On 1/07/09, Rick wrote:
> I found this information on this link, the question and answer following;
> I have read a lot about lactose intolerance in parrots, but most of it has just
> been confusing. I also know many parrots who love cheese (of various kinds),
> yogurt and milk and consume them in varying amounts. How does one
> know which milk products contain lactose (apart from writing the manufacturer,
> which doesnąt always produce a satisfying answer)? Is lactose really bad for
> parrots? All parrots? In what amounts? What are the signs of lactose intolerance?
> Any and all information appreciated, thanks so much, Gina
> Answered by Ellen K. Cook, D.V.M.:
> Great question, Gina! I haven't met a parrot yet who doesn't love some form of
> dairy product. However, dairy products are not very compatible with a parrot's
> digestive tract! When you think of where most parrot species originate, you can
> understand why they do not digest dairy. Not any milk trees in the rain forests.
> However, parrots are not 100&37; lactose intolerant. Very tiny amounts of yogurt
> hard cheeses seem to be OK for certain individuals. You can tell if your parrot
> cannot digest what you give him because he will have diarrhea-the solid portion of
> his droppings will be runny. This is from Web MD "The most common foods that are
> high in lactose include dairy products such as milk, ice cream and cheese. Lactose
> is also added to some foods, such as bread and baked goods, cereals, salad
> dressings, candies and snacks. Foods that contain whey, curds, milk by-products,
> dry milk solids and nonfat dry milk also contain lactose."
Yes, Rick, that's about the extent of, and type of, info. I've found also,
including asking my vet. Mine do get occasional small, about 1/2 inch, chunks of
REAL cheese. They also get yogurt, especially if they have been on antibiotics.
That old pro biotic thing, doncha know. But other than that, I try to err on the
side of caution and that's pretty much the extent of their exposure to dairy
products. Like the article says, you just have to know your own bird, pay close
attention to the droppings, and go from there.