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What you need to know about household bird toxins

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Birds are often compared to toddlers: When pet birds are left alone, just like toddlers, their habit of tasting objects might get them into trouble. Birds are social eaters. Pet birds, like other birds like sharing mealtime with their human mates. While some foods and objects are obviously poisonous to birds, others may not be so obvious. Also, what is harmful to one species of bird may not be toxic to another. The sensitivity of birds to common home goods can be attributed to a variety of factors, including their small body size, quick metabolism, and very efficient avian respiratory system.

 

Here are the things your bird must steer clear of: 

1. Lead and Zinc Poisoning

Lead is commonly found in many places around the house. Examples include lead-based paints used prior to 1978, curtain weights, fishing weights, solder on cages or plumbing, certain types of putty, plaster or ceramic glazes, batteries, pellets from air rifles, certain linoleum, stained glass windows, etc. Lead is a smooth substance that is enjoyable to chew and swallow. Lead or zinc poisoning, often known as heavy metal poisoning, is life-threatening and requires emergency veterinary intervention. 

 

Clinical Signs: Depression, foot and leg paresis, food refusal (anorexia), vomiting/regurgitation, seizures, hemoglobinuria, hematochezia (blood in the droppings), diarrhea.

2. Avocado

Persin, a fatty acid derivative found in several parts of the avocado plant, particularly the leaves, has been linked to heart failure, respiratory problems, and abrupt death in a range of bird species. Some avocado varieties may be safe for certain bird species, such as Lories, who have been fed avocado without issue. However, no one knows which types of avocado are suitable for particular species, so it's best to be careful and avoid serving guacamole to your bird.

 

Clinical Signs: Agitation, lethargy, food refusal (anorexia), dyspnea (difficulty breathing), pericardial effusion (fluid surrounding the heart), death

3. Chocolate

Many birds, like us, enjoy chocolate. Chocolate, on the other hand, can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in birds. Even worse, chocolate includes both caffeine and theobromine, which can cause hyperactivity, tremors, and seizures, as well as mortality in birds. In general, the larger the amount of cacao (which are the seeds that contain theobromine and caffeine), the more hazardous the chocolate is to your pet. 

4. Fruit Pits and Apple Seeds

Fruit is a delicacy of most birds, and most fruits are safe for them. Birds should never be permitted to consume the seeds or pits of some fruits with seeds (like apples and pears) or pits (such cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, and plums), as they contain minute levels of cardio-toxic cyanide. Grapes, citrus fruits, squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, melons, mangoes, pomegranates, and berries all include seeds that are safe for birds to consume. Simply remove the seeds and pits from cyanide-containing fruits and leave the rest for your birds to eat.

5. Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) or “Teflon toxicity”

Fumes emitted from overheating cookware or products with Teflon are deadly to pet birds. Nonstick surfaces on Teflon or any coated non-stick cookware, drip pans, space heaters, irons, ironing board covers; stain-guard treatments for upholstery. Toxic particulates and gases are produced when the surface is heated to 280 C (536 F). This can occur when a pan boils dry or an empty pan is heated on high (poisoning is not expected during routine cooking.

 

Welcome to Veterinary Care Unlimited!

Here at Veterinary Care Unlimited , we pride ourselves on providing a unique experience and tailoring every service to your pet’s needs in our warm and welcoming environment. Our services cover all the basics of preventive care and surgery, as well as more advanced care, such as internal medicine and rehabilitation. 

Essentially, we care for all pets, except for large livestock animals and monkeys. If your pet is furred, scaled, feathered, or finned, we will provide top-notch specialized care for your companion. Even if your pet is not specifically listed, we can likely perform a health checkup and provide treatment for your pal.


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