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Author Topic: Allergy to Cockatoo Dust
quaker man
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We've owned a spectacular Cockatoo named Angel for about a year. Since she moved in I've had puffy swollen dark circles under my eyes, (still), :( had a sore throat that only cleared when I stayed 8 feet or more away from her, had a sinus infection that took 30 days of antibiotics to cure and now I have to take antihistamines every day.
The local allergist ran tests that showed no reation to cockatoo feathers. Is there something unique about cockatoo dust that the allergy test might not have shown? Is there something the Dr. missed or overlooked? The only thing I'm sure of is that all this stuff started when she moved in. I don't want her to go but neither do I want to take meds for the rest of my life, and I can't figure this one out.

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wildirish
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Too dust can bother some people more than others. Not sure if it would help, depends on how severe the alleriges are, but you might try a good air filter, one that doesn't need replacement filters. It should help keep the dust down.

Also misting her will help as well. We have 3 dust birds and they can kick my sinus' hard, we have air filters, a hepa filter vac and lots of baths around here!

Tammy

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hellobaby
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I can tell you that allergies are just awful. I've been dealing with them for so long, and my mother and grandmother before me always had the same troubles. You CAN deal with this, but you must take extra effort. It will be important to do all that is possible to reduce the dust in your home. There are a number of things that can help. We've had previous discussions about this, so I'll just link to those. If you have any further questions, just ask.

http://www.mytoos.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000247
http://www.mytoos.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=10;t=002323
http://www.mytoos.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=24;t=000638

Lynne

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hellobaby
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bumpity
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quaker man
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I've notices many that can afford it put their birds in their own room, away from the rest of the house.
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Relle
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lol...not me! My birds are smack dab in what is supposedly my living room...in reality it is THEIR living room! [laughing]
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quaker man
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So's mine. It's the one room I can't sit in for more than a few minutes without eyes watering and sinus filling up.
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white_green_wonder
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how about an airpurifier with an hepafilter, we have a sharp airpurifier against birddust, my hubby is slightly alergic for dust. There is now lost of less dust now in our house. perharps a consideration worth
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hellobaby
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We have a Birdroom, and it to be honest, it's got the cleanest air in the entire house. We use not only the IQair HEPA unit, but also the 20x20 box fan with a HEPA filter on it (as mentioned in the past discussions I linked to above...) With allergies being such a big problem, it's worth spending the money for a quality HEPA filter instead of a cheapie on the back of that fan!

I've found box fans ranging in price from $10 on sale to $20 normal price. A 3M Filtrete Ultra Allergen Reduction filter usually costs $15 (20x20x1) and is usually found at Home Depot (and plenty of other places). We replace ours monthly instead of every 3 months as it instructs. We also use one of those filter types in our heat/AC intake, which we also replace monthly.

We have all tile flooring, so dusting on a daily basis is also important. If you have carpeting, vacuuming daily should be a priority. A vacuum with a HEPA filter would be integral to keeping your allergies at bay. If you visit allergy sites and look at the most basic tips, they mention that particles get trapped in carpeting, draperies and fabric of furniture, so the less of that you have around, the more manageable dust can be.

Wiping down your cages thoroughly daily can be a big help, as the dust settles on the bars. We use cheap washable rags (bought as Samsclub) dipped in a warm solution of apple cidar vinegar and water to wipe the cages down. Of course cage papers are changed no less than once daily. More if needed.

Use the rags to wipe dust off windowsills and everything else you can think of where dust may settle. Endust Electronic wipes (anti-static) are also a good investment so you can get the dust off of other things in the household that ACV/water rags may not be good for. We have a shop vac and invest in a HEPA filter for that as well.

Yep, they actually have them at our local Home Depot. They're $30, but we replace ours about once every 6 months. We usually hose it off in the yard with the pressure cleaner once every couple of weeks so we can use it longer, but you MUST let it dry COMPLETELY before putting it back in the vac. If you don't have a HEPA filter in your shop vac, much of the dust that sucks up goes right back out!

Another good tip for keeping dust down throughout the day is to use your misting water bottle to mist the papers in the cages... especially just before changing papers. Then the dust is weighed down and doesn't poof out into the air you're breathing when you change papers. Misting the birds daily is also a good idea (which you probably already know...)

I spot-mop daily where needed, but mop thoroughly weekly with apple cidar vinegar and water solution weekly. All of these things require effort and vigilance, but if you do things regularly it's just not that big of a deal compared to dealing with your head feeling feeling so awful. It's most definitely worth the effort, and I can promise if you do these things you will better be able to cope being around your birds so you can enjoy their company ... and they yours.

Lynne

Edited to add: We also bought a large HEPA filter a while back to use for the AC register in the birdroom. It takes some additional effort, but I cut the filter to dimensions that will fit tightly and fit it in above the directionals of the outflow. I can usually get 3 or 4 pieces out of the large filter over time, but don't recommend doing this to all the vents in the household because it kind of backs up the air flow (at least in this hot and humid environment) makes for condensation. (Condensation left unchecked evolves into a good environment for mold to grow...)

Because we're in a house that is decades old, and we doubt it was done in the past, we have scheduled to have our AC ducts cleaned professionally. (Florida has a big problem with mold...) If I'm right in front of any duct but the one in the Birdroom when the AC kicks on it takes my breath away, so I know things aren't good in there.

We're opting out of the harsh chemical they offer to keep future mold from growing in the ducts because (a) we're not sure that would be a good chemical to have flowing through the house, and (b) from what I've researched, there isn't conclusive evidence that it actually works. If you suspect your home may have dirty ducts, you may want to look into having them professionally cleaned. Just a thought.

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robbieh
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I'm allergic to feathers and fur, but have learned to live with birds, dogs, a cat, and a guinea pig. These birds are dusty and I'll bet that's what's causing you trouble.

The secret to too dust is water, water, and more water. Air filters are great, and as soon as we can afford a good one I'm there! And a bird room? Not in the $$$$Bay Area$$$$$.

So for us poor folk....

Get the bird totally soaked at least twice a week. That's shower time, or soaked in the sink or a bowl, or whatever method your bird likes. Then a misting everyday from a spray bottle. If you can shower your bird more often that's even better!

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