Birds make gentle but intriguing companions. They are small and therefore quite delicate when it comes to constitution and health. To keep them healthy, visit the avian vet regularly.
Birds are great for all ages of people. Some are quite social and want to interact with you. Others are content with socializing with their bird brethren. Either way they are beautiful to view and have around.
But, birds are not indestructible. They do get sick just like any other pet. When purchasing a pet bird, be aware of the three most deadly diseases that affect domesticated birds. Know the signs and symptoms so you can get treatment as quickly as possible.
Deadly Bird Diseases
1. Psittacosis – This is also referred to as “Parrot Fever.” It is often undetectable unless you pay attention to your bird’s habits. It is often associated with high stress levels in your bird. Just like humans, stress can weaken the immune system, making them more susceptible to disease. It is spread through infected feces. Treatment is with doxycycline but prevention is best. Signs exhibited are: lack of appetite, weight loss, breathing problems and dull colored droppings. Separate infected birds from healthy ones until the condition is fully treated. Birds can also transmit this condition to you. Without treatment, it can prove fatal in humans.
2. Pacheco’s Disease – This is a herpes virus that birds contract. It is often seen in cases where there are multiple birds living together. It is seen mostly in psittacine (parrot) species. This virus attacks the liver resulting in failure of the organ and death. Some signs include diarrhea, depression and weight loss. Stress can make your bird more susceptible to this condition. It is spread via infected droppings that can contaminate food and water. Treatment is with acyclovir, an antiviral. All birds living with the infected bird need to be treated to prevent death. After an outbreak, quarantine new birds so they are not at risk for the disease.
3. Newcastle Disease – This disease is one of the most highly contagious of all bird diseases. It is a viral disease with no known cure or method of treatment. Symptoms include: respiratory infection, paralysis, bloody diarrhea and twitching. It is believed to be prevalent in illegally imported birds. This bird disease can affect any and all domestic and wild birds including chickens and turkeys. This makes it a problem for the food industry if an outbreak occurs. When a case is found, all infected birds must be destroyed.
You can lower your bird’s chances of getting these diseases. Keep cages clean. Learn your bird’s normal routine so you can easily and quickly detect when they are not well. Visit the vet right away at the first sign of possible illness. Please check out Animal-World’s Bird Care page for more information on bird diseases.