can bird droppings make dogs sick

My Golden Retriever and Pomeranian like to eat the droppings of my cockatiel and budgies (parakeets). Should I be really concerned, and is there any way to deter my dogs from eating the droppings? I usually keep the door closed, but the dogs always sneak in.

I don’t recall addressing this question before. Considering that most dogs seem to really enjoy “grazing” around and under bird cages, we really should talk about the potential problems with this habit.

Fortunately bird droppings are, for the most part, harmless to dogs. The types of bacteria found in the fecal matter of healthy birds are generally considered harmless to canines. Abnormal bacteria in bird droppings (usually in the group Enterobacteriaceae), are usually considered normal bacteria in the canine gastrointestinal tract. That is, if the bacteria ingested in the bird droppings even makes it through the very acidic stomach to set up shop in the intestinal tract. The acidity of the stomach would most likely kill most pathogens that a dog would ingest.

I have two Chinese-Cresteds that also like to go “debris hunting” under the bird cages. Mine mostly eat discarded pellets. I am convinced that birds believe there is an unlimited food supply, so they just happily hurl food from the bowls, hoping for a more succulent morsel that must be on the bottom of the dish. I also believe birds are amused that they can provide tidbits to other house pets, giving them some degree of “control” over them. Never mind that they also call them by name or order them to “sit” or “stay” and call them “bad dog.”

There are several organisms that could pose a potential danger, should they be inhaled, and not ingested. The primitive organism that causes psittacosis, Chlamydophila avium, can cause disease in pot-bellied pigs, house cats, humans and rarely canines, although unlikely.

The organism that causes tuberculosis, Mycobacterium sp., could definitely be infective to dogs or other house pets, but again, the bird would have to be infected with tuberculosis to be able to pass it to other species.

A fungal disease, Cryptococcus neoformans, can be shed in the droppings of infected birds, and the droppings would be infective to other species if inhaled. Histoplasmosis is another fungal disease that can be shed in the droppings and can potentially cause pneumonitis and disseminated disease in humans, dogs and cats.

The fungus, Aspergillus, is ubiquitous in the environment and would commonly be found in wet, dirty cage bottoms. If a pet stirs up the detritus in the bottom of the cage, and inhales many spores, it can result in nasal or respiratory aspergillosis.

Make an appointment with your veterinarian if your dog exhibits any of these symptoms or if you suspect histoplasmosis.

Not all domesticated animals, including dogs, are susceptible to the chlamydia strain. Cats are also at risk.

Histoplasmosis is a fungal infection caused by dogs ingesting histoplasma capsulatum fungus, which can be found in contaminated soil and bird droppings (including poultry and bats), according to Pet MD. Once the fungus enters the dog’s intestinal tract, it can cause the animal to become unwell.

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Iain informed the newspaper, “The chances of catching chlamydia psittaci from your dog would be extremely slim.”

Tips To Keep “Hoovers?Away

To stop your four-legged companions from nibbling on the bird cages:

  • To keep droppings and other cage debris contained, use a cage skirt or mess catcher. A long seed guard that gathers and holds seeds, droppings, and feathers is included with certain cages.
  • Get vinyl carpet runners (available at hardware stores), invert them, and set them beneath the cage. Dogs and other pets are reluctant to walk on the tiny spikes that hold the mat in place on carpeting. These are excellent for use in areas where you don’t want other pets to wander (though you won’t want to cross the threshold if you don’t always wear shoes or sandals, either!).

Viruses, Parasites and Bacteria

The good news is that most viruses only infect a limited range of hosts because they are species-specific. Therefore, your dogs wouldn’t be exposed to your bird’s droppings even if it was carrying the polyomavirus or even the West Nile virus (which is starting to appear in birds exposed to mosquitoes).

Many parasites, including roundworms and tapeworms, are species-specific, and some parasites need an intermediary host. Therefore, if transmitted, parasitic eggs shouldn’t directly infect dogs.

Giardia and other protozoan parasites may or may not be contagious to other species. Currently, it is believed that the avian form of Giardia is not transmissible to mammals, though it is possible that the mammalian form can infect humans and dogs. Further research is needed to determine the transmissibility and infectivity of the various Giardia species in relation to the various mammalian species.

If ingested (as opposed to inhaled), the Salmonella bacteria can spread to other species through the droppings of an infected bird.


Can dogs get sick from bird poop?

A: Oh, if you can at all help it, you need to keep an eye on your pooch and make sure he’s not eating bird feces. Our pets can develop all kinds of problems from bird droppings – ranging from bird flu to other forms of bacteria. In the case of very young or elderly dogs, exposure to this type of thing can be fatal.

What are the symptoms of disseminated histoplasmosis in dogs?

Disseminated disease predominantly affects the liver, spleen, gastrointestinal tract, bone and bone marrow, integument, and eyes. Primary gastrointestinal histoplasmosis also occurs. Clinical signs of histoplasmosis often are nonspecific, including chronic wasting, fever, anorexia, respiratory signs, and lameness.

What are the signs and symptoms of histoplasmosis?

In most cases, histoplasmosis causes mild flu-like symptoms that appear between 3 and 17 days after exposure to the fungus. These symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, cough and chest discomfort. In these milder forms, most symptoms go away on their own in a few weeks or within a month.

How long can a dog live with histoplasmosis?

When relapse occurs, long term treatment with an antifungal medication is again required. Unfortunately, even when treated appropriately, only about 70 percent of dogs and cats survive to six months after diagnosis — even otherwise healthy and young to middle-aged ones.