Skin Infections Often Seen in Pet Birds

Birds tend to be hearty pets, but like all living things, they can be at risk for developing bacterial or fungal infections. In most cases, a bird’s immune system is strong enough to keep such infections at bay. But, should the bird have a compromised immune system, her owner needs to pay extra close attention for signs of infection.

If the infection goes untreated, the bird may start to peck at the infected area until it becomes ulcerated, and the more the infection progresses, the higher the risk will be that it could prove fatal.bird health

Bacterial Infections Found in Birds

A bird usually develops a bacterial infection when it has poor hygiene or when it is experiencing high emotional or environmental stress levels. The two most common types of bacterial infections seen in birds are staphylococci and streptococci, but they’re not the only ones a bird can develop. Others include:

  • Aeromonas
  • Citrobacter
  • Clostridia
  • E. coli
  • Enterobacter
  • Klebsiella
  • Mycobacteria
  • Pasteurella
  • Proteus
  • Pseudomonas
  • Salmonella
  • Serratia marcescens

If you think your bird might have a bacterial infection, then the general symptoms you will want to look for include loss of appetite, weight loss, and listlessness.

There are also site-specific symptoms, depending on where in the body the infection is located. For instance, if the infection is in the lungs, then the bird may have difficulty breathing, nasal discharge, or an eye infection. If the bird’s stomach has an infection, then she may have diarrhea, while an infection in the nervous system may cause tremors or seizures.

Treatment for avian bacterial infections involves antibiotics like azithromycin, amoxicillin and clavulanate, cephalexin, and doxycycline, to name a few of the options available.

Fungal Infections in Birds

Birds are most commonly affected by one of five types of fungal infections –  aspergillosis, candidiasis, cryptococcosis, rhodotoruliasis, or mucormycosis. Causes of these infections can include:

  • Poor immune system
  • Overcrowding
  • Poor nutrition
  • Poor sanitation
  • Poor ventilation
  • Respiratory toxins
  • Environments that are either too humid or too dry
  • Age
  • Concurrent infections

The most common symptoms associated with fungal infections in birds are lethargy, depression, diarrhea, weight loss, change in or loss of voice, difficulty breathing, and anorexia. In cases of rhodotoruliasis, the bird will develop a yellowish crust over the skin in the axillary area of the wings or thighs that if left untreated, will develop into horny growths.

Treatment options for fungal infections in birds include fluconazole, itraconazole, clotrimazole, terbinafine, enilconazole, and amphotericin B.

If you believe your pet bird has developed a bacterial or fungal infection, then you should take her to the veterinarian as soon as possible. The longer these infections go untreated, the more damage they can do to your pet.

If your bird is positively diagnosed and your veterinarian prescribes her antibacterial or antifungal medication, then you can get her medications for less at Diamondback Drugs. We can custom formulate your bird’s medications into easy-to-administer formulations, thus making dosing her less stressful on both her and yourself.

We can even provide you with a free quote for the medications so you know the cost before you have your scripts filled. Diamondback Drugs can help you get your bird the treatment she needs to recover from an infection – try us today!

Author: Giano Panzarella