6 common health issues in pet birds

Pet birds are a popular choice for those who have limited space, who travel a lot, or who have allergies but still want a cute pet. As a pet bird parent, it is extremely important to know how to look after your bird’s health. It is not uncommon for pet birds to have health issues that affect their diet, their body weight, and the condition of their feathers. When left untreated at the right time, these health issues can impact the life span of your pet bird. To ease out the process, Redbelly veterinary diagnostic center is here with a blog on the 6 common health issues in pet birds. The blog dives deep into the most common health issues in pet birds and what you can do about them.

  • Goiters – A goiter is a disease recognized by the enlargement of the thyroid gland due to iodine deficiency. In addition to the swollen throat, birds with goiters may be reluctant to feed because of difficulty swallowing, and changes in their voices. Other common symptoms of goiters include diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, and wheezing. Early diagnosis and dietary adjustments can help prevent goiters, and iodine supplements may be necessary for severe conditions.
  • Obesity – As with other pets, obesity is a common problem encountered by pet birds too. Pet birds are often limited to cages and receive little if any, physical exercise. This along with high fat seed-based food leads to obesity and associated disorders. Obesity when turned severe can lead to fatty liver diseases and fat deposition in major arteries, which in some cases might turn fatal. So, it’s always important to keep a track of your birdie’s weight and make sure it gets enough physical exercise.
  • Giardiosis – Giardiosis is a disease recognized by the combination of diarrhea, vomiting, extreme weight loss, lethargy, dry and flaky skin, which further might cause itchiness and lead to feather plucking. It’s necessary to take your birdie to a lab near you for diagnosis if the above-mentioned conditions are bothering the bird. The illness can be cured by drug treatments, and it is important to ensure that the cage is clean and comfortable.
  • Beak and Feather Disease – Beak and feather disease mostly affects species of the parrot family and is specifically infectious among young parrots or birds that already have health issues. Symptoms of this disease include feather loss, abnormal beak growth, and poor plumage development. Veterinary diagnostic centers conduct PBFD test, which basically involves skin or feather biopsy to confirm the same. Never delay vet consultation if you notice these signs in your bird, as the disease has no particular cure and can be fatal when turned severe.
  • Polyomavirus – Polyomavirus is a viral infection that affects a bird’s plumage and can cause abnormal feather growth or lack of wing flight feathers, which further hampers feather development entirely. Other symptoms of the disease include appetite loss, diarrhea, lethargy, and paralysis. It is usually contracted through direct contact with infected birds. The disease progresses very quickly and currently, there are no effective treatments available for the cure. However, birds with mild hemorrhaging might benefit from vitamin K injections and show certain improvements in the condition.
  • Egg binding – Egg binding is a condition where a female bird is unable to expel an egg from her body. Lack of vitamins and minerals, especially calcium, vitamins D and E, and selenium cause egg binding, and the condition is usually seen in small birds like (budgies), canaries, cockatiels, finches, and lovebirds. The vitamins and minerals are not only necessary for eggshell formation but also influence the contraction of the oviduct and uterine muscles. Many owners usually aren’t aware of the gender of their bird and in such cases, this condition might be difficult to identify. Determining the sex of your bird by a simple DNA test makes the process easier and helps the veterinarian understand the issue properly.

We hope you enjoyed our blog on the 6 common health issues in pet birds. If you have any specific questions about your feather friend, or if you want to let us know what you thought of the blog, please feel free to comment below. For any other questions or bird health services, please contact us at the details provided on our website. At Redbelly veterinary diagnostic center we offer bird DNA testing, bird health diagnosis and treatment, and PBFD tests for birds. Our team handles your birdie with care and compassion and provides the best service possible. You can book an appointment online or call us at the number provided on the website. We would love to get in touch with you. Thank you for reading! We are always happy when one of our posts is able to provide useful information on a topic like this!

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