African Grey Disease and Syndromes - Common Illnesses in African Grey

African Grey Disease and Syndromes


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If an African gray parrot is sick “swells” or shows abnormal or audible breathing, you should immediately consult a bird veterinarian. Those who breed parrots would do well to have them checked annually by a veterinarian who has extensive experience with parrots.

Sick Parrot

sick parrot

Dull plumage may indicate poor condition.Yellow stools may indicate liver problems.Some birds suddenly lose their balance.This is common in birds that have only eaten seeds for years.The calcium level is then too low (hypocalcemia), birds can die from this condition. Older birds may also suffer from arteriosclerosis, also due to insufficient nutrition.Diseases can be caused by viruses, among others.

African grey disease

Common Illnesses in African Grey Parrots

The polyomavirus causes the polyoma, also known as climbing plant disease. In the light form, young birds grow poorly. They have a distended abdomen and the liver is affected. In violent form, animals can die suddenly. The circovirus causes the infamous PBFD (beak and feather rot disease). The disease occurs mainly in birds under three years of age.
The main phenomena are symmetrical baldness, and because the feathers are affected, the beak becomes shiny instead of a dull color. Beak abnormalities and possibly nail abnormalities also occur. The immune system is affected and all kinds of complications can arise. The acute form of circovirus occurs mainly in parrots less than six months old.

They are slow, stop eating, and may vomit. These birds have no feather or beak anomalies. The latter form appears more often. Parrot disease (psittacosis) is caused by Chlamydophila bacteria. Symptoms are similar to cold symptoms such as the runny nose, difficulty breathing, and inflamed eyes. Usually, the birds are seriously ill. This disease is also contagious for humans (and is, therefore, a zoonosis).
The nerves that control the gastrointestinal tract are affected. There may also be abnormal nervous system symptoms. When purchasing a parrot, it is advisable to have the birds tested for the above diseases and make an appointment with the seller to return the bird if something is wrong. Another disease is aspergillosis, a respiratory disease caused by fungi. Birds can contract this disease due to reduced resistance and incorrect food (only seeds).

Intestinal infections can result from intestinal parasites, fungi, or bacteria. Be careful not to leave old or moldy fruit or other food in the cage. Birds cannot resist the steam from highly heated non-stick pans (PTFE), they can die.
The cage should therefore not be in the kitchen, but also think, for example, of gourmet stoves!

African grey parrot disease

Common Diseases and Syndromes in African Grey

Other smoking substances such as cleaning products, scented candles, deodorant or flea spray, as well as cigarette and cigar smoke, can also be harmful to birds. Place animals in a non-smoking area. Watch out for lead poisoning by eating lead, which is often found at the bottom of net curtains. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and nervous system abnormalities such as drunk behavior, nervousness, or a blind appearance.

The plumage of the feathers occurs regularly with red reds. The bird plucks or plucks its own feathers.
There may be several reasons for this. There is often boredom, but there can also be medical reasons. A health check is therefore always necessary. In all the above cases and if you have any doubts about the health of your parrot, it is advisable to contact an avian veterinarian as soon as possible. After a bird veterinarian has determined that there is no physical cause, you can hire a parrot behavior therapist to help you resolve behavioral problems.


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