Reason for male lorikeet's death.

by Cindy

My male rainbow lorikeet of about 2-3 years just died on Friday night but we don't know what had caused it. We found it lying at the base of the cage but it was still alive. It's claws could still cling onto things and the rest of his body could move but not his legs. We aren't sure how long he had been there for but after we realised, he died in about 10 minutes. And then he went really stiff and cold within about 1-2 hours. What could have caused him to die?

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Mar 27, 2010
Reason for male lorikeet's death.
by: Linda

Cindy, I am very sorry for your loss as I know it is a heart breaker we have all had to go through. The only way to know what happened to your bird is for an Avian Vet to perform a necropsy on him. If you put his body in the refrigerator, they may still be able to tell if a toxin was responsible by looking at the liver. If not, then that is the ONLY way to know why a bird or any other animal has died unless it was by accident.

There are many toxins that can be in our homes, and I'm sure you are aware of them. If not, you'll need to do some work on that before getting another bird. Also, make sure your cage's powder-coat has no lead or zinc. To find this out, you have to call manufacturer and get the internet address or phone number for the agency who did the testing here in the US. China is now using Cadmium mixed with the zinc because it is cheaper to make that way, and lead, zinc and cadmium are highly toxic to birds and humans as well. Metal toy parts, and the hardware used to install perches are also usually coated with zinc, and birds can become poisoned by just playing with or biting on this metal. Always use stainless steel and/or nickel plated metals for your bird's toys and perch hardware. Chains are also treatd with zinc, and unless the toy says stainless steel or nickel plated, then you're looking at zinc. Zinc with Cadmium is a double killer and very dangerous all the way around.Cadmium is a cancer causing agent, and YOU can be poisoned slowly by just handling the material similar to the effects of lead poisoning.

Sometimes bird deaths are caused by congenital problems, and here again, the only way to tell these things is to have a necropsy done. I suggest you disinfectect your cage very thoroughly and let it dry in the sun after carefully rinsing. Throw away any and all toys and perches just in case bird died from a communicable viral disease. Usually there are many signs with those, so just to be on the safe side, clean cage well and throw out all plastic cups, all toys and perches and start over. Make sure you have a report on lead and zinc content in your powder coat paint BEFORE putting another bird in there. The lighter colors are usually found with high levels of zinc, and lead can be in any color. We have an HQ cage, made in China, and they had lead and zinc testing done here in the US per the US's request, and everything except the light and brass colored paint was found to be safe. It's not just the cages from China that can have high lead and zinc either. Some of the more expensive ones from the UK have been found to have dangerous levels of both, so don't just assume that because your cage was not made in China you are safe. This is NOT a safe world for humans or birds, so we have to ask the right questions and do a little digging to get the answers we need.

Thanks for writing,
Linda


Mar 27, 2010
Reason for bird dying
by: Tracie

I am sorry to read about your bird's death. :-( Unfortunately, Dr B can not tell you why your bird died without doing a necropsy. The bird would need to be taken in soon after death for them to run tests that may show the cause of death.

Before getting another bird, you need to thoroughly check all toys and items your bird had access to, to make sure that it did not come in contact with anything toxic. Also, make sure you do not have any toxic fumes from cleaners, air fresheners etc.

If you purchase another bird, take it to an avian vet before bringing it home, if at all possible. The vet will examine the bird and vaccinate it.

Again, so sorry your bird died.

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