Birds and Colds

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Birds and Colds

Post  AbbyBCLady on Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:48 am

Message 1 of 1 in Discussion

From: Betty (Original Message) Sent: 8/13/2000 11:04 AM
Is it possible for birds to catch colds from us?. My whole family has colds, and I would hate for our cockatoo to catch one too. If so, do they get stuffy noses, or is it more of a respiratory thing, which I've heard, can be pretty serious? Also, what medications are suggested for them?

Need some advice, thank you....Betty Boop

Message 2 of 1 in Discussion

From: dacari Sent: 8/13/2000 1:42 PM
Hi Betty

My sister in law has a muloccan and she says hers has gotten colds from the family. She says the bird sneezes and acts tired. She said she puts a little gatorade in her drinking water and in a day shes better. I dont know if this helps, but when my bird has acted sickly, I did the same thing and she was better the next day. I would not let the bird be sick for any length of time, of course. The vet would definetly be contacted, but so far so good. I have a bare-eyed cockatoo (17 months) and a nanday conure (3 yrs), plus 2 budgies-(3 yrs). Thank God, we havent had any problems w/illnesses yet. The only problem we had was w/our conure. He was molting and kept picking in 1 spot. Made it red, made me nervous, so we went to the vet, she checked him for bacterial infection, there wasnt any, and said give it time. And she was right, hes fine hasnt picked there since.


Message 3 of 1 in Discussion

From: LilBit-MA Sent: 8/13/2000 5:26 PM
Hi, Betty!

Just got through reading "How to Care for Your Pet Bird" by Dr. Joel Murphy a noted vet. One of the chapters is "Can My Bird Catch My Cold?" He States: " Worried clients often ask me, "Did I give my bird my cold?". The answer is no. There are very few diseases that can be transferred from people to birds, and colds are not one of them and the opposite is also true. There are very few diseases that people can catch from birds. It is infinitely safer to come in contact with your bird than to have any contact with a person and the diseases that can be spread from birds to people are usually very easy to prevent." He further states the diseases that can be spread from birds to people are: Psittacosis (Parrot Fever) Avian Tuberculosis, Newcastle Virus, Influenze A Virus plus a few fungal infections. Hope this eases your mind a little. Lil Bit

Message 4 of 1 in Discussion

From: Babychirps Sent: 8/13/2000 11:41 PM

Not too sure if your bird can catch your cold, but I would practice the usuall precautions anyway....frequent washing of hands, and no kissy kissy mouth to beak LOL. I know my vet says my cats cannot catch my cold...but they sneeze with me anyway, and my birds just imitate my sneezing and coughing :-). Besides what can it hurt....viruses mutate at an alarming rate...spreading to and fro. Unless your entire family caught the Same virus at the Same time you could be dealing with several different viruses. Stop the spread from the human family members and prevent it from jumping to the birds ( if possible).

Hope you are all feeling better soon.


Message 5 of 1 in Discussion

From: BettyBoop Sent: 8/17/2000 9:42 PM
Thanks for the help on birds and colds. My U2 is just fine, although he did pick up a cough, imitating a cough, that is! You know, I've had him for about a year now. He's 6, and his vocabulary is limited to two clear words, "hello" and "ola," plus an assortment of indistinguishable sounds, sometimes I think I hear him cursing under his breath! So, we were really shocked to hear him imitating us. Right after someone would cough, he would cough everytime! Of course, now we cough on purpose just to hear him do it!

You know, I took Suki to the vet the other day for a beak, nail and feather trimming. He was so traumatized after he got his beak and nails cut, that the vet thought it would be a good idea to wait on the feathers. He definitely needs it though, because every so often he looks as if he's getting ready to take off throughout the apt, and boy, is he getting bratty! Since the vet wasn't able to take a look under his wings, I told her that he only needed about 3 or 4 feathers cut on each wing. She then suggested that I do it myself. I'm just afraid that I might cut into a blood feather. However, I don't see any in the area. Are they obvious or could a short one be hiding underneath another feather? I'm used to cutting my other animals' nails, but this is my first attempt at feathers. Any ideas?


Message 6 of 1 in Discussion

From: LilBit-MA Sent: 8/18/2000 5:43 PM
Hi BettyBoop!

Got a real kick out of the "coughing"! My ringneck does it as well, first he sneezes then coughs...over and over...until I say, "Poor, Logan!" or "Enough, baby Logan.!"

With regard to trimming feathers, if you hold out the wing, and look at the short feathers above the flight feathers, these are the coverts. What you want to do is cut the flight feathers, but do not get too close to the coverts. The new feathers coming in are between the shafts of the coverts. If you get too close to the coverts, you may hit a blood feather. I trim my roommates canaries all the well as their nails. She has 17 of them! Of course with these little guys it is easier doing nails and sometimes I can see the blood feathers on the peach and white birds. The shaft is sort of bluish because of the blood feeding into it.

I was scared to death to do my parakeets and her canaries at first, but with a little practice it's not too hard. Just remember not to get close to the coverts. If you're uncomfortable with doing it, maybe when Suki settles down you can get the feathers done later. I do have a question, though....why a beak trim? I've read in several books unless there is a medical reason, the beak should not be trimmed as there are nerves in the beak....something I did not know. I've thought about having my eclectus' beak trimmed, but got a bit nervous about the idea when I read that. Has Suki had it done before? Was there any reaction as if to pain? What does your vet think about doing it? I'd really like to find out if it is common in order to make a judgement as to whether or not I should have Tiara's done. Thanks, BettyBoop! Lil Bit

Message 7 of 1 in Discussion

From: Babychirps Sent: 8/18/2000 7:09 PM

Although I have not done it before ( also am afraid of inflicting pain or bleeding ;-) ) the process that liL'bit explained is what I have heard. Maybe when your bird is calm and your vet or groomer performs the "clipping" watch closely and learn. I also used to have an "experienced mom" clip my sons nails LOL. Although I can now clip my sons nails (actually he does it him self now LOL ) I still cannot bring my self to clip wing and nail on my birds ( quaker & budgie ).

As far as the Beak trimming, from what I have read and heard from other bird owners, it usually has to be done only for older birds. Lil Bit...take a look at your birds beak...does it look normal?? are the upper and lower beak porportional to each other ? As for the nails and feathers....if done correctly it causes no pain. But as always get an opinion from an knowledgable person before proceeding.


Message 8 of 1 in Discussion

From: LilBit-MA Sent: 8/18/2000 9:30 PM
Hi, BabyChirps...

Tiara is only 6 months old...I was curious about beak trimming because her little beak is very sharp and she is a bit hyper. Other than that, her beak seems perfectly normal. I know her breeder has a male that for medical reasons has to have his beak done...he has abnormal growth which is a genetic thing. The book I'm reading now by Sally Blanchard said beak trimming should only be done for medical reasons, such as overgrown beaks. Never have it notched as a cure for feather picking. Yet another book I just finished said sometimes babies beaks are trimmed slightly. Without a avian medical degree, it is sometimes hard to deal with the burrage of opinions. One book says one thing, another has a different approach or opinion. My thought is a check with her vet who is well known in Mass, and comes from one of the premier avian hospitals in the state.

Thank you for your input BabyChirps. All additional thoughts are welcome...she's my first larger bird and I am still learning! Lil Bit

Message 9 of 1 in Discussion

From: SnoBird Sent: 8/19/2000 7:31 PM
BettyBoop, I am concerned as why the vet did the nails and beak and opted to let the feathers wait. I understand Suki was acting traumatized, but I'd rather have the feathers done before the beak ,if ever the beak at all. I don't want to come off as harsh, but have you always been satisfied with this vet's way of handling your baby?? I'd hate to hear of him getting out the door, or flying into the stove or a window pane. Your vet doesn't charge you for an additional visit for the trim, does he?? As LilBit said the beak is such a sensitive part of his structure and the sensory organs apparently don't like the filing or trimming that Suki was getting done. I'm sure your vet is the proper trained one to know this, but many are qualified to treat birds,'s just some do it with a passion, and others just because you made the appointment and they can. Hope you are soon able to get those flights trimmed, and if I were closer, I'd grab a soda and be right over to do them for you.(LOL) When he trims up Suki, have him show you exactly how it is done and ask him if you can do one side and him the other......Then you can do them when they grow back in.....Keep us posted,......sno


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