diseases are common in birds and can involve any part of the body. They may be
caused by infectious agents, parasites, nutritional problems, stress or
congenital conditions. Hare are some of the problems you might encounter with
your pet birds:
Feather picking is extremely common in parrots. Parasites,
itchy conditions, and behavioral problems are among the likely causes. Feather
picking is usually very frustrating to treat and an often hard to control
problem. A diagnosis of behavioral feather picking is made after ruling out
Mites are the most common skin parasitic disease. Mites
usually cause itching, scaling and thickening of the skin. Face and leg mites (knemidokoptes)
are very common in budgies, finches and canaries. They cause progressive
thickening and wart like lesions around the beak and eyes, which may lead to a
permanent beak deformity. The legs become scaly and crusty and develop nail
abnormalities. Secondary infections sometimes complicate the disease. The
disease does not appear to be very itchy. Grey cheek parakeets are commonly
affected by another mite, Myialges nudus, that causes intense itching, redness
and scaling that debilitate the bird and may lead to death. Mites are diagnosed
by clinical signs and skin scraping. Treatment with Ivermectin and similar
products is usually effective.
is common in canaries and cockatiels and usually involves the head and neck
area. Birds usually do not show any other signs of disease. Baldness may be
associated with hereditary conditions or hormonal imbalance.
are yellow to orange growths containing lipids and cholesterol. They are common
in budgies, cockatiels and cockatoos and usually involve the chest, thighs, and
wings. They may invade large areas and require surgery.
dermatitis is a moist, often itchy, skin infection that may be associated with
trauma, wounds, diabetes and certain internal parasites. Birds will pick the
lesions creating further damage and complications. The disease is seen mostly in
lovebirds, cockatiels, grey cheeks, amazons and cockatoos.
foot or pododermatitis in a skin infection that involves the feet. The bottom of
the feet become red, painful and swollen and the bird has difficulty perching
and walking. Round perches that continuously elicit pressure on one spot, trauma
to the foot and other health problems contribute to the disease. If caught
early, the disease can be treated successfully. Chronic and severe bumble foot
carries poor prognosis.
and feather disease is a viral malady that affects cockatoos and other birds. It
is usually chronic and causes progressive deformity of the feathers and beak as
well as weight loss.
are many more skin diseases of birds and any bird exhibiting skin or feather
problems should be presented to the veterinarian. Regular check-ups can prove
life saving and help prevent, diagnose and treat diseases early on.