How Can Nuisance Birds Infect My Dog?

Many dogs enjoy watching and chasing birds, but this seemingly harmless pastime may be detrimental to pooches’ health. Birds carry a lot of dangerous diseases which dogs can catch, causing a number of issues, from vomiting and diarrhoea to respiratory issues and seizures.


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Here we take a look at the diseases that can be passed between birds and dogs and how owners can improve their nuisance bird management and prevent their canines from getting ill.

The Diseases

Cryptococcosis – This fungal disease occurs when dogs inhale fungal spores, known as cryptococcus, from bird droppings. The infection targets the skin, eyes, central nervous system and respiratory tract. It can cause nasal lesions, lethargy, weight loss, eye inflammation, loss of coordination and seizures. Cryptococcosis is treated with an anti-fungal drug treatment, but some symptoms may remain for life.

Aspergillosis – Aspergillosis is also caused by inhaling fungus from bird droppings. It causes respiratory infections, attacking the nasal passage to cause pain, discharge, sneezing and sores. It left untreated, it can spread to a dog’s bones, organs and tissues, creating a severe infection.

Salmonella – Dogs can catch salmonella if they consume the droppings of infected birds. The disease can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy and fever. In some cases, pregnant females can miscarry. Salmonella is treated with antimicrobial medication and rehydration therapy.

Chlamydiosis – Chlamydiosis is caused by the parasite Chlamydia psittaci, which is carried by city pigeons and sometimes pet birds. Dogs become infected if they inhale the dust of bird droppings. The bacterial disease causes diarrhoea, vomiting and fever and can also cause pneumonia. If you’re concerned about pigeons around your home, seek the advice of a pest control company such as nuisance bird management services.

Histoplasmosis – Another disease caused from the inhaling of bird droppings, histoplasmosis is spread by wild birds. It affects the chest and lungs and can cause respiratory infection and, in extreme cases, pneumonia. Coughing, fever and heavy breathing are all symptoms of histoplasmosis.

How to Prevent Your Dog Getting Sick

To prevent your dog catching one of these diseases, it’s best to keep them away from bird droppings. If you own a bird, keep the cage clean and use cage liners. When out with your pooch, keeping them on a leash and being vigilant should keep them safe.

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