Saliva – a Danger to Birds

Bird on Shoulder

The saliva of mammals carries a bacteria known as “gram negative.” It is present in the body fluids of mammals and in normal amounts does not pose a danger. Birds do not have gram negative bacteria in their bodies and are not equipped to fight it.

We know you love your bird, but kissing can pass the bacteria to him/her. Feeding your bird using your utensils or allowing your bird to take food from your mouth can pass the bacteria as well.

The paws and nails of mammals can be coated with gram negative bacteria. If your bird is attacked by your dog or cat although it may be even a small scratch, it requires immediate veterinary attention.

Your veterinarian will take a sample of cells from the injured area and test them for the amount of gram negative bacteria present. The vet will then prescribe the appropriate medication and doses.

It is very important to check any injury to your bird no matter how small as soon as possible. Even that tiny scratch can cause fatal septicemia – an infection in the bloodstream.

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