There are many bird illnesses, and their symptoms are pretty clear. Some are mild while others may escalate very quickly and could lead to the loss of any bird. In this article, we have discussed the top five bird illnesses which pet bird owners should be aware of; the symptoms, treatment, and preventive measures, if any.

1. Salmonella

Salmonella is a bacterial infection in birds transmitted through the sharing of bird feeders. Although it starts as an intestinal tract infection, it has other common symptoms such as ruffled feathers, diarrhea, and lethargy. As soon as these symptoms appear, birds should be taken to the vet immediately, because salmonella is lethal when not treated early. It is advisable to clean bird feeders to prevent uninfected birds eat contaminated droppings.

2. Aspergillosis

Aspergillosis is a fungal infection caused by the Aspergillus fungus which causes both upper and lower respiratory infections. The disease has no specific symptoms, and birds may live with it for a long time. Sadly, in its late stages, it may cause organ failure and death, so it is imperative that you call a vet early enough. This fungus is mostly found in moldy foods, a moist nest or soil and mostly infects birds with low immunity as healthy birds will fight it. To keep this infection at bay, proper hygiene is a must.

3. Trichomoniasis

Trichomonas gallinae is a parasite which causes Trichomoniasis. It is commonly found in doves and pigeons, among other birds. It can be transmitted to other birds through contaminated feed droppings by infected birds and contaminated water. Also, this parasite is transmitted to predators by infected prey and infected birds being fed their young ones. Antiprotozoal medications are administered to manage Trichomoniasis.

4. Avian Pox

Avian pox is a viral disease caused by the Avipoxvirus. Mosquito bites transmit it from an infected bird to an uninfected one. It can also be transmitted when an infected bird comes into direct contact with a susceptible bird. Primary symptoms include lesions on feathered parts, weakness and reduced egg production, among others. There is no cure for Avian Pox though there are treatments administered to manage the lesions.

5. Mites and Lice

Feather lice and mite are parasites which live outside their host. These parasites are blood sucking and can cause anemia or even death, especially in young birds and those with low immunity. The symptoms include a featherless head and feather destruction as birds try to get rid of the mites, and bird restlessness, especially at night since it is the time when the parasite feeds. Implementing pest control management is the solution.


Just like all sicknesses, early diagnosis is vital to prevent further deterioration of the bird’s health and also to curb transmission. Always be keen on behavioral changes, and if you notice any symptoms, call the vet immediately!