Parakeets, or budgies, are a very common type of pet bird. Anyone who owns a budgie needs to understand how to care for the pet and the diseases that the bird is vulnerable to. A sick parakeet will preen and preserve itself in order to appear well at all times. This is done to fend off predators who might consider the bird weak. As a budgie owner it is important to recognise the signs of disease and treat it in a timely manner.
Thyroid Dysplasia in a parakeet is the result of an iodine deficiency. This disease usually occurs when a budgie's diet consists of seeds only. Some signs to look for in parakeets who have the condition include respiratory symptoms and a squeaking sound during normal breathing. Treatment for the condition involves taking the bird to an avian vet. The doctor will likely give the parakeet an injection containing sodium iodine and saline or recommend that the bird have Lugol's iodine mixed in its water two to three times per day.
Respiratory diseases are those that affect the air passages, lungs and air sacs. The conditions are common in budgies that have impaired or weakened immune systems or in a parakeet who is in a new environment and feeling stressed. Symptoms to look for include nasal discharge, sneezing, eye discharge, ruffled feathers and laboured breathing. Treatment for the condition is vital because allowing the issue to continue will result in the bird's demise. A vet will prescribe antibiotics or antifungals to treat the problem. The antibiotic Cipro is the most commonly used medication to treat respiratory issues in budgies.
Fatty tumours may develop in birds that have allseed diets. The tumour could be malignant. Lipomas are usually present in budgies that are overweight. The tumour usually affects parakeets that are older and generally occurs in the ovaries, testicles or kidneys. Fibromas are small tumours that develop under the wing. Male budgies who develop testicular cancer will have a purple to brown cere. Some tumours require surgical removal, but most are treated with the drug Luprin to reduce the size.
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