Chlamydiosis is one of the most common diseases in birds. Cockatiels can be infected with Clamydophila psittaci, so if you have a bird of this species, you need to be very aware of the symptoms.
Since chlamydiosis is a zoonosis, that is, it can be transmitted to humans, it is even more important for bird keepers to know this disease, to be able to detect its symptoms and to act in case of contagion.
In this article from PeritoAnimal we will explain to you all about chlamydial chlamydia, keep reading!
Chlamydiosis in birds
Chlamydiosis is a disease caused by intracellular bacteria of the Chlamydiaceae family . According to the current classification, this family is divided into two genres: Chlamydia and Chlamydophila . It is within this second group that Chlamydophila psittaci is found , the species responsible for chlamydiosis in psittacid birds, thus being responsible for chlamydiasis in cockatiels. In the past, this bacterium was called Chlamydia psittaci .
Chlamydiosis in birds, also called chlamydophyllosis, parrot fever or psittacosis is a zoonosis , meaning that birds that carry this bacterium can transmit it to humans. This transmission occurs by direct contact between humans and birds or by inhalation of particles present in the urine or feather dust.
Chlamydia in cockatiel – Symptoms
Like other parrot birds, cockatiels can be infected with C. psittaci . Birds infected with this bacterium may be asymptomatic , meaning that they have no symptoms, even if they are carriers, and therefore may infect other birds and humans. Cockatiels can live for many years being carriers without any symptoms whatsoever.
Problems arise when the bird’s immune system is down. The symptoms of chlamydia in cockatiel can be:
- Diarrhea or watery stools
- Conjunctivitis and eye secretions
- Sneezing and runny nose
- Weight loss
Symptoms of chlamydia in cockatiel are unspecific and, in addition, different organs may be affected, such as the liver, spleen, respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract. However, it is imperative that you consult your trusted veterinarian if you notice any behavioral change in your bird.
Diagnosis of Chlamydia Chlamydiasis
Since the clinical signs of chlamydiosis in birds are unspecific, the diagnosis becomes more complicated to make. Laboratory tests are required to confirm that this disease is present.
Your veterinarian can assist you with the following tests to arrive at the definitive diagnosis of chlamydia chlamydia:
- liver enzyme analysis
- leukocyte count
Although they are more expensive and a laboratory outside the clinic is usually required, there are laboratory methods that allow isolating C. psittaci . One of the most reliable diagnostic methods is the direct detection of chlamydophila DNA by PCR .
Chelapsite Chlamydiosis – How to Treat
If your cockatiel has chlamydiosis, veterinary treatment is essential. There are different treatment protocols for chlamydiosis and the veterinarian will choose the one that best suits your cockatiel case.
The most common treatment is antibiotic therapy which may be oral, water soluble or injectable. If you have only one cockatiel, the choice of choice is likely to be injectable because of its effectiveness. However, if you have a cockatiel nursery, the soluble option may be more practical, although it is difficult to control how much water each bird drinks.
The eye region is often affected by chlamydia. If you have a conjunctivitis cockatiel, the veterinarian may prescribe a few drops of antibiotic to apply directly to the bird’s eyes.
In addition to antibiotic treatment to eliminate the bacteria, other treatments may be needed to relieve symptoms.
The duration of treatment and prognosis are very variable and depend mainly on how early the chelopsite clamidiosis is detected.
If you have a bird farm with many birds, separate birds that have clinical signs from the rest until treatment is complete.
Usually after 45 days of treatment the birds should be retested.
Does chlamydia in cockatiel pass to humans?
Chlamydiosis is a zoonosis, meaning it can effectively be transmitted from birds to humans. However, the incidence of chlamydiosis in humans is very low, even though there are thousands of birds with this disease. Most people are resistant to bacteria unless their immune system is compromised.
In any case, it is important to be aware that transmission is possible, as some cases of human chlamydiosis can be fatal if not properly treated.
The symptoms of chlamydiosis in humans are:
- Severe headaches
- Bad to be widespread
Severe cases can even cause pneumonia, as the lung is one of the most affected organs  . However, in most cases human chlamydiosis may be asymptomatic (without symptoms) or have mild flu-like symptoms.
Prevention of Chlamydia in Birds
As already mentioned, birds can transmit this bacteria to other birds through nasal, oral or fecal secretions. For this reason, it is essential to keep the bird environment always clean . Also read our full article on caring for cockatiel .
In nurseries with many birds, the risk of chlamydiosis is much higher and care should be taken. Regular cleaning should include drinkers and feeders, not just the area where there is waste.
Another preventive measure is to control the number of birds in the nursery. High population density increases the risk of chlamydiosis and makes it more difficult to keep sanitized, and birds have a poorer quality of life.
Whenever you adopt a new cockatiel, quarantine it before joining it with other birds. This ensures that you detect any clinical signs before you risk transmitting any disease to other healthy birds.
Be sure to visit a veterinarian of exotic animals regularly. It’s not just dogs and cats that need veterinary care. In birds, regular visits also allow any changes or problems to be identified early, improving prognosis.
This article is for informational purposes only. At PeritoAnimal.com.br we are unable to prescribe veterinary treatments or perform any type of diagnosis. We suggest that you take your pet to the vet in case of any condition or malaise.