Newly Adopted Severe Macaw has liver disease

by Irene
(Valparaiso, IN )

I am so upset.. I just adopted a 4 year old severe macaw and I took him to the Vet (cause he was very underweight) to have the whole set of blood work that they do on birds.. and most came back ok... except the liver enzyme.. should of been around the range of 600, his was 3000. So they called me and told me he had severe liver disease.. started him on milk thistle.. they also said that the liver damage is possibly reversable to some degree. If there is anyone out there that knows or has information about liver disease... any advice...etc.. PLEASE let me know...

Thanks again so much!

PS I also started him on a natural pellet diet.. no seeds.. tons of fruits, veggies and healthy people food like butter, rice... sweet potates, pasta, etc

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Oct 06, 2009
Liver Disease
by: Linda

I'm so sorry to hear that your new baby has such a thing. This is caused by improper feeding, and you are absolutely correct to be feeding pellets. Leave off the white potatoes as they are mostly starch/sugar. The baked sweet potato is very good and full of anti-oxidants and vitamin A. Feed no more than 10% of the diet in fruit and veggies as you will create an imbalance if you feed too much. Use fruit and veggies as treats a few times a week. Make sure she is eating enough pellets as these are the mainstay of diet.

You will need to work closely with your vet until these levels start coming down. Ask them if your diet is good or if they have any suggestions besides the Milk Thistle. Also watch your bird for any signs of allergy to the Thistle as it mimics aspirin and can cause problems. Your bird is going to be alright, and just keep feeding her nourishing, organic food. Hopefully your pellets are made by Harrison's as they are the best on the market and 100% organic. We've been feeding it to our Amazons for years and years, and they do very well. Some of the other pellets have preservatives and dyes that are very harmful to birds and to yours in particular. Feed only organic everything as she cannot tolerate any chemicals on or in food with the liver as it is. Make sure drinking water is clean and run through a filter to get out Chlorine and Fluoride if present water. We use an under the sink reverse osmosis system and it filters out the poisons and leaves some minerals as birds need some minerals in their water. Don't give bird distilled water as they need some minerals. You MAY think your drinking water is okay, but if it has Chlorine and Fluoride, it is not suitable for your bird especially now. The companies who put in these systems test your water for free and then test it again after installation and use of the system. It costs us around 35.00 extra a month to have it, and it is worth every penny of that. Our dogs also drink it as we had many of our dogs die from various cancers in the past maybe linked to our drinking water.

Just keep working closely with your vet, and take every precaution with food and water that you can. I adore the Severes, and you will find your bird to be the sweetest little bird you could ever hope for. They learn to talk very well and are highly intelligent like their larger Macaw cousins. Bless you for taking good care of "her"--female keeps coming up in my mind for your bird.

Many Blessings to You, your family and your new jewel of a bird. Post a pix when she fills out some and feels better.


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