May have to rehome our birds?

laylamay6

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So since having the budgie the bird room has been so dusty. And 2 weeks ago I got a lot of phlegm I coughed up. The 3 days ago I got a cough and runny nose which disappeared after 2 hours. Then again today when into the bird room straight after I got an itchy throat and coughed up phlegm again. This has never happened to me ever. I'm not asthmatic and healthy otherwise with no known allergies. So I dont know what else to do other than rehome them.


My daughter is currently in intensive care with this condition.
I cleaned the cages everyday and had an air purifier in the room.
( doctors told me they don’t work) my daughter has a cockatiel &
Budgie. ( they helped her anxiety) she has autism & Anxiety and OCD.
Her budgie she’s really bonded with and he talks & tells her he loves her!
I was considering Rehoming the cockatiel ( to a rescue)
But the budgie really helps her & she adores him.. I don’t know what to do!!
Would she possibly be able to keep him and remove him
From the room at night?
Or could I put the birds outside?
Anyone had this happen and found away around it to keep their beloved birds?
 
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laylamay6

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Re: I have to rehome my budgies :(

When you get a purifier, I'd get one for a larger room than what you actually have, because in reality, the square footage is needed is usually much larger than you would think (due to doors being open etc)


I had an air purifier and my daughter still got sick..
The doctors and nurses here told me they are a con
And don’t work:(
 

WhiteFlight

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I have to rehome my budgies :(

I had an air purifier and my daughter still got sick..
The doctors and nurses here told me they are a con
And don’t work:(
That is an opinion from professionals that are not professionals in the field of air purifiers.

Consider doing a search for medical grade air purifiers. Consider reviewing product availability and the supporting documentation behind them.

I can appreciate the value of the association between your daughter and her birds.
 
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SailBoat

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What part of this World do you live? In areas like North America there are major differences as to what your daughter is faced with regarding where you live.

How old is your home and then the age of your heating /cooling system? There has been major changes /enhancements to the air cleaning systems available. If your system is more than 10 to 15 years old, or a bottom of the line system was installed. You need to talk to your HVAC Contractor about a major upgrade to your air filtering system.

When was the last time the air ducts in your home had been cleared. If you do not remember, its time to clean them.

So, why all that stuff above? Easy, if you have an air purifier in a single room, every time the home's system turns-on, the purifier is overwhelmed by all the junk in the rest of the home.

Tiel's tend to have a greater volume of feather dust than Budgie. By providing a bath ever other day, will greatly reduce the dust created by the Tiel.

Of the numerous Doctor offices that I have been in during the last year, they all have medical grade air purifiers.

May your daughter's health improve!
 
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Laurasea

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I'm so sorry your daughter is in intensive care. I'm so sorry she has an allergy to birds. We definitely understand the bond.

I dont know if this is one of tge allergies they can do a desensitization treatment to your daughter? It's an uncomfortable and long process for other allergies.

Well wishes for your daughter. And hope a solution can be found
 

texsize

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I dont know if this is one of tge allergies they can do a desensitization treatment to your daughter? It's an uncomfortable and long process for other allergies.

Well wishes for your daughter. And hope a solution can be found

Boy you aren’t kidding :eek:

I had 2 years of allergy shots.
It feels like being injected with gasoline and then lighting it on fire.

And I still have allergies.
:confused:
 

fiddlejen

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Sunny the Sun Conure (sept '18, gotcha 3/'19). Mr Jefferson Budgie & Mrs Calliope Budgie (albino) (nov'18 & jan'19). Summer 2021 Baby Budgies: Riker (Green); Patchouli, Keye, & Tiny (blue greywings).
Allergies are terrible things. I have asthma and allergies... for me this is the reason I have birdies; I do love cats and dogs but in the distant past my attempts to sleep in a house where either live, have wound up in hospital. Breathing is Very Important.

That said. Although it is probably the birds, there may be other exacerbating factors. IF so and if all Other allergens are entirely removed, it may be possible just barely possible to tolerate one budgies. The room where the budgie lives would need to separate from her sleeping room. (Are you in a location where an Outdoor Aviary could be feasible? That might be a workable solution.) Someone Else would need to keep the cage / bird room entirely clean (from dust / poo / feathers etc). In my own home I vacuum daily, that would be a minimum where there is already an extreme allergy.

All other potential allergens should be removed from the home -- but they probably already have been -- such as fragrances, scented deodorants, scented laundry soap (use only un-scented), any fabric softeners or scented cleaning products etc. Also Dust and Mold are big offenders. Non-closed-cell foam mattress, and many pillows can harbor a lot of Dust, and all kinds of mattresses & pillows should be checked for hidden mold.

Also sensitivieis to foods can make allergies worse. Many people find that a low-carb diet can significantly help with general allergies.

AIR FILTERS can Help with pollen & dust as well as bird dander. They will NOT cure severe allergies (speaking from experience!!) -- but they can significantly help by reducing the overall Allergen-Load. When the overall allergen-load is high, people will have more reactions, more severe reactions, and reactions to things they were Not Previously allergic to.

(I personally ruled out cockatiel for myself before ever getting a bird. Since I am An Allergic Person, the dust from cockateils could trigger an allergy in me, which would most likely then extend to all birds.)

if you can do an outdoor aviaray attach to your home that would be the Very Best option, really.
 

fiddlejen

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Sunny the Sun Conure (sept '18, gotcha 3/'19). Mr Jefferson Budgie & Mrs Calliope Budgie (albino) (nov'18 & jan'19). Summer 2021 Baby Budgies: Riker (Green); Patchouli, Keye, & Tiny (blue greywings).
With all the info i have given above about allergies. And hating to disrupt a bird that has bonded to its owner. The fact is, BREATHING is important. Difficulty Breathing can easily make anxiety and ocd worse. (I can't imagine it would help autism either, however I have no direct experience.) IF you can move the bird(s) outside, and make sure their enclosure is entirely clean when she enters it, that might be the best option. Having the similar experience, of having to choose between cats... and Breathing... moving the birds outdoor may truly be the only workable option.

When a person really loves their pet it is easy to say, "Nooo, i will put up with these allergies." But if she is intensive care from allergies, it is indeed UNlikely that an air filter (even a high-powered filter) will be sufficient. Breathing is really important, and compromises that leave one's breathing compromised can have lasting effects on one's quality of life, which are unfortunatly Not outweighed by the joy of the bond.

What I am saying is not what I want to say, nor what you want to hear. But I spent a good chunk of my late-childhood, and a few years of young-adulthood, trying to "make it work" to live with pet cat, (incudling allergy shots), and if I could go back and change that, I would. Living with a persistent shortness of breath did not do me any good, nor anyone around me, and had lasting impacts into my future (current me) prospects.

IF you cannot move the birds to the outdoors -- or to an exterior part of your home - and have someone else entirely responsible for keeping the enclosure cleaned well, I would recommend you do look into re-homing. Perhaps there could be some arrangement where daughter could visit occasionally?
 

noodles123

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Jul 11, 2018
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I am not sure how bad the respiratory issues are, but have you tried a REALLY good purifier + filter because, together? There is no way they are a con, as hospitals use them all over the US. Mine (filter+purifier) were nearly 1000 dollars BUT they definitely cut back on dust/ dander A TON (even though with a bird as dusty as mine, there is still more dust, yours are so much smaller and not nearly as dusty). I don't think you will find many/any worth investigating for under $600--even if they get good reviews (because under that price, they just do not work as well for the level of purification you are after) . Mine was around 650 on the company website, plus the filter and tax. Here is the purifier: https://alen.com/products/alen-breathesmart-hepa-air-purifier?variant=12172983238723 <- they also have a lifetime guarantee . According to the website, it is a medical grade filtration system (with the proper filter) and having used it, I honestly believe it.

Here is the filter I use https://alen.com/products/alen-breathesmart-hepa-freshplus-replacement-filter-bf35-voc


It comes with a pre-filter that goes over the top of the true hepa filter and you can (but don't have to) vacuum it to extend life. The first year I used it (again, 24/7 on the highest setting), I only vacuumed mine around the 6th month of use, and the filters still last a year or more for me.


Here is a fairly recent picture of a pre-filter that I vacuumed (except one square). The whole thing was THICK with white powder (like the square that remains). The microscopic stuff that it filters out obviously cannot be seen, but behind the pre-filter, there is a really elaborate/serious filter (linked above)
noodles123-albums-dusty-picture23319-filter.jpeg

***ps-- this picture above was taken after running it for a few months (maybe 2 or 3?) 24/7 on the highest setting (as always)--This was not taken at the 6 month mark I referenced above*** I've had mine for around 2 years or so and didn't think to take a picture of the 6 month dust lol. Keep in mind, I also run another (smaller/worse filter in the same room, as I often open doors, which means the square footage required becomes higher). Again, a U2 or M2 = dustiest birds out there and so yours will not be as bad.

Now, I don't know if it will work for you, but I use the AlenAir BreatheSmart with the "fresh plus" filter *do not skimp on the filter, as it is the meat of the system*) Never use the sterilize or ionize setting in a home with birds or people with respiratory issues (the birds alone should be enough reason not to, but they can also be harmful to humans to a lesser degree). On the Alen product I have, there is a sterilize/ion setting, but it doesn't operate unless you turn it on manually, so I just leave that off. Also, if power goes off and then comes back on, you will need to turn the machine back on, but in a way, this is good because I was worried the ion/sterilize setting might automatically turn on upon restoration of power (it doesn't).

Alen has a payment plan and I paid around 40 bucks a month- approval was almost instant. Their customer service is really good and the particle filtration for the filter is very good---The filter itself costs $100 (ish) but I run mine on turbo 24/7 and the filter lasts a year with an Umbrella Cockatoo (and they produce AN INSANNNNNNE amount of dust in comparison to either of those birds, although tiels are a powder down bird, they are not nearly as bad as u2s).


Rabbit Air is another very well-respected option that is very good but slightly more expensive. I found this brand because it seemed to be out of my price-range.


You can also buy crazy, hospital grade air filters that are even more intense, but those are in the thousands (plural)


Even if I didn't have Noodles, I would re-purchase my filter and purifier because I see the impact they have in a home. I honestly can say it has been worth every penny---even if it doesn't help with the birds 100%, it makes the air so much healthier because it also removes chemicals and VOCs from the air **NOTE- it still doesn't make it safe to use chemical cleaners, air fresheners, glade plug-ins, smokes,teflon/ptfe/pfoa/pfcs, aerosols, perfumes etc around a parrot (these should not be used in the same home intentionally), but it makes me feel like I have a bit of a safety net if I accidentally burn some cheese on the oven coils or something while cooking). The filter is easy to change (and they last), plus it is not that heavy and about the size of a large mini-fridge (roughly)

I WILL say,that Alen model it is for 1,100 or so square feet, but you will need more than one in an open-floor plan home or in a home with lost of open doors. I run a cheaper model in the same room with it (HathaSpace) and I have another Hathaspace in the basement, but the Alenair does the bulk of the heavy lifting in comparison. I do NOT think that a HathaSpace alone will solve your problem, but I couldn't afford more than 1 of the Alenairs, so I use these to supplement--
https://hathaspace.com/products/smart-true-hepa-air-purifier (again, while it is decent, it is not on par with the Alen)


I guess if your daughter does have serious respiratory issues, I'd say this could be a really good thing for her in general, even if it doesn't solve the bird problem, it certainly has a MASSIVE impact on indoor air quality...so if you have the funds, I would try it (because with or without birds, indoor air quality can be a serious issue).


Having used MANY cheaper purifiers ($50- $350), they do not hold a candle in comparison-- you can't judge high-quality purifiers based on experiences with machines under that $600-$1000 range (I am assuming you were running something very basic, like a germ guardian or another cheap model--even the Hathaspace I have is not sufficient by itself, despite glowing reviews on Amazon).


I do not work for Alenair or anything, nor do I represent them in any way. I just have been really happy with mine and it isn't very loud. It also has air quality indicator lights and they are SUPER sensitive compared to others that claim to have them. Hathaspace machines have this too, but they are so much less accurate. Last thing- there is a filter warning indicator that turns yellow a few weeks or even months before it turns red and needs to be changed (so that is also helpful).


They also capture something like 70% of viruses--- here is a link to how AlenAir has been used in school reopening in CA https://alen.com/blogs/news/press-release-back-to-school
 
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noodles123

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It is not good for anyone to sleep in the same room with parrots long-term-- especially dusty ones (AKA, powder-down species, like cockatiels, greys, and cockatoos). If you can get a separate sleep cage or something, that would also help (keeping in mind that they need 10-12 hours of solid sleep on a schedule, placement must be considered carefully). I want to re-emphasize, that while cockatiels are not good for people with certain allergies, they are not even remotely on-par with large cockatoos when it comes to powder levels.


Another thing--- change your furnace filter often and make sure you are buying the expensive ones with the smallest micron filtration possible (they are not all equal).


If the birds are okay with it, consider misting them daily, as this cuts down on airborne dust (assuming they are not near drafts etc, as a wet bird needs a warmer room than usual and even though humans can regulate body temperature way better, think about how cold it feels in a warm house when you get out of the shower, and remember that birds are far less adaptable short-term when it comes to cold). Baths can also work, but you want this to happen willingly and you want to make sure you control water quality and temperature (especially if they dip in the water). Never bathe before bed.


Also- if I knew her specific condition, that might or might not change what I said, but I hope you look into a top-notch purifier+filter as a possibility (with or without birds in the home) if respiratory issues are a major concern. For her to be in the ICU over birds without any underlying health issues/ weakened respiratory system seems unlikely (again, I'm assuming there is more going on, as autism, OCD and anxiety wouldn't trigger such a severe reaction from 2 birds of those types..unless there had been EXTREME exposure over many years, an extreme allergy/asthma, or if the person already had weak lungs/very poor immune system--- Bird keeper's lung is semi- rare in homes without extreme situations and usually involves extreme, long-term exposure to MANY birds (while it could come from one, a cockatiel is nowhere close to as dusty as they come)---doctors would likely tell you if they thought she had that and it doesn't sound like she does, although the ICU thing still makes this unique).


Is there any chance there is mold behind the walls or something in that room? Maybe a hidden leak in the ceiling etc? Certain types of mold can be really bad.



Has she had allergy testing done?


Also, to the best of your knowledge, she ever have covid? (as this can can serious scarring/lung damage, even in mild cases). In mild/asymptomatic cases, it could be hard to know, but if she hasn't been vaccinated, an antibody test might be a good indicator if the infection (asymptomatic or other) occurred within the last 3 months or so. If there was infection prior to that, antibodies may have decreased below detectable levels (even if damage was done). My sister had a mild case and still feels EXTREMELY winded from walks that wouldn't have bothered her prior. My other sister likely had it last December, as she had lesions on her lungs that were attributed to pneumonia at the time and she was working as a Mandarin translator and traveling often...but it wasn't until she re-submitted xrays for a COVID study that this was determined.

Last question--- did they test your daughter (and/or the bird) for psittacosis? It can be pretty nasty when people get it (although it is milder in some) and some birds can have it without symptoms (although many birds do have symptoms). It isn't THAT common, as most breeders etc test for it. That having been said, I know at least one person personally who had it and she got it while working at a parrot shop. She described it as the flu from hell (had to be on a very long course of antibiotics). Not all people who are exposed to psittacosis get that sick (and some don't get sick at all), while others end up in the hospital.
 
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laylamay6

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She’s had a serve allergic reaction to birds! ( what you called it) that’s what she has! She could have died! But I think it must be the cockatiel! Because we have been the budgie 2 years!! We got the cockatiel in October and 5 months later she’s seriously ill.. she’s recovering.. but needless to say we are now considering putting them
Outside.. we don’t want to part with them.
She loves them & they love her! But her lungs don’t! She doesn’t have asthma or any issues like this before.
 
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laylamay6

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Holly has had the first covid vaccine ( she needs the second had to cancel as she’s still in hospital!) she doesn’t have asthma or anything of that nature! I cleaned the birds cages everyday, I then used bird spray. I do admit due to her anxiety she didn’t open windows
And also the birds ( they would fly away) and she was shielding for a year so was spending a lot of time around the birds.. that’s how she got ill..
she was fine with purple the budgie for ages.. it was when I got the cockatiel.
That’s when she got ill.
She has had a rare bone disease in the past ( which lies dormant in the body after treatment , which is where she’s currently at.) so I suppose that could have weakened her.
 

noodles123

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Holly has had the first covid vaccine ( she needs the second had to cancel as she’s still in hospital!) she doesn’t have asthma or anything of that nature! I cleaned the birds cages everyday, I then used bird spray. I do admit due to her anxiety she didn’t open windows
And also the birds ( they would fly away) and she was shielding for a year so was spending a lot of time around the birds.. that’s how she got ill..
she was fine with purple the budgie for ages.. it was when I got the cockatiel.
That’s when she got ill.
She has had a rare bone disease in the past ( which lies dormant in the body after treatment , which is where she’s currently at.) so I suppose that could have weakened her.


Even though this may not be related, if it is suggested by doctors, I would try the 2nd vaccination because many "long haulers" find that they feel better after the 2st or 2nd vax. I know your situation is complicated, so don't listen to me if it is not something that is safe---- but what about psittacosis etc? If her immune system is quite weak, she could be more vulnerable to it.


Are you saying she has confirmed bird-keepers lung?
 

Laurasea

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A very complex health history, certainly wishing her a swift recovery.

Noodles does bring up an important point about psittacosis or parrot fever. Worth testing for and discussing with your doctor. Burd can be chronic carrier, then start shedding the bacteria. The bacteria can have a dormant phase wee it hide in the birds organs. During that time the bird would test negative and not have any symptoms. Burds can also be shredders while never being actively sick them selves.

There is blood testing for the allergy to birds.

All of this is so complex. We just all wish to help, and wish for abilities to keep the burds or at least the budgie .

Im sure you have Google bunches. But I will add this link to your thread. Because it talks about psittacosis, and tge " burd keepers lungs" and l allergies .
Occupational Asthma: General: Bird Fancier's Lung
 

WhiteFlight

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  • It is not good for anyone to sleep in the same room with parrots long-term-- especially dusty ones (AKA, powder-down species, like cockatiels, greys, and cockatoos).
  • Has she had allergy testing done?

Lamay,

I recommend the following considerations:
  1. Your daughter be allergy tested for the specific breeds of her two-birds. Primary care physicians have performed such testing. Considering the severity of the situation, a specialist with their expanded knowledge in the field, should be tasked.
  2. The birds be removed from the household during the testing and evaluation process.
  3. In the event the test results support an avian return:
  • Arrange the format as to not have the bird(s) in your daughter’s bedroom 24/7. Have their cage in a secondary room that is not used by family members for sleeping. A cage on casters can be rolled from room to room daily. I’ve done it. Otherwise you might consider a secondary transportable cage that can be removed from your daughter’s bedroom at night and other appropriate times.
  • Continue your diligent cleaning maintenance.
  • Review and acquire medical grade air cleaners. There are accessible reviews on-line.
 
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