What Are the Causes of Diarrhea in Parrots?

Your parrot's diarrhea could be a symptom of a bigger problem.
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Abnormal droppings in a parrot could indicate a health concern. Common avian diseases, such as salmonella, could be to blame for your feathered friend’s uncomfortable bout of diarrhea. Recognizing the symptoms of illness early in your parrot can help you develop a treatment plan before the condition worsens.

Bacterial Infections

Salmonella poisoning is a common, yet serious infection that can damage the kidneys and liver and irritate the bowels of your bird. Parrots are susceptible to several types of bacterial infections, including E. coli, strep, Citrobacter and staph. Bacterial infections are generally caused by contamination in the bird’s environment, such as dust, poor water hygiene, poor or contaminated food or stress-related causes. Besides diarrhea, your feathery friend may also experience coughing, sneezing, eye rubbing and excessive swallowing.

Viral Infections

Parrots can be plagued by a number of viral infections, invading the body’s cells and causing loose droppings. Common viral infections in pet birds include avian polyomavirus, cloacal papillomatosis and Pacheco’s disease. These airborne viruses can cause a plethora of distressing symptoms, including lethargy, loss of appetite, ruffled feathers, vomiting and blood in the stool.

Fungal Infections

Birds with poor immune systems are prone to certain fungal infections, especially aspergillus fungus. When infected, parrots may experience changes in droppings as the fungus irritates the bowel. The most common type of fungus in birds, aspergillus is often caused by contaminated food, blow heaters, air conditioners or wet cages. Fungal infections can also result in liver damage, often evident by green droppings in your bird. Since fungal infections are caused by your bird’s environment, take extra caution to prevent recurrences.

Dietary Changes

Changes in diet may be the cause of your parrot’s troublesome bowel movements. Keep a diary of what new foods you've added to your bird’s diet to properly recognize which are causing your feathered buddy his distressing ailments. Clean your bird’s food and water bowls daily and disinfect them at least once a week. Discard any wooden perches or materials that cannot be disinfected during cage changes.

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