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Talk about bird illnesses and other bird health related issues. Seeds, pellets, fruits, vegetables and more. Discuss what to feed your birds and in what quantity. Share your recipe ideas.

Re: Aloe

Postby pfinarffle » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:52 am

Cage Cleaner wrote:
pfinarffle wrote:Technically diarrhea is medically defined as either an increase in frequency or volume of stool. So yes, fiber in excess does cause diarrhea. (Try eating just 2 Fiber One bars and tell me otherwise.) I'm not going to rehash everything above save for the fact that I don't believe anyone here is letting their pet free range graze on aloe all day every day. For the purposes of what most posters here have described, aloe is perfectly safe and shouldn't be shunned for the possibility of a little diarrhea. I just don't want people freaking out if their pet got a hold of some aloe is all.

Which medical book says that?

It's what I learned in medical school. Look it up. Lots of sources validate this as a much more reliable way of showing diarrhea exists. Here's an example:
http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictio ... m/diarrhea

...or the Mayo Clinic here ... ION=causes (I obviously starred the volume component):
"Diarrhea occurs when the food and fluids you ingest pass too quickly or in ***too large an amount*** — or both — through your colon."

Edit: And my understanding is aloe causes diarrhea through the bulk fiber in its leaf casings. But it might have an osmotic component as well. All I know is whole leaf mixtures cause diarrhea but the gel filet doesn't.
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Re: Aloe

Postby Cage Cleaner » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:40 pm

Interesting. We haven't been covering it in that way and I am in medical school as well. Learned something new about stool weights.

However, regarding the issue of fiber vs. water, I have to point out that the sources you paste in your own post mention (while emphasizing weight, yes), a lack of water absorption as the cause of diarrhea, and not an excess amount of fiber: "0oz (300 gs) per day generally indicates diarrhea. This is mainly due to excess water, which normally makes up 60-85% of fecal matter."

And: "Diarrhea occurs because more fluid passes through the large intestine (colon) than that organ can absorb. As a rule, the colon can absorb several times more fluid than is required on a daily basis. However, when this reserve capacity is overwhelmed, diarrhea occurs."

As for aloe, yes it is the whole leaf aloe that we are discussing here. The gel component has a completely different medicinal effect. This also makes sense as we were discussing the pros and cons of placing an entire aloe plant for a bird to nibble on. As the gel comes from the core of the plant, it would make sense that a bird would need to go through the outside leaf first.

It's the whole leaf aloe that can help with digestion, and, as it's effect is to prevent constipation, in excess it causes diarrhea. Likely it does have an osmotic component to it as it would make more sense than fiber causing diarrhea.
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Re: Aloe

Postby Nokota » Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:58 pm

My god! >.<. OK, people, I know all of the properties of aloe by heart, just not whether it is safe for birds. He only nibbles at it and for some reason talks to the silly thing.

Aloe leaves are used to treat burns externally and internally for minor illness in that they have a soothing effect on the internal organs. The "nibs", the part where the root joins the leaves, is used as a powerful laxative, and should not be taken for more than two weeks or it will cause dehydration. He isn't eating that part and I don't think he can even reach it.The leaves, however, require absolutely massive quantities to be come toxic to humans, so I am going to assume that it is the same for birds since some of you have been serving the birds aloe on purpose. Thank you for all of your input guys!

For those of you seeing it as "alternative" medicine I think you should note that plants like this were in use long before "conventional" medicine and that most pills have their sources derived from plants. Most birth control pills, for example, have their false hormones derived from a plant called golden thread, or a related plant, which grows in northern Africa, and in ancient times, Europe. It is believed, and supported in archaeological findings, that neanderthals 20,000 years ago had knowledge of this plant and used it for that purpose!!!

I keep the aloe plant in my house because the actual plant is much more effective at treating burns than most of the aloe vera mixtures sold in bottles in stores these days (which usually contain very little aloe). It has had leaves ripped off it before for the treatment of sunburns and stove-top burns and tolerates the damage very well.
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Re: Aloe

Postby Ramona » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:55 am

Normally animals and birds as well are cleverer than people when they choose what to eat. So I think your parrot wouldn't eat anything that could hurt him. Especially when it's a healing plant.
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Re: Aloe

Postby Michael » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:01 pm

Ramona wrote:Normally animals and birds as well are cleverer than people when they choose what to eat. So I think your parrot wouldn't eat anything that could hurt him. Especially when it's a healing plant.

This is not true. In the wild, they learn from their flock what to eat and not. But at home they can get confused by how we live. This is why it is imperative not to give chocolate, avocado, or anything else that can be toxic to our parrots because they can eat a fatal dosage without knowing any better. Most of what we feed them is not a part of their natural diet anyway, so clearly food preferences are learned and not innate.
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