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Urgent My love bird ate some garlic

olivia

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Help my love bird ate some garlic while i was cutting some up and i read online that garlic can be very bad for parrots. Kino's a little love bird so i don't know how much it will affect him, should i call in to the vet pronto or wait to see what happens? I most likely will have to wait a certain amount of time because previous bookings.
 

Mizzely

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Your bird is likely fine. Garlic is bad for cats and dogs but the toxicity in birds is not really understood. There are very few studies about onions and garlic for avians
 

geff

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As a precaution avian medical intervention is advisable.
As onions and garlic can have an effect up on the red blood cells.
 

Hankmacaw

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The worse that can happen is bad breath for a while. Actually I have seen some bird food that contains some garlic.
 

geff

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The trouble is conflicting evidence.
 

Mizzely

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Yes there is a lot of conflicting info and I personally avoid it too. However the only treatment i know of is to induce vomiting with a couple hours before it can be digested.
 

Hankmacaw

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All I can say is that my Jasper has been on daily garlic for five years now and she is still fine - in fact better than before. She is still polythycemic, so the garlic isn't killing many, if any, red blood cells.

You may notice that in almost all of the information about garlic it says that in "rare" cases garlic may cause hemolysis.

Dr. Driggers did a lot of consultation and research before he ever prescribed garlic to Jasper. Believe me I certainly questioned him a lot.
 

rocky'smom

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Ditto^
 

Dartman

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None of my birds have ever had issues from eating either one in small amounts raw or cooked so he should be fine and when Hankmacaw doc says its fine and actually helps her bird I'd go with that. Key to anything is moderation. Eat enough of many things and you'll have serious issues, eat it in moderate amounts with other things you should be fine.
 

redindiaink

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I think your bird will be fine.

Onions can have a hemolytic effect on dogs and cats, but not on birds.
That's not accurate. A conure that was being fed cloves of garlic died of anaemia.

Key to anything is moderation.
I agree, but what do people consider moderation? When I looked up onion toxicosis (for dogs and cats) the amount that needs to be ingested it .05% of the animals body weight. (counts fingers ... and gives up because the math is hurting my head) That would be like a speck of garlic dust on the wind for a little ol' lovebird.
 

Hankmacaw

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This is the conure that @redindiaink pointed out that died. I imagine that if my stomach was stuffed with garlic and chicken, I might die too. The article she quoted was written in by Leslie Moran (2012) and her purpose is to sell her food products. Approach-Best Bird Food Ever

"A Dusky-headed conure (Aratinga weddelli) [also known as Weddell’s conure] with a history of being force fed a large amount of garlic (Allium sativum) was presented because of anorexia and lethargy. The conure died one hour after supportive care was administered. At necropsy, a half clove of garlic and several large pieces of chicken meat were present in the crop. Histopathologic findings of hemoglobinuric nephrosis and hepatosplenic erythrophagocytosis strongly suggested an acute hemolytic event . [Meaning the microscopic examination of the bird’s tissues and body fluids revealed the abnormal presence of hemoglobin, that had been separated from the red blood cells, along with protein in the urine. Hemoglobin is the protein-iron compound in blood that carries oxygen from the lungs to the cells and carbon dioxide away from he cells to the lungs for exhalation. Additionally, the body’s macrophages and phagocytes had attacked and consumed red blood cells adversely affected the liver and spleen. These findings indicate that hemolysis, the destruction of red blood cells, had occurred.] Frozen kidney and liver samples were negative for polyomavirus DNA, and tissue lead and zinc levels were normal. The clinical presentation and postmortem findings in this conure are similar to those in mammals with onion and garlic (Allium species) toxicosis.(4) The Dusky-headed conure weighs approximately 95 gms. This is just slightly larger than my Green-cheek conure, Elvis, who weighs 80 gms."
 

Mizzely

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I am having a hard time finding any studies or journal articles aside from the one about the conure to be honest! Several with studies about garlic being given to chickens safely as a way to increase yield and protect against ailments
 

Hankmacaw

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Because garlic is greatly favored by the "holistic" and "natural" people it is hard to find anything that is truly clinical trials and peer reviewed on parrots. There are some studies on humans, but that is the crux of the discussion - mammal vs avian.

Maybe I'll contact Dr. Driggers and find out what he reviewed.
 

redindiaink

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and her purpose is to sell her food products.
I linked to her because it's where I first found the study she cites at the bottom of her post: "Hemoglobinuric Nephrosis and Hepatosplenic Erythrophagocytosis in a Dusky-headed Conure (Aratinga weddelli) After Ingestion of Garlic (Allium sativum)"
but hey! it's much easier to discount the source by accusing her of selling food.

The problem is we haven't studied the effects of alliums on parrots and all we have to go on is scarce accounts from only a few sources. The point is it can harm birds, but we don't know how much will cause harm.
 

Hankmacaw

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Not accusing her of selling food, she IS selling her holistic foods. I will say that the Dusky Conure was overdosed with both garlic and chicken - don't know if you agree. It can harm birds and is generally considered "rare" that garlic will harm a parrot, but almost anything fed in excess will harm an animal.

The Mayo Clinic still considers garlic as "Alternative Medicine"
High blood pressure (hypertension) - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic
Alternative medicine
Although diet and exercise are the most appropriate tactics to lower your blood pressure, some supplements also may help lower it. However, more research is needed to determine the potential benefits. These include:
Fiber, such as blond psyllium and wheat bran

  • Minerals, such as magnesium, calcium and potassium
  • Folic acid
  • Supplements or products that increase nitric oxide or widen blood vessels (vasodilators), such as cocoa, coenzyme Q10, L-arginine or garlic
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, high-dose fish oil supplements or flaxseed
Some research is studying whether vitamin D can reduce blood pressure, but more research is needed.
 
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