Back to Mario….

Mario had just been diagnosed with Aspergillosis, a parrot owners nightmare. Unfortunately, this fungus can also affect humans. (For more information click on this link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002302/ ). Many avian cases have been attributed to birds being fed peanuts in the shell. It can be a very scary situation, and Mario’s was just that- very scary. This also meant I had to contact his previous owner to alert her to this diagnosis so she could be tested as well. Thankfully, she had not been infected.

The importance of Vitamin A in pet birds has been discussed and I cannot stress this enough. Mario had a Vitamin A deficiency, which made his immune system weak and vulnerable to infections. In this case, to aspergillosis. The Merck Veterinary Manual states, “Fungal infections in pet birds are generally caused by Aspergillus fumigatus . An opportunistic organism, it is often found in the same locations and under the same conditions as many bacterial secondary invaders. Malnutrition, especially vitamin A deficiency, is a common predisposing factor. Poor hygiene and inadequate ventilation, especially in warm, humid climates, can increase the incidence of this disease.” (Merck, 2011). In addition to the Vit. A deficiency, Mario and his Mom also lived in a small apt., in the same small bedroom, which had an open bathroom attached. It was a recipe for disaster, unbeknownst to those involved.

Our wonderful vet, Dr. W. had prescribed medication for other infections, but now we had to add one more as we were phasing out others. After a long two months, Mario’s blood work came back  free of aspergillosis in his entire body. Finally, it seemed as though we were getting ahead. During this time Mario had been quarantined, but now knowing he was on the mend it was time to introduce him to the other birds. Obviously he knew they were there, but he had not been around or seen them directly. It was a bit overwhelming for him so the process was done very slowly. Here is one of the first pics of his introduction to the rest of the flock…. Mario is in the forefront….

Mario meets the gang...

 

Aspergillosis. 2011; Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc.Whitehouse Station, NJ USA. All Rights Reserved. http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/170211.htm

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