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Symptoms and Diseases of Pet Birds

Symptoms and Diseases of Pet Birds 1

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Table of Contents

  1. Colibacillosis
  2. Coccidiosis
  3. Psittacosis
  4. Respiratory Disorders
  5. Frostbite
  6. Anemia
  7. Mange
  8. Egg Binding
  9. Feather Plucking


In birds, like many other animals, colibacillosis is a disease caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli. This bacteria is not always pathogenic and can exist in the bird’s respiratory and digestive systems without causing symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, they can be severe, including greenish diarrhea, swelling in the head, and high mortality during hatching.


Coccidiosis is a parasitic disease caused by coccidia that develop in the bird’s intestine. It is often caused by poor hygiene or a low-quality and spoiled diet. This disease leads to diarrhea with blood, weight loss, and presence of mucus around the beak. If left untreated, the bird can die within a few days.


Psittacosis is a contagious disease that can be transmitted not only to other birds but also to humans, causing flu-like symptoms. Infected birds exhibit irregular breathing, tremors, loss of appetite, fever, and fluorescent green droppings.

Respiratory Disorders

Birds have delicate respiratory systems, which can be easily affected by our living environment, which may differ significantly from their natural habitat. Factors such as kitchen or tobacco smoke can particularly irritate them. Humidity and drafts can also be harmful, leading to respiratory diseases or worsening infections such as rhinitis, sinusitis, tracheitis, and pneumonia. Common symptoms include increased respiratory rate, coughing, sneezing, and nasal discharge.


Cold winds and negative temperatures can cause frostbite in birds that are inadequately sheltered. The extremities of their feet may swell and become whitish. This problem commonly affects parakeets and lovebirds.


In birds, anemia can be caused by an inappropriate diet. It can result from nutritional deficiencies or consumption of harmful foods such as garlic or onion, which promote the destruction of red blood cells. Parasites (such as red mites and mites) are also responsible for anemia, characterized by pale skin, legs, beak, and weight loss in affected birds.


Mange or acariasis affects the feet and beak of birds, gradually covering them with a grayish crust. The responsible agent is Chemidocoptes mutans, a mite that takes advantage of poor hygiene to thrive. If the bird is not treated promptly, it may die.

Egg Binding

It can happen that an egg becomes stuck at the cloaca’s entrance, preventing the mother bird from laying it. In such cases, it is strongly recommended to take the bird to the veterinarian instead of attempting to manually facilitate the evacuation of the stuck egg by massaging the abdomen.

Feather Plucking

Feather plucking is a behavior commonly observed in stressed, disturbed, frightened, or inactive birds. Nutritional deficiencies can also contribute to feather plucking, which birds can inflict upon themselves or their companions.

If you notice an abnormally inactive or overly agitated bird, feather loss (outside the molt period), diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal swelling, excessive thirst, these symptoms could indicate that the bird is suffering and should be a cause for concern. These signs often appear in the advanced stages of the disease, so it is crucial to act quickly and take the bird to a veterinarian who will prescribe appropriate treatment.

Symptoms and Diseases of Pet Birds

mahatma gandhi portrait

- Mahatma Gandhi

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

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