When the Budgie Sneezes: Birds Can Catch Cold Too

A runny nose? This can happen to birds too. A veterinarian explains how you can recognize colds in budgerigars and the like and how you can help your pet with simple home remedies.

It’s wet and cold outside, your nose is runny and your throat is scratchy. Everyone has to deal with colds or viral infections in winter. But what about our birds? Can you catch a cold? And what can you do if your animal is doing badly?

In fact, birds can catch colds too, but they are less at risk than we are. This can be recognized by the fact that the birds frequently sneeze and have clear or purulent discharge from their nostrils. Some also rub their beak more often on the perches or the cage bars, explains Anja Petersen. She is a specialist veterinarian for birds in Soltau.

Warmth Helps Budgerigars and co. with Colds

The classic red light lamp helps birds with symptoms. But be careful: the cage should always be illuminated from above, not from the side. And one side of the cage must be covered with a towel so that the animal can withdraw if it gets too warm, advises Petersen in the magazine “Budgies & Parrots”.

If there is no improvement on the second day despite the red light, you should take your bird to the vet. This also applies if the bird stops eating and drinking.

Dry Air Weakens the Immune System

The main cause of colds in birds is strong temperature fluctuations, explains Petersen. For example, there are often cages by the window so that the animals get enough light. However, the radiators are usually located under the windows.

The circulating heating air creates an airflow that can promote the development of colds. In addition, heated air ensures dry mucous membranes, which weakens the immune system.

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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