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Avian Poisoning information

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  • hopkinsus
    AVIAN POISONING by Gillian A. Willis 1.0 HOUSEHOLD POISONS 1.1 Polytetrafiuoroethylene (PTFE, Teflon, Silverstone) Used in non-stick surfaces of cookware,
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 26, 2008
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      by Gillian A. Willis

      1.1 Polytetrafiuoroethylene (PTFE, Teflon, Silverstone)
      Used in non-stick surfaces of cookware, self-cleaning ovens, some
      ceramic heaters, bread makers, hair dryers, ironing board covers.
      Toxicity: At temperatures of 280 degrees C. or greater, pyrolysis
      occurs resulting in liberation of PTFE which causes lung injury.
      Clinical effects: Usually sudden death. Depression, ataxia,
      respiratory distress in less severe exposures. Necropsy findings show
      hemorrhage and congestion of lungs.
      1.2 Air Fresheners
      Used in air fresheners, carpet fresheners, perfumed candles,
      impregnated "pine tree" automobile odorizers. Toxicity: Contain
      essential (volatile) oils which are mixtures of terpenes, esters,
      alcohols, aldehydes, ketones and phenols. Pharmacology and toxicology
      differ widely. Absorbed by inhalation, through the skin and by
      ingestion. Clinical effects: Highly variable. Central nervous system
      (CNS )stimulation leading to seizures or CNS depression resulting in
      depression, ataxia; respiratory distress, oral irritation., vomiting.
      Case reports: Deaths in avians from exposure to carpet fresheners,
      perfumed candles, clothing/upholstery freshener. Serious toxicity in
      avians from topical exposure to teatree (melaleuca) oil.
      1.3 Ozone
      Produced by ozone-generating air cleaners. Toxicity: Ozone reacts
      primarily with lung lipids to cause lung damage. In humans damage has
      occurred at concentrations as Iow as 0.5 ppm for 2 hours of exposure.
      Clinical effects: Possible irritation to eyes, coughing, depression.
      Ozone air purifying systems should not be used around birds. There are
      also risks to human health even in Iow concentrations.
      1.4 Carbon monoxide
      Produced by incomplete combustion of wood, propane, kerosene, natural
      gas, fuel oil.
      Toxicity: Decreases ability of blood to carry oxygen.
      Clinical effects: Depression, vomiting, death.
      Treatment: Oxygen.
      1.5 Petroleum solvents
      Found in oil-based paints, paint strippers, paint thinners, spot
      removers, carpet & upholstery protectants, many glues & adhesives,
      furniture polishes. Toxicity: Causes CNS depression. Repeated
      exposures can cause liver, kidney & brain damage.
      1.5 Disinfectants
      These include chlorine-releasing agents (household bleach, chlorine
      dioxide (eg Dent-A- Gene), iodophores (contain iodine), synthetic
      phenolics (eg Phenokil, Lysol disinfectant spray), quaternary ammonium
      compounds (eg Roccal, Zephiran), glutaraldehyde (Wavicide),
      chlorhexidine gluconate (Hibitane, Novalsan), wood tar distillates
      Toxicity: Variable. Deaths reported in baby birds after brooder unit
      cleaned with Pine Sol. Idodine is rapidly inactivated by organic
      matter and can cause toxic effects on the thyroid gland with repeated
      exposure. Chlorhexidine is safe but has a limited antimicrobial
      spectrum. Cheapest and most effective is household bleach. The
      synthetic phenolics have a wide bacterial spectrum and have a residual
      effect. The fumes from all of these agents are potentially toxic. If
      used in bird room, follow label instructions and ensure adequate
      ventilation. After use of any of these agents, rinse treated surfaces

      2.0 HEAVY METALS
      2.1 Zinc
      Sources include galvanized cage wire ("new wire disease"), galvanized
      food dishes, bird toy snaps, quick links, zippers, keys, nails,
      plumbing nuts, nuts on animal transport cages, hardware cloth,
      padlocks, pennies minted after 1982, some antirust paints, zinc oxide
      ointment, some soldering fluxes. Toxicity: Corrosive to
      gastrointestinal tract. Absorbed zinc is bound to plasma proteins and
      deposited in liver, kidney, muscle and pancreas. Causes acute and
      chronic toxicity. Clinical effects: Vomiting, diarrhea, necrotizing
      ventriculitis, ataxia, depression, seizures; kidney, liver and
      pancreatic damage. Feather plucking. Precautions:Treat new galvanized
      wire and cages by cleaning with vinegar solution and then power
      washing to remove zinc spicules and zinc oxide powder.
      2.2 Lead
      Sources include lead curtain & fishing weights, lead shot, lead
      solder, stained glass seams and frames, tiffany lamps, bird toys with
      lead weights, bells with lead clappers, foil from some champagne/wine
      bottles, some welds on wrought iron cages, improperly glazed ceramics
      and old paints containing lead.
      Toxicity: Impairs hemoglobin and enzyme synthesis. Causes damage to
      the central nervous and blood-forming systems, as well as to the
      gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, heart and thyroid. Causes acute and
      chronic toxicity. Clinical effects: Depression, weakness, ataxia,
      diarrhea (green, black or chocolate-coloured feces), thirst, increased
      urination, head tilt, wing droop, blindness, paralysis, seizures.

      3.0 PESTICIDES
      3.10rganophosphates & carbamates
      Includes diazinon, malathion, dichlorvos (Vapona No Pest strips)
      chlorpyrifos (Dursban), carbaryl (Sevin). Toxicity: Bind to the
      enzyme, acetylcholinesterase, resulting in accumulation of
      acetylcholine at nerve endings. Absorbed from all routes. Clinical
      effects: Diarrhea, ataxia,, tremors, seizures, dyspnea, respiratory
      failure, increased secretions, paralysis. Case reports: Deaths in
      canaries exposed to Vapona No-Pest strips used in aviaries.
      3.2 Pyrethrins and pyrethroids
      Includes pyrethrins obtained from the chrysanthemun flower and
      pyrethroids (allethrin, permethrin, resmethrinm tetramethrin,
      cupermethrin, fenvalerate). Usually formulated with the synergist
      piperonyl butoxide. Toxicity. Birds and mammals are relatively
      resistant to toxic effects (can rapidly inactivate these compounds).
      Toxicity reported in avians exposed to pyrethrin-based foggers. Birds
      should be off premises for 36-48 hours after use of foggers. Clinical
      effects: Depression, weakeness; possible tremors, seizures.
      3.2 Rodenticides
      Most products available for domestic use in Canada are anticoagulants
      and include diphacinone, chlorphacinone, brodifacoum, bromadiolone.
      Some contain cholecalciferol (Vit D3). Toxicity: Anticoagulant type
      interfere with Vitamin K metabolism. Clinical effects (anticoagulant
      type): Depression, hemorrhages.
      3.2 Adhesive rodenticide strips (eg. Mouse Glue).
      Are nontoxic. Can adhere to feet or feathers of birds causing marked
      stress during attempted removal. Treatment: Can apply corn starch to
      reduce stickiness. Application of peanut butter followed by washing
      with water has facilitated removal. Avoid petroleum-based solvents.
      Supportive care for stress.
      3.3 Moth repellants
      Include naphthalene, paradichlorobenzene. Toxicity: Napththalene
      metabolites cause destruction of red blood cells. Unknown mechanism
      for paradochlorobenzene. Clinical effects: Vomiting, depression,
      ataxia, anemia, kidney damage. Deaths reported in canaries and finches
      from moth-repellant contaminated seed.
      3.4 Flour moth traps
      Contain adhesive paper and an attractant. Nontoxic. Potential risk of
      small birds adhering to paper.
      3.5 Boric acid/borax
      Relatively low order of acute toxicity. Does not emit toxic vapors.
      Can be used safely around birds.
      3.6 Diatomaceous earth
      Contains exo-skeletons of diatoms. Can be used safely around birds but
      ingestion should be avoided.

      4.1 Vitamin A
      Toxicity: Is usually the result of dietary oversupplementation.
      Clinical effects: Poor feathering, dry skin, irritability, "bulging" eyes.
      4.2 Vitamin D 3 (Cholecalciferol)
      Present in some rodenticides. Toxicity: Is usually a result of dietary
      oversupplementation. Macaws and African Grey parrots may be more
      susceptible. Clinical effects: Increased plasma calcium; calcium
      deposits in kidneys, liver & heart, bone demineralization.
      4.3 Camphor
      Present in topical liniments and rubs. Toxicity: Stimulates central
      nervous system (CNS) to cause seizures. Toxic from all routes of
      absorption. A budgie developed seizures as a result of skin
      absorption, vapour inhalation and ingestion when the owner handled it
      after using Campho-phenique without washing his hands.
      4.4 Ivermectin (Ivomec)
      Toxicity: Deaths reported in finches and budgies with intramuscular
      administration of therapeutic doses. Clinical effects: Depression,
      weakness, ataxia, tremors, seizures, respiratory distress.

      5.0 PLANTS
      Plants listed as toxic for humans should be considered potentially
      toxic for birds although some avian species reportedly have died from
      ingestion of a toxic plant, while others have experienced no untoward
      effects. Some plants that are considered nontoxic to humans have
      caused toxicity in some animals and in avians.
      5.1 0xalate-containing plants
      Includes dieffenbachia, pothos, shamrock (Oxalis), philodendron, Calla
      lily, Monstera, Elephant's ear (Colocasia spp.), caladium., rhubarb
      leaves. Toxicity: Contain needle-like calcium oxalate crystals.
      Produce irritation and swelling of oral mucosa. Possible kidney
      damage. Clinical effects: Oral irritation & edema, vomiting, dysnea,
      respiratory distrress. Deaths have been reported in avians from
      respiratory failure.
      5.2 Euphorbia-containing plants
      Includes poinsettia, Euphorbia cactus. Toxicity: Contains a vesicant
      sap. Clinical effects: Oral irritation and swelling, vomiting.
      5.3 Grayanotoxin-containing plants
      Includes Pieris japonica (lily-of-the-valley bush), rhododendron,
      azalea Toxicity: Grayanotoxins cause toxic effects in skeletal and
      heart muscle, and in the central nervous system. Deaths in lovebirds
      fed Pieris japonica "berries." Clinical effects: Oral
      irritation,vomiting, depression, ataxia, bradycardia, respiratory
      depression, seizures.
      5.4 Taxine-containing plants
      Toxicity: All parts EXCEPT the flesh of the berry contain taxine which
      causes cardiac toxicity. Deaths in lovebirds fed berries. Clinical
      effects: Weakness, depression, seizures, irregular heart beat,
      hypotension, respiratory distress.
      5.5 Avocado ( Persea americana)
      Toxicity: Toxic principle unknown. The FLESH of the avocado has caused
      death in canaries and budgies. Necropsy findings showed generalized
      congestion--especially the lungs. Clinical effects: Weakness,
      depression, anorexia, fluffed up appearance, increased respiratory
      rate, death usually occurs > 20 hours post ingestion.
      5.6 Cyanogenic-glycoside containing plants:
      Includes many plants of the Prunus genus such as cherry, cherry
      laurel, plum, peach, apricot, nectarine and bitter almond. Toxicity:
      Generally all plants of the Prunus genus EXCEPT the pulp of the fruit
      contain amygdalin or related glycosides which are slowly hydrolyzed to
      hydrocyanic acid. Apple seeds contain small amounts of cyanogenic
      glycosides. A few seeds may be fed to birds as a treat. Case reports:
      (a)The owner of an Amazon parrot would take his clipped bird outside
      and allow it to perch on a cherry tree while he was in the yard. The
      Amazon was in the habit of chewing the wood. This bird presented at
      the avian vet's very depressed. All other causes for the bird's sudden
      onset of illness were ruled out. The bird recovered uneventfully with
      gastrointestinal decontamination and supportive care. (b) Anecdotal
      report of deaths in Amazons who chewed on pesticide-free peach
      branches. Clinical effects: Possible vomiting, weakness, depression,
      respiratory distress, death.
      5.7 Nicotine
      Includes tobacco plant (Nicotiniana spp.), tobbaco, cigarretes,
      nicotine patch and gum). Toxicity: Causes toxic effects in the CNS,
      gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems. Clinical effects:
      Vomiting, tremors, seizures, death. Exposure to tobacco smoke can
      cause sneezing, sinusitis, nasal discharge, eye irritation.
      Pododermatitis can occur from direct contact with
      nicotine-contaminated hands/surfaces. Possible feather plucking.
      5.8 Safe Woods The following are safe for natural wood perches: Apple,
      Arbutus, Ash, Aspen, Beech, Birch, Cottonwood, Crabapple, Dogwood,
      Elm, Fir, Hawthorn, Larch, Madrone, Magnolia, Manzanita, Mountain ash,
      Oak (mature trees - not young shoots which contain tannins), Pine,
      Poplar, Sequoia, Willow.

      6.0 MYCOTOXINS
      6.1 Afiatoxins
      Produced by Aspergillus spp. which can grow on many foods including
      peanuts, corn, grains, cereals, bread, cheese and meats. Toxicity:
      Afiatoxins primarily cause hepatotoxicity. Clinical effects:
      Depression, anorexia, weight loss, poor feathering, gastrointestinal
      hemorrhage. Necropsy findings include an enlarged, pale liver (from
      fat infiltration), necrosis; Gl hemorrhages, kidney lesions, enlarged
      spleen and pancreas. Treatment: Low fat diet. Consider use of
      silymarin (Milk thistle) as a hepatoprotectant.

      7.0 FOOD
      7.1 Chocolate
      Toxicity: Contains theobromine- a xanthine alkaloid which is a potent
      CNS stimulant. Death reported in an Amazon who collapsed 30 minutes
      after eating a small piece of a chocolate brownie. Note: Carob
      (Ceratonia siliqua) does not contain toxic alkaloids and is safe in
      moderation for birds. Clinical effects: Vomiting, diarrhea,
      hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, depression, death.
      7.2 Alcohol
      Toxicity: CNS depression can occur from all routes of exposure.
      Clinical effects: Muscle incoordination, depression, death.
      7.3 Salt
      Toxicity: Excessive dietary intake increases plasma sodium, total body
      sodium and extracellular volume causing brain cell dehydration and
      injury. Clinical effects: Vomiting, tremors, hyperexcitability,
      polyuria, polydipsia, ataxia, depression, death. Necropsy findings are
      cerebral edema and hemorrhage.

      Includes material used for nests and for cage bottoms. Ingestion of
      foreign bodies can cause trauma or obstruction of the proventriculus
      or ventriculus. Pine shavings are safe for nesting material and paper
      is the lining of choice for cage bottoms.
      8.1 Nesting material
      The following should be avoided: Cedar shavings (contain volatile oils
      which can cause skin irritation and allergic symptoms. Corn cob
      material- ingestion caused obstruction and hemorrhagic enteritis in a
      Severe Macaw. Can grow Aspergillus. Eucalyptus (dried leaves). Can
      grow Aspergillus. Peat moss - can grow Aspergillus. Walnut shells -
      can grow Aspergillus.
      8.2 Kitty litter
      Contains bentonite - a clay which swells to 14 times its volume in the
      presence of fluid leading to possible obstruction.

      Edited and prepared for this site from the Avicultural Journal -
      Jan./Feb. 2001, Volume 24 #1 with thanks.

      Aerosols, Drain cleaner, Pine Oil, Alcohol, Gasoline, Paint remover,
      Antifreeze, Insecticides, Paint thinner, Aspirin, Kerosene, Rat/Mouse
      poison, Bleach, Shellac, Caffeine, Mothballs, Shoe Polish, Cigarette
      smoke, Paint (Lead-based), Suntan lotions, Deodorants, Perfume, Waxes,
      Dishwasher detergent and any Pesticides, pencil tips, pungent spices
      and Teflon coated pans.
      Know what they are and keep 'em away from the birds. Keep a list of
      toxic plants (call your avian vet or call your local poison control
      center) and keep it handy. Find any and all sources of lead and get
      rid of them. In case your bird wanders get child-proof cabinet
      closures and move all air fresheners, cleansers, detergents,
      insecticides (which should never be kept or used near a bird) to an
      upper cabinet. Anything that gives off fumes or strong chemical odors
      must not be used near birds. If you are painting or fumigating, board
      your birds and don't bring them back until the house has had plenty of
      time to air out, at least 24 hours after the work has ceased and any
      smell has dissipated.

      Safe Fruits & Vegetables
      Some of the fruits: that can be given to parakeets are apple, banana,
      orange, tangerine, raisins, apples, pear, currants, strawberries,
      apricots, fresh pineapple, blackberries, mulberries, loganberries,
      lemons, dates, raspberries, grapefruit, juniper berries, cranberries,
      cherries, blueberries, kiwi fruit, grapes, gooseberries, rowan
      berries, mandarins, melon, peaches, plums, rose hips, hawthorn
      berries, wild elderberries and figs. Too much fruit can also cause
      loose droppings. Vegetables (all washed thoroughly if not organically
      grown) such as Carrot, Spinach, Broccoli, Lettuce, endive, Brussel
      Sprouts, and kurly kale are good for parakeets.
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