Two of my lovebirds died suddenly after being wraped in blankets

Kurotama

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May 4, 2021
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First we had two female lovebirds, one of them looked sick, one day she lowered her head so we took her out of the cage and cover her in blankets, for the rest of the day she seemed fine and ate well, her poop was also fine, the next day she once again lowered her head, we did the same and after an hour of having her in the blankets near me, she died with her eyes open with her legs positioned backwards.
After confirming the other love bird was fine, we decided to get a male partner, he also looked sick but not as bad as the previous one, today he was fine, ate well, pooped well and even showed a lot of activity inside his cage (he was with the other one), my sister thought it might have been well to take him out and warm him with blakets since it seemed he was cold, he seemed to like being wraped completely in a corner, after a while my sister called me because he wasn´t moving, I moved him to make sure he was still awake, but was hardly moving, he streched his wings but refused to stand, I was really worried when he put his legs backwards in the same position as our previous lovebird so I took him and tried to make him stand, after a while whe streched his legs and wings simultaniously like he was waking up, but immediatly after he hung his head and died in my hand.
I just can´t stop thinking that this male lovebird died because we covered him in blankets, he wasn´t as sickly as the previous one and after being in the blankets showed a state of weakening.

The lovebird that is still with us also showed signs of sickness but is totally okay now, she even eats chunks af fruit from our fingers, but we have never covered her with blankets.
We provided all of them with vitamins and medicine according to the instructions of the products, do you know something about it? is it some kind of instinct to let themselfs die after finding warm or being covered in somethin?

Thank you
 

Skarila

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I am very sorry about the passing of your dear Lovebirds.

One thing for sure, whenever you buy a new bird they must be quarantined for at least 3-4 weeks before introducing to your current one in case the bird is sick, you don't want your bird to get sick also. In cases where you see the bird might look even slightly sick, it is highly advisable to bring the bird to an avian vetbfor a check up. Birds are amazing at hiding their illnesses, so when they do start to show symptops, that is when it is time for a vet visit for sure.

When you say that you covered the bird with a blanket, do you mean you covered the cage or actualy snuggled the bird into a blanket? Birds are pretty hardy when it comes to temperatures, they can regulate it themselves with their feathers. Anothing thing I must ask is what was the temperature of the room? If it was anywhere between 18-23 celsius than it is more than okay. A puffed up bird can simply be comfortable, but if it is constant, it can also be a sign of illness, rarely that they are cold.

Did you treat the blankets with any scents? Birds are very sensitive to it, so sprays and harsh scents should be avoided, just like scented candles and such.
Covering a bird is usually not to warm them up, but rather give darkness to call them down. We cover our bird's cages only in the evenings with a rather light fabric which is just for them. I would avoid thick blankets.

If you can give us anymore information perhaps we can help with what might've happened and how you can avoid it.
 

noodles123

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Jul 11, 2018
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I'm very sorry about your bird!


The quarantine is even longer than 3 weeks when a bird has died of an unknown illness, as pdd/abv can last in homes for over 6 months (in carpets, drapes, couches etc, as it can spread in feather dander)
If you have an avian vet nearby, you can see if they can perform a necroscopy to determine the cause of death (if you still have the bird that passed). Either way, you need to get your other bird to a vet if you can
All of your birds should be assumed contagious and sick, whether or not you see symptoms as extreme or even symptoms at all. Birds can carry and spread serious diseases without showing any symptoms or ever even getting sick in some cases.
You should not bring any new birds into your home until you figure out what is going on. Certain diseases are easier to clean up after than others.

Are you using any chemicals, scented products or teflon/non-stick/ptfe/pfoa/pfcs in your home? Teflon/PTFE/PFOA/PFCs are terribly deadly for them, even if your bird isn't in the kitchen--- they can kill birds in the same home on different floors/through shut doors and they are all over many kitchen appliances, space heaters, blow dryers, heat lamps, etc etc. Air fresheners and perfumey stuff, as well as standard household cleaners are also unsafe.
 
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Laurasea

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I missed this post. So sorry for your loss.
Its possible the weight of the blankets smothered them. When restraining a bird you have to be Very careful their chest can move. The weight of the blankets might hsve been yo much.

I'm very sorry you lost these two precious lives.
 

noodles123

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Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
I missed this post. So sorry for your loss.
Its possible the weight of the blankets smothered them. When restraining a bird you have to be Very careful their chest can move. The weight of the blankets might hsve been yo much.

I'm very sorry you lost these two precious lives.


But the signs of illness were there first, although the blankets may have interfered further. I just want to be clear how important to find out what was causing the head-droop etc initially.
 

Flboy

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I am so very sorry!
If I am given clothing or a blanket that has been washed with fabric softener, or scented beads, it literally chokes me!
 

Laurasea

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Here is my sick bird article with helpful info
https://www.alenaxp.com/budgie-poop-guide-for-better-health-of-your-bird/

A love bird care guide and common issues
https://www.mspca.org/pet_resources/bird-care-guide-lovebirds/

I'm very sorry you lost your burds and my heart goes out to you. Thank yiu fir sharing your story and coming here looking for answers. I'm very sorry we all missed your post earlier.

Thank you for joining us. I hope you will stick around, great people here. Lots to learn and share
 
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Kaytana22

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Wow, I am so sorry for your loss. I would be absolutely devastated if any of my birdies died :( But I know how you feel.
 

abababa

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May 15, 2020
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It sounds like airborne poisoning to me.

If it's an infection, it's likely to take time to take hold; this can be difficult to observe (the bird will hide it's illness, but a surefire sign is lost appetite).

I've never seen a bird die of infection in 24hrs. I have little doubt this can happen, but, typically a bird with a really bad infection will go about 1 week looking fine (hiding it); a few days refusing food (getting critical); then be obviously ill (emergency).

Teflon poisoning is a huge killer. If symptoms started at 5pm, this is a big tell. It might not be that you're using Teflon, but that a neighbor is, if you're in apartments. Things like hairdryers can also use Teflon, something that's often overlooked in the assumption it's just frying pans.

Blankets don't kill birds. It's not instinctual to just die when blanketed. There's nothing wrong with what you did in that sense. If a healthy bird is feeling smothered it will resist. You'd expect with an infection there'd would be some indication; but again, birds hide it, so it's impossible to rule out.

I would do a really good check on the environment, for risk factors. Poisoning sounds very likely given the rapid decline and multiple birds. Try very hard to connect the dots in terms of what happened on that day against potential toxins - this may well save the life of remaining birds.
 

Noahs_Birds

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What is this blanket made out of?

I was in a shop a couple months ago and I was looking at clothes etc and what stood out to me was some clothing and blankets actually had a teflon coating as a fire retardant, could this be the case with your blanket?
 
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Kurotama

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Thank you so much to you all for your answers, some aditional information about their condition is:

  • I just covered the birds in blankets, did not snugled them, they could move freely below it, the male lovebird looked for the blanket himself
  • We are not using any odorant or chemical on the blankets, however we don't know if they contain teflon, that might have been the case
  • The lovebird that reamins with us was one of the first two we brought home, and it seems she did not caught the illness of the male lovebird we brought afterwards, however we will take into account a future quarantine period if we decide to bring another one
Unfortunately we don't have a specialized bird veterinary nearby, and we already bury our deceased birds, we feel better now, and your advices will not go unheard, thank you again for your support
 

noodles123

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Jul 11, 2018
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Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
Thank you so much to you all for your answers, some aditional information about their condition is:

  • I just covered the birds in blankets, did not snugled them, they could move freely below it, the male lovebird looked for the blanket himself
  • We are not using any odorant or chemical on the blankets, however we don't know if they contain teflon, that might have been the case
  • The lovebird that reamins with us was one of the first two we brought home, and it seems she did not caught the illness of the male lovebird we brought afterwards, however we will take into account a future quarantine period if we decide to bring another one
Unfortunately we don't have a specialized bird veterinary nearby, and we already bury our deceased birds, we feel better now, and your advices will not go unheard, thank you again for your support


It's not uncommon for birds to carry and spread deadly illness without ever getting sick themselves. You know how people can carry covid and spread it without showing signs of illness? Same with certain bird illnesses, but they often carry and spread for a lifetime from the point of infection (hence, the term "asymptomatic carrier). I know it seems odd, but some estimates say that up to 40% of captive parrots in the US are asymptomatic carriers of certain deadly viral illness (pdd, abv, pbfd etc). I'm not saying that was the cause, but just because they both didn't get sick doesn't mean they aren't both "infected".. To further complicate matters, in a house of 3 birds, a carrier could infect the 2 other birds, but among those 2, one might become severely ill in as little as 2 weeks, while the other might take up to 10 years to show symptoms, or become a carrier himself....So, the incubation period in birds that will show symptoms is roughly 2 weeks to 10 years (and then some go a lifetime spreading without every getting symptoms). There is know rhyme or reason for why some die and others do not...but if they are symptomatic and infected, PDD and PBFD are considered terminal. The problem with asymptomatic birds is that testing for these types of viruses can be difficult, as they don't shed the virus ALL the time...so if you do test a seemingly health bird, you should do it when the bird is already stressed, or sick from something else (because that will amplify the odds that they are shedding viral particles at the time of the test). False negatives are not uncommon but it just depends on your timing of the panel. That having been said, then can still spread it even when they are perfectly healthy, but it may or may not be at high enough levels to trigger the test.

Quarantining will not prevent a carrier bird infected with PDD, ABV or PBFD from eventually spreading to a bird with whom it shares a room etc, but quarantine can reduce the load of viral particle exposure that may be shed when a bird is stressed and a bird under stress is more likely to get infected as well. Quarantine provides some protection to both birds, but it is mostly to rule out pre-symptomatic stuff (where a bird is infected, hasn't shown symptoms, but does within a few months of purchase). I would dig deeper before assuming that another bird would not be at risk (Given your unexplained deaths). I would really advise waiting at least a year and getting some possible tests run on your current bird. If it was abv/pdd, those viruses are extremely small and extremely contagious for months on surfaces and in the air. A zoo manual recommend cleaning the hvac and repainting etc---not saying you have to do that, but for them to suggest such extreme cleaning measures, it's serious to consider. You can't just vacuum and clean the cage for something like pdd or abv because it gets into everything and is very stable in the environment for over 6 months.


Are you using any chemicals, scented products or teflon/non-stick/ptfe/pfoa/pfcs in your home? Teflon/PTFE/PFOA/PFCs are terribly deadly for them, even if your bird isn't in the kitchen--- they can kill birds in the same home on different floors/through shut doors and they are all over many kitchen appliances, space heaters, blow dryers, heat lamps, etc etc. Air fresheners and perfumey stuff, as well as standard household cleaners are also unsafe.


^^^^^Are you using non-stick pots and pans in the house? This is very dangerous-- even if the birds aren't in the kitchen.

This is something else that really concerns me, based on what you described...It sounds a lot like it could have been teflon toxicosis or an airborne toxin if it was not a virus or bacterial issue.. If you were using any teflon/ptfe/pfoa/pfcs, that could easily have caused this (even if you used the same pan before, the damage can kill them immediately, but if it does not, it causes cumulative damage..and teflon is weird---it doesn't just off-gas at super high temps and can be impacted by the acidity of the food, age of the pan, etc etc etc. Even a brand-new non-stick pan with these chemicals should never be heated in the same house with birds. There have been cases of some birds dying and others surviving said exposures (but again, don't use it because even if a bird survives, the particles coat their airsacs for life).
 
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