The Coopers recounted their experiences of living and working in developing countries, highlighting the value of such work to local communities as well as to the individual. They emphasised the need for veterinary surgeons serving overseas to respect local cultural practice and to develop close personal and professional links with colleagues whose backgrounds and perspectives might be different from their own. They stressed how valuable to both parties serving as a volunteer can be.
The London Vet Show also provided the launch for “Fungitraxx”, a new treatment for fungal - infections (Aspergillus and Candida infections) in parrots, raptors and other birds. In collaboration with veterinary colleagues in the Netherlands, John Cooper was involved in the development of this product - the first of its kind to be registered in Europe. "Fungitraxx" is a novel formulation of the antimycotic drug itraconazole and promises to be a great step forward in the treatment of fungal infections, especially aspergillosis. When John published his first book on birds of prey in 1985 he reported that over 15% of deaths in the hundreds that he had examined were attributable to aspergillosis. In the years since then, various antifungal agents and preparations were tried, by various routes, in different avian species but, until the advent of “Fungitraxx”, the success rate in terms of recovery has remained low.
“Fungitraxx”, is not just relevant to the treatment of sick parrots and raptors. Its development serves as a reminder that fungal infections are a constant threat to birds. Haith's PRO and the QC programme involved in their production help ensure that birds receive clean diets and the emphasis by Haith’s on removing dust from their products means that exposure of birds to fungal spores is minimised.
This link between clean diets/good feeding practices and the avoidance of fungal diseases is specifically referred to in Petlife’s literature about for “Fungitraxx”, where it states:
"contaminated food (peanuts, in particular, are known to be frequently contaminated with Aspergillus spores).
In addition, insufficient hygiene in preparation of diets can predispose hand-fed baby parrots to Candida infections."
The message is clear!