Watch Out for these 14 Common Symptoms of Salmonella in Birds

Salmonellosis is a disease of birds which is caused by an infection. The infection is caused by a bacteria called Salmonella typhimurium or also known as S. enterica serovar Typhimurium.

There are many types of Salmonella, but the one that commonly affects birds is Salmonella subgenus 1. No wonder, salmonella is also listed as one of the bacterial diseases in birds.

The carrier of this disease is native wild birds and they act as the reservoir of the bacteria. Companion birds can pass on the infection to their humans and vice versa. All birds species cannot escape from salmonella and the severity depends on their level of health.

As a pet bird owner, you have to be aware of all things related to salmonella in birds. First, let’s see the causes of salmonella in birds.

Causes of Salmonella in Birds

  • Salmonella can be spread from other animals, such as rodents. They pass the bacteria through their feces and can contaminate your birds’ food and drinks.
  • Vertical transmission could be the cause as well. The bacteria can spread to the egg with infected chicks hatching to spread it further.
  • Flies could be the carrier of the bacteria. Make sure to keep your food clean to eliminate flies.
  • Poor hygiene, such as contaminated bowls and water stations.
  • Weakened immune system (birds that get sick tend to be more easily infected)
  • Stress and overcrowding in cages
  • Contaminated food
  • Fecal contamination of water

After knowing the causes, then it is time to notice the common symptoms experienced by birds that are infected by salmonella. Let’s see each of them closer.

Symptoms of Salmonella in Birds

  • Poop droppings of a sulphur yellowish green color
  • “Fluffed up” appearance – as a sign of your bird is unwell
  • Damages to vital organs, such as liver, kidney or heart
  • Weight loss – it could be one of the symptoms of stressed birds
  • Diarhhea
  • Poor growth
  • Arthritis – commonly experienced by pigeons
  • Conjunctivitis – appears mostly in extreme cases
  • Excessive persistent thirst
  • Dermatitis and signs of scratching (more than usual)
  • Rapid and labored breathing
  • Shivering
  • Droopiness
  • Lethargy

Some birds that are infected by Salmonella even look healthy and clean.

What to do with Birds with Salmonella?

Birds which are kept at home are considered as a potential site of salmonella transmission. However, you don’t have to be worried as there are some tips you can do to prevent salmonella in birds.

  • During the outbreak of salmonella, try to remove the bird feeders and baths until warmer spring weather. By doing this, you can reduce the likelihood of transmission.
  • Clean the bird feeders and bath 2 times a month with hot soapy water. Then, soak it in a 10% solution of domestic beach for 3 minutes for disinfection. Finally, rinse it with clean and cold water and let it dry before reuse.
  • Wear rubber gloves while handling all the things in the cage, such as the feeders. Then, don’t forget to wash your hands with soap.
  • If you find any sick bird, isolate it from the other birds to prevent the spread to other birds.
  • Provide plenty of clean water so that your birds won’t get dehydration.
  • You can contact your vet for further medication. Your vet surely knows the best to treat your sick birds.

We all know that salmonella in birds is a serious problem. So, it is better to do some ways to prevent this disease to get worse and affect the whole birds. There are some ways to prevent salmonella in birds:

  • Practice good hygiene by cleaning away the uneaten food and droppings of the birds. Try to disinfect the feeders first to make sure that they are clean.
  • Provide clean water and nutritious food on a daily basis. Avoid giving these dangerous foods to avoid feeding birds. Make sure to provide them with healthy food.
  • Rotate the position of the feeders to avoid contamination in one area.
  • Clean the remaining food that falls to the ground.
  • Clean birdbaths regularly.

Do you know that salmonella doesn’t only infect birds? Cats can also be infected by this bacteria. If you have a cat at home, make sure you all know the symptoms of salmonellosis in cats.

If you plan to have some pet birds at home, you can consider having one of these best quieter pet birds that won’t bother you if you wish to have quiet pets at home. However, if you’re looking for the best breeds, you can check these popular bird breeds to pet. Read their characteristics and adjust it to your living environment.