The Danger of Aspergillosis and Newspaper.

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In case you were in any doubt about how cute parrotlets are, I just thought I’d remind you.

…Unfortunately, I’ve heard something more serious that I’d like to blog about – because I’m assuming we bird owners all keep a stash of newspaper in the house: It seems that newspaper could become a source of aspergillosis after two weeks.

Apsergillosis is a fungus – read about it here – that could potentially devastate your bird’s respiratory system. As far as my research into it says, it seems to affect weak or young birds whose immune systems aren’t as strong as those of healthy or older avians. The spores exist almost everywhere, and a healthy immune system fights them off daily – humans, as well as birds can be affected.

Newspaper, it appears, begins to develop spores at an alarming rate after two weeks. This means that if you keep a surplus of it in the house, you could potentially be putting your birds at risk. With birds (who do everything in their power not to let on that they’re sick) I find it best to take precautionary measures wherever I can.

This is the point where I would ordinarily supply a reference. However, it’s time for a moment of backstory, so bear with me: I follow the Facebook page of a parrot-training company that I’m not a big fan of. I do this for a number of reasons, but mainly because the source of input is not just the company itself, but also the many bird owners who frequent this page.

This company’s blog recently posted an article talking about aspergillosis and newspaper. I can’t seem to find the original sources –  but perhaps I’m not delving deep enough into the Internet’s endless domain. If you were to Google aspergillosis and newspaper, the article in question would come up. I’m not going to directly link here because I don’t want to give the company more attention. The blogger of the article in question writes about the investigation of a wildlife rescue, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to turn up those results myself.

I just thought I’d spread the word, because it’s a fairly scary thought… Anyway, if you happen across the original article on newspaper and aspergillosis, please share!

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8 thoughts on “The Danger of Aspergillosis and Newspaper.

  1. Oh geez, really?!
    We have a stash of newspaper that probably dates back a year or so! It shouldn’t be too big of a problem if I just focus on using current issues now, but still…man, that’s a scary thought.

    • I know, I’m looking at our enormous stash right now wondering what to do with it. It’s not a problem until your bird gets sick, but the nature of avians being what it is, that could happen at any time. I guess it’s better safe than sorry!

  2. You’re speaking of Serious stuff here for sure! (So please excuse me while I make a most-unserious comment.) I had birds as a young girl, but no more (though you have me wishing again that I did.) This warm little feathered thing nestled under your chin is just too cute for words.

  3. Thanks for the tip. I use the same day’s papers every day for cage liners. We change out each bird cage at least every other day (some are messier and get a daily change). I use filtered water for their water and change that every day.

    Mice are the issue now. I think I need a cat, but alas, cats like birds too. Dianne

    • I’ve heard that if you get a kitten, it can be trained and raised to get along with certain feathered family members (not that you’d ever really want to tempt fate, I think, and leave them unsupervised together). Never tried it myself… kittens, while so cute, are certainly a handful – and I already have three flighted handfuls.

  4. I would keep an open mind on this! I cannot find any details about the vets in question, which I find very odd.
    Until someone can find a link to the vets in question I would not trust anything that is placed on B—-t—-s
    They are not a great site and are sensationalists. And not to be trusted.
    I can name a rescue that keeps piles of newsprint on site in a filthy environment including old dirty papers from the cages that are absolutely sodden.
    Which to me would be an ideal breeding ground for any molds and high levels of bacteria.

    • Hi there, thanks for stopping by! I completely agree about the company, although – if you look under the article I’ve written reviewing them (which is high-lighted in my menu), you can see their own response to criticisms like yours and mine. As to whether it’s true about newspaper and fungus, I haven’t yet verified. When I requested sources from the blogger who originally posted there, I was told it came from lecture notes. Basically, I take this with a grain of salt. Maybe it’s true, and maybe it’s just a scare. Either way – people can hear about it this way and start doing research of their own!

      Anyway, thanks again for your comment. As to the rescue you know of, perhaps you could report them somehow, to encourage them to keep it (more) clean?

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