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General Health Care Remember to use common sense and consult with an avian veterinarian.

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Old 02-21-2012, 04:53 PM
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The Myth About Cat and Dog Saliva

Ok, I have often read on the internet on bird sites that cat and dog saliva are extremely toxic to birds, and even the tiniest bit can kill a bird quickly. However, when I would try to research this I never find any actual veterinary sites concerning this. So I asked my vet today, what is the truth? She told me unless the dog or cat bites and punctures the bird, almost all birds can handle it in their digestive track. So if your bird kisses your cat or dog, or the animal licks the bird, it should be fine. Now you probably shouldn't let your dog or cat repeatedly lick your bird, but if it happens once, don't panic, everything is probably ok. However, if it gets in through a puncture, it is an emergency (although you would have to think most of us have enough common sense to realize if our bird is bitten, it's an emergency for any number of reasons).

I wanted to share this information because sometimes Rowdy or Merlin will kiss my cat. I've been freaking out about it.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:55 PM
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Re: The Myth About Cat and Dog Saliva

Thank you for this! I've been obsessively washing every toy of kazi's that the dogs get a hold of because I was afraid of him getting sick. I'd also wash my hands after a cat or dog licked them. There's been a lot of hand washing, good to know I'm being a bit paranoid.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:59 PM
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Re: The Myth About Cat and Dog Saliva

Thanks for posting. I still thought this to be true myself and with two dogs in the house, one of which a puppy that can't be trusted it's good to know!
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:20 PM
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Re: The Myth About Cat and Dog Saliva

Yes, one of the birds I had called about adopting last fall, the owner would not give me because I had a cat. She was convinced that the tiniest amount of saliva anywhere would kill the bird. That was actually the first time I had heard this. Then I kept seeing it on other websites and forums, but not any that were actual veterinary sites. So I had to find out what the truth actually was.

Of course, you may want to discuss this with your own avian vet.

Yes, Merlin gave my cat a huge smooch this morning and I thought she got sick from it. She didn't. She had a seizure though, totally unrelated to the cat, but while I was at the vet, this was something I wanted to know about. It was the only thing I could think of for why Merlin suddenly got ill. Now I guess I know what an ataxic seizure looks like in a bird. She is fine and has medications now for it.

Yes, a few weeks ago my cat chewed on a toy I made for Pete and instead of washing it, I actually cut off the parts she chewed on. Apparently that was unnecessary.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:20 PM
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Re: The Myth About Cat and Dog Saliva

oh man, this is a major load off my shoulders. We have a cat that drools a lot and every time he shakes his head near the bird or her perch I lose it and start lysoling the world.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:38 PM
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Re: The Myth About Cat and Dog Saliva

Willie have been kissed by the dogs and I don't trust the dogs with other birds. I test Willie with the kitties as the kitties run from him as Willie is top bird of the house where no one challenges him. They kitties were rescued from outside so I don't trust them with other birds. So I rarely have that issue to worry about since I keep them separated. Only Willie is allowed to be out with them but im right beside Willie.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:32 PM
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Re: The Myth About Cat and Dog Saliva

When my birds are out, my cat is in the bedroom. She is a predatory cat, and she wants very much to play with the birds. Obviously I can't have her "playing" with the birds. I would expect both birds and kitty to be seriously injured. And her and Pete seem to enjoy tormenting each other.

However, she does manage to lightly interact with the birds when they are in their cages. I have 5/8" bar spacing on all cages to prevent anything serious from happening. But, the cat and Rowdy have rubbed their faces on each other. The cat will also sleep up against Rowdy's cage sometimes, right in front of her food and water bowls. And Merlin is entirely too nice to the cat. The cat stands up and looks into the bottom of Merlin's cage, and Merlin will come over and kiss her. So, yes, the saliva thing was a big concern for me. The cat also gets saliva all over me all the time. I've been constantly washing my hands, and even my face before getting anywhere near the birds.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:20 PM
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Re: The Myth About Cat and Dog Saliva

Very good info, Roxy, thanks for sharing. We saved a couple kittens about 4 months ago, the owner was going to drown them! We raised them in the house for the first few months and they liked to stalk Amigo when he was on the floor, (he was bigger than them at that time). I was always concerned about the bite, had never heard about the saliva issue though. Amigo has ALL the critters, that come in the house, scared to death of him! If he is on the floor and one comes near, his head dress comes up, his wings come out and he does that flapping, shooing away move and they go running!
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:23 AM
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Re: The Myth About Cat and Dog Saliva

Well, you would think an amazon charging her fast as a flash and trying to bite her would be enough to get my cat to back off. She won't. She just comes back at him. Once in awhile he scares her enough to make her jump down from the TV stand and run, but then she comes right back for more. So my cat is not even afraid of large birds that could rip her toes or nose off. Most the cats I've had would have been too afraid of those birds to continue trying to play with them, but not this one.

So I'm glad to know that I should be able to keep them all, and not have to worry my cat is going to kiss a bird and kill it. I know better than to let that cat be out when any of the birds are out. It would be nice if my cat were a "scaredy cat", but she most definitely is not!
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:41 AM
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Re: The Myth About Cat and Dog Saliva

I am so relieved ......................... phew...........................

Steven keeps telling me it's dangerous for a dog to kiss a bird

HE WARNED ME NOT TO KISS MISHKA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I am guessing he thinks I am a female dog !!!!!!!!
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Mishka's Youtube Videos




Enjoy the Videos !!!!

Last edited by antoinette; 02-22-2012 at 08:26 AM.
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