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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I have a pet dove. I have had him since a baby, I hand fed him and now he lives in the house like a 'pet' He spends very little time in his cage and he sits on my shoulder all the time. I kiss him and get close to him all the time. I don't work, so I am with him all day. Also he has a cage in my bedroom where he sleeps at night. My chest has become quite 'tight' this week and I was wondering whether it could be him? He is always preening and he is very dusty. Would appreciate any advice?:)
 

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Hey guys, I have a pet dove. I have had him since a baby, I hand fed him and now he lives in the house like a 'pet' He spends very little time in his cage and he sits on my shoulder all the time. I kiss him and get close to him all the time. I don't work, so I am with him all day. Also he has a cage in my bedroom where he sleeps at night. My chest has become quite 'tight' this week and I was wondering whether it could be him? He is always preening and he is very dusty. Would appreciate any advice?:)
With one bird, I rather doubt it.
Make sure she has plenty of opportunity to bathe. That keeps the dust down.
This is a bad time of year for people that have allergies in general. I have severe allergies and can't sleep with feather pillows, down comforters, or the cat in bed with me, but my birds don't seem to bother me. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh thanks so much, you have really put my mind at rest. He has never bathed at all, how do I encourage him to bathe? I have tried to mist him, but he doesn't like it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ok thanks will try it. He is treated like a king. He has a cage like a palace and he strutts around like he owns the place!!!
 

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You can get respiratory problems from any birds you keep indoors. Good ventilation, frequent cleaning, and keeping the air filters in your house clean will help. With just one bird, you shouldn't have a problem unless you already have bad allergies/asthma/other existing bad respiratory problems.
 

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As far as bathing, if he spends more time out of the cage, maybe you could put a bath pan on the kitchen table, and splash in it with your fingers. The splashing usually gets their attention. It's always easier when you have other birds that will bath. When they see one go in, they all want in. Fun to watch. I have to set out 2 pans. Splash around in the water, and maybe it will entice him.
 

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Hi sarahjane,

It is unlikely that you have developed sensitisation in such a short time, but it is possible to get the disease from exposure to a single bird like a budgie over a number of years. As Mary of Exeter said, there are steps that you can take to minimise the risk.

If you are worried then please have a blood test, that can be very reassuring and can also alert you to an emerging problem....sensitisation can happen very slowly and can be discovered early.

All you need to do is get a blood collection pack from the British Pigeon Fanciers Medical Research team and follow the instructions. The test is free:

http://www.pigeon-lung.co.uk/samples.html


Members outside the UK, please note that this service is free and available to anyone...I would encourage everyone that has regular exposure to pigeons to have the test. I wish I had, then I would have taken extra precautions early!


Cynthia
 

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Just to mention that some Doves do not like to bath in the water. Pigeons are adicted to bathing, but my Senegal doves like dust baths.
 

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Our collared Poppet likes to have a bath in water, but others prefer a shower. What you could try is misting her with a very light spray of water. If she lifts up a wing she is enjoying it. We have seven, we keep them in an outside aviary so I spray them with the hose when they are perching. That mimics their natural conditions for bathing/showering.
 

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O-Boy with all the automobiles produceing Carbon Monoxide poison and you are worried about 1 dove causeing lung problems?
 

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sky tx, some folks have allergies to things and can cause problems...no allergies to this specific dander then no problemos. as Becky(maryofexetor) has already said.
 

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Sorry--Thought we were desscussing LUNG problems -not allergies
I'm 73 y/o--after welding in Coal Fired Power plants for 40 years--Racing pigeons for 31 years I have lung problems. Have do do my breathing machine 1-2-3 times a day.
Just not sure WHAT caused my troubles.
 

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I am very grateful that Sarah Jayne raised her concerns and prompted others to put forward advice on how to avoid developing sensitisation. I wish I had been privy to this information when I first started rescuing pigeons!

Three years ago I was admitted to hospital with Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis (aka birdkeepers lung disease, pigeon fanciers lung, extrinsic allergic alveolitis etc.). The nurse responsible for ensuring that my oxygen mask didn't slip while I slept said that I had so little oxygen in my blood that I couldn't afford to walk a few steps to the toilet or to eat a salad, because that would use up too much valuable energy. I remained in hospital for 11 days. I have been receiving treatment ever since.

As Spirit Wings mentioned, this is an allergic reaction that is only developed by a small minority after intense and prolonged exposure to pigeon dander. I quarantined sick birds (pigeons and collared doves) in my bedroom for 7 years before developing symptoms which I initially ignored. An early blood test would have warned me that I was developing sensitisation longe before there were any symptoms.
 

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Sorry--Thought we were desscussing LUNG problems -not allergies
I'm 73 y/o--after welding in Coal Fired Power plants for 40 years--Racing pigeons for 31 years I have lung problems. Have do do my breathing machine 1-2-3 times a day.
Just not sure WHAT caused my troubles.
Sky, it is a lung problem - it is called allergic alveolitis. An allergy is a bad reaction in the body to a substance, in this case feather dust and other particles from birds which affect the lungs.

John
 

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Something else that might be noted, Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease have similar symptoms.

I was being treated for asthma for two years with no positive results. I didn't even think about the birds being an issue as I was under the impression you had to be around LOTS of birds to develop this illness. And apparently the two general practice doctors I went to had no idea either as they both knew I had birds.

It was only after the second doctor I went to basically threw up his hands and admitted he had no idea what was going on, that I was sent to a pulmonary specialist.

He asked me three questions.
1) Did I smoke. Never. That ruled out the COPD.
2) Did I work in an environment where there was heavy dust, etc. No.
3) Have I been around any birds. Bingo!

Given my symptoms and the results from the battery of testing I went through, it was determinted that I fall in the chronic category of HP.

My only saving grace has been a maintenance program of a low dose of Prednisone, of which I have been on for some time and will continue to be on for who knows how long.

This link will take you to an explanation of HP. It's very informative.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypersensitivity_pneumonitis

Cindy
 
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