Pets for Children

Health Issues with Macaw Parrots on Kids

Radhika
1 to 3 years

Created by
Updated on Oct 26, 2012

We got 2 Gold & Blue Macaws as pets. My children are 4 years (daughter) and 10 month(son) respectively. My elder daughter is coughing from past 1 month. The doctor said we must not keep the parrots as they might be the cause. Further they might even weaken the lung functioning. The birds have become apart of our family now. It's highly impossible for us to remove them from our house. Neither they, nor we can think of staying without one another. Does anyone have any information on these birds as pet and their affect on children.

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Radhika

| Nov 05, 2012

Thank you so much Bhavna & Neetu. Your input is truly helpful :))

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Bhavna

| Oct 29, 2012

Dear Radhika, I understand your plight being a pet owner myself but i am going to list below the diseases and their symptoms that can happen to your children; i am sure you can now make an informed decision .Children, elderly people and people with a weaker immune system are the most susceptible to diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans. However, there are four most serious concerns which need to be looked out for. 1. Parrot Fever or Psittacosis: Can be contracted from birds such as macaws, hens,ducks,sparrows and many other species of birds. This is quite a serious illness and incubation period may last from 5-14days. The disease ranges from pneumonia, diarrhea, conjunctivitis to name a few. If not diagnosed or treated, neurological problems may occur, with fatal results. Treatment of this disease includes administration of antibiotics. The interesting part here is, the bird carrying the disease may not show any illness or symptoms. But as a precaution, signs such as swollen eyes, difficulty in breathing,watery and green droppings should be looked out for and the bird should be taken for check up if any of the symptoms show up. 2. Salmonella infections: Salmonella bacteria is found in the nasal secretions,fecal matter and feather dust of the infected bird. Symptoms include lethargy, diarrhea and anemia. Here again, antibiotics are given for treatment. The dropping of the infected bird is usually yellowish green and other symptoms vary from species to species. This disease is common among all pets. 3. Allergic alveolitis: This is a respiratory condition which occurs due to long term inhalation of feather particles, dust produces by the birds in the cage. Children and people with a weaker immunity are more prone to this. One of the best ways to avoid or minimize developing this condition is by keeping birds in a separate well ventilated room or area , cleaning the cage regularly. 4. Avian TB or Bird Flu: This also affects the respiratory system and the symptoms are more flu- like symptoms with aching body, cough, fever, sore throat. The infected bird may show symptoms such as progressive weight loss, increased thirst, diarrhea and difficulty in breathing. Now you can decide if you want to keep the bird in a seperate area till your child can get over her cough and you can be watchful of the above mentioned symptoms too.

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Neetu Ralhan

| Oct 29, 2012

Also, its best not to compromise the health of your children at any cost. So it will be a good idea to keep the birds away from the little ones while you seek second opinion.

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Neetu Ralhan

| Oct 29, 2012

Hi, since this is very important to you, you may want to seek the opinion of a vet - a bird doctor to be specific, Its possible that the macaws are sick or carrying an infection, or may be not - by talking to an expert, you will have more clarity and will be better informed to make a decision, If at all you do find that the birds need medical care, you may still be able to keep them post treatment, than to just give them away without ever knowing. Also read somewhere taht macaws can hide symptoms of any illness, so best to talk to a vet..

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