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Helping Sick Parakeets

March 15th, 2010

Sick parakeetParakeets are very energetic, active birds. If you notice your bird is acting lethargic, that is always an indication of a health problem. One common issue is worms. Depending on the type of worm your bird has, you may actually be able to see them on the tail feathers or in feces. If you think your parakeet may have worms, see a vet. Commercial worm treatments sold in pet shops usually do nothing for parakeets.

Psittacosis is a disease all bird owners need to watch out for, because it can be spread to humans. Symptoms in your parakeet will include watery, liquid filled eyes. A human who contracts the disease will exhibit symptoms consistent with pneumonia. Maintaining a sterile cage will help prevent this disorder.

Mites are another common issue with parakeets. Mites appear as black and red dots crawling on your bird. Parakeets who have mites often act sluggish and irritated. Mites are often picked up from an unsanitary pet shop, so be sure to inspect your bird thoroughly before making a purchase. If your bird was kept in conditions that were dirty enough to permit mites, chances are other health problems exist as well. If your parakeet ever does get mites, most pet shops sell commercial sprays to get rid of them. Spray your bird outside of its cage so you do not contaminate any food or water. If mites are left untreated, they can cause a disease called mycosis. Mycosis causes a birds skin to look scaley, brown and rough. If you ever see anything like this on your parakeet, take it to the vet as soon as possible.

Tumors and cancer are a very common cause of death in parakeets, and there is very little that can be done about it. Because they’re so tiny, by the time a tumor is physically visible, it has consumed too much of a parakeets body to be removed safely. Most vets recommend euthanasia when a tumor is discovered to prevent suffering.

While not necessarily a disease, broken, bleeding feathers are a common problem for parakeet owners. The first step in treating a broken feather is to remain calm. Your parakeet is not going to bleed to death, however it may look that way because of the way blood settles in bird feathers. Wrap the parakeet in a hand towel, and gently restrain. Don’t squeeze too tightly or you’ll constrict your parakeets airways. With a pair of tweezers, grasp the broken feather and swiftly remove it. Apply pressure with gauze for a minute, and then put flour or cornstarch on the wound to stop the bleeding. Make sure the wound has clotted and stopped bleeding before you attempt to clean any blood off the bird, you don’t want to agitate the wound.