CS02 fungal infection

Amazon with persistent fungal infection and damaged liver.

From: the Amazon

Jake’s been getting worse, and perhaps he’s in his last months of life now. For those who don’t know, Jake has had a fungal infection on his syrinx for years now. Drugs didn’t touch it. His liver is almost non-existent, and he has never been able to absorb vitamin A. I’ve been amazed at how long he’s lived so far. This may be silly to ask at this point, but does anybody have any suggestions for boosting his health?

The new symptom that Jake has (in addition to obvious breathing difficulty–tail bobbing, mouth opening and closing…) is that he sometimes has trouble perching. He may also be having trouble climbing. I wonder if he’s just not getting enough air, so his brain isn’t getting the oxygen it needs, so he’s having some neurological problems.

I hope I don’t have to have him put down, and I hope he doesn’t get horribly miserable. But it looks like he’s not just going to be unable to breathe one day. It looks like he’s going to suffer. I’m not ready to end it for him yet, though.

We’ve tried GSE, milk thistle (which does help), and ACV. The GSE and ACV didn’t seem to do anything at all. There are a few homeopathic remedies sitting here that somebody sent me once (for something else) but didn’t send directions to. (but they’re upstairs, and I don’t remember what they are) Guess I’ll have to go look at them–maybe somebody can tell me if any might be useful for Jake.

The biopsy didn’t turn up any pathology. Don’t remember the blood work aside from the bile acids, which were abnormal whenever I wasn’t using milk thistle. The vet was doing monthly x-rays to check the fungus (which was pretty easily seen on the syrinx) and bile acids to check the liver. The fungus was diagnosed via throat swab. The vet said it looked like aspergillus but didn’t have a definitive diagnosis.

He was presumed to have aspergillosis years ago. The vet said she couldn’t say conclusively, but that’s what it looked like. He’s been treated. It didn’t work. He has no immune system and almost no liver. After a lot of time, money, vet visits, x-rays, etc., etc., etc., we decided it was up to Jake now. However, he’s held on all these years even with the fungus.

We’re done with the medicine route. However, if there’s anything I can do for him now, short of anything heroic, while I’m seeing him fail, I’d like to know about it. But I’m only looking at alternatives, not antifungal meds anymore.

At the time, I researched every antifungal I could find, and the vet was okay with these, and we tried them. There was some initial response, but then he downturned again. After that, nothing seemed to work. I do appreciate your suggestions, though. You seem to have a fair amount of knowledge in medical birdie things.

Thing is, he’s never been able to utilize vitamin A as far as we can tell. He’s had A shots out the yazoo, and no response at all. I keep his diet up to par, but after all that A, and no change at all, we figured he just couldn’t absorb it.

As a sort of aside, I’d love to know what vitamin A and the liver have to do with each other. He had an open liver biopsy (after the needle biopsy failed to show any pathology), and the vet didn’t have to cut the liver–it just fell into pieces. That’s why I’m amazed that he’s lasted this long.

The biopsy didn’t turn up any pathology. Don’t remember the blood work aside from the bile acids, which were abnormal whenever I wasn’t using milk thistle. The vet was doing monthly x-rays to check the fungus (which was pretty easily seen on the syrinx) and bile acids to check the liver. The fungus was diagnosed via throat swab. The vet said it looked like aspergillus but didn’t have a definitive diagnosis.


From: Levin Family I hate to step in since I don’t know much about birds, but if he has a liver prob and milk thistle is helping… i’d be trying charcoal in his drinking water to help him filter out stuff too. we give our ailing older animals ground flax because it has the essential fatty acids needed and they do wonderfully on it. (2 TB for a woman, so you’ll have to scale down for a bird). slippery elm is an incredible herb, too. garlic, is my number one favorite–it’s a miracle drug, if there ever was one, . I’d be trying those, but as I said I’m just starting in birds.

I found raw garlic (mixed with lemon and water is yummy, seriously) and vit c are the best anti-fungal and the best way to get rid of yeast …I know, I’m a juv diabetic and I’ve got it conquered!!!!! teresa in tnteresa in tn

From: Toucanldy

The “Ultra Clear Plus” is what some vets, including Dr. McCluggage, recommends for severe liver problems. Here is their site. http://www.thewayup.com/products/0215.htm Hope this helps. Regards.

From: blue_front Hi Robinn what were the results of the biopsy and any blood work?

Dandelion as well as milk thistle should be given for the liver. Cinammon or garlic have anti-fungal properties. Carolyn

Hi Robinn

On Thu, 03 Feb 2000 12:35:02 -0500 the Amazon <neebs@shaysnet.com> writes: > Dandelion leaves (as opposed to flowers or root??

leaves, but be careful its a diuretic! You can buy a liquid herbal combination of dandelion and milk thistle. I can help you work out a dosage depending on the concentration.

There are a couple of other things which may help, they certainly won’t harm. Intra Lifestyles and Noni juice (the Polynesian one). I don’t have details to hand to type in but you should be able to find out about them through a web search. If not I’ll type something up. They are both sold by distributors. If you want to try them and have any problems getting hold of them e-mail me.

Diet should be very low fat, no nuts or seeds.

The perching and climbing problems stem from the liver problems. They are nothing to do with calcium.

Do you think Jake has fatty liver disease? If so, there are other things you can try.


From: “Kelly Raver” The info from Avian Medicine chest that Helena gave me says they have a product called hemotox that detoxes the liver….Their number is 712-647-2079. The lady there will tell you about it.


Robinn, I’m not sure if I saved it or not, but there was a bird on a Rehab list that I am on that had a similar story and problems. Repeated tests did not come up with any bacterial problems or aspigillious. X-rays did not show any problems or obstructions. Eventually the bird could no longer breathe. The necropsy disclosed a small tumor like growth of aspergilliosis right inside the trachea.


From: “Susan Carter” <ccbirds@bellsouth.net>

Robin here is something that I use all the time with detoxing… this is an article from Carole Swisegoods home page The Kitchen Physician…….

She has some great articles….

Aloe Detox….. I have nothing but good stuff to say about this stuff… hope it helps…..

from globird The liver has many functions, the most important of which is the production of bile, necessary for the digestion of fats. It also aids in the absorption of A,D,E & K (fat soluable vitamins), converts beta carotene into vit A, and helps to assimilate calcium.

Other digestive roles of the liver include storage and release of certain vitamins, synthesis of fatty acids from amino acids and sugar, production of lipoproteins, cholesterol, phosoppholipids and the oxidation of fat to produce energy.

Added to the nutritional tasks, the liver, along with the kidneys, helps to detoxify the blood. and regulates thyroid function.

‘Prescription for Nutritional Healing’ by Balch and Balch recommends the following: CoQ10 to supply oxygen to the liver…it’s a potent liver protector. Free form amino acid complex…a source of protein that is easy on the lier because it has already been broken down. L-Cysteine & L-methionine…to aid in liver tetoxification and protect liver cells. Lecthin ….preents fatty buildup in the liver Liver extract injections plus vitamin B12 or dessicated liver…too supply needed B vitamins, and other nutrients needed to rebuild the liver cells. Multienzyme complex (prozyme is good)….aids in digestions and relieves the liver of some of its burden. Multivitamin and mineral complex with vitamin B complex, selenium, and zinc…All nutrients are needed to repair tissues. Vitamin C…powerful antioxident helps to neutralize toxic substances. Vitamin E…powerful antioxident protects liver from damage. Milk thistle and celandine….Thisyln (Nature’s Way) or Liv-R-Action (Nature’s plus) human dose would be 2 caps 3x daily. I’d give a bird 1/2 cap three times daily.

Increase foods high in potassium (almonds, bananas, brewers yeast) Insure the diet is high in fiber. Do an ‘fast’ one day a week to relieve the liver of its burden. For a bird this would be: apple carrot, beet, and dandelion as sole food for the day….as much as the bird will eat.

Make the fat in the diet be from the essential fatty acid group. Give a capsule of a fatty acid blend once a day. (evening primrose, borage, flax, etc) (Read the discussion of fatty acids at the HB website)


milkthistle…i wrote give 1/2 capsule 3x daily for a bird. This would be good for a few days to start, but then reduce to 1/4 capsule 3x. Also, for this particular bird who already has severe liver damage…no more liver-destroying antibiotics or antifungals.

Persistant fungal infections (all kinds: aspergillius, ringworm, candidia, tinea, paronychia) are a common sign of a depressed immune system. If the problem is not from an auto-immune disorder, then boost the immune system with an echinacea regimen (rotational 7 on 7 off) and ensure a diet loaded with variety of raw fruit and vegetables.

Balch & Balch recommend the following for fungus infections from their book Prescription for Nutritinal Healing:

Acidophilus…supplies friendly bacteria that are usually deficient in those with fungal infections. Garlic (kyolic)…neutralizes most fungi. Aerobic 07 from Aerobic Life Industries…increases tissue osygenation, combats fungi. Vitamin B complex plus extra B5…needed for correctly balanced friendly bacteria in the body. Plays a role in the formation of antibodies and aids in the utilization of nutrients. Vitamin C with bioflavinoids…needed for proper immune function. Vitamin E…needed for proper immune function. Essential fatty acids (black currrant seed oil, primrose oil) for relief of pain and inflammation. Pau d’arco herb…..fight fungal infections. Avoid foods with sugar or refined carbohydrates. (wheat flour, corn flour breads, pasta, pellets etc) CoQ10….improves tissue oxygenation (fungi prefer alkaline environment) Raw vegetables and oat bran. Avoid citrus and the following foods: oranges, grapefruit, lemons, tomatoes, pineapple, and limes for at least a month. Thereafter, you can serve them only occasionally. Athough they seem acidic, these fruits are actually alkaline forming in the body.

The use of antifungal medications such as nystatin, myclog, mycostatin, mytrex, nilstat, ketoconazole, smphotericin, etc can lead to the development of stronger strains of yeast that are drug resistant. Higher doses are then required, which leads to a further weakened immune system.

I personally have not seen the effectiveness of colloidal silver. However, many people swear by it. It is said to be effective against fungus. It’s only side effect is grey skin from high doses or improper particle size. I don’t think the bird will care. Try it.

Conclusions: Several of the recommendations for liver disease (previous post) and fungal infections are the same. (B vitamins, vit C, vit E, CoQ10, EFAs) Foods to avoid don’t conflict. Foods recommended are similar. Herbs recommended are different but aren’t excessive: garlic, pau d’arco, echinacea, milk thistle.

I don’t think trying ‘one thing’ is going to work for Jake’s problems. He really needs a total regimen that includes ‘things to consume’ and ‘things to avoid’.

He also needs positive thoughts and postive energy. He needs to be visualized well. He doesn’t need to be thought of as ‘on his last legs’, because negative thoughts drain life-force. There may be flower essences that can help Jake ‘reconnect’ with life, but I’m not a flower essence person. Maybe someone else on the list will help with this aspect?