Any time poisoning is thought to be a possibility, the veterinarian or Poison Control Center will need to know the name of the toxin, the active ingredients, the weight of the bird, how much was consumed, when the exposure occurred, and any symptoms the bird currently is showing.
Birds are easily poisoned by the heavy metals found in their environment. Each heavy metal causes distinct symptoms and affects birds differently. The three heavy metals which commonly poison birds are lead, zinc, and iron. You can easily avoid heavy metal poisoning by clearing any consumable heavy metals from your bird’s environment (i.e., the cage and fencing materials). Instead, purchase cages and fencing made from non-toxic materials, such as stainless steel and welded wires. If your bird plays outside the cage, ensure there are no sources for heavy metal available for it to consume. Lead can be found in old paint, stained glass, lead curtain and fishing weights, and soldering.
Symptoms and Types
Common symptoms your bird may suffer from, if it is poisoned by a heavy metal, include:
Zinc and iron are present in food and are required in small amounts for a healthy bird. But when abnormal amounts are present in the bird’s body, the same heavy metals can lead to poisoning. Lead poisoning is no longer as common as it once because people have become more aware of the potential danger, and are taking precautions so that it does not happen to their birds.
Heavy metal poisoning with iron can lead to iron storage disease, which causes the the nutrient to deposit in the internal organs of the body. This can lead to liver problems and damage other organs.
First Aid for Poisoning
Inhalation: If the toxin is inhaled, such as fumes from a Teflon pan, remove the bird to a well-ventilated area. Steam may help reduce upper airway irritation and to help breathing. To this end, place the bird into a bathroom with shower (hot water) running.
External Contact with Poison:
Ingestion of Toxin (i.e., plant, household cleaner):