Internal parasitosis in birds


Birds can be carriers of many internal parasites (internal parasitosis), in particular in their digestive tract but also in the respiratory tract (syngasmosis).
The most frequent parasitoses are coccidiosis, trichomonosis, ascariasis, tapeworm and capillariosis.

Digestive parasites cause diarrhea, loss of essential nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.) which weaken the bird. Their number can be very large and go as far as causing intestinal obstruction.

Respiratory parasites cause coughing, breathing difficulties, wheezing …

The bird frequently presents general symptoms: disheveled feathers, emaciation, tremors….
Some nervous disorders are also sometimes possible.

The life cycle of a parasite
There are two types of cycle. The direct cycle and the indirect cycle. Parasites that have a direct cycle require only one host (the bird). They therefore pass through direct contact from one bird to another. The bird can even re-contaminate itself if the aviary or cage is not properly disinfected. Parasites that have an indirect life cycle require one or more intermediate hosts for part of their development. This intermediate host can be an insect ingested by the bird or even a small mammal in the case of carnivorous birds or birds of prey. It is therefore crucial to know the life cycle of the parasite in order to be able to properly treat the infected bird. If the parasite has a direct cycle, it is necessary to ensure that the disinfection is as perfect as possible, while in the case of a parasite with an indirect cycle, it is necessary to monitor the feeding of the bird more than its environment. The most common way to “catch” internal parasites is by ingesting them through the mouth. However, there are other ways to get infected.

After identifying the parasite (by examining the stool, among other things), your veterinarian will prescribe an appropriate treatment.

Parasitoses mainly affect imported birds but can also affect farmed parrots.
Good general hygiene as well as a search for parasites from the outset during the visit following the purchase of the animal constitutes good prevention.


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