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SAD BORNAVIRUS RELATED DEATH,

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SAD BORNAVIRUS RELATED DEATH,

Postby JaydeParrot » Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:21 pm

I wrote a very long story about the death of my sennie who died from bornavirus but I'm sure not many want to read it, so to cut a long story short, I brought two sennies four years ago, the male looked ill for a while (lost feathers) and died from bornavirus earlier this week. My female is probably carrying it but that doesn't necessarily mean she'll be overly affected by it in her lifetime, what are the steps I can take to ensure she stays as well as possible (she eats pellets now). If anyone wants to read it below is how my beautiful boy lost his life to the bornavirus.

(I hadn't mentioned it below and didn't want to write out the story again, but during Hide's spasms I phoned the vet who told me to get him there quickly, that Hide might possibly be stabalized there but it was sounding like he might have to put to sleep, my mom was going to drive us the hour long drive there whilst I held him but before we could get out the house to go to the car he'd already gone, somewhere between five and fifteen minutes from when it started it was over).

Unfortunately my beloved Sennie boy, Hide died earlier this week from the bornavirus, I'd taken him to the vets around five or so weeks ago, the vet had taken a blood test and he was found to have a bad liver and the bornavirus.

I xhanged his diet and fed him sweet potato and all things good (except for the occasional sprinkle of sunflower seeds which he insisted on everyday, very small amount) he was given vet recommended milk thistle and antibiotics and somehow seemed better in himself, then on tuesday I heard him crashing about in his cage, i thought it was balance trouble but quickly found out it was a seizure.

He would occasionally whimper then settle and lie in my hands with his eyes closed, then he'd jerk his head back or to the side and hold his wings out like he was having a spasm or being electrocuted, his mouth open in a silent scream, soon after he started fitting uncontrollably his head constantly shaking, his wings and limbs moving almost of their own accord as he whimpered and then he stopped, I straightened his crooked beak for him and stroked his head as I told him not to worry, it took a few seconds before I realised he was dead.

He was buried next to my sixteen year old dog with presents including my scarf and favourite shirt which he used to snuggle into, his towel, happy hut and perch, and a chewy book and feather from Cain.

I wrapped him up snug in many of his gifts and placed him in a wooden box that he'd loved to hide out in. I made him a metal medal that gave his first and surname and enscribed the word 'loved' underneath it. I tied it to the scarf he was wrapped in before placing him into the box. I covered him and the box with cashews, sunflower seeds and millet telling him he was rich now. He always got on with my dog so hopefully he has a protector still. I built a dry stone wall around him and the dog so they won't be accidentally stepped on.

I'm truly sad now but I always remember what I seem to be saying alot at the moment now, 'you know you've lived a worthwhile life if people cry at your funeral'.
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Re: SAD BORNAVIRUS RELATED DEATH,

Postby Wolf » Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:19 pm

I am so sorry to learn of Hide's passing and I know how difficult this is for both you and Cain. It sounds like he had a wonderful funeral. I wish that I could think of some really nice things to say that would help you through this time, but I tend to lose my thoughts at these time, but please know that I understand what you are experiencing.

I don't think that there is much that you can do if a bird is carrying this virus other than to give it a good diet, lots of love and keep stress to a minimum. I will do more research into this as I have only looked into it very basically and do not know as much about it as I probably should.
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Re: SAD BORNAVIRUS RELATED DEATH,

Postby liz » Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:27 pm

I am so sorry your babies left you. I know how it feels to have them die in your hands since it has happened to me and I wasn't fast enough to get them to the vet that had them on medication.

I should have seen it. I have kicked myself many times over it. The only thing I can console myself with is that they knew I was holding them and loved them while they went through their trauma.
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Re: SAD BORNAVIRUS RELATED DEATH,

Postby Pajarita » Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:51 am

Oh, geez, SOOOOO very sorry for your loss! What a terrible, terrible experience! You must be completely traumatized by the whole thing...

Now, as to the other bird... she is, almost surely, infected and, like Wolf said, the most important thing you can do for her is to keep her as stress-free as possible (stress depressing the immune system). The other thing is that she cannot be in contact with any other bird or even owners of other birds. The virus is contagious and always fatal because there is no know cure for it so exposing other birds to it is a sure death sentence for them.

Please contact your avian vet for a comprehensive treatment for her. It won't cure her but it will allow her to live more comfortably whatever time she has left... it usually involves pain killers, anti-virus medicine, strong anti-inflammatories and soft and easily digestible food.

Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help in terms of information and support.
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Re: SAD BORNAVIRUS RELATED DEATH,

Postby Viatrixa » Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:55 am

I won't lie.

I broke into tears as I read that; maybe I'm too sensitive or emotional but I couldn't help it. I'm so glad he had you, and you had him - and quite obviously you gave him a very, very wonderful and loving life. I truly wish the best of health for the female (what's her name?) and that the disease won't hopefully affect her as much. If it's not too much to ask, will you keep us updated on her condition?

I will keep Hide in my thoughts tonight and ask little Simo to peep to his memory. I'm so very sorry for your loss and I hope both you and the lady will be okay and recover from this. Sending you love and warm thoughts <3
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Re: SAD BORNAVIRUS RELATED DEATH,

Postby JaydeParrot » Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:06 pm

Thankyou all very much for your wonderful replies.

It's still sad, but currently I'm trying to focus on learning more about it for Hide's mate, Cain.

Anyone who disagrees with this, feel free to comment because I'd like other people's opinions in order to understand this virus more:

Contary to what parjarita has theorized, bornavirus is not a death sentence like beak and feather disease generally is. The vet said tests have found many wild and cage birds to have it but never exhibit the side effects or die from it. It is not known why this occurs but it is believed that (more or less) out of 4 parrots who contract the virus, only 2 will be negatively affected by it, there is no current understanding of why the virus occurs like this.

It is also believed that (if the bird does not become ill) after 15 years of coming into contact with the virus, it will leave the bird's system. The machine that tests for the virus is called ELIZA, it is very expensive to run and only exists in some countries, meaning that samples often take ages to gain results. The virus does not survive long outside the body and is generally caught by direct contact rather than airborne.

There currently isn't a cure but there are medications which have been documented to extend the life of the affected parrot by as long as ten years. My vet actually has a senegal patient who was suffering badly from it and was brought back from the brink by prescribed medication, that Senegal has been alive for four years since recieving the medication so potentially it's a promising sign that there are medications that at least prolong the otherwise unfortunately deminished lifespan (the aforementioned Senegal has to take the medicine everyday for the rest of his life).

The medication is 0.04ml Inflacam ingest orally twice daily, unfortunately, Hide's test results took over a month to be recieved, his medication took a few days to get through the post and he barely had four days of it before he sadly died.
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Re: SAD BORNAVIRUS RELATED DEATH,

Postby Wolf » Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:41 pm

I was hopeing to find something useful in my avian medical texts, but I found exactly one sentence that just noted that it had been found in 2 to 4 week old ostrich chicks and nothing more. This one will have to be the subject of a more intense search and I will try to share what I find with you as I find time to research it.
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Re: SAD BORNAVIRUS RELATED DEATH,

Postby Pajarita » Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:14 am

These are, in my personal opinion, the most comprehensive short pieces of information about the disease:

http://www.avianbiotech.com/Diseases/Bornavirus.htm

https://www.inyourflock.com/avian-borna ... s-part-ii/

And this one is about ABV in wild ranging birds (very interesting because they found that it was geographically localized in just two regions of Brazil and that, in both cases, it was not restricted to flocks because more than one species had it -thus, implying that contagion is not only through direct contact): http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/20/12/14-0920_article

I haven't found anything anywhere to support the '15 year asymptomatic means no disease' statement, though. Everything I have read is that they still don't really know if there is a percentage that would not develop symptoms so I would be very appreciative of your giving us a link on that, Jayde.

The medicine you mention, inflacam, is the generic name used in Europe and Asia for what we call meloxicam here in the States. It is an NSAID so it's not really treating the disease itself but just two of its symptoms (inflammation and pain) and, according the second link I gave you above, it has been found to exacerbate the disease after an initial relief period so you might want to talk this over with your vet. The thing is that medications for this disease are, at this point in time, used only for quality of life (they don't cure it, they just make it easier on the bird) but even these are going through an experimental stage and supportive care is more a matter of impeccable husbandry than anything else because this disease is, in a way, an immune system problem so, basically, the 'support' is two prongued:
1) to reduce or eliminate symptoms.
2) to eliminate, as much as possible, any source of stress, physical and emotional, in order for the immune system to fight the virus.
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Re: SAD BORNAVIRUS RELATED DEATH,

Postby mmeager » Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:33 am

I really feel for you, my Buddy passed away in a similar way, In my hands and near my heart, He was fitting as well. I will never forget that, and I'm sure you will never forget either. The loss is so harsh, but more than the loss, seeing your beautiful friend like that hurts like hell. I am so sorry.
Maybe it was the same thing, we will find out.
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Re: SAD BORNAVIRUS RELATED DEATH,

Postby pukeko » Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:44 am

*hug if desired. Too similar. You do you with your grief, it is all ok. My cat got sketches and a caricature to keep that night, but my parrot has not prompted that sort of response. Perhaps in a while. They both have open electronic letters. Sharing stories with people who knew him can be really good, and help bring some celebration of him to the forefront of your mind, gently.

An ELISA is a method of testing for antibodies, not a specific test in itself. It is still used but is largely being replaced by more modern techniques such as flow cycometry. Depending on the antibodies and bioreagents used (which species were they grown in, etc.), it can be quite inaccurate wrt false positives and negatives - your specific test should have data available about its reliability, and your vet should be able to dig that info out somehow. Unfortunately, for avian diseases it is sometimes the only option. Re. the rareness and expense - that is probably for the bornavirus materials, and who knows how comprehensive it is for strains, or whether that is even an issue with this sort if virus. So just... know that a single test is far from the be all and end all and may not even be accurate - though given how vet tech lags behind human medicine it can be hard to verify that sort of thing at all, much less easily.

Good research can still be done using ELISAs, but they are a technique with perhaps more limitations than their interesting strengths. There isn't a research method in existence which doesn't have this sort of give and take, though, so the major rule of thumb is to always inquire about the accuracy in terms of false pos and neg results, and what the costs and benefits are of continuing the inquiry. Perhaps Cain might have a different strain if he is infected, and a more specific ELISA would pick that up, or perhaps there isn't enough research into ties between strains and clinical illness to make that sort of inquiry worthwhile. Worth checking?
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