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Bird Diseases

Our pet birds are almost as susceptible to illnesses as we are.

Bird diseases can be of many different types and may affect different parts of their bodies. Here are some typical bird disease symptoms and their probable causes:

Swollen Crop or abdomen. There are many possibilities for this kind of bird illness. A swollen crop may be an indication of an overgrowth of the candida yeast in the body of the bird.

If the crop is both swollen and discoloured, this could indicate sunburn on the crop.

  • Enlarged Spleen: An enlarged spleen could spell out many different diseases in birds. The most common bird illness that has enlarged spleen as a symptom is avian chlamydiosis. This is a highly infectious disease which can affect any kind of bird, but is especially observed in pet birds, such as parrots, macaws, parakeets, and cockatiels.

    Other conditions that could cause the enlargement of the spleen include polyoma, gout, and sarcocystosis. An infectious disease which is more evident in poultry is lymphoid leucosis. This disease can cause tumors on the spleen, liver, and kidneys.
  • Dermatitis: Birds too get sun burnt or may develop an allergic reaction towards a new bird feed or a chemical used in the home. The skin becomes ulcerated and red and may even ooze fluids. Cockatoos, lovebirds, grey cheeks, cockatiels, and amazons are the most susceptible to this disease in birds.
  • Polyoma: This is also known as the Budgerigar Fledgling Disease. This is a disease that specifically affects young birds. The birds may develop subcutaneous haemorrhages and may also develop discoloration of the skin and a swollen abdomen. You may observe tremors in the neck and head of the bird. The feathers of the bird are also lost in this disease.
  • Respiratory Diseases: A bird may suffer from several respiratory diseases too. If the bird is seen panting, breathing through an open mouth, wheezing, sneezing, squeaking, or coughing, it is most probably suffering from a respiratory disease. The bird may also have wet nostrils. The possible causes of respiratory problems in birds are bacterial bronchitis or exposure to tobacco smoke. Exposure to chemicals like Teflon or other household cleaning sprays and aerosols may also cause respiratory discomfort. Aspergillosis is another respiratory disease in birds.

Some of the other common bird diseases are canary pox, arthritis, coryza or common cold, parrot fever, airsack mites, laryngotracheitis, Newcastle disease, sarcocystis, allergies, wheezing, scissors beak, angel wing, renal failure, avian goitre, and many others.

  Submitted on July 16, 2010  

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