Other Illnesses

  • Polyoma: Polyomavirus is a potentially fatal disease that is difficult to treat. It is carried by 95% of all parakeets (budgies). This virus can cause hemorrhaging in the heart, liver and other organs. It also causes enlargement of the spleen and liver. This virus resides in your bird’s feces and feather dust. It can also be found on the bird’s toys as well as on the owner’s skin, hair, and clothing. There are virtually no signs that your bird is infected with the exception of sudden death. Fortunately, there is an annual vaccine that can prevent this disease. The Biomune Avian Polyomavirus Vaccine has been found to be 96% effective in preventing this disease.
  • Pachecko’s: Pachecko’s Disease is highly fatal. This “hepatitis-like” disease causes liver and kidney failure. It is the second most common infectious disease in birds. Imported conures have been thought to be possible carriers of this disease. Your bird can be infected with this disease for several years before any symptoms show up. Some of the symptoms of Pachecko’s disease are depression, anorexia, diarrhea, regurgitation, sinusitis and conjunctivitis. This disease is spread through an infected bird’s feces. Most commonly, it is fatal to love birds, parakeets, pionus, amazons, and cockatoos. There is also a vaccine for Pachecko’s. We recommend that you get your bird vaccinated annually to prevent the onset of this fatal disease.
  • Psittacosis: Psittacosis, also known as “parrot fever” or chlamydiosis, is a common, but treatable disease that can be found naturally in most parrots and parakeets. This is one of the few bird diseases that is transmittable to humans. Fortunately, healthy people are fairly resistant to the disease. It is spread mainly by dried bird droppings that become air-born, but can also be spread by feather dust and nasal discharge. Many birds show no signs of having this disease. The signs of disease in sick birds include respiratory and sinus diseases, weight loss, poor feathering, pale green watery droppings and even sudden death. Beak and Feather disease is another virus-caused illness that results in a bird having a malformed beak and feathers. It will progress so that the entire bird becomes bald, is unable to eat well and has severe respiratory problems. It is a chronic, debilitating disease that is heart breaking to watch a bird go through. Currently there are no vaccines or treatments available, however, tests for early detection do exist.
  • Macaw Wasting Syndrome or Proventricular Dilatative Disease (PDD): This is another debilitating disease that eventually results in the death of a bird. It starts as occasional regurgitation, but progresses to starvation, a flaccid (instead of muscular) proventriculus, and regurgitation after any attempt to eat. Currently, no treatment, vaccines, or even a good diagnostic test exists. The presumptive diagnosis is achieved with a barium series (radiographs) demonstrating a distended proventriculus. A definitive diagnosis is achieved by a crop biopsy that includes a nerve with the characteristic microscopic lesions.