Like cats and dogs, birds make wonderful household pets, too. They add colour, life, and harmony to a boring environment. They also make a good company for the couch potatoes. So if you are thinking about raising pet birds, you’re up for something better. Not only will you enjoy the view; you’ll also be at peace listening to their cheerful songs every now and then.
But then again, keeping pet birds is not as easy as you think. You have to ensure their environment is clean. They need to have access to fresh and clean water. You also need to offer them the right feed that suits their diet. By doing all these things, you can help them thrive and stay happy.
Yet, in the long run, your pet birds may exhibit symptoms and behaviours that are far from the usual. When that happens, don’t panic. Instead, stay calm and take them to the vet. They could be suffering from illnesses or diseases. But to prevent unwanted demises, it would be best to educate yourself about the common diseases that affect pet birds.
1. Yeast Infections
Also known as candidiasis, a yeast infection is characterized by white spots surrounding the mouths and the beak as well as regurgitation. It is caused by the yeast, Candida albicans, which is found in the environment. If a bird has a low immunity due to young age, sickness, or vitamin deficiency, this infection may take over. Young birds that are kept in bird cages are at risk for this disease.
To prevent yeast infection, regular cleaning of the bird cage is highly recommended. Bird toys and other utensils must also be disinfected.
2. Nutritional Deficiency
One of the most difficult tasks for pet bird owners is to find the right type of feed that suits their feathery friends. Technically, feeding the wrong one may result in dire consequences, which everyone wants to avoid at all costs.
For instance, if a caged bird is not getting the right amount of vitamin A, it is more likely to suffer from respiratory illnesses. On the other hand, if it lacks calcium, it can suffer seizures. Therefore, a well-balanced diet must be provided to ensure vitamins and minerals are distributed evenly. If uncertain about this, it is best to consult the vet.
3. Viral Infections
Sad to say, there’s a really long list of viral infections that could affect your pet birds. Still, it pays off to know some of the most common. These include the following:
- Polyoma – It is an infection that results in weight loss, appetite loss, swollen abdomen, and sudden demise among pet birds.
- Pacheco’s Disease – It is a condition wherein birds suffer diarrhea, loss of balance and coordination, regurgitation, and possible death within 48 hours from the time symptoms are first noticed.
- Psittacine Break and Feather Disease – It is a condition that is characterized by loss of feathers, deformity of the beak, loss of appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, and death within 2 to 4 weeks from the time symptoms became visible.
4. Bacterial Infection
Either it is caused by stress or the lack of hygiene, our avian pals are susceptible to different types of bacterial infection. However, some other birds are immune to them. So instead of suffering, they become carriers, infecting others of their kind.
The most common symptoms of bacterial infection include loss of appetite, diarrhea, nasal discharges, seizures, and eye infections. As a preventive measure, always make it a habit to quarantine new birds before introducing them to an existing group. Never expose them to stressful environments and keep their bird cages well-ventilated.
Giardia is actually a parasite that is prevalent in water. It resides in the intestinal tract of the host, which could either be humans or animals like birds.
Once a bird is infected, the parasite will stay in the intestine until it will be disposed in the form of droppings. Since this parasite has a protective outer shell, it could survive outside the body for longer periods of time.
Although the symptoms are mild, owners can easily distinguish Giardia because it causes pet birds to scratch themselves all day even if they don’t have fleas. They could even scream and make weird noises as if they are in pain.
As a preventive measure, you have to provide your pets a clean shelter. You must ensure the water is not contaminated, too.
When it comes to raising pet birds, you must always open yourself to possibilities of diseases and infections. But the good news is that most of the illnesses associated with pet birds are treatable if detected early. Just always remember to understand their needs and allocate time for them. All this could give your pets higher chances of survival, thus allowing them to continue entertaining and delighting you.