Aspergillosis is a respiratory disease caused by the fungus Aspergillus, which is found almost everywhere in the environment. The fungus rapidly grows in a warm and humid environment.
Aspergillosis can be both acute or chronic. Most common is the chronic aspergillosis, where the fungus infection target the respiratory system and then spread throughout the body through the bloodstream infecting other organs including kidneys, liver, eyes and brain!
Normally the birds natural immune system will fight the fungus, but if there are too many fungal spores or the bird does not have a healthy immune system, the fungus may lead to serious illness. If the bird is stressed by sudden changes in its environment, it can impact the immune system and result in a fungus infection.
The fungus can be found in seeds that are not kept dry or found in peanuts; many parrot owners avoid using peanuts in the diet to reduce the risk of Aspergillosis. Other nuts like hazelnuts, walnut, almonds or pine nuts can be used as snacks instead of peanuts.
- Severe difficulty breathing
- Decreased or loss of appetite
- Frequent drinking and urination
- Cyanosis (a bluish coloration of the mucous membranes and/or skin)
- Ultimately sudden death.
Consult your vet as soon as you suspect breathing problems!
- A good healthy diet and hygiene is very important!
- Make sure the water and food bowls are cleaned daily
- Remove old seeds from the bottom of the cage
- Remove the bird and thoroughly clean the cage, toys, perches etc. at least once a month
- Place the water bowl and food bowl apart to avoid getting wet seeds
- Make sure the room is well ventilated
- Avoid stressing the bird