Protecting Your Pet Bird From Mold
There are significant health concerns when mold accumulates in homes. The organism is also known as Stachybotrys chartarum. Molds are extremely dangerous to humans due to the discharge of a mycotoxin. This organism would appear as a greenish-black mold that has a slimy appearance when wet but, when it is dried, it appears powdery.
There are other organisms with similar appearances. The mycotoxins released from these black molds can result in several indications in humans, particularly neurologic. These would consist of brain fog and confusion, inability to concentrate, and other indications. Respiratory symptoms associated with a burning sensation in the back of their throat and nasal passages would lead to difficulty breathing.
If this can happen to humans, birds are very susceptible to these fungal infections.
Your bird has an unusual respiratory tract with a big infraorbital sinus in its head to lighten the load and air sacs that move air through the fixed lung with a much considerable surface area, analogous to mammals. They can get acute and overwhelming fungal infections or even more chronic infections. Generally, Aspergillus molds have been noted to result in disease in your pet birds.
Fall is likely to be the time of year when your bird begins getting severe mold spores in its lungs and air sacs. This would often transpire after the bird owner puts on the furnace after a cold snap and mould spores are circulated through the home. This problem transpires very quickly and it is very difficult to save them. In the fall, it is very crucial to change your filters every day before turning on the fan to your furnace!
There can be predisposing factors that result in fungal infections, especially when the condition is more chronic. These predisposing factors are often related to suboptimal husbandry conditions. This would include:
- Modifications in environmental temperatures and temperatures that are not in the typical optimal temperature zone of that species of bird.
- Low ventilation also is a factor. This is when the turnover of air is insufficient.
- High dampness or excessive dryness are also considered triggers.
- Poor hygiene including not cleaning the cages often enough is a factor. This is because some areas are wet and other areas of the cage are very dry.
How to protect your pet bird from mold
- You need to be more conscious of the environmental circumstances responsible for giving your pet molds and try to provide only temperatures and humidity levels that would imitate their environment. But when you do that you must also ensure you are no creating more fungal spores — remember that mold likes high heat and humidity.
- Make sure that your bird's home is cleaned with Bird safe cleaning products, Cage cleaners, and sanitizers.
- Good nutrition is important for keeping your birds healthy and free from disease. Give your birds balanced foods that consist of at least 50% of the diet as giving just fruits to your bird (especially dry fruits as they concentrate sugars) provides large amounts of sugars, which create fuel for fungal organisms!
- Changing papers, putting some vinegar in some water to keep it more acidic and cleaning your pet's humidifiers is a safeguard that would keep your pet birds safe from mold.
- Make sure mold spores do not grow in your bird's sprouts or other foods is also another way to avoid fungus.
- Other factors include immunosuppression, the prolonged taking of antibiotic treatment, infections from other forms of bacteria, viruses, or parasites that would compromise your bird's health, trauma, and stressors that affect its immune system.
Immunosuppression can be caused as a result of a nutritional deficiency, anxiety from setting up your pet catches in high traffic areas of the home which they don’t want, corticosteroids, and sicknesses from other infections including cancer.
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