Avian Aspergillus

a doctors diagnosis reading Avian Aspergillus

Avian Aspergillus is a type of non-contagious fungal disease that is commonly found in the environment, especially in certain types of birds. It’s one of the most common causes of fungal infections in pet birds and can cause a variety of health issues if left untreated. Aspergillus can be found in bird feed, cages, nests, and other areas where birds are housed. Some types of Parrots are more likely to be infected by this fungal disease. African Greys and Macaws as well as Amazons seem to be most susceptible.

Symptoms of Avian Aspergillus

The most common symptoms of Aspergillus is:

  • White or gray substance found on their feathers
  • Sneezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy

In some cases, the fungus can spread to internal organs such as their lungs and cause serious respiratory problems.

Diagnosing Avian Aspergillus

In order to diagnose Aspergillus, a sample of the fungus must be taken from the bird and sent to a laboratory for testing. This can be done through a variety of methods, including direct swabbing or taking a feather sample. The test results will determine whether your bird has Aspergillus and what type it is.

Stages of Avian Aspergillus

The stages of Aspergillus can vary depending on the type and severity of infection. Generally, there are three stages:

The parrot doing morning exercises on a bamboo branch

Stage 1

In this stage, the fungus is present but not yet causing any symptoms. Your bird can appear healthy overall and might not show any signs of infection.

Stage 2

At this stage, the fungus begins to cause symptoms such as sneezing, difficulty breathing, and nasal discharge. Your bird might start to lose weight.

Stage 3

In the final stage, the fungus has spread to their internal organs and is causing serious respiratory issues in your bird.

Treating Avian Aspergillus

Treating Aspergillus usually involves the use of antifungal medications. These medications can be administered orally or topically depending on the type of infection and severity. It’s important to consult with a veterinarian before administering any medication.

Preventing Avian Aspergillus

The best way to prevent avian Aspergillus is by keeping your bird’s living environment clean and free from potential sources of infection. This includes regularly cleaning your bird’s cage, feeders, and water bowls. It’s also important to make sure their enclosures have good ventilation to reduce humidity levels and discourage fungal growth. It’s important to purchase bird feed from a reputable source and to check for signs of contamination.