Since these colorful little companions add up some extra value to life but what if you’re allergic to your budgie parakeet? Fighting bird allergies!
Pets are the loveliest creatures everyone wants to have, especially when it comes to a lingual companion like a Parakeet. Parakeet is a breed ranging from small to medium-sized parrots having long tail feathers. The species is believed to be the most vocal in the family of parrots as they can talk, vocalize songs, mimic, and some of them have found beatboxing as well. They live for decades or so. Since these colorful little companions add up some extra value to life but what if you’re allergic to your budgie parakeet?
It sounds awful but a parakeet can cause serious allergic reactions if you’re prone to it. If you’re an allergic pet lover then you’ll get to know about all the essentials required if you’re planning to buy a parakeet or if you’re already having one.
Why Parakeet Cause Allergy
Most birds including parrots produce a powder-like substance between their feathers and skin when they flap or shed their feathers. This dust is usually referred to as Dander. These are very fine particles and very light weighed which are more likely to travel through the air and persist for an interval. Now if you get in contact with that dander by touching or inhaling then this causes some allergic reactions.
Allergic Reactions Caused By BUDGIES
Budgies are very pretty to tame but sometimes they also can cause adverse health issues to owners. If you are allergic to a budgie, then you must know and consider some types of allergies or disorders you get from birds only. Some of them are mentioned down below,
Alveolitis is a lung disease that causes inflammation of the alveoli and bronchioles. These are the air sacs and spaces within the lungs. The main culprit behind this, are the allergens in avian dust which are inhaled by the owner with such occupations. If you are allergic to a budgie then you can notice symptoms as:
In the beginning after sudden exposure to avian dust
- You will feel tightening of the chest
- You’ll feel difficulties in breathing
- You’ll start wheezing
- You’ll get cough because of dried throat
- You’ll experience chills
- Your body is more likely to start sweating
- You’ll start getting aches in different parts of your body
- You’ll feel very drowsy and fatigued after exposures
After repeated or prolonged exposure to avian dust:
- You’ll start getting fevers
- You’ll get a crackling sensation during breathing
- You’ll feel an increased bluish-green pigment or complexion change in your skin
- You’ll also get to develop prolonged lung damage if the symptoms get worse or left untreated.
There are many medicines, which are usually prescribed by the physician, but they hold many side effects and health risks though they are proved to help reduce the symptoms. The most common practice you can do to use air-filtering masks and gloves etc. Because when you inhale the dust or dander or if you touch the droppings while handling or playing with your pet the allergens are more likely to worsen your symptoms of allergy.
Parakeet dander pneumoconiosis
Parakeet dander pneumoconiosis is not that different from allergic alveolitis, but it could more serious damage to the lungs and becomes fatal at some stage of life. It occurs by inhaling dust produced by parakeet feathers. The allergens or tiny particles get deep into the lungs traveling through pores within the walls of the lungs. The severity depends on the size and shape of the dust particles and their persistence as well.
Soon after the exposure to dust, the allergens will affect you as You’ll start coughing due to partial blockage in the airways and deficiency of oxygen because your throat gets dry because of the allergic reaction.
You’ll start to get more mucus in your lungs and throat that can cause congestion in the nose and throat at the same time. Because of dust attacking the lungs you’ll experience serious breathing problems and shortening of breath without having been exposed to any hard job.
Your acute symptoms can lead to chronic symptoms if they are neglected occasionally. If they lead to progressive massive fibrosis then, You can get prolonged damage in the lungs that tends to lung failure at a certain point thus causes the death of the patient. Dust particles are very minute and stay in the lungs for a long time causing mild to severe damages. Because of certain infections and continuous exposure to drugs you’re more prone to get lung cancer as well that also becomes the main cause of fatality in humans.
Pneumoconiosis rarely leads to tuberculosis, but it has been noticed to show symptoms like TB in patients suffered from it.
You can also experience heart failure due to pneumoconiosis that occurs because of the pressure produced in the lungs due to infection or inflammation.
There is no particular treatment for this as well though you can prevent yourself from getting infected by doing few things as:
Wash your hands, face and all the exposed areas of your skin you think got in contact with dander before eating, drinking, or touching any solid surface because there are more chances for allergens to get embedded in or on different surfaces and persist long and can transfer from one person to another.
Wear a mask while working or cleaning your parakeet surrounding and ensure to use an air filtering mask that helpless entrance of allergens or dander.
Make sure to clean your clothes and dispose of all the dust properly.
Don’t use napkins or towels over and over to keep yourself away from allergens. You should go to your physician every week or two to get yourself checked and to get x-rays or other prescribed tests to improve your health for the better.
If you’re a smoker then this could be killed in a very early stage as you’re already facing breathing issues the smoke of cigarettes can make it more worse so it’s recommended to quit smoking.
“Psittacosis—also known as parrot fever, and ornithosis—is a zoonotic infectious disease in humans caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia psittaci and contracted from infected parrots, such as macaws, cockatiels, and budgerigars, and pigeons, sparrows, ducks, hens, gulls and many other species of birds.”(Wikipedia).
It transfers to humans through the fecal or other droppings of parrots. The dander of infected parrots also carries the bacterium and transmits it through the air. Parrots act as the vectors of Chlamydia psittaci.
People with psittacosis are susceptible to experience symptoms after 10-15 days of exposure. In the early symptoms:
- You can get temperatures and mild chills
- You can get severe headaches because of temperature
- You can get muscle contractions and fatigue
- Your body gets lethargic
- It also causes scratchy voice and dry cough
The symptoms of psittacosis can become more adverse and can lead to death rarely.
You can get a lung infection due to dander that interrupts the oxygen supply required for breathing and proper functioning of the lungs.
You can also get pneumonia if the symptoms remain unchecked and untreated for a certain period.
For treating psittacosis many antibiotics and oral therapies are used like tetracyclines or doxycycline. Besides that, you can also become cautious by practicing few steps,
- Stay away from infected budgies
- Clean the budgie’s cage every day
- Use air filters near the cage and implant an air filtering system in the house
- Be careful while handling infected your budgies
Things To Consider While Petting A Parakeet
You don’t need to leave your pet aside for sure but there are some preventive measures you can follow to keep yourself healthy and safe. It’s really hard to eradicate the problem from the core but you can make it possible if you add some simple steps in your routine to improve the quality of life and keeping a more hygienic environment in check.
Let your parakeet bathe
Letting your parakeet bathe or shower it yourself can help reduce the amount of dander produced so are the allergens.
Clean the cage regularly
Rest assure to clean and sanitize the cage and all the surroundings your parakeet stays in. Clean all the containers and floor of the cage as well.
Wash your hands after treating
Wash your hands soon after you play or clean your budgie’s cage. Avoid touching your eyes, skin, or nose to prevent any kind of infection caused by allergens.
Keep the quality of air in check
Dander or feather dust comprises very tiny particles and stays in the air. HEPA filters are recommended to tackle this problem because these filters absorb tiny particles more efficiently than the other filters. You should also ventilate your rooms regularly to improve the quality of air.
Clean your house regularly
Once you’re done cleaning the budgie’s room you also need to clean your rooms as well. Clean the furniture and floor regularly to remove all the dust or dander. Leather is more preferable to fabric because the dust sometimes gets absorbed into the fabric while can easily be wiped off of leather surfaces. If you’re allergic, then try to avoid carpets or rugs because allergens are more likely to embed the surfaces like this and are harder to clean and get rid of.
Think before you choose your pet It’s often harder to decide before petting any bird or animal in general. The trend of petting birds is reaching the height day by day and every individual loves to have a pet to make their life more cheerful and joyful. Before taming a bird it’s crucial to do deep research about it. This will help you tackle the problems associated with your pet like if you are planning to buy a pet ask an expert or research on your own if you’re prone to any type of allergy to birds.
Because you’re going to select a pet that is easier to handle and reliable as you build a strong bonding with your little companion. There are many species of parrots you can find in a pet shop. All the species are beautiful in their own way making them unique from each other. But you need to be extra cautious while choosing your pet bird.
See what attracts you
All the species of parrots are very attractive. They all carry bright colors, feathers, and long tails. They also carry a special ability to speak and they are fast learning creatures in terms of language. Like how amazing the feeling is when a budgie responds to your question straight away in your own language. Anyways, you can choose any parrots of choice based on color scheme or size but you also have to keep in mind whether your bird produces dander and to what extent. For which it’s really important to understand the difference in species to tame a parrot if you’re allergic to it.
How to get to know that if you’re allergic
All the birds produce dander that is a powder or dusty substance when the birds flap their wing or shed their feathers. Some of the species have a preening gland near the tail region and vitamin D which helps them to moisturize their bodies or sometimes dander produces from the old shedding feathers.
Few species of parrots like African greys, cockatoo, and cockatiels are producing more dander which is of more powdery form while some species like a budgie, parakeet, or a few other produced dander that is more of oily form.
If you’re allergic to birds then you should choose parakeets as pet birds not for the reason that they don’t make any dust or dander but for the reason that they produce less dander and compared to African greys, cockatoo, or amazons. Because the less your pet produces dander the less, you’re prone to get allergies.
You can check if you’re allergic to parakeets or not. You can spend some time where most of the birds are kept like pet shops, farms, or any of your friends having the bird of your interest. If you feel experience any of the symptoms above, you can select your pet accordingly.