick fix doesn't take care of it he will go on to testing. Saves hundreds of dollars just to find out maybe they just needed antibiotics to begin with.
Our avian vet doesn't like to take blood unless it is absolutely necessary which I am very pleased to know for this very reason.

I know birds go down hill fast but doesn't taking blood take them down even faster, especially on a smaller bird? It seems they end up dying anyway.

It is just very depressing to hear these stories of their babies and the expenses they have been out and still be unable to save them and are left with huge expenses to pay for.

The pet industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and it just makes you stop and think if it is always in the best interest of the pet or to pad their pockets. I know there are times when it might be needed but I wonder how often it could be treated without all of the tests.

Maybe I am just cynical but I have lived enough years (65) to see greed take over in every corner of society. Anyone's thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:25 PM
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Re: Why do so many birds get sick and die young?

I completely agree! Couldn't have said it better.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:31 PM
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Re: Why do so many birds get sick and die young?

It is hard to say on the babies, but I think on our older birds we keep them in a very unnatural environment. In the wild they would be flying many miles every day and eating natural foods foraged all day. No processed foods and no perch potatoes. Yup, the old saw, diet and exercise!!! I think our beloved birds are also subject to exposure to toxic chemicals from many sources, including cleaning supplies, insecticides, air pollution, preservatives in our foods, etc. Our birds are so tiny compared to us that I think these things effect them heavily and there may be a cumulative effect of some of these toxins that building up over time, make them hard to diagnose.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:25 PM
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Re: Why do so many birds get sick and die young?

I know the pet store birds I see there is always some bird under observation or at the vet and what gets me is that they keep the sick bird with the other baby birds! I think a lot of babies sold at stores or by some breeders are sick to start with. You see the same thing with fish at stores. I always treat fish as if they have parasites or are ill because most are. That's what happens from crowded conditions and animals cross contaminating each other coming from different places with different germs. That's why it is so important to go to the vet an reputable breeders/stores/rescues.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:33 PM
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Re: Why do so many birds get sick and die young?

I think the Hygiene hypothesis comes into the equation.
Many birds seem to not get sick for years, then suddenly die when they first contract an illness.

I maybe wrong about this, but it seems like a good idea to take Birdy out as often as I can for this reason.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:51 PM
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Re: Why do so many birds get sick and die young?

i agree 100%, well said dishgal.
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TAKE YOUR PETS FOR REGULAR CHECK-UPS!
my cat died at 3 years old due to invasive kideny cancer. he was highly anemic and his kidneys and blood work were off the charts, the vet said it was the worst he's ever seen. we had to put him down that day. up untill then, he showed no sings of illness that we could recognize, however he was a ticking time bomb and only the vet could see it. we thought he was just muscular, but it was just his bulging kideneys. animals hide illness! he only showed signs the day before he died, before this, he seemed completely normal, healthy, and his usual self. his name was maxie and he was my best friend, because we thought he was healthy we didnt take him for check-ups but had we cought it earlier he might have had a chance. we learned from this, we should have paid attention, take ALL your pets for check-ups so they can be helped early on before its too late.
R.I.P maxie (2007-2010)
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:27 AM
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Re: Why do so many birds get sick and die young?

I think maybe Mudkips is right...

We protect our birds from everything that could be mildly dangerous to them, so they may not be able to build up a proper immune system...

When I was young in Denmark, there was a story in the newspaper about a little boy, who died... The only diagnoses was, that he was just too clean! The parents didn't allow him to come into contact with anything that could potentially harm him...
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:55 AM
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Re: Why do so many birds get sick and die young?

Quote: Originally Posted by lene1949 View Post
I think maybe Mudkips is right...

We protect our birds from everything that could be mildly dangerous to them, so they may not be able to build up a proper immune system...

When I was young in Denmark, there was a story in the newspaper about a little boy, who died... The only diagnoses was, that he was just too clean! The parents didn't allow him to come into contact with anything that could potentially harm him...
As someone who grew up in an environment where everything was sanitised before I was allowed to play with it - and given that I seem to come down with every cold that comes around, I can certainly agree with this!
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:09 AM
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Re: Why do so many birds get sick and die young?

Quote: Originally Posted by Alisana View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by lene1949 View Post
I think maybe Mudkips is right...

We protect our birds from everything that could be mildly dangerous to them, so they may not be able to build up a proper immune system...

When I was young in Denmark, there was a story in the newspaper about a little boy, who died... The only diagnoses was, that he was just too clean! The parents didn't allow him to come into contact with anything that could potentially harm him...
As someone who grew up in an environment where everything was sanitised before I was allowed to play with it - and given that I seem to come down with every cold that comes around, I can certainly agree with this!
There is something to be said for that as well, immune systems cannot develop when they are not exposed to anything. It is kind of like vaccines...when I was a child we were deliberately exposed to measles mumps chicken pox etc. so we could have it and get it over with. Now there is a vaccine for everything. I am basically a very healthy person at my age compared to a lot of people many years younger than myself.
Vaccines in my opinion are just another avenue of greed, whatever they cause the drug companies have a drug to treat your problem but not cure it. I never take flu shots and never get the flu. I don't vaccinate my dog except for rabies and my vet is fine with that. He is very much into alternate natural ideas for just about everything if we choose.

Ghandi once said that the end result from too many vaccines would be worse than the disease itself. I totally believe that. There was an outbreak in a school near us of chicken pox (the worst they had ever seen as far as severity of cases) which they blamed on being exposed to someone who had not taken the vaccine. Really? If you are vaccinated shouldn't you be immune to it and not have a worse case?
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:02 AM
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Re: Why do so many birds get sick and die young?

YES! Keeping our birds overly protected is just as bad as overly protecting our kids (in every way, shape or form). I think it's important to expose them, without necessarily putting them in danger and that's the difficult balance. As both a parent and parront, I speak from experience on that one!!

It does sadden me every time I hear of a companion bird's passing from anything other than old age. My Aunt-In-Law has had the same wild-caught Amazon since the 80's. Aside from when she caught him, because he was thrown into the side of a building by a storm, I don't think she's ever taken that bird to the vet. I'm not advocating never taking a bird to the AV, on the contrary, I'm just saying that it's amazing how the animals that are well cared for seem the quickest to go
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