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

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Old 02-04-2014, 05:09 PM
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advice wanted - disinfection

After all if this I need to do a mass disinfection of everything. I am happy to throw out all of the wooden perches and start over with them as I have a good wood supply but what about toys? Some will be very easy, some will need to be thrown out but there are a few I'm unsure of.

Rope perches - can I just soak them in virkon then rinse and dry? Barry doesn't chew his.

Wood, cotton rope, sisal rope and leather - can I soak and scrub these or will they need to be thrown away too? After all of my whining about how expensive toys are here and I will have to thrown away all of the brand new ones I just brought =/

Calcium perches - can these be disinfected?

Will also discuss this with the vet tonight, just wanting some options.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:02 PM
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Re: advice wanted - disinfection

My gosh. I just read your post about Nelson passing, as I've been catching up after being away from the forum for several weeks. I would wash all the ropes and fabric toys in whatever laundry detergent you normally use, with hot water in a machine, and toss it a bit of bleach. Then put through the rinse cycle normally. The other thing you can do is get a big pot of water to a boil and drop them in there to boil away any pathogens. That might be the easiest and cleanest way to do it. Double check with your vet.

As for the wood toys (or perches). I have read many places that baking wood on a low heat for a couple of hours is effective and nothing gets absorbed in to the wood. That's what I found out when looking into using natural tree branches to make toys and perches.

Calcium perches -- I don't see how they can be safely disinfected. Unless... you can safely scrape off a thick layer from the entire outside. but it sounds risky to me.

It's a big task, but necessary.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:51 PM
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Re: advice wanted - disinfection

I would do like the above post says! That's if you intend of saving stuff or you rather start fresh and dispose all those items?
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:12 PM
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Re: advice wanted - disinfection

My husband was a decontamination specialist for the Army and worked in cleanroom certification in the private sector, here is his two cents, but probably way more then you might need in this situation, but hey, I'm in the mood to type

His advice about wood is to just discard, that the means of truly disinfecting will destroy the wood - either soaking in bleach which would need to be totally saturated and most likely cause the wood to split and for oven option, to truly disinfect the temp would need to be so high, the wood would burn before you achieved true decontamination. If you are only thinking of surface, not thru and thru, then 30 minutes at 180 will kill any surface bacteria, virus or parasite (he said except prions, but thats more FYI then something that applies here).

His advice if you want to reuse the cloth or rope type items -

1) the optimum and most effective is if you know anyone with steam sterilizer (dentist, tattoo parlor, hospital, etc). This is not overly practical, but just in case you happen to know someone.

2) Most likely option... first and most important is per-decontamination, scrubbing by hand to remove any visible or surface 'gunk'. Then boiling is most effective for performing in a home. He said the key is to heat the entire item to an even temperature, which for a rope type perch or boing would be about 20 minutes fully submersed in a rolling or full boil. For anything metal or hard plastic, its much like a baby bottle, once fully submersed its good. For soft plastic, it is also a full dip in a pot of fully boiling water, but be careful not to let the item touch the bottom of the pan as it might distort or melt.

He said if you have more questions or about something specific, he would be happy to try to help.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:23 PM
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Re: advice wanted - disinfection

Thanks so much! For rope and boings is soaking in virkon no good? They both have plastic parts too which I worry about to boil? Barry sleeps on his boing and has done from day one.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:38 PM
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Re: advice wanted - disinfection

Its so funny you mentioned Virkon... we talked about it, but he didn't think it was available to the public. We actually have some of the tablets from his days working in cleanroom certification, but I'd never use it for bird items.

He said not to use Virkon on any cloth, rope or even wood that will soak it up because it will be dangerous for the bird to come in contact with the item, especially them sitting on something like a rope perch, preening and rubbing beaks. But you can use it for any hard object and then just be sure to rinse thoroughly after its dry.

The liquid has an extremely short life, he said if he recalls correctly, it was like 2 days and then it had to be replaced for use in the pharma / cleanroom environment as it looses its effectiveness (and that was in an animal facility). He said if you want to go that route, find the tablets that you make up as you use it.

But again, be very careful as the residue is a major safety concern, so for the rope type items, you still want to go the boiling route. Personally, I'd never chance it, take the time and go the safe effective method, using chemicals might seem quicker and easier, but the risk outweighs that for me...
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:26 PM
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Re: advice wanted - disinfection

Thanks, we get the powder for the horses but the vet also mentioned being able to give me some. So rope perches in machine on hot wash not ideal either? Looks like I will be throwing almost everything out!
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:48 PM
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Re: advice wanted - disinfection

If you are just generally cleaning them, no worries about disinfecting, just good cleaning, then I put mine thru the dishwasher a couple times with just a little bleach in the bottom (no DW liquid or packs). I've also put them thru the washing machine. But those are just ones pulled during a major cage cleaning that will go back in the same cage with the same bird. Keep in mind we have 9 birds, so there are alot of rope perches that need need replacement.

I was getting the impression you had some worry about what you lost a previous bird to, so you wanted to ensure nothing carrier over. If this is true, then just boil on the stove top the rope perches, just need a large stock pot (kinda tall like you might make up a bunch of corn on the cob in). Get it boiling fast, submerse everything and just check to keep the water level high. Its really not a big deal and if you have a bunch invested in the cloth perches and boings it can be pricey to replace all. I'd probably toss the wood unless you have some really nice java or manzanite type perches you're attached to, but even those are not super expensive. But I totally understand the rope perches, I'd spend the 45 minutes or so to clean and salvage those if they are in great condition.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:54 PM
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Re: advice wanted - disinfection

I currently have all of the cotton and sisal I brought to make toys in a pot boiling away. I don't have one big enough for the rope perches and boing so will have to toss them. I had just brought quite a few new toys but they all had rope and wood and had to go (mostly untouched too). It's just depressing, like rubbing it in. Not only do I have a large vet bill and have lost a best friend but I also have to go replacing everything! Argh so frustrated. Thanks for your help though. I don't want to risk it, id hate to lose Barry as well!
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:55 PM
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Re: advice wanted - disinfection

All of the plastic and metal stuff I will soak in virkon then rinse well.
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