how do birds get respiratory infections

Respiratory ailments are one of the most common health problems that veterinarians diagnose in pet birds. Here, a Treasure Coast vet discusses these dangerous disorders in more detail.

There are different types of respiratory infections, and each has various causes. Fungal spores that cause infections can be found in water, food, nests, incubators, and various other areas. Your bird could come in contact with the spores and be infected. The spores lodge in the air sacs of your bird’s lungs, and can spread to the bronchi, trachea, voice box, and even other body organs over time.

Symptoms of respiratory infections in birds include difficulty breathing, listlessness, depression, lethargy, and lack of appetite. Infections can severely damage the lungs, and there can even be bone changes and reshaping of the nose, trachea, and voice box areas. If the infection migrates to your bird’s central nervous system, spasms, loss of coordination, and paralysis could even result. You must contact your veterinary professional at the first unusual symptom in your pet.

Your Treasure Coast veterinarian will take steps to diagnose the infection to determine proper treatment. Any symptoms will be dealt with as necessary, and anti – fungal drugs or other medications—depending on the type and severity of infection—will usually be prescribed to rid your bird’s body of the infection. Usually, the prognosis is good if the respiratory infection is caught and treated early enough, so it’s imperative you get your bird to the vet as soon as possible.

You can do your part to minimize the risk of your bird becoming infected with a respiratory disease. Keep your bird’s environment clean and sanitized properly. Always make sure there is adequate ventilation in your bird’s immediate area, whether it is a cage, carrier, or outdoors. Maintain your bird’s personal hygiene, and make sure his diet is top – quality. Refresh water often and remove uneaten food when necessary.

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

The virus that causes avian influenza was first discovered in wild birds, but it has recently gained attention due to its capacity to infect humans as well as domestic poultry and other birds. Recent findings of novel mutations suggest that this virus might pose a greater risk to human and bird health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States have prohibited the importation of pet birds from specific nations in Africa, Europe, and Asia where cases of avian influenza have been documented due to the risk of infection. You should always inquire about the origins of a new bird before buying one and have it examined by a veterinarian to rule out any infectious diseases.

Direct contact with respiratory secretions and feces from an infected wild, domesticated, or pet bird can spread the avian influenza virus. Depending on the virus strain and species causing the infection, different symptoms and levels of illness manifest. There exist strains that result in mild disease and those that cause severe disease with a mortality rate of up to 10%. Certain infected birds may show no symptoms and recover, while others may pass away unexpectedly and show no symptoms at all. When a bird exhibits respiratory symptoms, it should be taken out of the flock and examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible. The veterinarian can identify and isolate the virus in order to diagnose avian influenza in these cases.

It is unknown if vaccines for some forms of avian influenza in domestic poultry would prevent infection in other bird species, despite the fact that they have been developed for some of the disease. Preventing contact between domestic birds and wild birds that might be infected with the virus is a crucial step in limiting exposure to the virus.

Due to their delicate respiratory systems and propensity to inhale fungal spores found in water, food, nests, incubators, and other environments, pet birds frequently suffer from respiratory infections. These spores can reside in the air sacs of birds, which are essential to their particular respiratory function. This allows infections to spread to the trachea, bronchi, voice box, and even other organs. As a result of poor hygiene, inadequate ventilation, and dirty living conditions, pet birds are more likely to be exposed to pathogens, which increases their risk of respiratory infections.

One of the most prevalent health issues that veterinarians identify in pet birds is respiratory disorders. Here, a Treasure Coast veterinarian goes into further detail about these serious conditions.

In birds, respiratory infections can cause breathing difficulties, listlessness, depression, lethargy, and appetite loss. Severe lung damage can result from infections, which can also cause reshaping of the voice box, trachea, and nose as well as changes in bone. The infection may even cause paralysis, loss of coordination, and spasms if it spreads to your bird’s central nervous system. As soon as your pet exhibits any strange symptoms, you need to get in touch with a veterinarian.

To determine the best course of treatment, your Treasure Coast veterinarian will first attempt to diagnose the infection. Any symptoms will be treated as needed, and antifungal medications or other prescriptions will typically be given to rid your bird’s body of the infection, depending on the type and severity of the infection. It’s critical that you take your bird to the veterinarian as soon as possible because the prognosis is usually good if the respiratory infection is discovered and treated promptly.

Indeed, some species of birds are more vulnerable to respiratory infections than others. Because of their fragile respiratory systems, birds with longer, more complicated respiratory tracts—like canaries, finches, and other songbirds—are frequently more vulnerable. Additionally, certain parrots and cockatiels that are housed in unclean or poorly ventilated environments may also be more prone to respiratory problems. All bird species can have these risks reduced with regular veterinary care and a clean, well-ventilated habitat.


How do you prevent respiratory infections in birds?

It is important to check with your veterinarian whenever your bird has signs of a respiratory illness. To help prevent aspergillosis, good hygiene, including proper ventilation of the cage or aviary area and proper nutrition, should be maintained at all times.

How long can a bird live with a respiratory infection?

As the disease progresses, emaciation and severe dehydration may be observed. Changes in urate color (yellow to green) may be indicative of hepatic involvement. This is generally considered a poor prognostic indicator, and death may occur within one to two weeks.

How can I help my bird with breathing problems at home?

Respiratory illness in a bird is not something that can be treated at home. He must be seen by a vet as soon as possible.

What antibiotic is used for respiratory infection in birds?

Treatment based on sensitivity, flush out sinuses, infuse antibiotic. Vitamin A therapy. Improve ventilation and correct temperature/humidity of environment. Doxycycline, enrofloxacin, tylosin are good first line choices.