Quaker With Fatty Liver Disease
1. Paco weighs 130 consistently and the vet says he “looks” terrific. 2. No blood was taken for fear of him not clotting properly. 3. Diet was all she recommended. I would like to start Milk Thistle but am unsure of dosage and how to administer. 4. Diet changes started about 4 months ago and I do see improvement in his activity but the beak is still growing funny. He will need another trimming soon.
Birds Name: Paco Species and/or color mutation: Quaker Age: 4 Sex: male Where was the bird obtained: breeder
1… Please describe fully the problem the bird is experiencing: Paco was diagnosed with a liver problem because of an overgrown beak andlethargy. The growth isn’t in length but the sides grow over.
2… When did the problem start, was it sudden or gradual: About 1 year ago, gradual.
3…When is the problem worse, eg: morning, night, after handling, after eating etc: NA
4… When are the symptoms less noticeable: NA
5… Has the bird seen a vet: yes
6…Have any OTC (over the counter) treatments been used prior to a vet visit: NO
7… What condition was the bird in (depressed, dehydrated, etc.) when seen: He was his old self.
8… Were tests, cultures, X-rays, etc. done? No, She was hesitant to draw blood because of bruising on his beak. She said they were hemorrhages from not clotting properly.
9… If so, the results and diagnosis of problem/disease: NA
10.. Was treatment/medication prescribed: Please detail what was given, dosages, and duration of prescribed treatment. Pelleted diet and no seed. Veggies and fruits also recommended.
11.. Was there an improvement shown from treatment: No…beak is still growing funny.
12.. If treatment failed, what other steps were taken to resolve the problem: none
13.. Have dropping changed in color, frequency, consistency, and quantity: No
14..What is your level of skills as far as giving emergency supportive and medical care. eg: do you know how to tube/gavage feed, SubQ, etc: NA
15..Whom do you have in your area (breeder, experienced friend) if the bird becomes critical, and you can not go to a vet. These people would be good to know during times when no one is available to help: breeder
16… How did you hear about HolisticBird List: From friends on other lists
Social and Cage Environment
1… How long have you had the bird: 4 years
2… Do you have other birds, and how do the birds react to each other: Yes..they all get along but don’t have contact with each other.
3… Is there other pets in the household, and how does the bird respondto each: Dog and cats…Paco is always interested and seems to enjoy them.
4… What other *Human* members of the family interact with the bird, and does the bird have preferences: He goes to my husband but prefers me.
5… Are other pets or family members ill: I have chronic fatigue/fibro.
6… What is the cage size and location: 24 x 20 x 27..he is near an east window.
7…How much activity is there in this location: Center of the house but quiet here.
8… How does the bird respond to activity: He is always watching and seems to enjoy it.
9… How does the bird respond to being alone: Fine
10… How often and how long is the bird alone: Rarely…when I do leave I let them know and I say to be good and he always responds with, “OK”.
11.. How often is the bird out of the cage: Daily
12.. Is the cage covered at night. Does your bird sleep in a different cage: No
13.. What type of exercise does the bird like, such as exploring, flying, etc: He has a play top cage. Loves to drop toys from the top and watch them fall.
14.. What type of perches are in the cage and positions: All types..rope, booda, wood.
15.. What is used in the bottom of the cage (newspaper, corn cob, etc.) and does the bird have access to it: Grate.
16.. If toys are provided, what is the birds preferences: He likes wood toys, leather and his ball he can go into. He sleeps in a Happy Hut.
17.. Is the bird passive or aggressive to the toys, eg: plays, or chews up: He is gentle with his toys.
18..Is the bird quiet or very vocal: Both…very vocal when he sees something outside. He is the house sentinel. He is an excellent talker.
19..What type of lighting is used (such as incandescent or full spectrum): none
20..Is the photo period (of lighting source) natural and regulated, or random and irregular: natural
21..Does the bird have access to natural sunlight or is taken outdoors: yes
22..What is the water source and location, eg: bowl, dish, water bottle:
RO water in a bowl..changed twice a day.
23..Does the bird like to bath, and what is it’s favorite form of bath (mister, sink, bowl, etc) and how often: LOVES a bath!. In bowl on cage bottom. Twice a week.
24.. Are night lights used: Street light shines in room.
25..Was anything changed at all prior to the first display of symptoms. This could be a change of food, cage location, new bird additions, interior decoration (such as new drapes, carpet, furniture), new people, loss of bird buddy or human friend, etc. no
26.. Has your bird been showing signs of sexual maturity: no
1… What are the major products you use for general housecleaning. eg: Clorox, Windex, types of soaps, floor products/waxes etc: Nothing toxic.
2…Are there carpets in the house and what chemicals are used for cleaning them: NO
3.. What disinfectants are used to clean the birds cage, and how often: Enviro-Clean. Weekly
4… Are scented candles used: NO 5… What type of aerosol sprays are used, eg: room deodorizers, hair sprays, pesticides, etc: NONE
6… Are there any smokers in the household, and do they handle the birds: NO
7…Are strong perfumes used while around the birds: NO
8… Are fabric softeners used in cage coverings: NO
9… What type of ventilation (such as windows, vents, fans, etc.) is used when questionable products are used, or painting or heavy cleaning is done: NA
10.. *IF* birds are housed outdoors what type of shelter is there from sun and bad weather: NA
11.. Are any predators (cats, birds, mice, wild animals, insects) disturbing/distressing the birds during the night: No
12.. Is the home heating electric or gas: Hot water heat
13.. What is the temperature in the house, and is it constant or varied:
Always at 72 in winter. No air condition, so warm in summer.
14.. What houseplants does the bird have access to: None
15.. Are exterminators used: NO
Diet and Nutrition
1… *If this is a bird being handfed* list what is being fed, how many feedings, amount, temp of food and container/brooder: NA
2…Is the bird emptying between feedings: NA
3… What is the overall condition (both physical and mental, color of droppings, etc.) of the bird: Good
The following is for weaned and adult birds. *NOTE:* In each category list: the % from 0% – 100% offered and eaten, how often fed, birds likes
and dislikes, etc.
1… What is your feeding schedule: Pellets in cage at all times. Fruit, veggies, beans, rice, etc. in morning. Also has a bowl with cereal from healthfood store, pepper flakes, dried corn and 3 parakeet Nutriberries daily.
2… Seed Mix (mfg. brand or are you mixing your own) NA
3… Pellets (brand/s), and mixed with seed or separate dish: Zupreem plain
4… Vegetables: fresh or frozen, cooked or raw, shredded or chunks: fresh, chunks. Broc., cauliflower, peas, corn, zucc., kale, peppers, sweet potatoes,
5… Fruits: types, and sizes, offered separately or with veggies: apples, cranberries, banana.
6… Is the produce washed and rinsed first: YES
7… What type of supplements do you use, eg: vitamins, spirulina, etc: none
8…Is there a source of calcium such as mineral blocks, cuttlebone, etc: Yes, but he never touches it.
9… Do you use herbs such as Echinacea, etc., how often and for what reasons: none
10.. Do you add anything to the drinking water or treat it: Have just started to add Pro Bac Adult.
11.. Does the water intake change with certain foods: no
12.. Does your bird eat table foods, and what is it’s preferences: pasta, toast, yogurt, pizza.
13.. What does your bird refuse to eat: He won’t eat anything moist like most of the cooked bird foods such as Beak Appetit. Also won’t touch carrots.
14.. What does your bird appear to eat or crave over other foods: Sugar snap peas and the core of peppers.
> April also added this information: > 1. Paco weighs 130 consistently and the vet says he “looks” terrific. > 2. No blood was taken for fear of him not clotting properly.
The way to determine this is to clip a nail & gauge the clot time. My bird had a clot time in excess of 4 hours at one point and I consulted a certified avian vet some time after that, he did the clot time via the toe nail before drawing blood for other tests. However, if treating holistically, bloodwork may or may not be neccessary.
> 3. Diet was all she recommended. I would like to start Milk Thistle but > am unsure of dosage and how to administer.
Diet is THE most improtant thing you should do for this bird, I will elaborate below. Milk thistle is one of the things that helped my bird survive this last week, even though she had been on it for 20 months in small amounts, I added additional milk thistle. As much as I searched, I was unable to find a dosage on milk thistle for birds this last week. However, I also could not find a toxicity level. The only side effect I ran across was diarrhea. Still, in a case like this with there being such a good chance of curing the FLD, I suggest you consult with a holistic avian practitioner to get the best results. You need a comprehensive plan, because you have to approach this wholistically, meaning you have to address it from several different angles, otherwise, you’ll be fighting it for 5 years like I have been.
> 4. Diet changes started about 4 months ago and I do see improvement in > his activity but the beak is still growing funny. He will need another > trimming soon.
Before turning to holsitic health 2 years ago, I was going in for beak trims every 2-3 weeks. I learned to do it at home, myself.
> Birds Name: Paco > Species and/or color mutation: Quaker > Age: 4 > Sex: male
My bird is also a quaker, she is 11.5 years old & was origianlly diagnosed with FLD in 1996.
> 8… Were tests, cultures, X-rays, etc. done? > No, She was hesitant to draw blood because of bruising on his beak. She > said they were hemorrhages from not clotting properly.
My quaker had these for two years before my conventional vet diagnosed her, he kept telling me they were bruises & was dissmissive of the other symptoms I told him I saw. I’m just telling you so much about my bird because I want you to know how far ahead of me you will be if you start to get a handle on this problem now. You can read my bird’s history up to the time I joined this list at the holistic bird website, under case studies as Quaker with fatty liver & yeast.
> 10.. Was treatment/medication prescribed: Please detail what > was given, dosages, and duration of prescribed treatment. > > Pelleted diet and no seed. Veggies and fruits also recommended.
This I have to take issue with. No bird with liver disease should be on pellets, in my opinion. I believe a fresh food diet is best and I suggest you follow either Dr. McCluggage’s diet recommendations (and add a calcium source) in his book, Holsitic Care for Birds, or Dr. McWatters diet at http://www.parrothouse.com. Getting off the pellets may be scary, at least it was for me just because of all I had been led to believe, so you will have to research this until you feel o.k. about it. I just want to emphasize that diet is THE most important thing you can do, so take this very seriously. I have done a great deal of research and truly believe that all birds should be on a fresh food diet, but especially if they have liver disease.
> 13.. Have dropping changed in color, frequency, consistency, and > quantity: > No
Could youdescribe his droppings? They can give a couple of clues when it comes to FLD.
> 5… Are other pets or family members ill: > I have chronic fatigue/fibro.
I have some info on fibro you may be interested in, so email me privately if you want.
> 13.. What type of exercise does the bird like, such as exploring, > flying, etc: > He has a play top cage. Loves to drop toys > from the top and watch them fall.
Exercise is also vitally important. I finally decided that, in MY situation, it was best to allow my bird flight inside the home. Not everyone can do this, though, so you must consider your own circumstances. I feel that birds are born as superb athletes & cannot be truly healthy unless they can really exercise. My bird is allowed flight for a couple of hours per day & doesn’t fly much compared to what she would in the wild, but a flightless bird may never get as much exercise as she does. It made a tremendous difference for my bird. Again, determine what is best for your situation, but do not underestimate the importance of exercise for birds.
> 21..Does the bird have access to natural sunlight or is taken outdoors: > yes
Do you take your bird outside regularly? Direct sunshine is beneficial.
> 1… What is your feeding schedule: > Pellets in cage at all times. Fruit, veggies, beans, rice, etc. in > morning. > Also has a bowl with cereal from healthfood store, pepper flakes, dried > corn > and 3 parakeet Nutriberries daily.
The last time I looked, Nutriberries still contained Ethoxyquin, you may want to do some research on this ingredient. I would not feed any product containing Ethoxyquin to my birds. Also, check your pellets. One reason you should consider eliminating pellets from the diet is due to preservatives, another reason is that some of the nutrients in the pellets are synthetic & difficult for the body to process. Birds eat a completely fresh food diet in the wild and I believe they will be healthiest eating this way in captivity, as long as a balanced diet is provided.
> 2… Seed Mix (mfg. brand or are you mixing your own) > NA
Seed is not bad food, even for a bird with FLD, you don’t want to feed high fat seeds, but including some seed in a fresh food diet is healthy.
> 4… Vegetables: fresh or frozen, cooked or raw, shredded or chunks: > fresh, chunks. > Broc., cauliflower, peas, corn, zucc., kale, peppers, sweet potatoes,
One thing Dr. McWatters pointed out to me is that I need to emphasize greens in the diet, so consider adding other greens to the diet. Greens contain vit K & the most likely reason you are seeing the hemorrhaging in the beak is due to the body not being able to process vit K the way it should (due to the liver), so emphasizing this in it’s fresh form in the diet is important.
> 12.. Does your bird eat table foods, and what is it’s preferences: > pasta, toast, yogurt, pizza.
This sounds like my bird used to be. You don’t want a lot of fat in the diet, so I would eliminate or severely limit fatty foods. Also, you want to make sure that the toast he may get is the healthiest bread you can find (try an Ezekial or other sprouted bread from the health food store), also you can get pastas that are made from only whole foods (without added iron) at the HFS. You really need to make everything that your bird eats count, everything he eats should be healthy. Read through some of the diet articles at http://www.parrothouse.com that Dr. McWatters wrote, she has a PhD in nutrition.
Andrographis is also excellent for the liver. Actually, it is reported as being better than milk thistle. I haven’t found it for sale around here, but it can be ordered online. I found a few places the last time I checked by going to Google.com (my favorite search engine) and typing andrographis in the search box.
It takes time for the liver to heal, so don’t expect changes overnight. I have quakers and I allow them seeds, because seeds have good nutrition and can be part of a balanced diet, but your bird is a different case. He needs pellets for right now to reverse the health problems generated by an all-seed diet. Once the nutritional balance has been restored, then go to a natural diet that includes a variety of seeds, fruits, and vegetables. thanks, gloria