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Cardiac disease in 1.9 month old African grey.. Unbelievable.

jmfleish

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It's the egg! No animal protein at all, especially for greys! I agree with Mary Lynn, I would not go to anything with sugar in it either. You want to stay as far away from added sugar as possible. Stay away from anything refined for humans as well. No pasta, no white rice, nothing. Heart disease can be treated but diet is a huge part of it. Pellets are fine, but everything else you feed should be fresh raw veggies, a small amount of fruit, sprouts, whole cooked grains, etc.
 

jmfleish

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We are seeing this more and more and trying to convince people to stop feeding animal protein is like hearding cats. There have been other instances of greys dying at this age of atherosclerosis and the main culprit is eggs in their diet. I'm guessing this is the same issue. Laurella Desborough has been seeing it a lot. Please for the love of Pete everyone, take this to heart and stop feeding animal protein! It is killing our parrots and the worst part is, we almost never see it because it's never seen until it's too late and the bird drops dead. Here's a great article about it:

 

Hankmacaw

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To add to @jmfleish statement and warning. Keep your bird's diet lean - cut down on simple carbohydrates, be careful of any fats and make sure as much as possible are unsaturated, DO NOT feed sugar in any form and no animal fats and of course, exercise, exercise, exercise. If you need to put weight on your bird, do it with vegetable protein not fats and carbohydrates.

We are finding out more and more about atherosclerosis in our captive birds and it is rampant.
 

jmfleish

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To add to @jmfleish statement and warning. Keep your bird's diet lean - cut down on simple carbohydrates, be careful of any fats and make sure as much as possible are unsaturated, DO NOT feed sugar in any form and no animal fats and of course, exercise, exercise, exercise. If you need to put weight on your bird, do it with vegetable protein not fats and carbohydrates.

We are finding out more and more about atherosclerosis in our captive birds and it is rampant.
Yep, I would stop feeding red palm oil, coconut oil, anything refined like white rice, pastas of any kind that are not made completely out of vegetables, white potatoes, etc. We just bought an Aerogarden to try and get more leafy greens into our guys. We stopped feeding eggs about a decade ago and were never big on feeding meats of any kind. We still give just a tiny bit of cheese as a bribe once in a great moon but it's rare. We do feed Roudybush pellets, but also offer lots of fresh and frozen veggies. Canned pumpkin and sweet potatoes are a huge favorite here by everyone and we mix everything into one of those two for the picky eaters. We just had a vet appointment for Tuchis TAG who has been with us 18 years now (since he was four months old) and we were told Mr. Pudgie (fully flighted all his life) needs to go on a diet. So, even when you try to do it all right, you can still screw up!:)
 

dollfish

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Sorry, but the enlarged heart conditions of athletes are different... Astro can't have that at such an young age (and that's the most painful thing, I feel so sorry for the poor baby). But, once again, I assure you, she can have a healthy life with proper medication. My Head of the department has similar heart problem, taking same medication (Sildenafil) and it works nicely... She's 65 yrs now and active. So, let's keep our spirit high... Astro will be fine.
I am still in full denial and trying to convince myself that it isn't true. Are you a doctor or a vet SumitaSinh?
 

SumitaSinh

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I am still in full denial and trying to convince myself that it isn't true. Are you a doctor or a vet SumitaSinh?
I am a doctor. I can understand your feelings totally, but i am hopeful that Astro will be fine.
 

dollfish

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It's the egg! No animal protein at all, especially for greys! I agree with Mary Lynn, I would not go to anything with sugar in it either. You want to stay as far away from added sugar as possible. Stay away from anything refined for humans as well. No pasta, no white rice, nothing. Heart disease can be treated but diet is a huge part of it. Pellets are fine, but everything else you feed should be fresh raw veggies, a small amount of fruit, sprouts, whole cooked grains, etc.
We are seeing this more and more and trying to convince people to stop feeding animal protein is like hearding cats. There have been other instances of greys dying at this age of atherosclerosis and the main culprit is eggs in their diet. I'm guessing this is the same issue. Laurella Desborough has been seeing it a lot. Please for the love of Pete everyone, take this to heart and stop feeding animal protein! It is killing our parrots and the worst part is, we almost never see it because it's never seen until it's too late and the bird drops dead. Here's a great article about it:

This vet had literally prescribed me one egg a week so we fed one egg a week for an entire year... She also instructed me to feed fish and other meats. I remember Patty Jougersen saying that we could feed animal proteins. I will definitely cut off all animal proteins because it isn't worth the risk but I wonder why there is such misinformation going around in the community?

To add to @jmfleish statement and warning. Keep your bird's diet lean - cut down on simple carbohydrates, be careful of any fats and make sure as much as possible are unsaturated, DO NOT feed sugar in any form and no animal fats and of course, exercise, exercise, exercise. If you need to put weight on your bird, do it with vegetable protein not fats and carbohydrates.

We are finding out more and more about atherosclerosis in our captive birds and it is rampant.
What would you recommend for treats? At the moment we are cutting down on Zupreem pellets and trying to to onto sunflower seeds and hopefully almonds. Astro will not touch any nuts it is driving me crazy. We are big on training so I need your recommendations for treats.

Yep, I would stop feeding red palm oil, coconut oil, anything refined like white rice, pastas of any kind that are not made completely out of vegetables, white potatoes, etc. We just bought an Aerogarden to try and get more leafy greens into our guys. We stopped feeding eggs about a decade ago and were never big on feeding meats of any kind. We still give just a tiny bit of cheese as a bribe once in a great moon but it's rare. We do feed Roudybush pellets, but also offer lots of fresh and frozen veggies. Canned pumpkin and sweet potatoes are a huge favorite here by everyone and we mix everything into one of those two for the picky eaters. We just had a vet appointment for Tuchis TAG who has been with us 18 years now (since he was four months old) and we were told Mr. Pudgie (fully flighted all his life) needs to go on a diet. So, even when you try to do it all right, you can still screw up!:)
So I imagine pumpkin and sweet potatoes are also on the no list? I read about red palm oil that it was good for cardiac health. Is this true?
 

dollfish

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I am a doctor. I can understand your feelings totally, but i am hopeful that Astro will be fine.
Me too. Especially because now we are making changes in the diet. It looks like we were misinformed on so many things by so called experts, one being my vet. This is so sad. I have also decided not to give up on the freeflight dream. Astro doesn't have to fly long distances or in crazy locations but we will still pursue with extra care for predators. She is on the verge, so it isn't the end of the story. Maybe it can be reversed with dietary changes maybe not but I would still like to think it can be.
 

jmfleish

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This vet had literally prescribed me one egg a week so we fed one egg a week for an entire year... She also instructed me to feed fish and other meats. I remember Patty Jougersen saying that we could feed animal proteins. I will definitely cut off all animal proteins because it isn't worth the risk but I wonder why there is such misinformation going around in the community?



What would you recommend for treats? At the moment we are cutting down on Zupreem pellets and trying to to onto sunflower seeds and hopefully almonds. Astro will not touch any nuts it is driving me crazy. We are big on training so I need your recommendations for treats.



So I imagine pumpkin and sweet potatoes are also on the no list? I read about red palm oil that it was good for cardiac health. Is this true?
Yes, the misinformation out there between vets is very disheartening, especially when it comes to diet. We are always learning, especially about diet. Sweet potatoes and pumpkin are absolutely fine. Stay away from refined foods. Natural sugars are ok too but try to really concentrate on deep colors and leafy greens. Berries are fantastic for them. We are finding that apples, pears, even grapes aren't bad because they have fiber which is good for the heart. Fish in moderation is good for them as well, such as salmon, which is the exception to the rule on the animal products. For too long, we fed egg and chicken. Egg was actually pushed hard, especially to breeding birds and we are really finding that it's not good.

Try not to beat yourself up and don't give up. Your bird is so young and medications can help a great deal as well as a good diet. The other thing you have going for you is that your bird is in great condition physically. Good, human grade seeds such as pumpkin, squash, hemp, even sunflower are fine for treats and training. Find something your bird really loves and only use it for training, don't put it in his regular daily food. Give all these things another year and see where you stand. This isn't the end of the road.
 

sunnysmom

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Yes, the misinformation out there between vets is very disheartening, especially when it comes to diet. We are always learning, especially about diet. Sweet potatoes and pumpkin are absolutely fine. Stay away from refined foods. Natural sugars are ok too but try to really concentrate on deep colors and leafy greens. Berries are fantastic for them. We are finding that apples, pears, even grapes aren't bad because they have fiber which is good for the heart. Fish in moderation is good for them as well, such as salmon, which is the exception to the rule on the animal products. For too long, we fed egg and chicken. Egg was actually pushed hard, especially to breeding birds and we are really finding that it's not good.

Try not to beat yourself up and don't give up. Your bird is so young and medications can help a great deal as well as a good diet. The other thing you have going for you is that your bird is in great condition physically. Good, human grade seeds such as pumpkin, squash, hemp, even sunflower are fine for treats and training. Find something your bird really loves and only use it for training, don't put it in his regular daily food. Give all these things another year and see where you stand. This isn't the end of the road.
I think too that so many vets lump all parrots together and don't recognize that different species have different dietary needs.

@dollfish , sending good thoughts and prayers.
 

Hankmacaw

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Pine nuts IMO are a fine treat. Small and are eaten quickly, easy to carry around and are not bad fatty and have virtually no sugar.
One ounce of pine nuts = 167 nuts, so divide everything by 167 and you see how much you get per nut.

Fats
Pine nuts derive their majority of calories from fat with 19 grams per ounce. Most of the fatty acids in pine nuts are from polyunsaturated fat (9.5 grams), followed by monounsaturated fat (5.3 grams). Pine nuts have minimal saturated fat, about 1.4 grams per ounce. Roasted pine nuts with added oil are higher in fat.
 

dollfish

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Yes, the misinformation out there between vets is very disheartening, especially when it comes to diet. We are always learning, especially about diet. Sweet potatoes and pumpkin are absolutely fine. Stay away from refined foods. Natural sugars are ok too but try to really concentrate on deep colors and leafy greens. Berries are fantastic for them. We are finding that apples, pears, even grapes aren't bad because they have fiber which is good for the heart. Fish in moderation is good for them as well, such as salmon, which is the exception to the rule on the animal products. For too long, we fed egg and chicken. Egg was actually pushed hard, especially to breeding birds and we are really finding that it's not good.

Try not to beat yourself up and don't give up. Your bird is so young and medications can help a great deal as well as a good diet. The other thing you have going for you is that your bird is in great condition physically. Good, human grade seeds such as pumpkin, squash, hemp, even sunflower are fine for treats and training. Find something your bird really loves and only use it for training, don't put it in his regular daily food. Give all these things another year and see where you stand. This isn't the end of the road.
We are on the last frozen bag of chop this week so it is a chop weekend and I will take heart disease into consideration and make a full list of things that are beneficial and try to concentrate on those. Luckily the chop I had been feeding is a great one and Astro eats it very nicely. I don't incorporate fruits or pumpkins in it, its all greens and legumes and such. Luckily we caught it early. Thank you for the treat recommendations too.

I think too that so many vets lump all parrots together and don't recognize that different species have different dietary needs.

@dollfish , sending good thoughts and prayers.
That's true and most vets don't read much research and stick with what they learned in vet school 20+ years ago and most of those things are ancient in parrot care terms now. This is the main issue. I have a Youtube channel and I'm trying to promote proper parrot care as much as I can so hopefully that will help the community.

Pine nuts IMO are a fine treat. Small and are eaten quickly, easy to carry around and are not bad fatty and have virtually no sugar.
One ounce of pine nuts = 167 nuts, so divide everything by 167 and you see how much you get per nut.

Fats
Pine nuts derive their majority of calories from fat with 19 grams per ounce. Most of the fatty acids in pine nuts are from polyunsaturated fat (9.5 grams), followed by monounsaturated fat (5.3 grams). Pine nuts have minimal saturated fat, about 1.4 grams per ounce. Roasted pine nuts with added oil are higher in fat.
This is a great idea! I tried pine nuts some time ago and Astro wasn't a fan but she can take to them in time I'm sure. She is so funny because she enjoys her healthy pellets so much and won't touch a nut! I'm sure though if I keep offering nuts in different forms and especially in foraging she will get used to eating them. Sunflower seeds don't seem to be so bad either, especially for a transition from sugary pellets as treats.
 
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