Unexpected Death of New Parkeets
Reader Question: Cause of Parakeet Deaths
My daughter has had two new parakeets who were seemingly in good health suddenly die for no apparent reason. The first one lived about two weeks, was eating fine, and was found dead one morning. The second one only lived for four days. Same thing - it was active, eating, chirping, etc with no discernible problems and was found dead this morning.
She had another one between these two, who was returned to the store after about two weeks and was still alive about a week later. He was losing smaller, fluffy feathers and then started pulling out his tail feathers (we think) so that all the long feathers were gone.
The cage was cleaned very thoroughly between birds. They were bought at Petco. Again, they were active, chirping, eating, and interacting with us and did not display any of the signs of sickness that I have seen described online. Any advice or insights? Can a house have a disease present that is being transferred to the birds and killing them?Veterinarian Suggestion: Unexplained Parakeet Death
I am sorry to hear of your daughter’s experience with her parakeets. Several conditions can cause sudden death in multiple birds. My top rule outs would include infections (e.g., chlamydiosis) or exposure to a toxin (e.g., fumes from Teflon pans, low level carbon monoxide exposure).
The only way to determine the cause of these birds’ deaths is to have a necropsy (the animal equivalent of an autopsy) performed by a veterinarian who has a lot of experience with birds. If one of the bodies is still available, I would strongly recommend having a necropsy done before getting another bird.
Jennifer Coates, DVM