Common Health Problems in Pet Bird Species

June 11, 2007 by  
Filed under Pet Birds

If you own a bird, it is important to be aware of common health problems and ailments that can affect your pet. In this article, we hope to assist you with identifying whether a bird is ill or what malady may be causing it to be ill.

Generally, when a bird is ill, its health deteriorate very quickly. Therefore, it is important to make a quick diagnosis if you notice any changes in energy, behavioral patterns or eating habits Most experts advise checking your pet bird each day and look for any changes in its physical appearance and temperament.

A few common health problems suffered by some domesticated bird species include one or more of the following aliments.

Budgerigars: Trichomoniasis can occur in budgerigars. This illness is manifested in a swollen crop and is accompanied by retching. It is vital that the correct medication is administered for the treatment of this condition. Birds between the ages of 5-8 years are often affected by malignancies in the kidneys and gonads which are usually identified by lameness and eventual paralysis. Unfortunately malignancies are not treatable. Diabetes has also been found in Budgerigars and is treated using insulin supplied by a veterinarian. If you notice that your Budgerigar chicks are suffering from the loss of their flight feathers, this is due to a viral illness referred to as “French Molt”. There is no specific treatment available, but it is important that the bird’s housing is carefully disinfected.

Cockatiels: Female Cockatiels are noted for suffering from numerous reproductive issues including egg-binding, inordinate egg-laying and egg-peritonitis. It is important that your pet cockatiel has a diet rich in calcium. In extreme cases, a hysterectomy may be performed by a veterinarian. Keep in mind that millet seed has a tendency to be inhaled and results in breathing difficulties, often resulting in death. Psittacosis affects many cockatiels and can soon become a chronic illness. Look for ruffled feathers, nasal discharge, eye discharge, greenish droppings, lethargy and upper respiratory problems. Fortunately, this can be treated with tetracycline drugs.

Parakeets: These birds are prone to bacterial infections as well as roundworm infestation. Roundworms are eliminated by means de-worming medication and disinfection of the cage or aviary. Chlamydiosis is common so all newly purchased parakeets must be tested for this disease.

Lovebirds: Lovebird Pox may appear and is evident in itchy skin lesions. Usually a vaccination for Psittacine Pox can prevent the viral disease in some cases. Other signs of “feather loss” in Lovebirds can be due to bacterial infections. Other frequent problems are seen with reproductive disorders including egg-binding.

Remember, this is an informal guide and not medical advice. If the condition of your pet bird is rapidly deteriorating many ornithologists advise that bird lovers contact their veterinarian and seek expert medical attention. For those who are bird owners or thinking to purchase a pet bird, it is very important to research the species’ health requirements as well as undertake precautions to prevent common these and other known serious health problems that can affect your pet bird.

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