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 Post subject: Attention please
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:44 am 
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https://www.facebook.com/birdsandbeaks/ ... 3378321937



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 Post subject: Re: Attention please
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:20 pm 
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This story is being actively followed on one of the groups that I belong to. Nobody knows exactly what the problem is yet, and it will probably be a week to 10 days before we find out anything. But so far it's looking like the pellets are not the problem. We don't even know if it's a food-related problem at all.



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 Post subject: Re: Attention please
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:23 pm 
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have there been any updates yet? Have they found out what caused birds to die?



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 Post subject: Re: Attention please
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:12 am 
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The detailed necropsy found that the digestive tract was normal but the lungs were severely damaged. There was also some damage in the brain and other organs. Pathologists are required to list all plausible causes of death, in order of likelihood. They said it was most probably an airborne toxin that did it, with eating dangerous chemicals like pesticides as a secondary possible cause. The analysis of the food (which can detect more than 4,000 toxins) found nothing dangerous in the food, and specifically ruled out pesticides, industrial chemicals, mold, bacteria, and vitamin/mineral imbalances.

The owner of the rescue is denying reality, and continues to insist that it had to be a problem with the food. She's even started up a witch hunt aimed at blaming the food companies, looking for people whose birds died unexpectedly and happened to be eating the same food brand. But all the evidence says that something bad happened to the air quality that night. Apparently they had houseguests at the time of the incident, so anything could have happened. If somebody put something bad in the air and was afraid to admit it afterwards, that's all that it would take to explain the whole situation.

BTW when the owner got the results of the tests back she kept it secret for several days. We might still be waiting for an answer if an outsider hadn't managed to get hold of the results somehow and posted them in public.

It also turns out that the birds had been eating most of these foods for four days before they all suddenly got sick and died within a short period of time. That isn't how food poisoning works, but it is the way that death from poisonous fumes works.



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 Post subject: Re: Attention please
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:14 am 
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Here's a longer version of the answer that I posted in a different group. Feel free to share this if you want to.

Main point:
THERE IS STRONG EVIDENCE THAT THIS WAS NOT A FOOD ISSUE, AND THE FOOD IS SAFE.

1. The body of one bird was provided for detailed examination (necropsy). The pathologist found severe lung damage, and damage to some other organs including the brain. There was no damage to the digestive tract including the liver. Pathologists are supposed to list all plausible causes of death in order of likelihood, and the report lists (1) aerosolized (airborne) toxins and (2) ingestion of toxins, with specific mention of pesticides. Evidently there isn’t a test that can identify a specific airborne toxin that caused damage.

2. But if the bird ate anything toxic it did not come from the food. The toxicologist who tested the food sample provided by the rescue used a general-purpose gas chromatography technique that can identify more than 4,000 toxic agents, and found nothing. His report specifically rules out drugs, pesticides, and industrial compound residues. His report doesn’t mention mycotoxins and bacteria, but gas chromatography can detect those too.

3. The Zupreem food batch was tested extensively by the company before it left the factory and again after this incident was reported. They tested for correct nutrient balance, harmful bacteria, and specific toxins including aflatoxin. The other food companies haven’t made public announcements as detailed as Zupreem’s, but their food testing also found no problems.

4. The food-contamination scenario doesn’t fit the timeline. The incident occurred on a Monday. The rescue bought the Zupreem and Nutriberries on the preceding Friday and fed them every day from that point onwards. They started feeding the Higgins Vitaseed on Sunday. When the incident occurred, it was the fourth day that two of the foods had been fed and the second day that the seed had been fed. There were no problems until the birds suddenly started showing symptoms about 5 hours after the Monday feeding. According to the rescue, “first bird dies at approximately 10:10pm. Nine more pass by 11pm. The final, the nanday conure passed around 3:50am." That’s 10 deaths suddenly occurring in a single hour after four days of eating the “problem” food.

This isn’t how food poisoning cases work. A prominent avian pathologist said that based on the evidence “a food-borne and/or water-borne toxin/nutrient imbalance [is] very unlikely. As these birds of different species and ages all have different physiologies, toxin ingestion/nutrient imbalances would not have resulted in such an explosive loss of life over such a short time period”.

The initial gross necropsy indicated that there was a problem with the liver, which turned out to be wrong. The detailed exam found that the liver was normal. There’s nothing unusual about this - gross necropsies just aren’t very accurate in general, and you need the detailed exam if you really want to know what’s going on.

Even though the test results say otherwise, the rescue owner continues to insist that this incident had to be a food-related problem and not an issue with airborne toxins. Apparently there is quite a war of words going on between the supporters and detractors of the rescue, but this is no concern of ours. Maybe the rescue owner’s intentions are pure and maybe they aren’t, or maybe she’s just in denial. There’s no way for us to know, and it doesn’t matter anyway. Our only concern is with food safety, and all the evidence says that her claims are incorrect. But let’s take a look at what’s being said. I haven’t tried to verify every piece of “he said she said” that’s flying around, so it’s possible that there may be some inaccurate information below.

1. “The tests were superficial and incomplete.” Actually it looks like they were pretty extensive, and that everything that can reasonably be tested for has already been tested. They’ve ruled out pesticides, industrial chemicals, drugs, bacteria, mycotoxins (mold), and nutrient imbalances. I don’t really see what else they could test for.

The rescue owner is reportedly saying that it could be a vitamin/mineral issue. That has already been ruled out for the food batch in general. In addition, the pathologist did not list vitamin/mineral overdose as a plausible cause of the damage.

It seems to be agreed by both sides that the rescue owner had the test results for several days (possibly as long as a week), but didn’t release them to the public until her hand was forced by an outsider who got hold of the reports somehow and leaked them. The rescue owner reportedly said that she wanted to wait until all the test results were in, but it’s not clear whether there are any other tests that are actually being done. In any case, the test results indicating that this was NOT a food problem are obviously not what she wanted to hear.

2. “It can’t be an air-quality issue.” There was one test that probably was superficial and incomplete. It’s said that the rescue had the fire department come and test the air quality, and they didn’t find anything wrong. The fire department’s report has not been published, but there’s no reason to think that this isn’t true. In general, fire departments have a very limited ability to test air quality. They can check for carbon monoxide and mold, and that’s about it. There’s no reason to think that this incident was caused by either one of those things. People and birds lived safely at the rescue for a long time before this incident, and after the incident they continued to live there safely. If this was a problem with airborne toxins, it must have been a brief, temporary exposure to something that would have dissipated by the time the fire department did their test, and not something that was a persistent problem.

The stories that we hear about airborne toxins usually involve birds who died almost immediately after exposure. But it’s not always like that. Veterinary sources say that it can take up to 24 hours for airborne toxins like PTFE (Teflon) to kill birds, and the symptoms are subtle and hard to notice up to the moment where the bird is on the point of death. If this incident was caused by airborne toxins, there could have been a significant time lapse between the exposure and the deaths.

Some birds who were apparently not affected were housed close to birds who died. But it’s not unusual for this to happen in airborne toxin cases. Some individuals are more resistant to the toxin than others. Air circulation isn’t uniform, and a small difference in location can make a significant difference in how much of the toxin reaches an individual.

It’s said that the rescue owner believes that air doesn’t circulate in her house due to the type of heating system that she has. But this would violate the laws of nature, which dictate that warmer air rises and cooler air sinks. The air temperature is never completely stable, so there will always be some circulation even if you’re not heating or cooling the air. If there was no air circulation in a building, we’d have to move around a lot just to get a fresh supply of oxygen to breathe.

Apparently there are several people who live at the rescue, and it’s said that they had guests at the time of the incident. The rescue owner might not know of anything that could have caused a problem. But anytime you’ve got multiple people in the same building, there’s no way for one person to know about every single thing that happened there. Someone could have made a mistake and was afraid to confess.

3. “Birds are dying all across the country.” Of course they are – this is normal, unfortunately. Seemingly healthy birds have died unexpectedly ever since birdkeeping began. Birds are very good at masking illness, and we humans are often oblivious to the subtle signs that something is wrong. Birds can also suffer sudden-death events like a heart attack just like humans can.

The rescue is collecting information from the public about sudden bird deaths in an attempt to pin the blame on the food companies. Good intentions or not, this is basically a witch hunt that frightens bird owners for no valid reason. It’s said that she is particularly zeroing in on Zupreem, but I haven’t tried to verify this. The number of bird food companies is fairly limited, so obviously it’s going to turn out that some birds who died were eating the same brand of food. There are also large numbers of healthy, thriving birds who are eating that same food.

There simply isn’t any evidence of a food problem in this case. When there really is a food problem it’s very obvious and easy to confirm. That’s why there have been so many recalls of food for humans and all kinds of pets.


Here’s the report from the pathologist who examined the bird’s body:

Case No.: G18-0045 Obtained: NA, rec'd 01/04/18

Reported: 01/09/18
Dr. Derek ##### Patient ID: Umbrella Cockatoo
(“Rosie” Birds & Beak Rescue & Rehab)
Cedar Creek Veterinary Clinic Account #: MI 422G
2295 N. Williamston Rd. Telephone: (517) 655-4906
Williamston, MI 48895 FAX #: 655-5050
E-mail: cedarcreekvetclinic@gmail.com

HISTORY: This male umbrella cockatoo is from a bird rescue facility. Approximately five hours after evening feeding, birds became ill, and eleven birds died within an 11-hour timeframe. Not all of the birds were housed together. Air and water quality testing was within normal limits. Food was new, some of which was donated.
CLINICAL DIAGNOSIS: Open.
GROSS: Received in formalin are 19 tissues to 8 cm. in greatest dimension that are processed in seven blocks.
MICROSCOPIC: Lung: The parenchyma has congestion, marked hemorrhage, some edema, and varying degrees of atelectasis. Hemorrhage extends into the air sacs and between the fascial planes of the syringeal muscles.
Blood vessels: Mural vessels of the heart have mild arteriosclerosis.
Heart: The heart has numerous petechiae throughout the myocardium.
Kidney: Mild tubular necrosis is noted.
Brain: The white matter tracts of the cerebellum have mild perivascular hemorrhage and myelinic edema.
Skeletal muscle: Acute moderate rhabdomyolysis is noted. The following tissues are histologically within normal limits: intestine, pancreas, liver, proventriculus, ventriculus, ganglia, great vessels, and adipose.

HISTOPATHOLOGIC DIAGNOSIS: 1. Acute pulmonary congestion, hemorrhage, edema, and atelectasis.
2. Petechiae, heart.
3. Acute renal tubular necrosis.
4. Acute rhabdomyolysis.
5. Mild perivascular hemorrhage and myelinic edema, white matter tracts of cerebellum.

COMMENT: Histologic findings are consistent with acute intoxication but are otherwise not particularly specific.

Principal differentials include exposure to an aerosolized toxin or possible exposure to an ingested toxin, such as an organophosphate or organochlorine. Some mild arteriosclerosis was the only underlying chronic lesion and was considered incidental. This bird was in excellent nutritional status at the time of death.

Michael M. Garner, DVM, Dipl. ACVP
MMG/hc

*******************************************************************
Here’s the report from the toxicologist who tested the food samples provided by the rescue:

Admitted By: Not, Provided
Encounter: 02381214
Species: Non-Animal
Animal: INBOWL
MRN:
Owner: Dingee, Shannon

L = Low Result; H = High Result; @ = Critical Result; ^ = Corrected Result; * = Interpretive Data; # = Result Footnote
Print Date/Time: 1/12/2018 5:39 PM Page 2 of 2
T o x i c o l o g y
Toxic Elements
01/03/2018 13:51:00 General Minerals Interpretation
Method: ICP-OES
Result: MSU VDL does not have diagnostic reference intervals for bird feed. That being said, heavy metals were negative.
Please evaluate remaining elements in context of any label guarantees.
John P. Buchweitz, Ph.D., DABT
Clinical Toxicologist
1/12/2018 4:24:12 PM EST
General Toxicology
Collected Date/Time
(If Provided)
01/03/2018
13:51:00
Procedure Ref Range Units
GCMS Specimen Feed
GCMS Negative
GCMS Interpretation See Below
01/03/2018 13:51:00 GCMS Interpretation
Method: GC/MS


Results: None of the toxic organic compounds that can be detected by GCMS screen were present in the sample.
No drug, pesticide, or industrial compound residues observed.
John P. Buchweitz, Ph.D., DABT
Clinical Toxicologist
1/12/2018 4:24:49 PM EST

************************************************************

From Dr. Drury Reavill, DVM, Diplomate ABVP (Avian Practice), Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Pathologists:
“I have been reading through the postings about this very tragic event. To have multiple parrots die within such a small period of time (30 minutes) must be devastating and frightening. As both a board-certified avian practitioner and pathologist focused only on exotic animals, I believe that the clinical presentation, the fact that multiple species (cockatoos, macaws, Amazons, and conure) were involved, and the lack of significant post-mortem lesions, makes a food-borne and/or water-borne toxin/nutrient imbalance very unlikely. As these birds of different species and ages all have different physiologies, toxin ingestion/nutrient imbalances would not have resulted in such an explosive loss of life over such a short time period.”



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 Post subject: Re: Attention please
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:10 pm 
Cockatiel
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thanks Carolyn. Very interesting



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