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What are the 'flu like diseases called in birds

Posted by jones60 (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 3, 06 at 14:04

I'm trying to figure out what a bluejay just died of. I have noticed yellow finches getting it as well. What happens is the bird puffs up and appears cold, but always sticks by the birdbath to get water even though he is obviously having a hard time breathing. Then when he went to the bathroom and just was sitting in it it was green. I guess its a severe Respiratory infection some birds get. Its sad to watch. He went downhill very quickly and I was by his side till the end. Gave him a stick to grab onto, boy did he squeeze it tightly then off to heaven he went. The weather has gone from warm to cold very quickly here in the east. Just curious if anyone knows the illness??


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What are the 'flu like diseases called in birds

Call your local conservation department, health department, or agriculture extension offices for a number to contact. Too many things out there that cause flu like problems.

It is very important that you report this.

Clean & bleach bird bath asap.


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RE: What are the 'flu like diseases called in birds

Are you thinking of West Nile Virus? It 'could' be but there are a myriad of other things it could be as well so it's best to take the bird into your local health department for investigation.

Barb
southern Ontario, CANADA


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RE: What are the 'flu like diseases called in birds

Birds catch the flu and sometimes it can be transmitted to humans. Many of the flu strains over the years come from either pigs or birds who can transmit illness to humans.

I think here locally, we are supposed to report and not touch any sick or dead bird. I believe this is due to West Nile and Bird Flu. They are trying to keep tabs on it. I'd definitely call the board of health or animal control.

Here is a link that might be useful: bird flu info


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RE: What are the 'flu like diseases called in birds

I was thinking about "Bird" flu. There are several types currently but did not want to cause a panic. Most are harmless to humans but they do mutate.


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RE: What are the 'flu like diseases called in birds

Most likely it was West Nile Virus. Bird flu is primarily a chicken disease. Not likely in a Blue Jay unless he's been hanging out with poultry. If a necropsy is not done within hours of the bird's death, the results will be inconclusive anyway, so don't waste your time. Definitely nothing to panic about.

The other thing it might have been is a cat scratch. The contact from the cat's claws will ultimately prove fatal since it triggers infection which the bird's body cannot fight off.

Once a bird is ill, it will fluff its feathers in an attempt to stay warm. It will drink a lot due to dehydration from its body fighting the infection. They usually only hang on for about 2 days before passing. It is painful to watch, but it is not a long lasting suffering if that helps.

No known bird diseases are transmittable to humans.


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RE: What are the 'flu like diseases called in birds

"No known bird diseases are transmittable to humans."

This is not true. There are many known bird diseases that can and *do* infect humans directly from the infected bird (wild OR domesticated). They can be protozoal, fungal, bacterial, chlamydial or viral. The chances of a wildbird/human transmission is pretty slim unless you are in very close proximity or touching the sick/dead bird and the opportunity to cross contaminate presents itself. ie. you'd have to touch it, forget to wash hands and then introduce the pathogen to your body via, mouth, nose eyes or a cut. Contaminated feces is also a mode of transmission to be considered by the same means or by means of aerosolization of the feces ie. sweeping/scraping dried feces from a patio, sidewalk, driveway, deck, balcony etc... where you inhale the pathogen and then it multiplies in the moist, dark, warm spaces in your respiratory system.

It should be noted that "Bird Flu" or "Avian Flu" is a catch-all phrase that is similar to a diagnosis of "Dermatitis". If a doctor tells you, you have dermatitis and nothing more, he likely doesn't even know what you have. Dermatitis simply means "inflammation of the dermis or skin" or "rash". Likewise "Bird Flu" or "Avian Flu" simply means a pathogen originating from a bird. H15N flu is a specific pathogen but all your other flu pathogens that the CDC and WHO follow each year to determine what to put in the yearly flu vaccine are *also* often bird flu's. Even though most of these pathogens originate as a bird to human transmission, it's the human to human transmission that creates yearly flu epidemics... so worrying about birds is nothing to what you should be worry about the guy/gal next to you in the check out line at the grocery store.

Barb
southern Ontario, CANADA


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RE: What are the 'flu like diseases called in birds

Barb, thanks for coming on here with some FACTUAL information. (You do mean H5N1, yes?)

Vonyon and rudysmallfry, you two really need to know what you're talking about before posting such things, please. It's posts like those that make me hate the internet.


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RE: What are the 'flu like diseases called in birds

Patrick, Can you please tell me what you talking about? I think Barb elaborated on what I said with the exception of clarifying what people are talking about when they refer to bird flu. If you could please clarify what you found to be so erroneous, I'll be happy to post a retraction. In my town, we have been asked not to touch any dead birds and to report dead birds to the board of health. If you give me your address, I'll be happy to send you a copy of the flyer.

If you have some information on the topic of the thread, it would be nice if you would post it rather than being rude. I think there is a polite way to critique people. Unlike websites that are created and appear to have factual information on them, this is a forum. People expect debate on issues like this. It provides the opportunity for people to ask questions and learn. There is also an opportunity for people to come here and post corrections as Barb so politely did. I have a suggestion for you. The next time you find yourself losing patience and tempted to post something that serves no purpose but to be mean, just close your browser. It is much less work than posting something nasty.


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RE: What are the 'flu like diseases called in birds

LOL...

Patrick, yes I did mean H5N1. I've never been good at typing the top row of the keyboard and got it all mixed up. So yes, the correct term is "H5N1 Flu".

It's really no biggie that rudysmallfry made the erroneous comment. I'm no stranger to mistakes either (evidence...my sh*tty typing of H5N1). The important thing is to get a discussion going so that we can gather the most up to date information in order to be cautious and safe.

Smiles everyone.

Barb


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RE: What are the 'flu like diseases called in birds

I'm sorry I missed this post.

By November, WNV is pertty much no longer a threat, as it is a seasonal virus basically infective during heaviest mosquito seasons.

There are many reason birds die. An isolated Blue jay death could be anything from intestinal parasites to an impact injury. I don't believe H5N1 has yet reached these shore, and it is expected in migrating ducks, not Blue jays.

Patrick,

Obviously your dislike of the internet does not keep you from it.


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RE: What are the 'flu like diseases called in birds

Wasn't there something, not really too long ago regarding finches? I believe I remember reading about them being sick and fluffing up, but I do not recall what it was that caused it. I do remember that all were advised to bleach the feeders and bird baths. Does anyone remember what it was that was causing sickness and then death to them?

Patrick,

It's becoming habit for you to be obnoxious. It seems almost every post of yours is rude, and really, it's getting old. Instead of just closing your browser as vonyon suggested, type up the nasty reply, but don't send it. Perhaps you'll feel better to type it but we don't have to read it.


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RE: What are the 'flu like diseases called in birds

Since 1994 House finches have suffered a conjunctivitis caused by mycolasma gallisepticum. The disease has shown itself in other songbird species.

Here is a link that might be useful: House finch conjunctivitis


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RE: What are the 'flu like diseases called in birds

Thank you for the link elly. Conjunctivitis is the eyes, correct? I'm going to have to do more searching as the link didn't really tell me much. I do remember reading about crusting on the eyes, but I don't remember if that is what I was initially referring to. Either that or I'm confusing 2 different things I've read with each other which certainly wouldn't be the first time :o)


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RE: What are the 'flu like diseases called in birds

Terry,

Are you sure you explored that link? I believe it's pretty good. Go down and hit "Next." Jim Cook, who created this site, did extensive research, and Cornell actually used his site to create theirs! (He had his up way before theirs.)

Yes, it affects the eyes. But it blinds them, and they starve. It can be treated, though, if the birds get to rehabbers.


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RE: What are the 'flu like diseases called in birds

doh elly. I didn't even notice the arrow at the bottom. Thanks for pointing it out to me. I need to go read more. I do remember, I think, that maybe dirtgirl had a sick finch and it dying? I don't know anything anymore.....everything is getting jumbled in my brain!

Terry


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RE: Found it

ah...here it is http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/wildlife/msg021836402232.html
The gold finches had salmonella.

Terry


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