This section on bird disease will cover some of the more common problems seen in pet birds. The general signs of illness are:
- Decreased appetite or water consumption
- Broken, bent, or lost feathers
- Labored breathing
- Reluctance or inability to perch
- Loss of muscle mass on breast
- Shifting leg lameness
- Abnormal lumps, bumps, or swellings
- Change in color or character of droppings
- Vomiting or regurgitation of food
- Overgrown beak or nails
- Discharges from eyes or nares
- Prolonged molding
Repiratory Tract Bird Diseases
This is caused by a fungal organism that is normally found in the bird’s environment. The signs include sneezing and breathing difficulties which are also accompanied by nasal discharge.
Antifungal medications can be employed to combat this bird disease and are most effective in the early stages.
This bird disease refers to the inflammation and function impairment of the air sacs. The usage of special antibiotics can be an effective treatment for the disease.
This is a bird disease (parasite) that inhabits the wall of the trachea (mostly in finches and canaries).
The symptom in birds is an open-mouthed “gape” due to interference with normal airflow down the trachea. There are a variety of medicines that can be used to treat gapeworms.
Digestive System Diseases
This is a disease seen as a result of long-term antibiotic thereaby, malnutrition, and/or poor husbandry.
Afflicted birds with this bird disease often regurgitate food due to irritation caused by lesions and ulcers in the digestive tract. There are specific antifungal treatments that should be used for a cure.
This disease causes the bird’s crop to become inflamed and ulcerated. This bird disease will cause the bird to regurgitate foul-smelling food that has been sitting within the irritated crop.
The treatment involves removal of the crop contents using a feeding tube, and then flushing out the crop using a special mixture of baking soda, plus kaolin and pectin (in water).
Crop and Gizzard Impaction
This bird disease causes a grossly overdistended crop and affects the crop’s contractility and ability to empty (due to too much grit and seeds).
The symptoms include bloody droppings that may have undigested seeds in them. In this case, surgery may be required to alleviate the impaction.
This disease in birds is very serious. Not only can it become life-threatening if it remains undetected, but it can also pose a health threat to the owner! The organism Chlamydia psittaci, which is transmitted between birds and people is the root of this bird disease.
The symptoms include lime-green diarrhea in addition to a yellow hue in the urate portion of the droppings. Treatment of this bad bird disease involves the use of special antibiotics that are added to the bird’s feed or water.
Pox (Avian Diptheria)
This is a viral disease characterized by severe respiratory and skin disease. The symptoms are sneezing, breathing difficulties, discharges from the eyes and nose, and ulcers or scabs in the mouth, on the face, or on the extremities.
Not much can be done for treatment, check with your vet if you think your pet bird may have the signs.
This is caused by a virus which causes severe illness in affected birds. Transmission between birds passes this serious bird disease.
The symptoms include bright yellow diarrhea, yellow-green urates, vomiting, breathing difficulties, nasal discharges, depression, and generalized wasting. Antiviral drugs may help, but typically no treatment exists up to this point.