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Old 09-19-2016, 09:39 PM
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Re: I lost my lovebird, missed window for necropsy, help me narrow this down!

You guys are so great. It's so helpful to get some good constructive criticism. It's so easy to make mistakes with these guys and I hate that I'm learning lessons as a bird owner at the expense of the life of my animals. It's really a miserable thing but I guess all we can do is do better, read more, be present on forums and seek multiple different sources of information.

The bottom of Cricket's cage was only ever moist in a small patch under an area where he'd regurgitated a day or two before. Otherwise his normal droppings would dry up. I didn't have an in-cage bird bath or anything like that that caused a lot of moisture in the cage and his cage was really big for a little bird I think, (4' x 4' x 2') so his droppings never were allowed to really pile up or hold moisture. Still no excuse. Now I'm reading that dried droppings can give lung infections too. With the regurgitating, if I'd miss Cricket doing that and then neglected it for even two or three days, that was a huge mistake of mine I'm pretty sure. I feel like mold of some kind had to have been what took him because it sounds like mold related illness can strike fast and maybe being exposed to a chemical or regurgitating too much or both even took a toll on him too. He could have had a compromised immune system then after all the rain we've gotten AND his cage was right off an older wooden porch and I wouldn't be surprised one bit if there was mold under that deck in some spots too. Thanks so much for talking this through guys. I didn't see any signs at all that align with Aspergillosis symptoms but if it was one of the cases that struck fast it makes total sense. Even if Cricket didn't die of this I can protect future parrots (if I become a bird Mama again someday) from this scenario and hazard.
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Old 09-20-2016, 02:41 PM
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Re: I lost my lovebird, missed window for necropsy, help me narrow this down!

Anansi,

Paint from the basement slop-sink: Fumes from rinsing out supplies in the basement could never be detectable by people I don't think. Brushes and rollers were kept wrapped tightly in aluminum foil, and when brought in the house were taken straight to the basement. When they leave the aluminum foil, they're immediately submerged in water. Majority of paint would have been immediately rinsed down drain, and any painty water that remained in the house would have been so diluted I'd be surprised if you could smell it, even standing over the slop sink. Would this amount of paint fume cause harm to a bird? Cricket's cage was upstairs as well as on the other side of the house (25 feet away?). Ventilation is absolutely poor down there, I should set up some fans that I use during and after brush cleaning and suck that air out the basement door to outside.

Cleaning chemical fumes from the car ride: When used cars are purchased by the dealership, they're washed inside and out before being put on the lot. I saw the car we bought before it was for sale, so I know carpets were shampooed. I'm sure most surfaces were wiped down as well, though I didn't smell cleaning agents in the car at all when we were fresh off the lot. I think the rest of the upholstery was just vacuumed and maybe spot cleaned. And again this was over 3 weeks ago now. Should I find out what the dealership used on the inside of the car?

Cricket's necklace: I don't think I did the best job describing this necklace. When I said wire I think I put the wrong image in your head. It's like a closed circle of rigid, thick wire with big plastic beads (that spin) all around it. Its like a large hoop earring on a chain, essentially. It hangs 2 or 3 inches from the top of his cage. If I stood it up on a table, I'm pretty sure Cricket could slip through it, like his whole self. Do you think a ring this size could have been dangerous? His plastic key ring set that he liked to regurgitate on was about the same size circle and he used to stick his head through that all the time too, over on the other side of his cage.

Cage Cleanliness: There was never any moisture at the bottom of his cage unless he had regurgitated. There were definitely plenty of droppings at the bottom of his cage but never moisture so I can't imagine fumes but I'm now realizing that I should have been keeping his cage MUCH cleaner, the size of the cage doesn't negate the importance of that. Just because poop didn't accumulate in piles doesn't mean dry feces couldn't have gotten kicked up in the air by his wing flapping and inhaled by him.

Cage was cleaned yesterday with a hose and washcloth, no soap. It's all disassembled because I couldn't bare seeing the empty cage. I will clean the cage a second time. Is steaming the cage a good idea and then letting it dry completely in the sun or should I be using a certain cleaner? Bowls, perches, happy hut, and toys were all thrown away except for a few. Sad alert: We buried Cricket on my family's prairie just outside of town, in a little shiny paper box he would have loved to tap on/destroy, and I put his favorite toys at the bottom of the box. We're marking his grave with a native plant that blooms the same color as Cricket's head stripe this time of year and also with an engraved rock headstone with a rod that holds a wind chime made from Cricket's favorite bell. It's so weird that hearing that bell makes it feel like he's right here with us again. The silence in this house makes it all too real that he's gone.

I'm so glad to have found this forum. Thanks so much for your advice. Anyone who gets in over their head trying out first time bird owner ship can get themselves informed. We're saving birds' lives and qualities of life by having these conversations publicly. It's awesome.

Thanks again,
Delaney
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Old 09-20-2016, 03:52 PM
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Re: I lost my lovebird, missed window for necropsy, help me narrow this down!

You're welcome, Delaney. We're glad to help in any way we can. Many of us have lost a beloved pet, and I know part of getting closure is finding answers as to why it happened. And even more importantly, making sure any possible causes are eliminated so that it doesn't happen again.

Given your updated info, the "paint from the basement slop-sink", "cleaning chemical fumes from the car ride", and "Cricket's necklace" scenarios have all diminished in likelihood... in my opinion, anyway. Though going forward you should always be careful to keep that basement door closed, especially when washing off brushes and rollers.

The cage cleanliness remains as likely a candidate, however. Whether the fecal matter was wet or dry, inhaled particles still present a danger. Most specifically, when said particles are there in overwhelmingly large numbers... as would be the case if left unchanged over days, much less weeks. Honestly, tray papers should be changed every day. Or every 3rd day (given a large cage) at the very least. Food and water bowls should be thoroughly cleaned at least 2x a day (assuming a morning and evening feed). Or at least once a day for dry food bowls left out all day free feeding style. And any toys that are soiled via droppings or regurgitation should be cleaned off with soap and water right away.

Btw, what you've heard regarding soap is likely in reference to antibacterials. I personally do not use antibacterial soap to wash my birds' bowls and such, for fear of messing with their good bacteria. Mind you, I didn't read this particular tidbit anywhere, but it's one of those things where I figure better safe than sorry. But dishwashing soap is typically fine for washing off that stuff. Just be thorough about removing all traces.

Steaming the cage with a high heat steam cleaner sounds like a very good idea to me. Personally, I'd also go at it with a bleach solution just to be sure I'd killed any possible trace of contagion. Or vinegar at the very least. Whichever you use, make sure to then blast it clean with a hose until you can no longer detect the scent of your chosen disinfecting agent, whether bleach or vinegar. And then leave it to dry completely in the sun.

Your memorial to Cricket sounds beautiful, and quite a fitting tribute to his memory. In a way, so long as you remember him, a part of him will always remain with you.
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Old 09-20-2016, 04:16 PM
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Re: I lost my lovebird, missed window for necropsy, help me narrow this down!

Welcome. I'm so very glad you found us.
I have a good feeling that you'll figure this out and be a great parront someday soon.
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Old 09-20-2016, 04:53 PM
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Re: I lost my lovebird, missed window for necropsy, help me narrow this down!

Quote: Originally Posted by GaleriaGila View Post
Welcome. I'm so very glad you found us.
I have a good feeling that you'll figure this out and be a great parront someday soon.
I totally agree!!!

and....

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Old 09-20-2016, 06:16 PM
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Re: I lost my lovebird, missed window for necropsy, help me narrow this down!

What I'd be looking at would be : 1. are there any cloth/rope toys? Lovebirds often ingest the cloth and it ends up in a mass in their gut which will eventually kill them; 2. more likely in my view diet. 4 years old plus (to about 7) is prime time for a lovebird to die from vitamin deficiency. There are a few things that might indicate that your bird is vitamin deficient (retarded fringe inside beak, flaky scales on feet, retarded little bumps under feet). I lost a lovely little guy at 7 to this, after they die you put two and two together, but I didnt realise it at the time because he just looked a little "puffy" but was otherwise fine and running around. Lovebirds should have a vitamin supplement in their water every day. 3. avian gastric yeast. That can be quite nasty.
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Old 01-09-2021, 12:29 PM
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Re: I lost my lovebird, missed window for necropsy, help me narrow this down!

Yea pretty much what Anansi said,

Im no expert in birds at all but,

I read through your post,

Instantly i looked at
1. The 6 week routine in cleaning the cage : problem, was too long interval..
If we think about outside birds, you know that they sit up somewhere and if they take a mass pooping routine, the crud goes all the way down.. You will see they bombed your car with crud as an example..also your birds are in that tiny space with all that feces built up and the air around your bird can get toxic, especially since you saw mold too.. This most likely damaged him pretty bad

I clean it usually like evry 3 days but sometimes weekly depending ,



2. Necklace.. : problem, can choke if it gets caught somewhere..
You would kno not to wear jewelery near moving parts, say working in a factory or near engines/car. Can easily get caught, but we dont think about it.

So if he was ok enough but wasnt feeling very well, but for some reason maybe he couldve choked on it or got caught somewhere as he was moving about.. Then maybe struggled to get out (especially if something loose you have on gets caught and entagles,).


Most likely your bird went down because of the unnoticed mold and other feces/rotten small stuff that built up,
So it couldve been a combo hit on your bird(toxic air + necklace), but i dont think the necklace couldve killed him in this instance, but that chance is high. I would never put any necklace type jewlery or cosmetics on the bird, the only thing you should put is the legband or microchip.



? Can show great pics of your little buddy when he was in great spirits
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Old 01-09-2021, 12:41 PM
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Re: I lost my lovebird, missed window for necropsy, help me narrow this down!

Quote: Originally Posted by Zhin View Post
Yea pretty much what Anansi said,

Im no expert in birds at all but,

I read through your post,

Instantly i looked at
1. The 6 week routine in cleaning the cage : problem, was too long interval..
If we think about outside birds, you know that they sit up somewhere and if they take a mass pooping routine, the crud goes all the way down.. You will see they bombed your car with crud as an example..also your birds are in that tiny space with all that feces built up and the air around your bird can get toxic, especially since you saw mold too.. This most likely damaged him pretty bad

I clean it usually like evry 3 days but sometimes weekly depending ,



2. Necklace.. : problem, can choke if it gets caught somewhere..
You would kno not to wear jewelery near moving parts, say working in a factory or near engines/car. Can easily get caught, but we dont think about it.

So if he was ok enough but wasnt feeling very well, but for some reason maybe he couldve choked on it or got caught somewhere as he was moving about.. Then maybe struggled to get out (especially if something loose you have on gets caught and entagles,).


Most likely your bird went down because of the unnoticed mold and other feces/rotten small stuff that built up,
So it couldve been a combo hit on your bird(toxic air + necklace), but i dont think the necklace couldve killed him in this instance, but that chance is high. I would never put any necklace type jewlery or cosmetics on the bird, the only thing you should put is the legband or microchip.



How old was your bird btw? Can show great pics of your little buddy when he was in great spirits

Thank you for offering to help, but this is an older thread - original poster has not visited the forum since October 2016.
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Old 01-09-2021, 12:43 PM
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Re: I lost my lovebird, missed window for necropsy, help me narrow this down!

I am so sorry- and I also apologize for having not read this whole thread before replying. I am so sorry you are going through this and I hope you find answers. i am just throwing out possibilities, and there are more out there than what I have listed, so please understand that I am speaking generally...


here are the things that come to mind when thinking about bird deaths:


1. teflon/ptfe/pfoa/pfcs when heated or used for cooking (EVEN in different rooms and on separate floors)-- space heaters,drip trays, some foil, waffle irons, griddles, air fryers, popcorn poppers, pans, cookie sheets, hair dryers, straighteners, irons, ironing boards, toasters etc.


2. Disease-- birds can spread disease without showing any symptoms and without even testing positive at times-- some birds can be chronic carriers of deadly disease without every becoming sick themselves (this matters because certain diseases can survive in air ducts and carpets etc for over a year, and so you must be very careful if you ever get another bird, since you are not sure what happened). They can also get bacterial infections that they will hide as long as they can. The same is true of things like fatty-liver from a bad diet etc.



3. Aerosols and any chemical cleaners etc....fumes (anything scented unless bird safe)...scented things, like air freshener, candles, oil warmers, diffusers, essential oils, perfumes, cleaners, burning food, vaping, smoke and even baking foods with high fats at high temperatures...etc.



4. Blockages--- from cotton fibers, fabrics, nut shells etc.. Also, for females, egg-binding (where an egg cannot come out properly- they will lay sometimes even if there is no male around, but also if there is one-- and the eggs can get stuck or break inside)


5. Metal poisoning- from licking metal things, like money, jewelry, chicken wire or a cage that is unsafe or rusting-- from contact with non-stainless or non-aluminum metals or from non-safe powder coating, or a cage whose powder coating is wearing off in some instances.



6. Extreme fear or temperature shifts that cause shock. A very very frightened bird can have a heart-attack. A bird that is exposed to extreme temp changes too quickly and for too long, or to lots of drafts can also become ill.


7. Injury-- like a head injury from flying into an object etc.

Last edited by noodles123; 01-09-2021 at 12:47 PM.
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