Yeast Infection in Birds

By PetMD Editorial on Jun. 27, 2008
Yeast Infection in Birds

Avian Candidiasis

There are many diseases and infections common between humans and birds. One particular digestive disorder in birds that is also seen in humans, especially babies, is yeast infection Candidiasis (or thrush).

Candidiasis can affect multiple organs. The most common sites of infection are the crop (the storage place for food prior to digestion), stomach and intestines. However, other organs like the skin, respiratory tract, mouth and nose, and central nervous system may be infected, too.

Symptoms and Types

The visible signs of Candidiasis disease, include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Regurgitation of food
  • Delayed emptying of crop
  • Lethargy
  • Swollen and mucus-filled crop
  • White spots in the mouth

Adult birds that do not have an aggressive form of the infection may not show any signs of the disease at all. Young birds, conversely, may have the infection spread to its blood, bone marrow and deep organs.


Candidiasis is caused by the yeast, Candida albicans, and is commonly found in the environment or in the digestive tract of the birds.

When the immunity of the bird is low, the yeast causes secondary infection of Candidiasis. The immunity of the bird may be weakened due to many reasons, including:

  • Sickness
  • Very young, unweaned birds
  • Birds on antibiotics
  • Diet deficient in nutrition


The veterinarian will examine and test the bird in order to prescribe the appropriate medication. Baby birds, however, should be fed small amounts of food to empty their crop more often, and to control the Candidiasis infection.


Regular cleaning and disinfecting of the cage, nest box, and utensils are essential in preventing Candidiasis infection in your bird.

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