April 29, 2010

Avian Aspergillosis: Respiratory Tract Infections in Birds

Filed under: Pet Birds,pet health,Pet Symptoms,pets,respiratory infections — Dr. Amber Reed @ 1:52 pm

Bird owners are probably aware that respiratory tract infections are quite common in pet birds, especially Aspergillosis.This condition is caused by a fungal infection in the bird’s airways and the subsequent illness can be quite serious.Depending on the type of infection, Aspergillosis in birds can be associated with a variety of symptoms.Generally speaking, there are two forms of Aspergillosis in birds: acute and chronic.

Avian Aspergillosis Acute bird aspergillosis is more often seen in young or recently imported birds and the symptoms tend to last only a short while despite being more severe.The main symptoms of the acute form of this respiratory tract infection include lack of appetite, breathing problems, and possibly death.In fact, left untreated, aspergillosis in birds causes air sacs in the lungs to become inflamed and the bird’s lungs may become congested with white mucus.On the other hand, chronic aspergillosis in birds is more common in older, captive birds.The infection may develop over a long period of time with several symptoms becoming apparent over the course of the illness.Listlessness, loss of appetite, weakness, depression, and breathing difficulties are the main symptoms of the chronic form of this bird respiratory tract infection; moreover, some of the symptoms may become permanent.Bone changes may occur and the upper respiratory tract may become misshapen.Chronic aspergillosis can also spread to the nervous system which causes tremors, loss of coordination, and in severe cases paralysis.

Avian aspergillosis is caused by fungal contamination of food or water sources in addition to nest boxes, incubators, and ventilated regions. This particular bird respiratory tract infection may also have a variety of environmental causes but when it’s caught early it can be treated therefore any time you notice respiratory tract issues in your bird, visit a veterinarian immediately.

April 14, 2010

Feline Respiratory Disease

Most often caused by upper respiratory infections, feline respiratory disease is especially common in kittens. These infections are caused by a variety of organisms even if the disease symptoms are fairly similar. The majority of feline respiratory disease cases are caused by some kind of viral infection, mostly feline calicivirus or feline herpes virus 1. Still, there are some bacteria that can cause feline respiratory disease, for example Chlamydophila felis, Mycoplasma, or Bordetella bronchiseptica.

Regardless of the particular cause, feline respiratory disease presents itself in very similar ways. Some of the most common symptoms of feline respiratory disease include

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose and/or eyes
  • Sniffles
  • Mouth or nose ulcers
  • Fever

Similarly, the risk factors for feline respiratory disease are not based on the causes or symptoms. Kittens are at the highest risk because their immune system is not fully developed. Moreover, kittens with feline respiratory disease will have more severe symptoms than adult cats. Logically then, cats that are immuno-suppressed are also at a higher risk of developing feline respiratory disease. Another risk factor for this condition is over-crowding which may occur in shelters, rescue centers, or pet stores. Upper respiratory infections are easily spread between cats making over-crowding a serious risk factor. Stress, improper or incomplete vaccinations, and genetics can also lead to an elevated risk of developing feline respiratory disease.

In most cases, feline respiratory disease is quite mild and treatment focuses on dealing with the symptoms. Nevertheless, it is not impossible for feline respiratory disease to be a fatal condition especially when more serious conditions like pneumonia develop subsequent to the original infection. Some of the more serious symptoms of feline respiratory disease include

  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Open-mouth breathing

If you notice these symptoms, visit your veterinarian immediately to seek the proper treatment.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.