It’s all about if your bird is infected with the bacteria and if you’re sensitive to the allergen like bird feathers dust. Let’s talk more about this kind of issue.
Having pets at home is soothing. They de-stress your mind at the end of a busy day. And when these pets are our most adorable feathery family member, Budgie, it is as soothing as entertaining. All they want is to entertain you and see you happy while playing with them at the end of a long day. And the feeling is mutual. After all, the companions are a source of happiness for each other.
But, many times, they can be a cause of a little discomfort. Sayu, talking particularly about budgies, many studies are proving them to be a cause of probable deadly illnesses in humans. And their feathers seem to play a major role in transmitting such diseases to their parents. So, what is the reality around the whole discussion going on around budgies’ feather diseases? Is it possible to get ill from budgies? And if yes, what are the signs, symptoms, and precautions that can be taken by us all, for taking care of both us and our little bird?
Can Budgie Feathers make you Sick?
Yes, contrary to the general negation of the fact, the reality is far from the truth. Humans do catch diseases from Budgies’ feathers. It simply works the way pet dander affects us. The dander from the feathers of budgies can also be a cause of various allergies which can ultimately turn to deadly diseases if left untreated. So, what exactly is the disease? How is it caused and diagnosed when contracted? Can we do anything about it beforehand? Let’s dive deeper.
Budgie causing Illness in Humans
Psittacosis– Budgie feathers are known to contract disease Psittacosis that is caused by the germ Chlamydia Psittaci. Though uncommon, it is contagious enough to transmit to humans easily. Also known as Ornithosis, the disease tends to affect the human lungs causing various illnesses.
Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis– Additionally, a certain kind of protein found in the bird dust and his feathers can cause Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis. It affects the lungs directly causing them to weaken eventually.
Asthma– In case of a sudden allergic reaction to the dander, one can contract a certain form of asthma.
So, to prevent yourself from catching it, precaution must be taken when you see our budgie ill. It is best to take him to the vet immediately before the disease gets deadly for him and you. So, how do you know that your budgie has been attacked by the germs?
Signs that Budgie is Sick
To know that the germs are hiding in your Budgie’s feathers, look for the following symptoms in your little bird:
- Ruffled feathers
- Breathing problems
- Severe depression
- Lack of appetite
- Watery diarrhea
- Nasal discharge
- Discharge from eyes
That said, many birds can be asymptomatic and may not show any sign. All they feel is abnormally stressed due to the discomfort they might be combatting. If you tend to share a great bond with your bird, you can easily notice the change. Hence, it’s time to see the vet.
Contagious Budgie Feather Disease
Psittacosis might be contagious and after getting transmitted from Budgie feathers to the human, it might take a minimum of 5 days and a maximum of 15 days for the symptoms to show up. Such symptoms may be either abrupt in the former time frame and gradual in the latter one.
Similarly, Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis’ symptoms might come to the surface in a minimum of 4 hours and a maximum of 6 hours. Depending on the intensity of the attack, it can be further diagnosed as Acute Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis or Chronic Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis.
Human signs of falling sick from Budgie
Sensitive people are known to catch the disease sooner than otherwise. But whether you’ve become the victim of the parasitic attack, look for the following signs fr affirmation:
- Myalgia (muscle pain)
- Dry cough
- Sore throat
- Extreme fatigue
- Difficulty in breathing
- Chest pain
- Frequent nosebleed
- Abnormal enlargement of the spleen and liver
Although the infection affects human lungs, if left untreated, it may soon start spreading to other organs like the liver, heart, skin, gastrointestinal tract, and central nervous system. This may lead to a dysfunctional immune system resulting in:
- Abdominal pain
- Abnormally slow heart rate
- Pericarditis (inflammation of the membrane around the heart)
- Endocarditis (inflammation of the membrane inside the heart)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hepatitis (inflammation of the liver)
- Jaundice (paling of the skin due to the inflamed liver)
- Severe headaches
- Rashes on the face
- Photophobia (light sensitivity)
- Death due to kidney failure
Causes of catching Infection
The pet store workers, aviary owners, and the pet parents at home are at the most risk of catching these infections from their budgies. That said, there is no guarantee that everyone will contract the disease. Most of the time, people live happily with their budgies without any such issue. It’s all about if your bird is infected with the bacteria and if you’re sensitive to the allergen like bird feather dust. But for those who catch them, it may be due to:
- Inhaling the infected air surrounding your budgie as the bacteria is airborne
- Eating the food contaminated with bacteria spread by the feather dust
- Drinking the contaminated water, similarly
- Touching the birds’ feathers as it may transfer the bacteria on your hands
- Getting bitten by an insect that previously bit the infected bird.
Treatment of the Infection
At the onset of the disease, you might feel flu-like symptoms. This can be easily treated at home with antibiotics like Tetracycline. But if the diagnosis comes at a stage where the symptoms are way beyond the flu-like initial stage, it’s time to seek medical treatment.
Though it is very uncommon to get seriously affected by your budgie feather dander, the chances are always there. To make the chances close to nil, it is better to take precautionary measures like:
- Wearing masks and protective glasses if you happen to work in an aviary or pet store.
- Use a good air purifier with HEPA filters to capture all such germs and dander.
This way, both you and your little bird will always be free from such a deadly disease.