Dear Parrot Lover,
There are many different diseases and ailments that can afflict parrots. But one of the most important ones to know about is Psittacosis. This is because Psittacosis can be passed onto human beings. Otherwise known as Chlamydiosis or Chlamydia, Psittacosis is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Eye swelling
- Eye discharge
- Difficulty breathing
- Lack of appetite
- Fluffed out feathers
A parrot with Psittacosis can have one or more of these symptoms. Although these symptoms can suggest other diseases, a parrot with an eye discharge usually presents with Psittacosis and should be seen by a certified avian vet immediately for a pathology test.
Infection of this disease is typically through the droppings of another bird that is a carrier for the disease. A large amount of the Psittacosis organism can be present and it can remain contagious for quite a few months in dried bird droppings. Another way Psittacosis can be passed on is by way of feather dust and from a hen to her eggs.
The issue here is that in most situations, a parrot can be the carrier of this disease, but may never show any of above symptoms. This makes it quite hard to catch and control. Medical reports indicate that wild birds are one of the most common carriers and therefore, if you have your parrots in an outside aviary, they could be in danger of being infected.
Like most diseases, in humans and animals, an occurrence of Psittacosis is often brought about when the parrot is under stress; such as in situations of overcrowded cages and aviaries. When an infected parrot becomes stressed out, they will shed the Psittacosis organism in large amounts. This is another good reason to purchase your parrot from a reputable breeder and not a pet shop that has a large, filthy and overcrowded holding area for the parrots they sell cheaply. If your parrot receives routine health check-ups, and is fed a good diet and with a clean cage and fresh water, then you most likely won’t have any issues with the Psittacosis disease.
The treatment is with an antibiotic called doxycycline. Treatment length varies and can last anywhere from 7 to 45 days, depending on how the medication is given. As long as the disease is caught early on, the parrot will likely make a full recovery.
Once this disease is passed on to humans, the symptoms to be aware of include fever, lethargy, chest pain, couching, nausea and headaches. When seeing a doctor about flu-like symptoms, make sure you state that you own a parrot and request a blood test for Psittacosis. If you have been infected, a course of antibiotics will be prescribed.
This disease is why new parrots into a home should be quarantined away from other parrots for a minimum of 30 days.
Secrets to Parrot Health
Do You Want Your Bird to Live Decades?
Raising a parrot is not always an easy task, but it can be so enjoyable if you feel comfortable that you know how to keep your bird healthy. If you know what to feed your bird and how to keep him not only healthy but also happy you can have years of contentment with him.
Parrots, ideally, live for decades. Many often outlive their human companions! But his lifespan can be drastically shortened with a few easy and common mistakes that everyone does before they know better.
Let’s look at some of the more common mistakes
1. The cage is just not large enough for the bird: Your bird needs plenty of room to flap his wings, play with his toys, and move in levels so that he’s not just stuck in one spot.
2. The diet isn’t diverse enough: Parrots can’t exist on just seeds. Nutritionally complete pellets are an important addition, and the bird’s diet should include a lot of fresh items, even up to about 30% being fresh vegetables.
3. Not maintaining cleanliness: In order for a bird to stay healthy he needs to avoid disease. Cage liners should be changed daily, food and water holders should be cleaned weekly, and the overall cage should be cleaned monthly.
There are also other areas to look at as they relate to preventing boredom, providing enough toys, and preventing behavioral problems.
Professional tips for a healthy bird
A professional birder has decided to share his parrot keeping system with the bird owning public. In his e-book Raising Polly: How to Raise a Happy, Healthy, Well Adjusted Bird, he details in non-technical language how to care for a parrot. Raising Polly gives you the tips to help prevent many of the diseases and issues that cause early parrot deaths.
If you’ve ever lost a parrot early, this book is for you. If you’ve never had a parrot before now, this book is for you. But if you’ve had parrots you can still make use of this book too!
In addition to the e-book Raising Polly, you’ll also receive a bonus ebook about training tricks and the audio mp3 files of Raising Polly. All of this plus a 60 day no haggling money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.
Regards, Nathalie Roberts