Showing posts with label Diseases. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Diseases. Show all posts

Saturday, May 12, 2018

All About Common PARROT Diseases

Photo   by     budi javas  (cc)
There are some diseases that parrot owners should stay aware of so that they can catch early signs of any trouble in their birds. Pacheco Disease (PVD), Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD), Feather Plucking, Avian Salmonella, Escherichia coli - E. coli, Avian Tuberculosis, Avian Chlamydia, Avian Polyomavirus and Proventricular Dilation Disease (PDD) are among types of parrot disease that are common.

Good hygiene and healthy nutrition are the basic requirements for a healthy parrot but being aware of the more common types of parrot disease will be useful in being a proactive pet owner. A prompt visit to the vet is recommended as well.

Pacheco's disease (PDV) is visible through symptoms such as lethargy, diarrhea, ruffled feathers, sinusitis, anorexia, conjunctivitis, and tremors in the neck, wing, and legs. The bird's fecal material may become discolored with urates becoming green suggesting possible liver damage.

Birds generally die from massive liver necrosis characterized by an enlarged liver, spleen, and kidneys. However, some birds die suddenly with no specific or observable symptoms.

Infected birds can start shedding the virus in the feces and nasal discharge as early as 3-7 days after infection. This viral disease is classified as highly contagious.

Pacheco's disease is often fatal and affects parrots of all ages. New World parrots are seen as more susceptible to PDV than Old World psittacines. Asymptomatic birds can be carriers of Pacheco's virus. Birds that have survived an outbreak of PDV can be possible carriers.

PDV appears to be reactivated when the parrot is under stress during times such as breeding, loss of a mate, or other environmental changes.

Avian Chlamydia, also known as Psittacosis, Parrot Fever or chlamydiosis is when parrots are infected by intracellular parasites. These are sometimes called energy parasites because they use ATP (a crucial energy containing metabolite) produced by the host cell.

Dull plumage, drop in body temperature, lethargy, conjunctivitis and yellow to greenish droppings or grayish watery droppings are among the symptoms. Sometimes there is no outward evidence of an infection.

This is an airborne bacterial disease. The bacteria can be shed by an infected bird through its bodily secretions, fecal material, and feather dust. The organism may remain relatively stable outside the host body and can dry into a dusty substance and contaminate the air.

Incubation periods in caged birds vary from days to months although most often this is 3 to 10 days. The incubation period is hard to gauge because chronically infected birds sometimes develop persistent and asymptomatic infections.

Parrots in overcrowded settings are particularly susceptible to the disease. A significant detail about Avian Chlamydia is that it is a zoonotic disease which can be transmitted from animals to humans.

Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) is the disease in which we see a loss of feathers, development of abnormal feathers, new pinched feathers, shedding of developing feathers and loss of powder down.

Overgrown or abnormal beak, symmetrical lesions on the beak and occasionally nails are other likely signs. Immunosuppression, dramatic weight loss, and depression are also seen as the disease progresses.

PBFD is caused by a virus that also sometimes affects the liver, brain, and immune system. Secondary infections stemming from this sometimes lead to complications and death.
Transmission is through direct contact and the infected environment has to be thoroughly cleaned as the viral particles can persist in the environment even after the infected bird is removed.

PBFD is supposed to be specific to psittacines and some species that are particularly vulnerable to it are Cockatoos, Macaws African Grey Parrots, Ringneck parakeets, Eclectus Parrots, and Lovebirds.
PBFD can be fatal for young birds and even adult birds that survive can become carriers. Others feel that those survivors develop an immunity which can be genetically transferred to their offspring.

Feather Plucking can be a traumatic problem for the parrot and the pet owner as it seems to indicate more deep-rooted problems. The broad reasons for feather plucking are improper diet or inadequate nutrition, emotional stress and bacterial or fungal infection.

Owners should ensure that the bird is not kept in too small a cage and if the bird is molting special nutritional attention should be paid. Also keep an eye open for fleas, lice or ticks. While these are rare they can be the cause of skin irritation also.

A well-balanced diet, a mentally stimulating environment, adequate physical space and good hygiene are among things that can help with this problem.

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are manifested as ruffled feathers, diarrhea, listlessness, and shivering. Baby birds, with less developed immune systems, are more susceptible to disease.

Chronic infections in adult birds can lead to abscesses, failure to hatch eggs and cause changes in eating habits. The extent to which a bird is affected will depend on the age and immune system of the bird and on the potency of the bacteria.

Clean feeding bowls and water and antibiotics can help most birds recover fully from the infection of common parrot-disease.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

8 Simple Tips For Keeping Your PET BIRDS HEALTH

Bird seed mixture in a bird feeder
Birdseed mixture in a bird feeder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
1. Birds need to eat a nutritionally sound diet in order to live a long life. Improper feeding can lead to malnutrition and disease resulting in a shorter lifespan. Start off by feeding your bird right from the beginning.

2. Parrots and birds of the parrot family can eat a variety of different kinds of foods. Seeds should not be a parrot’s only food. This is a mistake many new bird owners make. Seeds contain mostly fat and not enough protein and very few vitamins.

3. Birds can eat most table foods but it is best to stick to healthy items including items containing whole grains, pretzels, and whole wheat pasta and bread. Foods high in fat should be avoided. Never feed them avocados as they are toxic to birds.

4. Good sources of nutrition for your bird include beans and legumes as well as various vegetables and fruits. Some birds resist new foods at first while others are open to trying many new things. Although it may take some time keep trying to introduce your bird to a variety of healthy foods.

5. Changes to a bird’s diet should be done slowly and progressively over time. Provide fresh foods twice per day for approximately an hour each time. Be careful not to leave fresh food in the bird’s cage too long as it will develop bacteria which can make your bird sick.

6. Your bird should be fed two times per day. This will result in your bird getting hungry which will make it more active. Also, a good appetite can make it more likely that your bird will try new foods. Feeding at set times twice per day will also allow you to be able to monitor how much your bird is eating. If your bird is not eating well this can tell you that it is not feeling well or has a health problem.

7. If your bird is a picky eater and you cannot get it to eat a varied diet you can try warming or be cooking the vegetables. Take away seeds except at meal time until your bird starts eating healthy foods on a regular basis.

8. Just as water is necessary for people it is also necessary for healthy birds. Keep your bird’s water dish filled with fresh, clean water at all times. Bird bowls can become very dirty and should, therefore, be cleaned each day with hot soapy water. Once every other week you should clean your bird’s water dish with a solution containing bleach. Also, make it a point to pick up some water-soluble bird vitamins at the local pet store and add vitamins to your birds' water daily.

Birds make wonderful pets for the whole family and they can live a long time if taken care of properly. Proper care of birds includes maintaining a healthy diet of seeds, vegetables, and fruit.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Pulmonology Psittacosis Or PARROT FEVER

An immature blue heron with psittacosis
An immature blue heron with psittacosis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Most of the time when our pets become sick it is something that worries us because we love our pets deeply and wish the best for them. But occasionally there are diseases that can affect pets and can also be transferred to humans at which time you have to not only worry about the life of your pet but much more importantly, the life of yourself and any other person in the household that may come into contact with your pet. Diseases that can be transferred from non-human animals to humans are known as zoonotic diseases. One of these diseases that must cause us to worry about becoming ill ourselves is a disease that is sometimes found in birds, it is particularly a problem in pet parrots. It is called Pulmonology Psittacosis, parrot disease, parrot fever and ornithosis.

What Causes Parrot Fever?
Parrot fever is an infectious disease which is caused by a bacterium called Chlamydophila psittaci. The bacteria are spread when birds shed the bacteria through feces and nasal discharge. The infected discharge can remain infectious for up to several months. A bird may pick up the strain and live normally with it for a good while until it becomes activated when the bird is under some kind of intense stress. Pet birds that carry the disease include:

  • Macaws
  • Cockatiels
  • Budgerigars
  • Cockatoos
  • All types of parrots

Symptoms of Parrot Disease
Parrot disease can be difficult to detect. As with all birds, illness can be difficult to see when compared to that of a mammal such as a dog or a cat. Never the less, most cases are finally detected through symptoms including:

  • Shedding
  • Inflamed eyes
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Watery droppings
  • Green urine

Diagnosis of Parrot Fever
Most bird owners figure out that their bird is sick based on symptoms. But once they take them to the vet, the presence of the disease can be proved through:

  • An antigen test
  • Antibody test
  • PCR-based test

These tests can, however, give false negatives and a combination of lab tests is recommended for this reason. Parrot fever is a very serious disease and can take your bird's life in as little as 3 weeks.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Common DISEASES in PET BIRDS and How to Detect Them

Eastern Bluebird male close-up bird
Photo  by stefanwesteneng 
Often we are unable to detect illness in our pet birds because they are genetically programmed to hide them. This is because in jungles and the wild if they display illness and disease they will be killed at once. It is survival of the fittest in the wild. Some commonly displayed symptoms are listed below and what they mean in terms of bird illness.

Diarrhea- If your bird has an infection in the intestinal tract, because of bacteria or virus, there will be additional fluids in the stool. You must take the bird to a vet because if the food is moving too quickly in the digestive tract, nutrients are not being absorbed. Moreover, if the diarrhea is greenish colored, it is a symptom of metal poisoning or Psittacosis.

Eye Discharge- Eye discharge is very dangerous and can lead to the death of the bird. This symptom normally occurs in cases of Psittacosis. Psittacosis is highly infectious and can affect human beings too. Rush your bird to the vet and get other pets and members of the family checked too. If caught in time, it can be cured by antibiotics.

Lethargy- Is your bird not eating properly or is inactive? There can be many causes for this and none of them good. The bird might be suffering some serious ailment like infection, the heart of kidney disease or even cancer. Get your bird tested and treated at once.

Loss of Appetite- This again is an outward manifestation of some serious internal problem. Birds are fragile and neglect of these symptoms can lead to death. Consult your vet, and follow his advice.

Nasal Discharge- Commonly caused by dust, bacteria and even feather dust. Certain species like Cockatoos, Macaws etc produce a large amount of it. In case the discharge is colored and abnormal it is a normal clearing of respiratory passages. If it is colored, take the bird to a vet.

Puffed Up Feathers- This is a normal reaction of birds when they feel insecure or threatened. But if the feathers are puffed up even when the bird is asleep it is an outward symptom of an internal disease. Take the bird to a vet.

Vomiting- Birds often throw up during the mating season. Even so, check with your vet, just to play safe.

Prevention is better than cure, so clean the cage regularly and monitor the bird's feed and other habits. Use an efficient air purifier. Birds are a pleasure to keep, but as with other pets, they come with a set of responsibilities. Ensure that your pet is healthy and clean. This will prevent infections to the bird and to you and your family.