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Macaw Asthma in Birds

Macaw Respiratory Hypersensitivity


Macaw Respiratory Hypersensitivity (or Macaw Asthma) is a lung and airway disease which causes an allergic reaction in the bird. Blue and gold macaws are especially prone to this condition.


Symptoms and Types


Birds with Macaw Asthma will display similar symptoms to other respiratory illnesses. Some include: nasal discharge and difficulty breathing, which may lead to permanent lung damage. Allergic birds are also more prone to have a Macaw Asthma relapse.




Macaw Asthma can be due to many reasons. One common cause for this condition is a reaction to the powder down produced by the feather dust of birds, such as cockatoos and African Grey parrots. However, not all macaws are allergic to the powder down.




Before diagnosing Macaw Asthma, the veterinarian must rule out other bacterial, fungal or viral respiratory infections. Afterwards, lung X-rays and a blood cell count are done because with Macaw Asthma will have an increase in its white blood cells.


The veterinarian may also do a tracheal wash to see if any other respiratory disease are present. If necessary, a lung biopsy is sometimes needed to diagnose Macaw Asthma.


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  • Macaw Asthma/allergies
    03/22/2012 09:11pm

    I understand how this works, but what if there isn't any sort of sneezing or discharge? My scarlet had plucked out his feathers out of no where within a couple of hours after the morning routine. Could it just be due to new allergies being developed? Yes, I do have an U2b (only cockatoo in the flock) and the other macaws seem fine. Could it be a sudden food allergy? I have heard about how many ekkies can develope allergies to peanuts. Thanks.