All parrots occasionally sneeze to clean their nostrils. However, if you see that your parrot sneezes frequently and discharges a kind of mucus, it’s time to start worrying.
Sometimes, a simple environmental change, such as using an air freshener, is all that is required for your parrot to start sneezing. In other cases, conditions ranging from bacterial or viral infections to tumors, air sac mites or nutritional deficiencies may be involved.
Unfortunately, even if it is obvious that dry or dusty air is playing a vital role in your parrot sneezing, medical problems cannot be ruled out without the advice of a specialized veterinarian. And with specialized I mean that you have the necessary certification to certify that you are specialized in this type of pets. Do not trust veterinarians specialized only in dogs or cats to solve the health problems that your parrot has.
That said, in this article, we will review some common causes that cause sneezing and nasal discharge in parakeets, parrots, cockatoos, and parrots.
As we mentioned before, an occasional sneeze is normal. The presence of mucus or other nasal discharge (with or without sneezing) is what should be taken as a sign of danger.
Although mucus is generally associated with respiratory infections, it can also appear when parrots need to be freed from the dust that accumulates in their nose. And even in response to irritation caused by smoke or other chemicals, such as household cleaners or cages.
Whatever the case, immediate action is needed. While veterinarians can draw some conclusions by the appearance of mucus (if it is clear, thick, its coloration, if there is blood …), pet owners should not speculate and try to solve the problem without the help of an expert.
Analyze the environment in which your parrot lives
Environmental problems are easier to remedy than medical concerns. While some parakeets and other species adapt to arid habitats, most parrots are native to environments that are relatively wet for much or all year. Indoor air from homes in dry regions, as well as any indoor air that is heated or air-conditioned, is too dry for most pet parrots.
In addition, smoke from the kitchen, as well as the use of cleaning products such as bleach or ammonia, can also irritate the respiratory tract, causing sneezing and excessive production of mucus.
Using good air filters, humidifiers, live plants and salt solutions in your home, can improve the environment in which your pet lives. However, be careful not to let environmental concerns mask a more serious medical condition since both can exist simultaneously. Even if it is obvious that your house is too dry for your parrot, be careful and consult a veterinarian if you see that you start to run.
Medical considerations that cause your parrot to sneeze
Medical concerns that may be involved with your parrot sneezing include fungal infections, bacteria, or viruses. Parrots that have such ailments will also show other symptoms, such as loss of appetite, resistance to movement and difficulty in breathing.
At this point, the biggest problem you will encounter is to detect the disease in time. Birds can fight infection if it is detected early, but the problem is that they behave in a completely normal way until their health reaches a critical point. In most cases, when it becomes clear that something is happening, the condition of your parrot begins to diminish very quickly and it is too late to solve it. For this reason, it is advisable to visit the veterinarian as soon as you notice an unusual sneeze or nasal discharge.
But why would your parrot act for so long in a normal way even when sick? It is something that comes standard with all birds. In nature, when a sick bird is quickly detected by its hunters and excluded from the group of which it is a part. For this reason, your parrot will hide until the last moment that it is sick.
Providing your parrot with proper nutrition will save it from falling ill in most cases
Any type of nutritional problem can weaken the immune system of your parrot, leaving it exposed to the attack of a wide variety of pathogens. For this reason, there should always be vitamin A in your diet, since it is of particular importance for the cells that line your respiratory system.
Birds with nutritional deficiencies of vitamin A are much easier targets for bacteria and other pathogens. Most of the seeds that we feed our birds are low in vitamin A, while granulated foods and many fruits and vegetables have very high levels of vitamin A.
If your parrot has a diet based on seeds, it is best to give it a food supplement rich in vitamin A. Another much more comfortable but also more expensive option is to always provide food for parrots that are made in the form of pellets and containing fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin A.
Other possibilities why your parrot can sneeze
Tumors and other abnormal growths in the nasal passages, paranasal sinuses, or related areas of parrots can cause dry sneezing. Parrots that suffer from an infestation of air sac mites can also suffer from difficult breathing with their mouths open.
In any of these cases, you will need to visit a specialized veterinarian.