Fungal & Yeast Infections

The Below Article is Courtesy of Dr. Rob Marshall, Avian Vet –

What is a fungal infection?

There are several types of fungi that affect humans and animals (including birds), but the most common is the Aspergillus fungus. This fungus is usually associated with seed, corn cobs, old food, humid areas, air conditioners, blow heaters and wet cages.

It also occurs in individuals that have a poor level of natural resistance or a damaged immune system. Your bird may show dropping changes, because the ingested fungus irritates the bowel. This fungus may also produce a toxin which causes liver disease. You may notice a dark green dropping when this occurs. When the fungus is inhaled it produces a squeaky voice, sneezing, coughing or breathing difficulties. Both the inhaled and ingested form are potentially life threatening. The culture test identifies the exact type of fungus, so we can identify where it has come from, how best to treat it and how to prevent it from recurring.

Loss of or changes in voice are possible.

How is it treated? (Any treatment should be discussed with medical professional!)

An anti-fungal treatment must commence immediately, because this is a potentially life threatening disease. Fungilin is the medicine used to treat fungal infections. This should be given directly by mouth, or may sometimes be added to the drinking water.

As well, remove all seed, grit, seed bells and fruit, from the cage. Disinfect the cage with a Water Cleanser and start your bird on sterile seed. Dry heat may be advised in the form of a bar heater.

The above recommendations protect your bird from reinfection by killing or removing any fungal spores from the environment.

Are there any other special instructions?

Birds with fungal infections are often vitamin, mineral and protein deficient. To accelerate the healing process it is recommended that birds with fungal infections be given Turbobooster, Energy supplement and Fvite on the sterile seed daily for three weeks and then three times a week after this time.

Following the fungicide treatment, Water Cleanser is given for 2 days, followed by Dufoplus and Ioford twice weekly in the drinking water. Ensure your bird is actually eating and drinking. If not, it will need special force feeding in hospital. (Avianweb Note: or by someone experienced / trained in proper force feeding procedures).

Are there any long term problems?

Fungal infections can damage the immune system and leave the individual susceptible to illness in the future. To protect your bird from repeat infections follow the health programme in the accompanying brochure and use a Water Cleanser as part of the weekly health programme.

Is this disease contagious to humans or other birds?

Fungal infections are not contagious from bird to bird, nor from bird to humans.

Can fungal infections be prevented from recurring?

Fungal infections are always related to the environment in which the bird is kept. This does not mean that the bird is not cared for properly, but means that extra care must be taken to prevent recurrence.

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