can dead birds make dogs sick

As the owner of a dog that loves to roll in (and eat) anything she finds, I certainly understand the questions that I get about risks to dogs from dead birds. Eating a dead bird is certainly not an appealing thought to us, but overall, the risks to a dog are pretty low. The greatest potential problem is likely gastroenteritis, often referred to as ‘garbage-gut’, which typically causes diarrhea (with or without vomiting) after “dietary indiscretion” (i.e. a dog eating things it shouldn’t have). Another concern is Salmonella. Some birds carry Salmonella in their intestinal tracts and dogs could become infected from eating them. This is a bigger problem in cats that hunt birds – salmonellosis in outdoor cats is also referred to as songbird fever. West Nile virus can cause death in birds, especially species such as bluejays and crows, which may then be found by your dog. The risk of transmission of West Nile virus to dogs from eating dead birds is presumably very low. Further, this disease is very rare in dogs and they appear to be quite resistant to the virus.

As the owner of a dog that loves to roll in (and eat) anything she finds, I certainly understand the questions that I get about risks to dogs from dead birds. Eating a dead bird is certainly not an appealing thought to us, but overall, the risks to a dog are pretty low. The greatest potential problem is likely gastroenteritis, often referred to as ‘garbage-gut’, which typically causes diarrhea (with or without vomiting) after “dietary indiscretion” (i.e. a dog eating things it shouldn’t have). Another concern is Salmonella. Some birds carry Salmonella in their intestinal tracts and dogs could become infected from eating them. This is a bigger problem in cats that hunt birds – salmonellosis in outdoor cats is also referred to as songbird fever. West Nile virus can cause death in birds, especially species such as bluejays and crows, which may then be found by your dog. The risk of transmission of West Nile virus to dogs from eating dead birds is presumably very low. Further, this disease is very rare in dogs and they appear to be quite resistant to the virus.

My Dog Ate a Dead Bird. Should I Be Worried?

Mutt dog lying on ground in a field licking lips next to a dead bird.While dogs are known to eat anything and everything and seem to have stomachs made of steel, eating any sort of dead animal can pose a health risk. Dead animals may carry bacteria, parasites or toxins that could make your dog seriously ill.

Here are the main dangers of eating a dead bird:

  • Botulism: According to BeautyOfBirds, waterfowl like gulls and ducks can get the disease by eating contaminated fish. If your dog consumes a bird that has the illness, they may get this disease.
  • Exposure to toxins: Your dog may have absorbed poison from a dead bird that it had eaten, pesticides, toxins from the environment, or poisoned wildlife or insects. The bird may have had active toxins in its digestive tract that it had not yet eliminated. The amount of poison that was still in the bird’s system, the kind of toxin, and the size of the dog will determine how these substances affect your dog.

Find food that fits your pet’s needs

“My dog ate a dead bird. Though it might seem strange, veterinarians field this question more frequently than you might imagine. If you’re reading this article, chances are good that you’ve asked yourself the same question as well. Should I be concerned? A dead bird lying on the sidewalk may seem disgusting and depressing to you, but your dog may mistake it for a surprise treat and devour it before you even realize what’s happened. But is this potentially harmful? Here’s what you should know.

FAQ

Can my dog get sick from a dead bird?

Toxins — Birds and small mammal carcasses may carry clostridium botulinum (i.e., botulism), a neurotoxin that makes pets extremely sick and causes rapid-onset paralysis.

How long after eating a dead animal will a dog get sick?

As noted above, symptoms will typically be seen within 12-36 hours after your dog has been exposed to the bacteria. Clostridium botulinum produces a toxin that when ingested can lead to serious illness. There are seven types of Clostridium botulinum; A, B, C1, D, E, F, G.

Can birds make dogs sick?

Certain mammals—including domestic cats and dogs—may become infected if they eat sick or dead infected birds, and there might be other ways the virus spreads.

Can dogs get salmonella from dead birds?

Try to prevent your pet from eating/touching dead birds. If your pet develops diarrhea after eating a dead bird, it is probably not a health concern for anyone else but Salmonella infection is possible, so consider taking your dog to the veterinarian.