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Pictures !!! Severe Burns from UVA/B Full Spectrum Lamp !!!

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:hug8: Hoping for a great recovery! Anyone know any good UVA/B lamps, with tall stands? I need extra light in my bird room, and prefer it to be something Sunny can benefit from since Pittsburgh is always cloudy all year round.
 

Greycloud

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she is looking wonderful. great job mom. :dance4:
 

Tanya

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:hug8: Hoping for a great recovery! Anyone know any good UVA/B lamps, with tall stands? I need extra light in my bird room, and prefer it to be something Sunny can benefit from since Pittsburgh is always cloudy all year round.
Don't use a mercury lamp! I can't endorse a specific brand because I don't know what all is available in your area and am really hesitant to use any kind of UV bulbs. There are lots of plant growing lights that give a nice, UV-free brightness to a room. If you do feel you must have a UV bulb, the long fluorescent tubes are the least risky option. There are lots of good resources to compare the UV output of different brands. With UV, more is NOT better. Aim for something with a UV Index less than 3 (see my earlier post for details)! You can start by checking out a local store, writing down the brands and model numbers of UV bulbs that they carry and then look them up for yourself. Doing your homework before will save you from repeating our sad experience!
 

Samurai

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I haven't read the whole thread but I can't believe a vet would recommend a power sun for a bird, that's shocking as they reach such high temps (eg for desert reptiles) and you can't even use a thermostat with them as it damages the bulb. The bird lamps just provide UV and produce only a bit of waste heat, I'm glad Rhubarb is ok now (I know this thread is from last year)
 

Tanya

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The end of the story: With time, Rhubarb healed fully.

On December 29th, 2014 she was at her worst. I took this picture on the way to the vet. She was so weak she couldn't hold on without her beak. (Remember that she had UV burns on top of a viral infection and two bacterial infections... all at the same time):
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I was really scared this was the last time I'd see her...

Her burned little back:
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After the vet cleaned it up, her back looked a bit better, but the tan bit with the scab around it (below, on the right) was her little pelvis showing through.
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My poor sweet girl.

Finally on April 2nd, three LONG months later, the last scab finally came out of her back above her pelvis (where she had been burned to the bone) and the wound could FINALLY close up:
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With good food,
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plenty of rest and relaxation,
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and lots of long, hard stares (begging for more rest and relaxation!)
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Rhubarb is finally a happy, healthy self that we're truly meeting for the first time!
Sing.png

The (happy) End!
 
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gibsongrrrl

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Gosh, that just gave me goosebumps and made my eyes watery reading through the recap. I am so glad she made it. I have a special place in my heart for little rhubarb:heart:
 

Tanya

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Gosh, that just gave me goosebumps and made my eyes watery reading through the recap. I am so glad she made it. I have a special place in my heart for little rhubarb:heart:

You have a special place in our story!
:hug8:
Two of the toys you sent that year for Secret Santa are still her favorites: the play mat and the foraging box. Although the mat has been stripped down (I reload it with corks from time to time) and the box doesn't have a lid anymore, she still plays with both of them almost daily!
 
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gibsongrrrl

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You have a special place in our story!
:hug8:
Two of the toys you sent that year for Secret Santa are still her favorites: the play mat and the foraging box. Although the mat has been stripped down (I reload it with corks from time to time) and the box doesn't have a lid anymore, she still plays with both of them almost daily!
aww:hug8::heart::hug8:
 

Ziggy Stardust

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Tears in my eyes as well. What a sweet brave little birdie. I am so happy to hear she is well and seeing the pictures from then to now are just the icing on the cake. You must love her so much. And she must love you the same.
 

Tanya

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It's shocking for me to go back through the pictures. Really, when you're in that kind of situation you just live every day in the moment, dealing with things as they come up. It's amazing to see how bad it was, how long it took her to heal.

I've learned quite a bit about patient humility through all of this. And about forgiveness. Even when I had to put ointment on her burns or push a syringe in her mouth to get life-saving medicine into her, she was sweet to me. She wanted cuddles, and to be loved after a much-hated bath or injection at the vet.

And for what it's worth, within the last few weeks she's decided that I'm truly her person. She'll fly from wherever she is to follow me around the house. All I need to do is put my arm out when I hear the first wingbeat and she'll find me for a landing place. She has blessed me in so many ways.
 

lamagdalena

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It's shocking for me to go back through the pictures. Really, when you're in that kind of situation you just live every day in the moment, dealing with things as they come up. It's amazing to see how bad it was, how long it took her to heal.

I've learned quite a bit about patient humility through all of this. And about forgiveness. Even when I had to put ointment on her burns or push a syringe in her mouth to get life-saving medicine into her, she was sweet to me. She wanted cuddles, and to be loved after a much-hated bath or injection at the vet.

And for what it's worth, within the last few weeks she's decided that I'm truly her person. She'll fly from wherever she is to follow me around the house. All I need to do is put my arm out when I hear the first wingbeat and she'll find me for a landing place. She has blessed me in so many ways.

i loved the ending photos, she is beautiful!!

What is your finally opinion on UV lamps? For instance I have a zoo med lamp for birds, a floor version I place next to their cage in a corner. They can go to the other corner of their cage to get away from the light if they so choose. The light doesn't give off heat. But if at the end of the day, it really does nothing, there is no need for me to keep using it.
 

Tanya

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The sun is the best!

I think lamps can be used with caution. Mercury lamp types are the most dangerous type, especially the spot lamp style. Fluorescent tubes tend to be the least dangerous. Compact fluorescent bulbs are usually somewhere in between.

ALWAYS follow the manufacturer directions (which I did), BUT if you place your hand where your bird will be sitting and feel a tingle/prickliness on your own skin within a few moments, don't use that lamp! I noticed a tingle but didn't think anything of it. :(

To be truly safe you will need to buy, borrow or rent a UV meter from someone and check the actual radiation level at different distances from the lamp. The UV index at the spot where your bird can get closest to the lamp needs to be BELOW 4.0, optimally below 3.0, which some lamps meet and others exceed. Keep in mind that UV lamps have a "burn in" period where they put out a lot of high energy UV (the worst kind) during the first 100 one so hours they are turned on! See below for more details.
 
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Tanya

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Reposted from earlier in this thread:

I have to start by saying that not all lamps are created equal.
Some lamps are SAFE to use and some are NOT SAFE. The herp (reptile) people have known this for awhile and most references on the subject are from them. They are motivated by experiences like this poor baby chameleon, which died from overexposure to UV light:


(The scab on the side of the chameleon looks very similar to what I saw on Rhubarb's back and elbow.)

Avian full-spectrum lighting is a relatively new concept for many of us so we're still in somewhat uncharted water. After this happened I went a-reading and got myself educated on the topic. This will be a bit long and sciencey but it's worth knowing if/when you do decide on a lamp.

Ultraviolet (UV) light comes in three flavors: UVA (high energy/short wavelength), UVB (higher energy/shorter wavelength), and UVC (highest energy/shortest wavelength). Most of us have heard of UVA/UVB because some, though not all, of the UVA/B in sunlight get through our atmosphere to the ground. UVC and x-rays are very high in energy and are blocked by the air. This is a good thing because they are ionizing radiation and DNA-based life would have a hard time existing with a big dose of daily radiation. Glass also blocks UVA and UVB light, which is why people say that letting birds sit in a sunny window isn't enough to get vitamin D. UVA/B is so energetic that when it hits the proto-vitamin D on the feathers of a bird, which is secreted by the preen gland and spread around during grooming, there is a chemical change and the vitamin D molecule is converted to the active form. The same thing happens in our skin when we go out in the sun.

The problem is that some lamps have too much UVA and B and some even emit UVC. That last group is the most dangerous because our birds never see even a hint of UVC in the wild. Unless they happen to be flying around at 25 mi (40 km) above the surface of the earth. Keep in mind that Mount Everest is only 5.5 mi (8.8 km) high.

There are two ways the UV output is measured. One is simply the energy per area (in microWatts per square centimeter) and the other is UV index. UV index is a linear scale weighed toward the highest energy UV, the kind that is the most damaging to cells. For an idea of the relative safety of different levels of UV index, there is a helpful chart from Welcome to Solartech


Lamps that are in the UV index 1-2 range ARE SAFE for use around birds when used as recommended and with the cords out of reach of curious beaks. Above UV index 2, be careful! UV index 3 or 4 may be safe for short times or at greater distances from the bird. DO NOT use lamps with a UV index ABOVE 5! The following table is from UV Lighting for Reptiles: A new problem with high UVB output fluorescent compact lamps and tubes?


Based on my research, UV lamps can generally be grouped as follows (see UV Guide UK - Ultraviolet Light for Reptiles - 2005 Reptile Lighting Survey for more details).

LEAST RISK - Fluorescent Tubes

SOME RISK - Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
HIGH RISK - Mercury Vapor Flood Lamps
VERY HIGH RISK - Mercury Vapor Spot and Narrow Flood Lamps

Remember that the closer the bird is to the light the higher the UV exposure! When in doubt, INCREASE DISTANCE and REDUCE EXPOSURE TIME! Also, beware of dangerous reptile bulbs repackaged as "avian." This ZooMed AvianSun 5.0 compact Fluorescent bulb is identical to the ZooMed ReptiSun 5.0 in the table above.

There's been so much research done by good people who keep reptiles, I think it's worthwhile to take a look at the information they've gathered before endangering the eyes and skin of our sweet birdies.
:gal2:

Additional sources:
UVB Mystic tube from Big Apple Herp tested with a meter results inside :) - Chameleon Forums
Exo Terra : New UV rating system
ReptileUV Mega-Ray Mercury Vapour Lamps for Reptiles - Test Report UV Guide 2006
 
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Monica

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Many, although not all, "avian bulbs" are just relabeled reptile bulbs...
 

Chihuahua

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so the zoomed reptisun 5.0 wpuld be safe? it's 2.3 on thr uv table
 

Tanya

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so the zoomed reptisun 5.0 wpuld be safe? it's 2.3 on thr uv table

The linear fluorescent tube is safe. The "same thing" as a compact fluorescent bulb is unsafe with a UV index of 8.9.
 

rockybird

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Thank you so much for posting this. I am very glad your little girl healed up well. What an ordeal for both of you!

I dont have a UV system but I will refrain from ever using any UV bulbs for my birds after reading this. I just dont feel confident in the manufacturers to trust they wont burn my bird.
 

WhoaNellie

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I was planning to get this FeatherBrite 20 watt full spectrum bulb to put in the ceiling fixture nearest my caique's cage. It's about 3 feet above her cage and slightly offset, so not directly above the cage. I wasn't really expecting it to do a whole lot being that far away, but I thought it might be better than the regular bulb that is typically there. I don't see a UV index listed. Am I missing something?

"Our new FeatherBrite 20w, compact, spiral fluorescent bulb is 5500k, 91 CRI, UVA 4%, UVB .05%. It is UL Listed."
FeatherBrite Full Spectrum 20w Bulb for birds, animals, plants

 
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