Bird poop and dirt. Don’t inhale.

A sad story about those who cared for a mean bird and how it did in the owner. Yes, you can be seriously affected by bird dirt.

Health Grandma Killed By ‘Vicious’ Pet Cockatiel UK.

Lilian Kershaw, aged 84, became increasingly breathless after nine years of inhaling particles from the bird’s droppings and feathers when its cage was being cleaned out.

The 84-year-old grandmother was later diagnosed with the little-known disease Bird Fancier’s Lung.

Despite never handling Charlie the cockatiel, the retired cotton mill worker became out of breath while exposed to the bird in her living room.

Unbeknown to her family, the ill health was partly due to the bird, which was bought for grandson Lloyd in 2002.

This is rare but not unheard of. An allergic reaction to the proteins in the bird droppings, skin cells and feathers cause inflammation of the lungs.

Bird fancier’s lung is one of many types of hypersensitivity pneumonitis, also known as extrinsic allergic alveolitis. There are such things as farmer’s lung, mushroom picker’s disease, and humidifier or air-conditioner lung. Inflammation of the lungs occur due to breathing in a foreign substance, usually certain types of dust, fungus, or molds.

Continued exposure can bring on pulmonary fibrosis, a respiratory disease. This stressful condition may contribute to a heart attack.

Here is a piece I found on Pub Med.
Bird fancier’s lung: a series of 86 pat… [Medicine (Baltimore). 2008] – PubMed – NCBI. It is a study of people diagnosed with BFL from 1977 to 2003. Serious stuff if you are a serious bird keeper.

budgie poop

  3 comments for “Bird poop and dirt. Don’t inhale.

  1. January 26, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    I am pretty sure this was a House episode!

  2. January 27, 2013 at 5:35 AM

    My initial reaction was to the words “retired cotton mill worker”, but apparently the possibility of “Industrial Disease” was ruled out. I cannot help wondering whether her lungs were in a poor state to begin with though. Either way, that is one heck of a misleading headline…

  3. Peebs
    January 27, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Bird Fanciers Lung is also known as Psittacosis and I don’t think it’s that rare.
    The North of England have cases every year. That part of the UK is famous for breeding and racing pigeons.

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