We have four birds presently
living in our house. Two are
parrots, and two are finches.
When asked if we would take in two
lovebirds because of their
screaming, I reluctantly agreed,
planning to give them to a bird
rescue sanctuary, in the few weeks
ahead, when I would be seeing the
girl who ran it. I really had
enough birds. I decided,
though, for the time being, to quarantine
them, in our large bed room.
They were in a dirty cage, which I
immediately cleaned and sanitized,
had no toys, and had bright green
feces. I figured it was
because of the sun flower seed diet
that they were given. After a few
days, my husband and I decided that
we would keep these little guys.
I had them eating sprouted seed,
and various fresh items, and Noah's
Kingdom seed mix, at night.
I spent a great deal of time in
the evening on my bed reading a
book, or the news paper. When
I handled lovebird items, I washed
my hands. They were never
people friendly, being bonded to
one another. I also slept
with my spouse in this room. I was
the one that started with a mild
lingering cough and a
terrible, light sensitive, nauseating
headache. At about that time
the lovebirds, still with green
feces, also started producing a
foul, musty odor.
I brought them to the vet, and she suspected it was psittacosis. I left them with her, not knowing what else to do. She agreed to find them a home, and inform the new owner. The person who adopted, did not have test done, gave them away, too, and brought them to a house full of birds, even after being told what they might be carrying. I found this out through my next door neighbor. This made me angry, but more angry with the vet, for not keeping them there, and seeing that they were treated. I figured it would have been a vet's responsibility.
Over the next few days, I went to the doctors and was tested for psittacosis, my self, and put on doxycycline for 14 days. My spouse, and my children, also. I was the only one to turn up positive, fortunately. Because of the health department/ CDC laws, ALL my birds also had to be treated. The parrots, given drops, and the finches given medicated pellets. I hate pellets, but did not have a choice. Catching them, and giving them drops would cause stress. They accepted the pellets, though, fortunately.
The moral of my story is that if
you take in rescues, you should not
quarantine in your own home.
There is not enough air
though a bird seems ok, it can
carry psittacosis without even
showing signs, and can carry it for
up to a year and a half, without
Thank you, Kelly, for sending us your story. We must all remember the importance of proper quarantine and testing procedures when bringing in any new bird into our home.