Bacterial And Fungal Skin Infections in Birds

By PetMD Editorial on Jul. 1, 2008

Avian Skin Infections

Much like humans, birds suffer from skin infections. In birds, they can be due to injury or infection and usually results in redness and swelling. And if the bird continuously pecks at the infection, it may be ulcerate.

Symptoms and Types

In general, symptoms affecting the skin include:

  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Swelling

If your bird is pecking an skin area more than usual, check for infection and take the bird to the veterinarian for proper diagnosis and medication.

There are various types of skin infections in birds, including:

  • Bacterial skin infections – caused by bacteria, such as bacilli, staphylococci and streptococci. Bumblefoot (pododermatitis) is caused by staphylococci.
  • Fungal skin infections – caused by various fungi like ringworm, Cryptococcus fungi, malassezia yeast, etc. They can occur anywhere on the body. Conversely, yeast infections occur usually around the beak.


Bacterial skin infections are treated with antibiotics, given orally or applied locally. Fungal skin infections,meanwhile, are generally treated with oral medication or by spraying the infected area.


Skin infections can spread from birds to humans and from humans to birds. Therefore, whenever there is infection in the house, care should be taken to prevent an outbreak of the contagion. In addition, the bird should be kept clean and dry, and any skin injury should be properly taken care of to prevent infection.

Help us make PetMD better

Was this article helpful?

Get Instant Vet Help Via Chat or Video. Connect with a Vet. Chewy Health