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The Holistic Parrot by Leslie Moran

Parrots magazine 166

Understanding Aspergillosis

Aspergillosis is now one of the most common mold infections worldwide.  Katrina Coleman in her article, ”The Silent Parrot Killer”, (Parrots issue March 2008, 122) details what she learned of this disease after Baby, her precious nine year old Blue and Gold macaw, had been diagnosed with and died from aspergillosis.  This fungal organism has claimed thousands of avian lives and broken the hearts of those who loved and cared for these birds.  And now we’ll uncover how the keys for preventing aspergillosis are directly linked to diet and nutrition.

Aspergillosis has been called the silent killer because the first symptoms a bird has after becoming infected are subtle, and are often missed.  According to Louise Bauck DVM, in Avian Medicine: Principles and Application, aspergillosis is ubiquitous, meaning it is a fungus that is everywhere.  In parrots Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common infectious agent, followed in frequency by A. flavus and A. niger.

Once aspergillosis has been identified in a bird, Dr Bauck explains that this infection should always be considered to occur secondary to a situation or circumstance that caused the immune system to become suppressed or compromised.

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