With good nutrition and care, budgies can live for 15 to 18 years. To keep your bird healthy, make sure he has a veterinary exam once a year. Here are 10 of the most common diseases the birds suffer from:
- Tumors. Common tumors include fatty tumors, testicular tumors, kidneys, adrenal tumors and many other types.
- Goiter. Iodine deficiency will cause enlargement of the thyroid gland that can cause changes in the bird’s voice.
- Psittacosis or parrot fever. Caused by the bacteria Chlamydia psittaci, this disease can be transmitted to people. Birds should be tested, especially if they will be living with elderly people, who are most prone to the disease.
- Cnemodocoptes mites. Scaly face and scaly leg mites cause a build-up of scales with tiny holes on the surface of the feet and beak. The condition can cause beak deformities.
- Liver disease. This is probably associated most often with poor nutrition, although other illness can cause the condition.
- Polyoma virus. First described as “budgie fledgling disease,” this virus causes the death of chicks as they emerge from the nest.
- Psittacine beak and feather disease. This causes poor formation of flight and tail feathers (often in combination with polyoma. Affected birds are often referred to as creepers because they have no flight feathers and cannot fly).
- Brown hypertrophy of the cere. This is a hormonal imbalance of older female budgies.
- Megabacteria. Historically called “going light,” the bacteria is probably actually a yeast infection and is treated with antifungal drugs. It causes chronic weight loss.
- Protozoal infections. Trichomonas and giardia are common protozoal infections, especially in breeding colonies of budgies.
Traumatic accidents and accidental poisonings are common causes of death in budgies. Don’t allow them unsupervised freedom in the home as they are often killed by other family pets.