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Re: Buying a pet lovebird

Posted by Michael L on 2/07/06
(10) Comments

    On 2/07/06, MKay wrote:

    > I have to bring all the cards out here, because I am confused and
    > I'd really appreciate input from those experienced with this form of
    > diagnosing for PBFD.
    > I sold Dottie two lovebirds. They were not tested before they came
    > here. Their parents were not tested here, either. However, birds
    > that I keep in very close proximity have been fully tested, and
    > every baby that I handfeed for friends (also kept close by) are
    > tested fully before becoming available for sale by their owner.
    > Every single bird has come back clean, every single time.
    > Dottie, you tell me that your vet came back with results saying my
    > babies tested positive for "low level PBFD" .. I have never heard of
    > this before. Has anyone else? Either they have the deadly disease,
    > or they don't. If they did, you would think the rest of my birds
    > (you should see how close they are kept in relation to eachother)
    > would become ill, or at the very least cease to produce healthy
    > babies. The quakers are next door to the lovebird pair. The person
    > I sold my babies to tested them completely. 100&37; squeaky clean.
    > One more note, the vet told Dottie that he tested 450 birds, and
    > only 15 came back negative for PBFD. Does that sound odd to anyone
    > else? I was under the impression that PBFD was difficult to
    > diagnose. Could it be that these birds had moderate to low bacteria
    > (would not be unusual with the stress of driving across four states
    > to get to their new home) and that bacteria served as an indicator
    > for the possibility of PBFD?
    > Evelyn, Leanne, Ashley.. can't remember who else posts here that
    > have bought birds or been given babies from me, but I have had the
    > same ones here for quite a while and absolutely none of the folks
    > who have bought or been given my birds have ever come back and said
    > that any had a trace of anything, especially something as dramatic
    > as PBFD.
    > If my vet told me he tested over 450 birds for PBFD and only 15 were
    > negative, I'd seriously wonder about the methods used, and if
    > contamination occurred.

    I can only comment on what I understand the disease to be and
    thankfully not from experience. I certainly can empathize with anyone
    who has undergone this devastating disease.
    From what I understand there are two tests for PBFD. One is to look
    for antibodies and the other is to determine the active virus in the
    blood stream.
    Not sure how a bird can have low levels of this virus. It's either
    there or it isn't. And, again from what I've read, if a bird is not
    actively shedding the virus it can be difficult at best to detect.
    There are secondary infections that can be a precursor to this disease
    or along with it.
    It is also a virus that is not easy to eliminate. I belive it was
    Jessica who posted here previously and described the extensive
    cleaning, disinfecting, re-painting, replacing ceiling tiles, etc that
    had to be done to get her aviary back in order and even then, she
    swabbed the environment and had it tested repeatedly to make sure the
    virus was eliminated. Washing and disinfecting a cage doesn't cut it.
    As far as tesing that large number and only a small percent were
    negative doesn't make sense to me. There might be more to that
    statement or possibly it was misunderstood. Those numbers are
    unbelievably high to me.
    MKay, if you did have this illness amongst your flock, you would have
    certainly noticed it by now and had birds that were physically affected
    not to mention loss of young birds.
    Your analogy of stress-induced bacteria rings sound. When young birds
    are transported or shipped, often times counts will be elevated when
    testing is done in close proximity to the trip.
    I certainly cannot say, because I don't know what you (Dottie)needed to
    do to rid your environment of this virus, but I will say that if you
    did not do extensive cleaning and disinfection, and then tested again,
    you more than likely still harbor this pathogen in your home.

    Michael L