Last Updated on August 18, 2022 by Ali Shahid
In my position as a veterinarian, I frequently receive calls regarding the sudden death of lovebirds. Seeing a pet die suddenly is heartbreaking both for the owner and for me. Most often, they ask why my lovebird suddenly died.
Several factors are responsible for sudden death in lovebirds, including poisoning due to toxic fumes, foods, or heavy metals. Viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites can also cause lovebirds to die suddenly from organ failure or diseases.
When birds are sick, they will attempt to hide it until they have expended all their energy pretending like everything is fine. This is the point at which their condition can rapidly worsen and suddenly be fatal.
Our article will examine common symptoms of illness, chemicals in your home which may harm your lovebird, and what you should do if your bird dies unexpectedly at home.
13 Reasons for lovebirds’ Sudden Death
1. Toxic Foods and Plants
Plant-based foods are not necessarily safe for lovebirds. Most pet owners are unaware of this, and they feed their lovebirds foods that are not digestible. Foods that are toxic to lovebirds include:
- Fruit pits
- Apple seeds
It only takes a small amount to poison your lovebird fatally. Your pet may exhibit food poisoning symptoms such as vomiting, convulsions, diarrhea, and tremors afterward.
In addition, certain houseplants, such as sweet peas and pathos, can also be poisonous. In this case, you need to ensure they aren’t eating the plants if they aren’t caged.
2. Toxicity of heavy metals
It is also possible for lovebirds to die suddenly after ingesting a heavy metal, such as zinc or lead, which causes heavy metal toxicosis.
Water contaminated with contaminants or chewing on household objects are common sources of these substances. Heavy metals can also be found in:
- Leaded windows
- Wire Lead-based paint Walls
- Metallic food
- Metal clips
Toxicosis can cause symptoms such as anorexia, diarrhea, polyuria, polydipsia, and weakness in lovebirds. Your bird should be taken to the vet as soon as possible if it displays these symptoms. Ingesting a large amount may cause your bird to suddenly die.
Birds are highly susceptible to atherosclerosis, also known as coronary artery disease. Plaque builds up in arteries, causing atherosclerosis.
As a result, blood cannot flow freely through the body. The plaque can break and cause a fatal blood clot if part of it breaks away. Atherosclerosis may be caused by diet, but no one knows for sure.
Lovebirds who do not exercise much and eat high-fat or high-calorie foods are most at risk. Symptoms of coronary artery disease aren’t always evident in parrots. The first sign of something wrong is sudden and unexpected death.
Sometimes, the parrot may experience shortness of breath, problems with its muscles, or suffer a stroke before it dies. Atherothrombosis has been characterized as “the silent killer.
4. Toxic Fumes
A lovebird can also inhale toxic fumes, causing them to die. Due to their highly sensitive respiratory systems, harmless fumes can be lethal to them.
The fumes that come from Teflon kitchenware such as nonstick cookware are a prime example. Furthermore, there are numerous others such as Ammonia, Bleach, disinfectants, detergents, polish, glue, paint thinner, wax, perfumes, body sprays, deodorants, acetone, lighter fluid, and kerosene.
If inhaled in large quantities, these fumes can cause your bird to suffocate and die instantly. In addition to struggling to breathe, you may see them convulsing as they die.
Many animals can suffer from thyroid hyperplasia. In birds, it’s referred to as an avian goiter. Goiters develop when the thyroid gland becomes enlarged in a parrot’s throat. In turn, the vital organs can be put under excessive pressure.
Included here are the lungs, the heart, the digestive system, and the air sacs. Goiters cause sudden death. A large thyroid gland can cause rapid heart failure due to strain on the heart. A lack of iodine, toxic foods, and chemicals may cause the condition.
6. Night Fright
Even though night fright is not a disease, birds can easily become panicked due to the fear they feel during the night. In reality, it can be anything that makes a loud noise during the night, such as dogs barking or babies crying.
Frightened birds are more likely to damage themselves by trashing around the cage causing injuries. The result could be a fatal injury to your bird.
Sarcosystosis is a protozoan parasitic infection. The parrot’s respiratory tract (lungs and airways) is the most common site of infection with these tiny, single-celled organisms. Sarcocystosis is more common in outdoor-living parrots.
When living in an outbreak area, indoor parrots can develop sarcocystosis. Insects, such as cockroaches, can carry parasites into the home. Parrots with Sarcocystosis may exhibit typical symptoms such as depression, lethargy, fuzzy feathers, and other signs.
Regurgitation, breathing problems, seizures, and difficulty swallowing are also common symptoms. Infected parrots may appear healthy just hours before they die suddenly as the disease progresses rapidly.
8. Organ Disease
It is unfortunate to note that lovebirds and other bird species are susceptible to organ failure. There are many reasons why this occurs, including poor eating habits, bacteria, or even viral infections.
In addition, the symptoms of many of these diseases can be difficult to recognize, especially for someone without a medical degree.
Due to this, it might appear that your lovebird died for no reason when it dies of organ failure. Keep your bird healthy, make sure they are provided with optimal living conditions, and see your veterinarian regularly to prevent this.
9. Egg Yolk Peritonitis
Because it affects the female reproductive tract, egg yolk peritonitis is only a problem for female birds. Egg yolk peritonitis can affect any female bird, regardless of whether it has mated.
Parrots release their mature ova (yolk) into the oviduct after they have matured. When egg yolk enters the abdomen, it is trapped and inflamed, leading to sepsis. If antibacterial drugs and fluids are not administered immediately to lovebirds, they can die suddenly.
10 . Parrot Fever
A bacterial disease known as parrot fever affects parrots as well as other animals. This condition is also referred to as avian chlamydiosis. Chlamydia psittaci is responsible for causing the disease in parrots.
When a parrot comes into contact with a sick parrot, it can catch psittacosis. Some birds are asymptomatic and are dormant with the disease. It may take post-mortem tests to diagnose a bird with asymptomatic parrot fever. The disease is fatal in 50% of cases if left untreated.
11. Heat Stroke
At 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit, parrots are most comfortable but can live in temperatures up to 90 degrees. After this point, their body temperature rises so quickly that they are at risk of heatstroke.
A bird that is overweight is particularly at risk since fat keeps the bird warm.
If a cage is kept in direct sunlight or a sunroom (conservatory), parrots kept inside can suffer from hot weather problems. Hot weather may cause heat stress in parrots.
As part of its regular flapping, the parrot will extend its wings and open and close its throat rapidly to cool itself off. Furthermore, the parrot will pant rapidly to cool itself off.
There is a fungal infection known as aspergillosis caused by the aspergillus fungus. This fungus grows inside the respiratory system (lungs and trachea) of the bird. As a result, it can cause respiratory problems.
The fungi are most often picked up by parrots from their environment instead of being passed from one bird to another.
Unless you provide sufficient ventilation, excess humidity, and strong sanitation practices to your lovebirds, they are more likely to contract an infection.
There are no definitive treatments for aspergillosis in parrots. The symptoms of a parrot infected by a disease are often not obvious until severe damage has occurred. Death can occur as a result of the disease progressing without warning.
Body tissues that have grown abnormally and mutated are called tumors. Parrots can have cancerous tumors, however, not all of them are malignant. Most benign tumors do not cause death, but they may cause discomfort.
When a parrot is suffering from cancer, the symptoms can be difficult to identify and depend on where the tumor is located.
In the case of a lung tumor, your parrot may have difficulty breathing. When vital organs or bodily functions of the parrot are affected by cancer, it can become fatal.
People Also Ask
Can stress kill lovebirds?
Parrots can die under stress. An adrenaline rush will occur in your parrot’s body if he feels threatened or afraid. An excess of adrenaline in a parrot can cause fatigue, hypertension, and death.
Is my bird dead or in shock?
Check the bird for signs of slow breathing or irregular heartbeats to determine whether it is stunned or dead.
Do birds get heart attacks?
The arteries of birds can become hardened just as they do in humans, as a result of high cholesterol. You should keep an eye on your bird’s heart health periodically as they age so that any changes can be caught and treated early on.
What are the common sign of illness in lovebirds?
A pet bird that is ill will usually show signs such as vomiting or regurgitation, loss of appetite, or a puffy appearance. Additionally, if it is sitting at the bottom of the cage, it means it is sick.
Nevertheless, some symptoms of illness can be difficult to spot, such as subtle changes in behavior, a change in habits, or changing vocalizations or droppings. Because of this, it is vital to know what your bird is normally like.
A beloved pet’s death is always a great sadness, especially if we aren’t sure what caused it. Luckily, we can take a lot of steps to ensure that our lovebirds are healthy, happy, and long-lived.
Taking your pets to the vet regularly, feeding them a variety of foods, providing them with a safe and functional environment, and spending time with them every day are the best ways to provide them with this kind of care.
Bird diseases generally do not display obvious symptoms, unlike most human diseases. If you pay attention to their habits and bond with them while learning more about them, you will be able to determine what is wrong.
Preventive measures are always more effective than cures. Until then, good luck with your birdkeeping.
Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.