The most common eye disease in parakeets is cataracts. Eye infections, however, are generally symptoms of other disease, malnutrition, illness or toxicity. It is important to assess the bird's environment before searching for a cure. Weeping eyes, accompanied by a nasal discharge or red, crusty eyes or swollen eyelids are symptomatic of parakeet health problems and need medical attention.
Cataracts in Parakeets
Birds are frequent victims of cataracts and parakeets are no exception. Causes for this malady are often genetic but can be brought on by toxicity in the bird's environment and trauma from a severe illness. The condition can also be caused by nutritional deficiency and old age. Caged parakeets that develop cataracts do not suffer greatly from impaired vision since they have no predators and are familiar with the location of their feed bowls.
Symptoms of Parakeet Eye Disease Associated with Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis is a disease that can affect parakeets. The primary symptoms begin with red, watery eyes and nasal discharge. As the condition worsens a thick crusty growth begins to form around the eye. It can, in severe cases, completely cover the eye. This eye disease can be brought on by bacteria, fungi or an eye injury. It is accompanied by respiratory problems. Treatment includes observing the birds daily to make sure they are eating properly and keeping them from stress. A sick bird should be isolated, and feed and water bowls washed daily. Medication can be subscribed by an avian veterinarian.
Symptoms of Blepharitis
Parakeets are subject to a condition known as belpharitis, which is an inflammation of the eyelids. There is much redness and irritation in both eyes. There are two kinds of blepharitis. One affects the front of the eyelids and is caused by Staphylococcus bacteria. The area around the eye may have an appearance of dandruff. Posterior belpharitis attacks the back of the eyelids and is the most common kind of the disease. The oil glands in the eyes are affected with posterior blepharitis.
Treatment for Eye Disease
A parakeet with eye problems should be seen by an avian veterinarian who will most likely prescribe an ophthalmic ointment to clean the eye. Steroid drops or antibiotic ointment may also be prescribed to relieve the symptoms. However, the care giver should completely understand the instructions on using these remedies since misuse could create more problems. A simple home remedy can bring needed relief by using warm chamomile teabags laid gently over the parakeet's eyes once or twice a day. Leave it on for about five minutes. Chamomile is a good anti-inflammatory.
Birds, including parakeets, are sensitive to their environment and should not be exposed to such toxins as cigarette smoke and household chemicals. Smoking in the same room with birds cause chronic eye problems. The use of strong household chemicals can have a similar effect but can also promote respiratory disease and even death. Good nutrition is essential to keeping parakeets' immune system healthy to stave off eye disease. Cleanliness in the cage and surrounding area, especially where the birds perch, is a must. Parakeets housed in a room free from drafts and environmental hazards will be able to avoid causes of eye disease.
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of hobvias sudoneighm
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