Birds and owners love dietary variety and sharing at mealtime. In order to enhance compliance, a list of foods that have relatively low antigenicity and do not contribute to skin inflammation was developed for owners to share with their birds. This was based on avian as well as human literature. Supplemental foods should be chosen from the following list. If the bird is begging for table foods at dinnertime, offer these foods. They can also be used for treats and to enrich the diet.
- Cooked or canned salmon
- Cooked chicken
- Spinach or kale
- Green peppers
- Green beans
- Pinto beans
- Cooked eggs
- Soybeans (roasted)
- Cottage cheese
- Shelled Brazil nuts (raw unsalted)
- Sunflower seeds (shelled-limited quantity)
- Spirulina--(if marine algae)
- Black beans
- Olive oil
In the initial exclusion phase of dietary restrictions, additional foods should not be given. After the first 2 months, new foods should be added 1 item a week in order to detect specific items that the bird may be sensitive to.
Therapy for Inflammatory Skin Disease in Pet Birds
Therapy for ISD is based upon reduction or control of the allergic response with antihistamines, provision of a hypoallergenic diet if possible, elimination of allergens as much as possible, and provision of optimum levels of specific nutrients that help to control inflammation, and enhance metabolism. I have found supplementation and balancing omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which is often used in other species to reduce inflammation, is also clinically beneficial in birds. My goal in fatty acid supplementation is 50-250 mg/kg body weight of omega 3 fatty acids with an omega 3:omega 6 ratio of 1:2-1:6. When supplementing extruded diets, I use a balance supplement of salmon oil and flax seed oil (high in omega 3 fatty acids) and safflower seed oil (high in omega 6 fatty acids). If the bird is eating a primarily seed diet, I supplement only with salmon oil and flax seed oil.
Orlando Diaz-Figueroa, DVM, MS, Dipl. ABVP (Avian Specialty)