Parrots and other birds but also their owners are endangered if they get sick
People usually decide to get a parrot (or some other bird) as a pet if they are not allergic to feathers or do not have asthma attacks. However, birds, like any other living thing, can get a disease, and sometimes they are specific diseases (which only occur in birds). Birds sometimes get a disease that also occurs in humans (e.g., diabetes, thyroid disease, and the like). Ornithologists and educators from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Department of Diseases of Equidae, Carnivores, Poultry and Wild animals) have a lot of knowledge about this issue and are happy to share it with others.
- Parrots often have psittacosis or ornithosis. Sometimes it is very difficult to diagnose because the disease can appear as chronic without any symptoms. If the bird is acutely ill it has symptoms of sneezing, has swollen eyelids, discharge from the eyes and nose, has decreased appetite. The bird is hairy and looking for warm places. People have flu symptoms and inflammatory lung conditions are common.
- Tuberculosis is a much more serious disease that can be transmitted to humans. Tuberculosis is a chronic process. The bird will have the disease for years with no hope of cure, because all antibiotics (used to treat humans) have no effect here. There is a warning that people who have immune problems or use chemotherapy, suffer from AIDS, have organ transplants — those people should by no means have contact with a sick bird or even visit a zoo.
- It happens that a child or an adult becomes infected with salmonella or compilobacteriosis through bird droppings. These are red infections accompanied by abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and fever. Bird droppings should be taken periodically for bacteriological examination — to prevent these types of bird-to-human infections from occurring.
- Many diseases of birds are the result of stress. Birds are very intelligent and emotional animals. They are strongly attached to people and objects. Any change therefore causes the birds stress which greatly affects the bird’s immunity. Bacteria, viruses and fungi ignite if the defenses decline. Plucking feathers is one of the ways to show stress. A stressed bird even starts tearing parts of muscles and skin from which it can die. There are diseases that start this way and are not the result of stress (but bacterial or fungal infections). Then the veterinarian should determine the cause.
- Changes in the legs and beak are quite common. These changes begin as limestone and spongy deposits. It’s actually scabies. The disease is not transmissible to humans but can be fatal to birds. The owner of the bird should seek the advice / assistance of a veterinarian immediately.
- Too long nails or beak can be a trigger for the appearance of a disease. Sometimes the bird will perform the cosmetic procedure on its own. Sometimes the owner needs to perform a cosmetic procedure on the birds with veterinary advice.
- And bad food for birds creates health problems. The draft is fatal. Birds are sensitive to gases, fumes, chemicals, deodorants and tobacco smoke. The cause of bird poisoning can also be a plant in the home (for example, philadendron and difembahia).
- If a bird bites — that is the basic sign of the disease. The bird has a fever. The owner then does not need to treat the bird on his own as it is difficult to adjust the medicines from the home pharmacy. The body temperature of the bird is 41 degrees C and all processes take place much faster than in humans, so a quick reaction of the owner is needed.
- When buying a bird, you should choose a healthy bird. Shop at places that have a sales license and proper documentation. For small birds, this is sometimes not necessary, but if large birds are imported (exotic parrots from Africa and Asia), then the help of a veterinarian is needed to determine the bird’s health. That means a quarantine of at least 42 days. Birds are inspected daily for feces, feathers and various swabs are taken during that quarantine period. This is very important because there are diseases (e.g., tuberculosis, fungal pneumonia, or bird flu) that require long-term therapy and have more difficult treatment. They can endanger the life of the bird and the owner or all the members of the household. Then, unfortunately, euthanasia is inevitable.