You arrive home with your beautiful new bird. It's a breed that you've greatly desired in your years of working enjoying birds.. An enormous cage is set up ready to go, bowls are filled with all the proper foods and toys all lovingly placed.
You play with him, observe his delightful antics, enjoying your precious find. You notice he id molting. He seems a bit dusty, but that is overridden by the smooth silky feel of the feathers. You put him down to sleep after a long day.
As you pass a mirror an unrecognizable face peers back. Your eyes are almost swollen shut, itching and watering. You notice a slight wheezing sound as you breathe. You contact your doctor who tells you it's an allergic reaction to something you've come into contact with. He advises a dose of antihistamine and to call him if it breathing gets worse.
Following his instructions,taking a benadryl, then settle at the computer to try to figure out what might of caused the reaction. It is quite a surprise when you discover the answer. Naturally people are known to be allergic to dogs, cats, birds as well as foods as well as some odd things. You had been around birds most of your life….how could it be?
What you discover is you're beautiful new cockatoo as well as cockatiels and African greys have a difference with their feathers. These are called dusty birds and they are responsible for an allergy called Avian Aveolitis. Even more surprising and not as well-known Macaws are subject to lung damage from this same dust due to a condition called macaw pulmonary hypersensitivity syndrome.
What can one do to keep the bird and your health? Watch for a follow-up article on living with the dusty birds.
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