Gastrointestinal Parasites (Tapeworms) in Birds

PetMD Editorial
July 24, 2008
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Avian Tapeworms in Birds

Gastrointestinal parasites can cause many problems in a bird's stomach and intestines, but also affects the normal functions of other organs. Tapeworms, is a type of parasite which affects the bird's digestive tract.

Birds commonly affected by tapeworms are cockatoos, African Grey parrots, and finches.

Symptoms and Types

Tapeworms found in the stomach and intestines of an infected bird do not show any obvious symptoms. However, tapeworms can be found in the infected bird's droppings, if they are carefully inspected.

Causes

Tapeworms are contracted from infected birds or animals, usually wild birds. But birds can also get infected by eating animals with tapeworms, such as insects, slugs, earthworms, and spiders.

Treatment

The veterinarian will run tests on the infected bird’s droppings and then prescribe medication to kill the tapeworms. Depending on the degree of the infection, the medicine can be given orally or injected into the infected bird. More than one dose, however, is required to completely remove this gastrointestinal parasite.

Prevention

You can prevent a gastrointestinal parasite from infecting your bird, by getting it regularly de-wormed at the veterinarian's office.