Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Pulmonology Psittacosis Or PARROT FEVER

An immature blue heron with psittacosis
An immature blue heron with psittacosis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Most of the time when our pets become sick it is something that worries us because we love our pets deeply and wish the best for them. But occasionally there are diseases that can affect pets and can also be transferred to humans at which time you have to not only worry about the life of your pet but much more importantly, the life of yourself and any other person in the household that may come into contact with your pet. Diseases that can be transferred from non-human animals to humans are known as zoonotic diseases. One of these diseases that must cause us to worry about becoming ill ourselves is a disease that is sometimes found in birds, it is particularly a problem in pet parrots. It is called Pulmonology Psittacosis, parrot disease, parrot fever and ornithosis.

What Causes Parrot Fever?
Parrot fever is an infectious disease which is caused by a bacterium called Chlamydophila psittaci. The bacteria are spread when birds shed the bacteria through feces and nasal discharge. The infected discharge can remain infectious for up to several months. A bird may pick up the strain and live normally with it for a good while until it becomes activated when the bird is under some kind of intense stress. Pet birds that carry the disease include:

  • Macaws
  • Cockatiels
  • Budgerigars
  • Cockatoos
  • All types of parrots

Symptoms of Parrot Disease
Parrot disease can be difficult to detect. As with all birds, illness can be difficult to see when compared to that of a mammal such as a dog or a cat. Never the less, most cases are finally detected through symptoms including:

  • Shedding
  • Inflamed eyes
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Watery droppings
  • Green urine

Diagnosis of Parrot Fever
Most bird owners figure out that their bird is sick based on symptoms. But once they take them to the vet, the presence of the disease can be proved through:

  • An antigen test
  • Antibody test
  • PCR-based test

These tests can, however, give false negatives and a combination of lab tests is recommended for this reason. Parrot fever is a very serious disease and can take your bird's life in as little as 3 weeks.

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