For the dedicated parrot parent nothing is worse than having a sick parrot. Often times the illness was not detected in the early stages, and now has become sever and endangers the parrot's life.

Here is a list of commonly recognized illnesses that can attack your parrot:


This is fungus which affects the respiratory system. It is most common in African Gray and Amazon parrots.

Symptoms are difficulty breathing, with an open mouth, and possible tail bobbing when breathing, weight loss, and possible wheezing. Diagnosis should be done by a veterinarian by way of blood tests, or radiographs.

Prevention can be accomplished by maintaining a dry, airy, dist free cage environment. Avoid any wet or damp nesting materials.


Simply put this is a lack of calcium. A lack of calcium in female parrots can result in problem laying eggs and can be quite large and cause egg binding while the parrot has trouble expelling the egg.

Treatment and prevention involve the administration of calcium, possible lubrication of the vent, and maintaining a proper diet.

Pacheco's Disease

Pacheco's disease is highly contagious, and can spread rapidly through an aviary. The disease will often show up when a new bird is introduced to an aviary and birds start dying. It is very often fatal and affects parrots of all ages.

Symptoms include lethargy, diarrhea, ruffled feathers, and tremors in the neck, wing and legs.

Diagnosis can be done from a fecal sample as the urates will take on a green color. Treatment involves providing acyclovir every eight hours.

Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease

Symptoms are pneumonia, diarrhea, and rapid weight loss. Feathers take on a deformed appearance, bleeding and premature feather loss may occur.

Diagnosis is made with DNA probe of a blood sample. Treatment at this time is not possible as there is no known cure.

Proventricular Dilation Disease

Symptoms include weight loss, regurgitation and passage of undigested foods. In initial stages foods can have fast turnaround through the digestive system.

Treatment. There is no known treatment at this time.

Teflon Toxicity

This is just what you think it is. This illness is caused by the use of Teflon cookware in the home. When used in cooking the Teflon will create a toxic fume that is deadly to parrots. Do not cook with Teflon coated cookware.

Zinc Toxicity

This can result in an overexposure to zinc which is used in the welding joists of cages and in the paint on some toys.

All of these conditions require a trip to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment if any is available.

Many of these conditions can be preceded by limiting exposure to new aviary arrivals until a medical medical exam is performed. In addition new arrivals should be quarantined for 30-60 days.

Another measure that will help to prevent these illnesses from driving is to keep the cage or aviary clean. Cleaning should be done on a scheduled basis with soap and water, and rinsed very well. In some instances it may be necessary to sterilize the cage to kill any remaining virus or bacteria. To do this it is recommended that you seek advice from your veterinarian since they are constantly disinfecting their surroundings to protect their clientele.

Hopefully this article will better prepare you to maintain the health of your beloved feathered friend.

Source by T Charles


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