Pigeons are rather popular pets. Just like any other pet though, they are susceptible to illness. If you notice your pigeon breathing with your mouth open, you are probably wondering, “Is that a disease symptom?”
A pigeon breathing with their mouth open most likely has a respiratory infection. If they are displaying this symptom, they have likely been ill for a while and require treatment immediately.
How Serious Is A Respiratory Infection?
Respiratory infections are very contagious. If left untreated, your bird will become less active due to its inability to breathe and fly. This will lead to the pigeon not eating, and ultimately dying.
Birds that are most susceptible to infection are:
- Old birds
- Stressed birds
- Very young birds
What Causes Respiratory Infections In Pigeons?
Respiratory infections in pigeons can be caused by:
Pigeons can easily contract the respiratory infection from other infected pigeons. They may also contract it from their surrounding environment. If your pigeons are living in an environment with:
- High ammonia levels
- High dust levels
- Inadequate ventilation
They have a higher chance of developing a respiratory infection.
Diagnosing A Respiratory Infection
There are so many different possible causes for respiratory infections, the only way to know what the true cause is, to have your vet run tests. Tests can include:
- Blood work
- Serum analysis
- Fecal samples
- Viral isolation tests
- Conducting a PCR test of their trachea tissue
By conducting these tests, your vet will be able to determine what exactly is causing the infection so that proper treatment can begin.
Treating A Respiratory Infection
Treatment is different for each bird depending on what is causing the infection. Most often than not, you will need to thoroughly clean their living environment and make sure it meets all of their needs.
For bacterial infections, there are multiple vaccines available. Often, antibiotics are given along with the process of flushing out the sinus and nasal cavities.
Viral infections also have vaccines available. However, some viral infections are not curable and therefore can only be treated with supportive care to make the bird feel more comfortable.
Parasitic And Fungal Infections
Parasitic infections are treated with anthelmintic medications, while fungal infections are treated with antifungal medications.
Will Your Pigeon Recover?
Recovery from a respiratory infection is different for each bird. Their ability to recover is dependent upon what is causing the illness as well as the severity of their symptoms.
More than likely, your bird will never completely recover. They will remain a carrier of the infection for the rest of their lives and could possibly spread it to other pigeons. The best way to prevent the spread is to vaccinate your other pigeons and prevent overcrowding.
Pigeon Breathing With Mouth Open Is A Disease Symptom
If your pigeon is breathing with its mouth open, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible. Certain treatments are available but not always successful. This is why prevention is important.
Get your pigeon the proper vaccinations and keep their environment in an ideal state to ensure your pigeon stays healthy.