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12 Common Diseases in Parrots, Symptoms and Best Treatment

Parrots are the most beautiful creature in the world. As human face diseases and other animals face diseases, similarly parrots also there are 12 Common Diseases in Parrots. If you know the symptoms of diseases at the early stage then you can cure the parrot timely and save it from the big loss.

If you see your parrot is not active. Not flying properly, not chirping or singing or whistling properly, not eating the food completely, not playing with the items in the cage, then must identify what kind of disease attacks on your parrots. Accurate diagnosis and proper treatment as early as possible on an avian vet’s advice is key for healthy parrots. Following the common diseases in parrots.


List of Common Diseases in Parrots

  1. Avian Flu 
  2. Candida or Candidiasis Fungal Infection
  3. Aspergillosis or Aspergillus
  4. Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease
  5. Pacheco’s Disease
  6. Psittacosis or Parrot Fever
  7. Sour Crop or Crop Infection
  8. Polyomavirus
  9. Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD)
  10. Ulcerative dermatitis
  11. Feather Plucking
  12. Egg Binding


Avian Flu

Avian Flu or influenza, also known as Bird flu, is a viral infection of Parrots. It can infect not only Parrots, but also other types of birds and animals. Fever, sore throat and coughing are the common symptoms. Runny nose, swollen eyes and sneezing are the symptoms in parrots. There are some reasons behind this disease, first when you buy a parrot from the pet bird shop, where the hundreds of birds circulate around the different markets. Secondly, you might take your parrot outside the home to interact with other pet birds. Thirdly, you do not care properly of your parrot, not cleaning properly its cage and other items in the cage, not changing the water in time, usually water gets dirty in a few hours, or giving them cold water in winter.


Candida or Candidiasis Fungal Infection

Candida, also known as Candidiasis, is a fungal infection disease that can affect your parrots. It  includes a large amount of yeast. Digestive tract of parrots and of other birds can be affected due to this fungal infection. If we talk about the symptoms of how you can identify your parrot or bird have Candida disease, it is very simple. You have to see closely in and around the mouth and throat, if there are white sores or white lesions then your parrot or bird must have the Candida fungal infection disease. In the result your parrot does not feed properly due to appetite loss, vomiting and due to slow to empty crop of parrot. For treatment and medication please consult your veterinarian because Candida or candidiasis fungal infection treatment is available. 


Aspergillosis or Aspergillus

Another common disease in parrots is Aspergillosis or Aspergillus is a fungal infection disease that can be deadly for your parrots or birds. This fungal infection damages the lungs and air sac, resulting in respiratory pain in parrots. This fungus can bloom in the dirt or damp environment that you provide the parrots so clean the environment to save the lives of parrots. Difficulty in breathing or audible wheezing are symptoms of this fungal infection. Always clean the cage properly and the related items, prevent the parrots from fungal infections.


Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD)

PBFD is a different type of disease in parrots. Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) is also known in other words, as the psittacine circovirus (PCV) or another name Psittacine Circoviral Disease (PCD). PBFD is a viral infectious disease in parrots that can affect the other parrots. If we talk about the symptoms, then this viral infection includes weight loss in parrots, diarrhea, anorexia and depression. Beak change in this disease means it grows unusually or greater than as usual. The size of the beak changes as compared to the normal size of the beak.


In addition feathers of the parrots in this viral disease become stunted and deformed. Currently there is no complete Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) treatment of parrots is not available, but supportive care that your veterinarian suggests can help you. 


Pacheco’s Disease

In the list of common diseases in parrots the next important topic is Pacheco’s disease. Pacheco’s disease can be deadly for your parrots. It is as a result of the unexpectedly spreading Herpesvirus. Once the parrot is infected with this disease, the parrot stays alive for the next few days of contracting the disease. It damages the liver then green color appears on their face. Additional symptoms are redness of eyes, diarrhea, nasal charge and appetite loss. Pacheco’s disease treatment is available, you just need to visit the veterinarian at the early stage of this disease so you can cure it and save it from the big loss. 


Psittacosis or Parrot Fever

Psittacosis or Parrot Fever is a highly contagious disease in parrots. It is a form of Chlamydia bacterium that can transmit from parrot birds to other animals and in humans. This disease can affect all parrots, due to its quick spreading way, and can lead to the death of those affected birds. Remember it can stay alive or survive in the droppings and also in the environment in the soil so you have to always clean the parrot cage to save them from all these kinds of diseases. If we talk about the symptoms then watery and loose droppings in green or light green color are the main symptom. In addition, lack of appetite, difficulty in breathing and redness of the eye, that is an eye infection, are the other symptoms.

Psittacosis or Parrot Fever treatment is possible, first you have to separate that infected parrot from the other birds then visit the veterinarian for complete treatment. Always clean the environment of parrots that include the cage, hanging items and other items like food dishes and water bowls. 


Sour Crop or Crop Infection

Sour Crop is another type of disease in parrots. Crop is a muscular pouch in parrots’ neck and also a part of the digestive system in parrots. Due to candida or bacteria yeast, crop can become infected. It is not a deadly infection if it is treated at an early stage. Crop infection can be seen in parrots that are being hand fed. If the infection is not treated in the early stage then in result complete loss in appetite. Regurgitate is the main symptom and swollen areas of crop and listlessness are other symptoms. Sour crop treatment or crop infection treatment is available. First your veterinarian diagnose the infection then he/she will suggest the best course of treatment



Polyomavirus also known as Avian Polyomavirus (APV), attacks on young parrots from newborn to juveniles. This infection is deadly for parrots because it affects the body parts and organs simultaneously. This infection is most dangerous for the parrots that live in the cages. If we share the symptoms then intestinal,appetite loss, paralysis, dehydration, swollen (distended) abdomen, loose droppings and vomiting are the symptoms. Polyomavirus treatment or Avian Polyomavirus treatment is not available but precautions can help you. You have to disinfect the nest boxes, cages, and incubators properly. 


Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD)

Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD) or Proventricular Dilatation Syndrome also known as Macaw Wasting Syndrome or Parrot Wasting Syndrome. It was recognized in the early 1970s and called as Macaw Wasting Disease. This disease affects the two main organs of the parrots, first it damages the nerves and the second organ is stomach. This disease is diagnosed in macaws, african grey parrots, cockatoos parrots, conure and amazon parrots. The symptoms in this disease are weight loss, regurgitation, weakness and undigested foods that can be seen in the droppings of infected parrots.


There is unfortunately no definitive Proventricular Dilatation Disease treatment or Macaw Wasting Syndrome treatment for affected birds. But only supportive care like separating the infected parrot from other birds and providing the healthy food, can help you to save your parrot from big losses. Please visit the veterinarian for a complete diagnosis and proper recommendations. 


Ulcerative Dermatitis

This disease belongs to parrots skin problems like parrots itching. The reason for this disease may be due to diabetes or may be due to intestinal or possibly due to  parasites previous breakages or wounds. When the parrots are uncomfortable, they start pecking their own skin. As a result the sores of parrots become itchy and create a vicious circle. Fungal or bacterial infections can cause problems if the wounds are open. Ulcerative dermatitis treatment is available. Precautionary measure veterinarian suggests wearing neck restraint collars. 


Feather Plucking

In the list of common diseases in parrots feather plucking also known as feather picking or feather damaging is a disorder behavior in pet parrots. In this condition parrots pluck their feathers with beak. They look bald from head to tail and they also look like a big size bald baby of parrots. This disease can be seen in African Grey Parrots, cockatoo parrots, macaws, sun conure and in lovebird parakeets. The main causes are environmental changes, size and design of cage also matter, allergies and itchiness.


Feather plucking treatment or feather picking treatment is available. So when you see a parrot picking its feathers, first contact the veterinarian to discuss all the details, the vet will diagnose the symptoms and suggest its complete treatment. You can take precautionary measures that help your parrots from feather plucking, cleaning the cage, boxes and nest properly, putting toys in the cage so parrots can play with them and release their stress. 


Egg Binding

In the list of common diseases in parrots, egg binding in parrots is also a major disease that can be seen in female parakeets. Egg binding occurs when a female parrot is unable to deliver the egg from her body. When a female parrot takes longer than usual to expel an egg from her reproductive tract. Egg binding in parakeets is common and also the condition is life threatening if not treated properly or left untreated. It occurs usually in small parrots like budgie or budgerigar. There are some symptoms that can help you to identify if your parrots have egg binding or not. 


Tail wagging and tail bobbing is a symptom that shows a female parakeet is ready to lay down eggs, if you see a parrot continuously wagging its tail and taking longer than usual, then check the condition consistently after every few hours. If you see the tail is still wagging then check the nesting box. If she delivers one or two eggs then she is ready for the next egg but if you see no egg in the nesting box then you have to be serious and contact the veterinarian.


Other symptoms are difficulty in breathing, visible swollen abdomen, staining, sitting not on the branch or unable to balance herself on perch and sitting on the floor of the cage, lack of appetite and constipation. 


Egg binding treatment is available and you have to identify the symptoms and contact the vet. Egg binding treatment varies upon the conditions of the parrot, like how sick the bird is, the exact location of the egg and also the time elapsed for the female parakeet facing the issue. 


Suggestions and Precautionary Measures

We have some suggestions that can help you


Always focus on a clean and airy environment for parrots, clean the cages, clean the related items like toys, water bowl and food dishes after a certain period of time.

Always change the food and water on time, water should be changed minimum two times in a day.

Provide them proper food and a healthy diet.

Learn more about the Best Food for Parrots


Whenever you buy any parrot from any pet bird shop, try to keep it in a separate place for a few days, consult your veterinarian for some medicine, if your new parrot is infected with some kind of virus or fungal infection or any other kind of disease so you can save other parrots by treating it at separate place.

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