|by Patricia Barth © 2004-2013
The following is my layperson conjecture and nothing more. However, it is based upon 16+ years of personal research - both avian and human - into how chemicals and mycotoxins affect the immune system.
DIET: Birds, in their natural environments, generally have a very simple diet. They consume phytonutrients in the form of fresh vegetation and fruits. Some also eat nuts, grain, and mineral clays. We often in our culture think that more is better. Not! Providing our caged companions with more stimuli, freedom, and interaction is more important than replacing it with artificial foodstuffs. After pellets were introduced as a replacement for seed mixes, there was a significant rise in PDD, gout, and fatty liver disease. I believe this rise in PDD was due to the constant flood of chemicals through birds' bloodstreams. Gout incidences may have been caused by the high protein levels in the pellets and/or handfeeding formulas. Healthy livers may have been compromised by the chemicals and/or mycotoxins that bind to the liver. A newer and more insidious concern is GM ingredients in pet foods. It's unavoidable unless you look for totally natural products. Most of the soy, wheat and corn grown here and abroad is now GM. Call your favorite brand manufacturer to ask where each ingredient is grown and if it's GM.
FEATHER PLUCKING: When mold spores are "pluming" (releasing their mycotoxins), one of the symptoms of reaction is dry, very itchy skin. Certain chemicals can also cause skin to break out or to be itchy.
PDD: For more than two decades, global researchers have relentlessly investigated the cause of this wasting disease only to come up empty. As of late, one of six of the bornaviruses has been isolated in some cases. Injections of ABV do not cause all to die, so why are some affected and other not? I believe that because of the immune deficiency that mold and chemicals cause, the virus might be just a secondary observation of PDD. PDD causes lesions in the brain which cause the central nervous system (CNS) symptoms. Mycotoxins from mold and chemical exposure also cause brain lesions and CNS symptoms along with numerous other diseases.
The argument for the PDD virus theory is that one bird in an aviary that is diagnosed with it can transfer it to another bird it may come in contact with. Perhaps that bird would have eventually come down with PDD also if it were exposed to the same toxins. There are too many questions that need to be answered in regard to diet and environmental factors before jumping to the conclusion that this is just caused by a virus. Perhaps the virus associated with it is transferred, thus making the new mate susceptible and immuno-compromised. Until a thorough survey is done and the mycotoxin/chemical issue is investigated, there will be no new news on PDD.
In some areas of the country, wasting diseases are being reported in other animals. I believe this is due to mycotoxins and/or other environmental pollutants such as those created by the ever burgeoning chemtrails that spew aluminum, barium, highly carcinogenic jet fuel, and other substances into the air. Then you have pesticides that have to affect outdoor aviary birds in heavily sprayed agricultural areas. All of these things lower the immune system's capability to fight disease - not only in birds, but in humans. Another form of pollution that can't be seen is electrical pollution. Being barraged by microwaves and ELF waves continuously does more damage than lowering the immune system. It acts on the brain. Everything on this planet is slowly being fried from the inside out by radar emitting microwaves from cell towers, GWEN towers, radar bases, and HAARP. Just check out your area on the National Weather site to see the radar emissions. If they're running bright red and purple, you're being cooked.
I have come to the conclusion that PDD, avian cancer and other diseases are a result of mycotoxins and chemicals because these things cause the same type of brain lesions and CNS symptoms that are seen in PDD. For optimum avian health, I recommend a chemical-free diet (if that's possible anymore) with a very small percentage of pellets just for variety, spacious housing, interactive environment, mold-free environment, and good husbandry.
REMEDIATION: It is generally not enough to merely clean the moldy area since the source of it will continue to produce mold spores. Leaks and water seepage must be fixed and the damaged area removed. If cleaning is the least that can be done, do NOT use bleach since it leaves a by-product that mold thrives on. Straight vinegar is one of the safest and most effective ways to remove mold. Stachybotrys mold must be totally removed from the premises since the spores can only be killed in 500+ degree heat. You may not be able to see mold, but still smell a musty odor. Even hidden mold can be very dangerous because the mycotoxins travel through the walls. You need to search out the source and have it fixed.