10 Diseases You Can Catch From Your Sick Pet Birds

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Zoonotic diseases are those diseases that can be passed from animal to man and vice versa. People interested in getting an avian pet usually wonder if there are any disease they could get from their potential animal buddy.

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The simple answer to the question is yes, there are several illnesses that can be passed from bird to man. However, it is worthy of note that zoonotic illnesses are not a “birds only” thing as any specie of animal you decide to keep can also transfer a zoonotic illnesses to you.


As you read further you’ll become aware of the kinds of illnesses that a pet bird can transfer to their owners. Even though you can reduce the risk of a spread by engaging in proper hygiene, it is vital that you know what the symptoms are and what the methods of transmission also are.

1. Allergic Alveolitus

While Allergic Alveolitus isn’t exactly a zoonotic disease because birds are not capable of having it, bird owners or anyone at all can get a Allergic Alveolitus from inhaling bird dander from the air. Other names for Allergic Alveolitus are Parakeet Dander Pneumoconiosis and pigeon lung disease.

2. Avian influenza

One of the most well known and deadly zoonotic disease is the H5N1 Avian influenza virus. A person can get infected by coming into contact with the droppings of an infected bird.

Even though the H5N1 Avian influenza virus is not seen as a threat that is common with birds in captivity, there is still a chance of a pet bird getting infected and transmitting the virus from bird to man.

3. Avian Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is one name that sounds very familiar as an illness because lots of people deal with this condition around the world.

A person can get infected by Avian Tuberculosis from inhaling microscopic airborne organisms that are found in the feces of infected birds. Avian Tuberculosis is one disease that can be difficult to treat both in humans and in birds and in some cases it can be very fatal.


4. Campylobacteriosis

Campylobacteriosis is one tricky zoonotic disease because it can be transmitted by birds that look healthy and show no symptom of illness.

The Campylobacteriosis is a bacterial infected and it causes gastrointestinal disorders. This disease is transmitted through fecal contamination of water and food. The symptoms include weight loss, lethargy, and diarrhea.

5. Chlamydiosis

Chlamydiosis, also called Psittacosis or parrot fever usually produces symptoms like respiratory problems, eye infections, and diarrhea. This condition is a highly contagious one and it requires swift attention and a very good antibiotic treatment. It is also vital that birds with this condition are quarantined immediately So as top contain the spread of the disease.

6. Cryptosporidiosis

Cryptosporidiosis is caused by a microscopic parasite known as cryptosporidium that usually resides in the intestine of its prey.

The only was Cryptosporidiosis can be spread is through eating food that has been contaminated by the droppings of an infected animal, it drinking water that has also been infected.

More than 80% of people who get infected by Cryptosporidiosis break down with symptoms of illnesses within one week and it always takes about a week from the time if infection for symptoms to appear. Outbreaks of Cryptosporidiosis have even occurred in places like daycare centers.

7. Giardia

Giardia is also a popular intestinal parasite that us usually transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated water and food. Some of the symptoms of Giardia are severe diarrhea, stomach cramp, weight loss, dehydration, and greasy stool.

Asides humans, animals like dogs and cats can also get a Giardia infection because apart from food and water, it can be found in soil. Giardia can be found in places where people consume untreated water and even in daycare centers. The best and cheapest way to prevent Giardia is to engage in regular hand washing.

8. New castle disease

Although you can most find new castle disease in chicken and wild birds, other birds like parrots that are commonly kept as pets can also be infected.

The new castle disease is a virus which is known to cause respiratory problems, neurological dysfunction, and seizure. New castle disease if transmitted by both oral and fecal fluids.


In chickens, one of the symptoms is a decrease in the laying of eggs. Although this is not a common disease among birds that are kept as pets, there have been cases of outbreaks occurring via vehicles, feeds, water, and even transporting equipment.

9. The Salmonella bacteria

Salmonella bacteria can be spread through the intake of foods and water that have been contaminated. The illness can however be promptly brought under control with antibiotic treatments.

Some of the symptoms of salmonella infection include headache, nausea, serve abdominal cramps, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and the chills that usually accompany fever.

10. Sarcocystis

Sarcocystis is a parasitic infection that can lead to respiratory distress in birds. Some symptoms of Sarcocystis  are tail bobbing, yellowish droppings, lethargy, and breathing difficulties. For birds who are not given prompt vet attention, Sarcocystis may become fatal.

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