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Dangerous Household Toxins for your Birds - Part 2

Zinc Toxicity can be produced by galvanized containers and mesh, zinc laden pennies, hardware cloth and zinc phosphates and phosphides. Since zinc is soluble in soft water and organic acids, food and water contamination can occur.

Gastrointestinal signs are likely to appear at low level exposure. Kidney, liver, and pancreas are the main organs affected in higher and longer level exposures.

Iron Toxicity from chipped or poorly cast cast-iron food or water bowls presents another hazard. Because of the insidious exposure, signs are chronic and include lethargy, anorexia, and emaciation.


Birds are more susceptible to inhalant toxins because of their unique and complex respiratory tract. The basic rule of thumb should be: IF IT HAS ANY ODOR OR SMOKE IT CAN BE POTENTUALLY HAZARDOUS and the bird should be removed from the premises immediately until the odor is undetectable. This includes paint or hobby fumes, cleaning and spray products (including hair spray) and burning food fumes.

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFT) found in nonstick cookware, drip pans, waffle irons, irons, and ironing board covers is the most common toxic gas. When these surfaces are overheated (over 210 degrees C) the depolymerization of PTFE produces toxic fumes which cause acute death or at the very least weakness, inablility to breathe and fluid accumulation in the lungs.

Courtesy of AspenWing Animal Hospital, Dr. Jolynn Chappell D.V.M. Loveland, COI will be adding to this blog daily as there is a lot of information on this subject. If your interested in a brochure of this please contact, Catherine at

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