Allergic to Cockatiel?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by ML, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. ML

    ML Guest

    husband has a horrible rash all over his body. It's really bad. Hydrocortizone and antibiotic cream have not helped. Neither has benadryl. Unfortunately it's been a holiday weekend and we've been trying to wait till tomorrow to see the doctor. It looks like infected eczema. Interestingly and perhaps (hopefully) unrelated he has a sty so we're hoping it's not some kind of staph infection.

    Larry (the bird) basically lives on husband. For several hours a day he's on his shoulder. They are buds and it's cute but I suspect Larry might possibly be the cause. husband does have allergic tendancies.

    Any thoughts? I appreciate any advice.

  2. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Usually you'd see respiratory symptoms with a bird allergy.

    BUT, cockatiels and other parrots of the cockatoo family produce special feathers that break down into a very fine powder. It's called "powder down" and the birds use it in grooming.

    I have a respiratory allergy to powder down,but am fine with other parrots that don't produce it. Problem is that the other parrots need a lot more interaction and attention than I can provide (imagine one person trying to provide all the stimulation that in nature would come from living in a huge flock).

    in my opinion, it's quite likely that you could see a skin reaction in someone with a contact allergy to the powder down.
  3. ML

    ML Guest

    Thanks, GN, I really appreciate your response. I'll let you know what the doctor says tomorrow.
  4. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    It's not necessarily a resp issue with allergies to birds. Most peticine species (cockatiels, conures, budgies, green cheeks, parrolettes, lovebirds, cockatoos especially) have something called feather dust, it's a naturally occurring dander that lubricates the feathers and comes from feather sheaths (when the feathers grow in). Normally cockatiels don't really put out a lot of feather dust (aka dander) mostly bigger peticine species do like cockatoos, macaws, parrolettes. Low dust birds are cockatiels, conures, and budgies.

    It could be a reaction to the feather dust, it could be a reaction to a new food the bird is eating, maybe a new toy? They beak everything and step on everything. Again, it could be a new allergy to the bird or to the birds excretions as well (poop, pee). I have a conure myself (kiwi, nandayus). His feather dust isn't an issue for us but it can be a very big issue for immuno-compromised or allergy prone.
  5. ML

    ML Guest

    Thanks Mamaof5. Actually husband is immuno-compromised. He has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and takes Spiriva and Advair inhalers every day. Sigh, Poor Larry.
  6. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    I'm sorry ML, it can be rough when a person finds out they are allergic to a beloved pet. I agree with GN too, it could be a contact derm allergy as well. Is Larry a fairly new pet in the household or has he been with you for some time and this is a new development for your husband? Steroids supress the immune system quite a bit too. Any of his medications new to him (husband's) or are they ones he's been taking for some time as well.

    Other things it could be: did you change laundry soap? Fabric softeners? Hand soaps or shampoo brands? Even tooth paste brand changing causes reactions for me (I'm immuno-comp'ed). Sometimes even something that didn't bother me (OTC medications, pharma medications or foods I've been eating long term or taking long term) will "change" and start bothering me. It all depends on the flare ups I'm having or starting to have. I developed both a shellfish and egg allergy in my teens and adulthood when before the development I was fine with both.
  7. ML

    ML Guest

    Thanks for the great suggestions. We've only had Larry a couple of months and he's the likely suspect. The medications he's been taking for quite some time. The good news is that I have a friend who owns an exotic bird shop so we know Mr. Larry Bird will be well cared for if in fact we're right. Hopefully we will know much more tomorrow. The rash is still awful. It looks blistery in places and husband peeled away a layer of skin with all his scratching.
  8. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    Did he have a bought of strep throat recently by any chance? If left unchecked it turns into scarlet fever (peeling of the skin in large chunks, it's a reaction to the strep toxoid). I only ask because what you describe is what I had after a strep throat infection I ignored and I ended up with the complication of scarlet fever. Hands and feet get it the most but it can go to the face, arms, torso, legs, etc.

    I'm just taking a shot in the dark with it. If it is the case - keep a close eye out for rhumatic fever (an even worse complication of strep\scarlet fever but can attack down the road, sometimes years later).