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What was I thinking? ABV testing.

Tangle Elf

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I had Cobra Kai tested for the usual things during her initial appointment. I also added a chem panel and ABV test. After the scare with Judy, I decided it would be worth it to test. Now I'm wondering what exactly I was thinking. Her test came back positive. She's completely healthy, so I'm not concerned about it. I wish we knew more about ABV, it's relationship to PDD and how it's transmitted. I wish I knew what to do to keep my other birds safe. My plan at this time is to just continue disinfecting. I had a long discussion with my vet about it. I'll test Zena and Korbin Dallas at their next annual appointments. If they're negative now and that changes, I'd like to know that. Also, if there's a reason to test them at some point in the future and it was positive, I wouldn't know if it was a new development or if they were already positive. So, I'm trying not to freak out because I wasn't even going to do the test anyway. I plan on contacting the store that sold her, but only because I think they should know. Hopefully they find out from her previous owner where she came from. If I was a breeder and one of my birds tested positive, I would want to know the information and make my own decision.
 

Bokkapooh

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Sometimes they test positive for ABV and sometimes they don't. It's really not reliable. Nor do I trust such an unreliable test.
 

Macawnutz

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Oh no. I agree with your first remark, What were you thinking. I did the same thing with Korbel. At the request of my old "dumb vet" I tested him. When it came back neg, she advised me to test him again. I did. She swore up and down the test was wrong and that's when I decided to learn what I could myself. What a stupid test.

If it's positive, it could be wrong, it could be right. If negative, could be wrong, could be right. If it's right or wrong... it still means nothing. AND ABV stills proves nothing. What an awful test! You poor thing. It cost a small fortune too huh? IMO I would not test the rest of your flock, what are you proving?
 

Clueless

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Just returned from a vet visit and they recommended this test. I'm not sure I want to spend the dollars involved for it - and I think I read somewhere else that this test isn't reliable.

Can I get any feedback from folks? Did you get the test or not?
 

Macawnutz

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Just returned from a vet visit and they recommended this test. I'm not sure I want to spend the dollars involved for it - and I think I read somewhere else that this test isn't reliable.

Can I get any feedback from folks? Did you get the test or not?
What are your birds symptoms? You need to exhaust ALL other areas of testing before considering this route. IMO
 

Clueless

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secret is a wild caught amazon I rescued just over a year ago. Is a rather thin looking bird but may well have looked like that all her life for what I know. Was seeds only diet.several tests recommended by new vet and I think I will pass on this one. it seems this test isn't reliable?
 

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You need to do the DNA test for it. It's a very unstable virus outside the body and the feces test is not reliable.

40% (possibbly more) birds have it and many never have symptoms. My vet says they are almost convinced at this point that the method of transmission is from hen to eggs. It lives outside the body for such a short period of time it is probably not possible for other birds in your flock to catch it. She has one bird with it who lives with another bird that actually eats the feces of the infected one, and has never tested positive in years now.

My Grey has it if you'd like to talk about it. She has premature cataracts, some other neurological issues and has trouble pooping. She takes Celebrex from September through April and hasn't had a seizure since being put on it long term.
 

Clueless

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If the test isn't true though - false negatives, false positives . . . . why take it? I just wanted to check to see why Secret is so skinny and if there was an infection. I think I'll go for the x-ray and the fasting blood test (for the liver?). Her first blood panel had a few elevations - the recheck 6 months or so later was okay.

Maybe it's just because of the attitude of the bird - Secret hasn't relaxed yet, seems a bit stressed still.
 

Macawnutz

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Clueless, just weightloss, no other symptoms.... go for the xray and liver function tests. Never had to fast for one though :confused:
 

roxynoodle

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Interesting, Audrey. Why was this time frame chosen?
My vet says Greys begin having issues again in October so by starting in September we could get ahead of it. Then come spring, when Greys are out of their hormonal time, the symptoms wane. I guess the hormones do a lot to set off symptoms. So yes, this time frame may not be the right one for other species.

And yes, as I mentioned, if you are testing for ABV you really need to do the DNA test for a reliable result. My vet said they were first calling it a "ghost virus" because they would see it in feces and then a few minutes later it would be gone. So the only way to test in feces would be to have your bird sitting there in the lab and let them look at each poop as the bird passed it to try to catch it. Now that there is a DNA test, that's the one you need to have done. Merlin's was sent to the University of Tennessee to the man who discovered it in DNA.

To be honest, if you bird doesn't have any symptoms, I wouldn't bother testing for it unless it's going to be used for breeding. IMO, why breed birds who have it if they are going to pass it to their offspring? And based on current research they are pretty well convinced the other birds in your home are not in danger of catching it if you have an ABV positive bird.

My vet is very up on the current research as she used to also be one of the researchers at U of T, and she speaks about it at conferences of avian vets every two weeks.

Did I get lucky or what, to adopt a bird with ABV and have a vet like her locally?

And yes, if anyone has questions, concerns, needs an ear, I'm willing to share what I've learned. Believe me, I was very worried and scared about this when I brought Merlin home and found out the first week the vet suspected she had this. I have become as educated on it as I can:)
 

allison

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I don't think ABV and PDD are connected at all. I know for a fact that PDD is highly contagious but ABV I don't think is. You can PM me if you want more details on why I think this.
 

birdbrain9

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Roxynoodle: can you tell me just what the dna test is? I've had a foster bird text positive for abv and have been trying to find info online about the virus but keep reading that the testing is unreliable. I don't want to test my birds unless I can believe the results are accurate and so far I am not convnced that they are. My vet will do a feather test but can I trust a these results? And will one test be enough? If one birds tests positive is it then necessary have them all tested? I have so many questions but unfortunately no answers so any advice is welcome.
 

Milo

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Roxynoodle: can you tell me just what the dna test is? I've had a foster bird text positive for abv and have been trying to find info online about the virus but keep reading that the testing is unreliable. I don't want to test my birds unless I can believe the results are accurate and so far I am not convnced that they are. My vet will do a feather test but can I trust a these results? And will one test be enough? If one birds tests positive is it then necessary have them all tested? I have so many questions but unfortunately no answers so any advice is welcome.
Speak with your vet about your concerns about the test rather than reading things online about them. The "DNA" test is a PCR test which detects the presence of DNA rather than the specific organism. The problem with the test is false negatives. If your birds aren't showing clinical symptoms, don't do the test. There are birds that simply have been exposed to it at some point in their lives and will never develop symptoms. A startlingly high percentage of birds will test positive, I feel it would cause unnecessary concern on your part.

***I wanted to add that the test is seen as unreliable because the virus itself is unstable and they're still learning a lot about it. Such as how it mutates to cause PDD and exactly what strains will mutate and which strain causes what in specific birds.
 

roxynoodle

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I have to agree with Jenny that unless my bird(s) have symptoms or they are breeders, I wouldn't bother testing. It will just make you upset and you and everyone you know will be worried about the bird developing PDD, and you will drive yourself crazy.

I know the University of Tennessee and Texas A&M have been the leaders in the research and both can do the DNA PCR test. There are some other labs that can do it as well, but I would also talk to your vet about the reliability of those labs. There is a very popular lab that many here use for DNA sexing that my vet refuses to use for anything as she has had them make too many mistakes.
 
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