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NHV’s Milk Thistle Used By University of Tennessee’s Avian and Exotics Division For Birds with Liver Disorders

Clinical Trials & Research 3 min read

NHV Natural Pet Products once again had the pleasure of speaking with the University of Tennessee’s Veterinary Medical Center. This time it was the Avian and Exotics Division at the U of T that got in touch with us! Here’s what they had to say:

* “We have been using the NHV Milk Thistle in our Avian & Exotics Division of the University of Tennessee to treat liver issues with our patients. The owners have seen an improvement with birds that have liver issues.”

-Janet Jones, LVMT, University of Tennessee-Knoxville Veterinary Medical Center, Avian/ Exotics

To see other letters about NHV from the University of Tennessee click here.

We want to take this opportunity to make sure regular bird pet parents are informed on the causes of liver disorders, symptoms to watch out for and the benefits of NHV Milk Thistle in aiding liver issues.

The most common type of liver issue birds are diagnosed with is ‘fatty liver disease’ also known as hepatic lipidosis. This disease involves fat being deposited into the liver causing a variety of symptoms including:

  • Sudden loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Poor feather quality
  • Changes in feather coloration (Cockatiels with white feathers may take on more yellowish color. African grays may develop red feathers in areas that are grey.)
  • Dry itchy skin
  • Problems with beak, claws, and nails
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures
  • Bleeding and clotting problems
  • A distended abdomen
  • Diarrhea or abnormal droppings
  • Note: Some birds with fatty liver disease may develop few signs before the disease becomes fatal.

Fatty liver disease is most common in Amazon parrots, budgies, cockatoos, cockatiels, lovebirds and Quaker parrots and is more prevalent in female and juvenile birds. The major cause of the disease is due to a high fat content in the diet. Birds that are hand reared are particularly prone to fatty liver disease as they may be overfed in addition to being fed a calorie-dense diet. Some owners are unaware of the dangers of adding extra fat to regular commercial formulas, or feed formulas designed for other bird species like macaws (this is a high-fat formula). Pay close attention to the type of formula you are feeding your bird. And, although it may be cute to keep hand feeding your bird— be sure to wean them at an appropriate age to prevent over-eating.

For treatment of fatty liver disease in birds, your holistic veterinarian will be able to provide an alternative and healthier diet. The diet will include food that is rich in fiber, low in fat, and contains a reduced protein content. The new diet should also be organic and free of pesticides, chemicals, or artificial flavors so as to not cause the liver any more stress.

NHV Milk thistle will help provide support to the damaged liver, detoxify the liver and kidneys, and support regeneration of the liver. An important aspect of NHV Milk Thistle is that it is glycerin-based and contains no artificial flavors, additives, or preservatives. Milk thistle from other brands, which may contain alcohol or artificial flavors can be dangerous to your bird.

In addition to diet and natural supplements, birds recovering from fatty liver disease need plenty of rest. Cover your bird and keep them in a quiet room for an appropriate amount of time during the day. Talk to your holistic vet about the adequate amount of rest time your bird should have.

If you have any questions feel free to contact a NHV Pet Expert free of charge. We also offer on-line consultations with our lead holistic vet, Dr. Hillary Cook.


*Product reviews are solely the experience and opinion of the reviewer. Actual results may vary.

Published: January 22, 2016

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