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Budgie Health:

A healthy bird requires a clean, appropriate enclosure; water; a balanced diet; adequate exercise; and social interaction. In addition, it is important to ensure that the air is not contaminated by chemicals, smoke or toxins. Bird lungs are especially susceptible to contaminants in the air. Also be sure to remove any other hazards (see the hazards section).

A healthy budgie is interactive, on the move, and alert. A healthy bird eats and drinks throughout the day and has a clean appearance (no mucous/dirt in eyes, nares (nose), or vent) and smooth feathers. An unhealthy budgie will have dirty unkept, fluffed or plucked feathers; swelling, accumulations or discharge in eyes, beak, nare, or vent. Discolored, bloody or runny stools are also a red flag. Sitting on the floor of the habitat, failing to eat/drink like normal, wheezing/coughing or using only one foot while awake are also signs of illness. If you observe any of these signs or other abnormal behavior, consult with an avian veterinarian. It is best to find an avian veterinarian and take your bird to him/her shortly after purchasing the bird to establish a baseline and evaluate the budgie’s overall health.

Budgie’s must be mentally healthy in order to be physically healthy. In order to achieve this, you must (1) not leave your budgie alone, (2) keep your budgie in an adequately sized enclosure/cage, (3) provide your budgie with toys and things to chew.

 

 

 

Human Health:

Like all pets, from dogs to fishes, budgies bring with them certain health risks to their human owners. Many people keep pet budgies their whole lives without any apparent health issues related to their birds. Still, problems can occur. Pet birds may carry or be susceptible to certain strains of flu, which can be passed between humans and birds. Additionally, some people are genetically or otherwise predisposed to respiratory issues that may result either from bird dander or droppings. For such individuals, budgies or any bird, may not be the best pet option. All animals produce proteins that adhere to dander for release into the air. Proteins are also present in their excrement. As with other animals, these proteins can cause respiratory irritation or allergic reactions in some people. In very severe cases, exposure to bird proteins can lead to fever, lethargy, and even more serious problems like lung scaring.

This problem can be partially addressed by several measures. First, you can place an air purifier next to the bird’s cage to draw in and cleanse the air from the bird’s cage/area. Second, you can provide clean, filtered bathwater to your bird every day so that some of that dander ends up in bathwater instead of the air you breath. Third, you can regularly clean the bird habitat completely. Fourth, you can remove paper/substrate from the habitat with increased regularity (e.g., daily or multiple times per day) to avoid the dropping drying and releasing contaminants into the air. Fifth, use a mask when cleaning the bird’s habitat. These measures may go a long way towards mitigating dander, and anecdotally allowing even people who react negatively to bird dander to keep a bird. Still, it is important to keep in mind that there will always be some allergens released into the air by your bird.

If you believe your budgie is causing respiratory or other health problems for you or someone in your household, consult a medical professional, as such problems can become serious. A doctor can assess the symptoms, test for your reaction to relevant proteins to determine whether the bird is the likely cause or not, and advise you of the severity of the reaction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health

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