You’ve certainly heard of Aspergillus and Aspergillosis, but you may not know what they imply. To begin, “Aspergillus” is the name of a common fungus found in the environment. Most birds (and humans) are unaffected, but if there are too many Aspergillus germs present and your bird has a weak immune system, the sickness “Aspergillosis” develops. It is often lethal, resulting in severe respiratory issues. It may spread from birds to people and vice versa.
Aspergillus spores are airborne and are common in corn cob litter. The issue is exacerbated in a moist atmosphere, such as the one we experience here in the Northwest. I usually advise against using this sort of litter since it is a haven for all kinds of fungus, molds, and germs.
When Aspergillosis takes hold, the lungs and air sacs swell with enormous white masses, creating major breathing issues and draining the bird’s energy and immunity even more. When the bird is at rest, it may wheeze or make a clicking sound, and its tail will frequently bobble. There may be discharge or crustiness around the nostrils at times. Itching, ragged feathers, a peeling beak, or black feather edging on the wings are all symptoms of a low-grade illness. Aspergillosis may be detected with a blood test, which should be performed as part of your bird’s yearly checkup.
Treatment is difficult since the fungus is difficult to eradicate, and subsequent infections are common due to the weakened immune system. Birds with low diets and living in filthy settings are far more susceptible to this sickness. It is critical to enhance the diet while dealing with the condition, feeding plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, and utilizing whole food supplements.
Cleaning the cage and washing the food and water bowls, as well as the perches and toys, should be done on a daily basis. Antibiotic-treated birds are substantially more vulnerable to Aspergillosis, as well as other fungal and yeast diseases. I recommend giving antibiotic-treated birds probiotics, as well as yogurt and acidophilus. Furthermore, provide foods high in Beta Carotene, since Vitamin A is essential for respiratory and skin health. Yams, carrots, broccoli, red peppers, and apricots are all excellent sources of iron, as are supplements such as wheat grass and spirulina. Boosting your bird’s immune system by feeding a diverse, broad-spectrum diet, ensuring adequate rest and daily exercise, and keeping your bird’s cage and supplies clean will all help keep this common fungus at bay. Don’t forget the importance of annual “well bird” checkups to catch any disease as early as possible for the best treatment success. Aspergillosis must be treated with antifungal medications under the supervision of an avian veterinarian; it is not something to attempt to cure on your own!
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