Bird Diseases

Oh, my! Look at that eye! If you have a pet bird, or are interested in adopting a pet bird, you should know about these common bird eye diseases.

While the eyes may not seem like an area of concern for a bird, they can be. Various factors cause eye infections, some of which are very serious and could result in blindness in the animal. But pet owners can prevent many of these infections and the problems they bring.

The most common eye infections are caused by bacteria, namely Salmonella. Salmonella is contagious and can be passed from bird to bird, or from bird-parent to baby bird if the pet lays eggs. This bacteria causes two eye infections: conjunctivitis and ophthalmitis. Conjunctivitis is characterized by red, swollen eyes which are crusty. Ophthalmitis is when the eye is inflamed and has pus.

Another common way that birds can pick up eye infections are through moldy feed. The moldy feed is “good” breeding ground for fungi which can cause infections in your feathery pet. A common fungi is Aspergillus, which affects the animal’s respiratory system and brain, along with the eyes. The symptom of this infection is yellow plaques under the bird’s eyelids.

Other common eye infections are:

  • Avian Pox: this is a viral infection that causes the eyes to swell and have blister-like sores.
  • Marek’s Disease: this is another viral infection. This disease is characterized by irregularly shaped pupils, iris problems and blindness. This infection cannot be cured, and has the ability to progress into cancer. Your pet can be vaccinated against this infection, so you may want to consult with your veterinarian.
  • Cataracts: cataracts usually develop when a bird is deficient in vitamin E. However, cataracts can also be caused by overexposure to artificial lights.

If you are already the owner of a pet bird, or would like to be, you may want to consult with your veterinarian on the different eye diseases and how to prevent them.

Do you have a pet bird? Did you ever have an experience with any of these eye diseases? Tell us about it in the comments!

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