If you are planning to get your favorite pet bird at home, then you have to be quite vigilant about the potential dangers to pet birds. There are several household hazards that can prove fatal for your pet bird’s health.
Their tiny size, fast metabolism, and sensitive respiratory systems are some of the major reasons that pose a threat to pet bird health. Especially, in the case of parrots, they are always curious to explore each and every object with their beaks.
Things That Lead To The Death Of Pet Birds!
Thus, before heading to buy your favorite pet, first, you need to inspect all the rooms to find out the potential hazards to pet birds. If you are planning to keep the bird closed in a cage, then there is no point in buying a pet bird. To stay healthy and happy, pet birds need to have at least a few hours of free flying time every day.
Do Birds Have Heart Attacks?
Of course. As in the case of human beings, pet birds are also susceptible to heart disease (atherosclerosis). Especially in the case of long-lived species of pet birds, they fall prey to the hardening of the arteries, high cholesterol, and heart attacks. Heart disease is commonly found among caged birds and it affects several species among them.
Waterfowl, Psittaciformes (parrots), chickens, pigeons, doves, turkeys, and related species of birds are more prone to develop atherosclerosis. The reasons for atherosclerosis in pet birds may be genetic or aging. However, as per experts, avian heart disease is primarily considered an inflammatory disease. Just like human beings, diet acts as a major factor in the heart disease of birds as well. To keep it simple, junk food is equally bad for pet birds as well. More than the total volume of fat intake, the type of dietary fat consumed leads to the development of atherosclerosis.
Unlike wild birds that are free and stay active to feed themselves, pet birds are adversely affected by a dearth of exercise, nutritional deficiencies, and unnatural climatic conditions. Birds have naturally high blood pressure making them more prone to the risk of heart diseases. The heart of birds is quite similar to the human heart with four chambers and strong muscles with blood being pumped to the rest of their body.
6 Household Dangers That Kill Your Pet Bird
Now let’s check out the 6 major household hazards that may eventually lead to the death of your pet bird.
- Poisoning – There are certain toxic substances that can cause harm to your bird’s health or even kill them. A common example is the insecticides sprayed at homes. While spraying insecticides, make sure that you avoid the area near bird’s cages or where you store bird’s food. Some other frequently used dangerous chemicals include perfumes, glues, paints, nail polish remover, bleach, ammonia, and oven cleaner. Poisonous houseplants can also pose a threat to pet bird health.
- Human food – Some of the foods that you eat may be bad for your pet bird’s health or even kill them. Stay away from feeding your birds foods that are high in sugar or salt and fat-rich foods. Chocolate can pose a serious threat and caffeinated or alcoholic beverages can also cause danger. Stop giving avocado to your pet birds though the harmful effects are yet to be proven.
- Ceiling fans – Ceiling fans at your home can cause serious hazards to pet birds. When birds are flying they may hit the fan leading to serious injuries or even deaths.
- Doors, windows, and mirrors – Do you follow the practice of making your bird fly around the house for exercise? Then ensure that you check the top of the doors. When you close the door suddenly, there are chances that it may cause serious injury to birds sitting on the top of the doors. Windows and mirrors also pose the same threat as birds may fly into them. Keeping your bird’s wings clipped helps get rid of this problem to an extent.
- Air quality – Since birds are quite sensitive to contaminants in the air, never make the mistake of using aerosol products near your pet birds or their cage. Cigarette smoke and carbon monoxide can be equally dangerous to pet bird health. Also, stay away from running your vehicle in the attached garage.
- Other pets – Keep an eye on when other pets are near your pet birds. Birds easily get attracted by the sight of cats and dogs and an infected bite or scratch can prove fatal.
Top 5 Hazards To Pet Bird’s Health
Do you know that there are certain health issues that can pose dangers to pet birds? The 5 major health issues are
1. Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD)
Also known as Macaw Wasting Syndrome and Parrot Wasting Syndrome, PDD is a commonly found disease in pet birds. It majorly affects your bird’s nerves that supply its gastrointestinal tract. However, PDD can also affect nerves that supply other organs as well. This disease is commonly found among macaws, Amazon parrots, African grey parrots, conures, and cockatoos. Some commonly found symptoms are loss of weight, changes noticed in the bird’s droppings, vomiting, and a swollen crop ( the area that looks like a muscular pouch near the bird’s throat).
2. Psittacosis (Parrot Fever)
A disease that can affect all hookbills, Psittacosis, commonly known as “Parrot Fever,” is a form of the Chlamydia bacterium. It is highly contagious and may spread from birds to both animals and humans. Some of the symptoms of this disease include difficulty in breathing, lack of appetite, nasal and eye discharge, loose droppings in watery form, and general lethargy.
3. Psittacine Beak And Feather Disease (PBFD)
Commonly referred to as “bird AIDS,” PBFD is a serious ailment that can affect all species in the parrot family. Though PBFD generally affects birds under two years of age, it can affect birds of any age group. Some common symptoms are loss of feathers, abnormal feather growth, missing powder down (dander), abnormalities of the beak, growths, and lesions.
A disease that affects caged birds, Polyomavirus mainly impacts parrots. Newborn birds or juveniles are the most affected category and the disease can even turn out to be the cause of death of your pet birds. Some of the symptoms are loss in appetite, paralysis, an enlarged abdomen, and diarrhea. Though some birds may not show any symptoms, they may also act as carriers of the virus ultimately spreading the infection to other birds as well.
A fungal infection, Candida, or Candidiasis can affect all species of birds. Candida causes the yeasts found in a bird’s digestive system to overgrow. Some commonly found symptoms of the disease are white lesions both inside and outside the mouth and throat, loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy, and a crop that is slow to empty.
Hope the article offers a fair idea about the potential dangers to pet birds and the major diseases that affect pet bird health. In case your birds show any of the symptoms listed above, consult a veterinary doctor without losing time. The faster, the better as a quick intervention may help save the precious lives of your favorite pet birds.