Avian Diseases: How to Identify and Treat

Avian diseases arise from a wide variety of factors and are not always easy to identify. So that your birds stay healthy and happy for a long time, we will show you common bird diseases, their symptoms, and causes and how you can best treat them.

Overview of Bird Diseases


Aspergillosis is a mold disease that can be transmitted from birds to humans and affects the respiratory tract. The respiratory disease can affect all vital organs and in the worst case even lead to death. It is one of the most common diseases in parrots, but all other ornamental bird species can be affected as well. At first, the disease is very similar to a cold, but symptoms quickly worsen. The bronchi, lungs, and heart of the bird are usually particularly affected. Complete cure for aspergillosis is rare, but not impossible. Contact your vet for this, he will be able to help your feathered friend with special medication.

Feather Plucking

Feather plucking is very often observed in parrots and parakeets, but other ornamental birds can also be affected by feather plucking. The animals pull themselves out of their feathers and don’t stop there so that their skin is very irritated and most bloody. Unfortunately, many circumstances can cause this behavior to occur. The main factor, however, is the illness of the psyche due to the lack of a reference person (human and/or a birding partner). But also general boredom, lack of exercise, or a one-sided diet are not infrequent causes of feather plucking. Furthermore, the shortening of the flight spring can also lead to this behavior. If there is a wrong diet, adding the fat-soluble vitamin K1 can improve the situation. In order to relieve and calm the psyche of the animal, the purchase of a birding partner is a recommended measure. In addition, the cage can be made even more appealing and exciting to avoid boredom and dangerous feather plucking.


Psittacosis can also be transmitted to humans. So if your bird suffers from this disease, be sure to move it to a quarantine cage! In the early stages, the illness resembles flu, but symptoms such as severely swollen eyelids, apathy (indifference), and diarrhea quickly appear. At an advanced stage, the animals even suffer from slowed heart activity, severe shortness of breath, or even meningitis. If your darling shows any of these symptoms, please take them to the vet as soon as possible. This then supplies the animal with important antibiotics. In addition, you should note that this disease must be reported!

Beak Mange

The Beak Mange is an acute mite infestation that can affect all ornamental birds, especially budgies. You can recognize the infestation by spongy growths on the beak and/or the base of the beak, which can spread quickly and cause severe deformations of the beak. If you can clearly see such growth on your bird’s beak, it is best to see your vet as soon as possible. He can help your bird by treating and removing the mites.

Laying Trouble

Egg-laying distress is one of the bird diseases that only affect females because it causes problems during egg-laying. Laying the egg is hardly possible on your own with laying distress, which is why pregnant females should be checked regularly. Laying distress can be recognized primarily by the severe exhaustion of the animal. The bird hardly moves anymore and usually makes its pain loudly noticeable. Attempting to lay the egg results in shortness of breath and diarrhea and the so-called laying sack becomes visible and is severely inflamed. A gentle stomach massage, the use of a heat lamp, or the wounding of castor oil, for example, can help with laying difficulty. If you notice a laying problem in your bird, please massage the belly gently as the egg can be crushed quickly. If the condition does not improve, a visit to the vet is advisable. The main reasons for the laying trouble are hormonal disorders, but incorrect posture can also lead to laying trouble.

Goiter Inflammation

Goiter inflammation can, unfortunately, occur very quickly, because it can mainly result from food that has been left lying around. Other causes are infections or vitamin deficiency. Parakeets in particular are affected by such bird diseases, but they can of course also occur in other ornamental birds. You can recognize goiter by a runny nose, cough, repeated head shaking, or sticky plumage. Here, too, it is best to take your animal to a vet who can help you and, above all, your bird.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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