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Thread: Completly Lost for ideas NEED HELP

  1. #1
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    Completly Lost for ideas NEED HELP

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post and I really need any and all ideas. I was starting a Canary breeding (small) set up when tragedy has hit. I am losing birds one and two at a time and this has been going on since the beginning of July. I have sent a bird to Ames Iowa where there is a Veterinarian School of Medicine and they have come up with nothing. They tested for all the bad diseases, the secondary diseases, molds, etc. My vet has sent two birds off to Ohio to see if they can come up with something. I have changed their water (now distilled), seed and quit feeding soft food. I have given them a huge amount of different medicines from virus to sulfa to bactrim from the vet. I have seen close to 24 die. They are going one or two at a time. For the longest time it was all centered around one cage (all hens). Now it has hit the male's cage and the youngsters cage. Here are the symptoms: They become puffy, they breathe heavy or gasp, sometimes their eyes swell shut. Just before they die they lose their balance and stagger around, unable to get on any perch. Unbelievably, they still show signs they want to eat. They have no discharge or diarrhea. I have changed every thing I know and with the results from Ames, I am so completely at a loss as to what is causing all of this. I really need to get some more ideas as to what I might try. If any one has had this or has any ideas, please write.

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    Re: Completly Lost for ideas NEED HELP

    Julie, This one is tough, since the symptoms listed could be any number of things, but yes most all would or should have showed up in the necropsies performed by the labs. There are three things that come to mind
    1- Ornithosis - it kills but does it slowly, and usually birds live with it but start dying under stress, like breeding, feeding young or in young their molt. Not really the number one choice for the cause but thought I'd state it, since it rarely shows up on lab tests or is even looked for.
    number 2 and 3 on my guesses would be more plausible
    2 and 3 - poisoning - and I state 2 and 3 because the two things that come to mind are some kind of agent, chemical or otherwise or a gas leak
    I say this because I have seen both happen. I have seen people who treat for fleas using flea busters or dia/earth products for lice or mites, and they simply dehydrate the birds so far they die. and they react like you described. It and other products dry out things so extensively the birds simply suffocate over time and lose fluids. Other chemicals can have a similar affect. Next is gas. A very good friend had his master bath replaced. The plumber nicked the gas pipe in the wall. They never smelled it nor felt ill, and then he lost all the bird on the wall closest to the adjoining door. When the birds started to die on the other wall he noticed a strange smell. When the house was inspected, a testing company tested the house and found the gas levels at a point of sever danger to the family. Strong enough to kill if it continued or definitely strong enough to have blown the house down if any one had lit a flame of any sort. Now I have heard of other strange or similar events from different types of candles, air fresheners, plug ins etc. I've never seen it personally but have heard second hand of certain ones being killers of birds. I don't know if the labs would be testing for levels in a birds system from such things but maybe ask. Maybe also find a company to test the air quality of your house. Even certain methane gases can be present from sewer leaks, sometimes a toilet pipe, you wouldn't smell.
    These are outside the box but all causes I've seen or heard about, and again all something a lab generally wouldn't test for unless directed to or informed to look in that direction. They tend to eliminate the most obvious and don't go much further unless prompted. Remember the canary in the coal mine, we wouldn't smell it, our alarm was the canary died which meant danger danger.

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    Re: Completly Lost for ideas NEED HELP

    Thank you Rudi for that comment. I don't use any thing for fleas or the likes. I do wonder about the gas leak. We have had a really hot and humid summer and the house had been closed up all most all summer. But, on the other hand it was closed up all winter and our spring lasted about 30 seconds (LOL). If it was a gas leak, wouldn't they all died at once. This problem has taken all summer and in the beginning it was always just one cage that was affected. Just within the last week or so, it exploded to all the cages and they started to die two at a time and a little quicker. I do use the scented wax on hot plates and I think I will pick those up. I do think it is cumulative whatever it is, mostly because of the time frame. I have ordered Ivermectin with the thought that the stuff I have been given them for some reason hasen't quite done it and this stuff is strong enough to knock out any bugs, etc.

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    Re: Completly Lost for ideas NEED HELP

    The scented wax could be the culprit. They wouldn't normally all die at once from the fumes.
    Are you using teflon coated pans for cooking? Teflon is deadly to birds if it's used at a high heat.
    Whitefaced Pearl Cockatiel Smokey Bear: Hatched June 14, 2018
    Whitefaced Pied Cockatiel Wolfie Barry James (Wolfgang): Hatched approx: December 25, 2017
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    Re: Completly Lost for ideas NEED HELP

    Again guessing. The problem or curveball is the lab testing. Generally I would go straight at Coccidiosis or fungal or bacterial, but again labs don't test for everything, sometimes one must ask for specific aspects to be looked for. In birds or even most animals they do go directly looking for coccidiosis as well as worms and mites/lice. Mites and lice you'd know about, you'd see them and if you're engaged with your birds, you would know right away simply because, people who are engaged will know because you'd see and feel them on yourself from cleaning or interaction with the cages. Ivermectin treats for mites and lice but not any worms. Multiple cages is also a strange event, since yes mites and lice will take over a room or aviary, fungal and bacterial aspects can transfer around in many ways, but most things that would kill as you've stated over a period of time, usually are either environmental, air borne, transferred by your hands between cages, food driven, meaning being past or introduced by something wrong in the food. Big cause of this type is molds, which I have seen by soaked seed. I hate soaked seed. It is one of the healthiest things one can feed, but do it wrong and it is one of the biggest killers. Another thing I have seen, and most people would never think about is food driven as well. Chemicals on food. A Gentlemen in pour club lost his entire flock in a 2 week period. He thought he was feeding them the best. He went to a farmers market, the guy SAID he was the farmer/grower and yes he did not use chemicals. When in fact he lied, he didn't grow the food he bought it and was reselling it and had no idea what was used during growing it. The greens where indeed chemically treated and even a simple washing didn't get rid of the chemicals. Levels for humans wouldn't do anything, levels for a small bird, well deadly. Worms on the other hand usually passed bird to bird via dropping, could come in from other sources, so worming is probably a good idea. Worms would kill slowly, and if introduced about the same time, the birds would take a while to succumb and it could happen in waves or all at once do to multiplying worms and life cycles of them. The gas as I stated previously is strange. I stated a friend having it happen, in which it did move across his room, otherwise said, it did not kill all at once. This could be do to drafts or even air conditioning or ventilation. AC could blow it away while running from a certain spot and it could settle in others, even ones near the door could have more air flow and last longer than ones where it may pool up. I will add any, repeat any, chemical even oils effect everyone differently. There is something in a big brand laundry detergent I break out everywhere, and I know it so don't use it. I have no allergies except poison ivy, oak or sumac, and obviously whatever is in that detergent, so for me it is oil based or from the oils of those plants. If someone where to use any of those oils in a lamp type device for perfuming a house, my lungs would well lets say have a full blown poison ivy attack in my lungs, I know that's a huge exaggeration but also would be a true event. Most candle type air freshener things are both natural oils and man made chemical or synthesized like forms. Most people know about Teflon as Pat stated and know it kills birds, this same principle applies to air freshener candles, plug ins and scented wax style devices. We cook with Teflon as humans all the time and don't smell anything or even notice, but oh my you will when the bird dies and the smaller the bird the quicker. Lastly, stall guessing here just trying to give you any idea I may have. Sorry for the length I type as I think and just type while I am thinking it out.
    Oh, just thought of another person I had heard about in respect to gas. He had gas as the source to light outside lamps/sconces on the outside of his house at his garage. Some how a line leak occurred from simple age and it leaked back in the walls. It was a very small leak so wasn't noticeable until he started loosing birds. Still he was amiss as to the cause, until he noticed one of the lamps was out. He didn't use them all the time so he didn't notice. When he got into fixing it and seeing what was the cause he found the leak, thus also found out why his birds where dyeing, by gas poisoning.

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    Re: Completly Lost for ideas NEED HELP

    I hope the problem was solved... another culprit may be low level carbon monoxide poisoning.

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