Canary birds are vulnerable to various infectious and non-infectious diseases. Here is a list of the most common pathogens and health conditions that can cause illness to your canary:
Harmful bacteria transmit to your bird through various sources such as contaminated water, soil, food, and feces, and even air, or through animals, such as wild birds, rodents, mites, and mosquitoes. Bacterial diseases can also be transmitted to birds when introducing new birds to aviaries. But some harmful species of bacteria are part of the natural makeup of the gut flora and can only cause illness when an opportunity arises. The most common isolated bacteria that can cause diseases to your canary include:
- Escherichia spp. (most commonly E. coli)
- Salmonella spp
- Mycoplasma spp.
- Klebsiella spp. (e.g K. oxitoca)
- Enterobacter spp. (e.g E. amnigenus)
- Enterococcus spp. (commonly E. faecalis)
- Listeria spp.
- Pseudomonas spp.
- Streptococcus spp.
- Staphylococcus spp. (e.g S. aureus and S. gallinarum)
- Chlamydia spp. (e.g C. psittaci)
- Citrobacter spp.
- Bacillus spp. (e.g B. cereus)
- Acinetobacter spp. (e.g A. iwoffo)
Less common bacterial infections in canaries include:
- Clostridium spp.
- Serratia spp.
- Proteus mirabilis
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Viruses can spread quite rapidly, and they can cause high mortality, depending on the type and form of the virus. One of the most common and highly contagious viruses that affect canaries is avian pox (canarypox). Other common viruses include canary Circovirus (blackspot in canary chicks) and Paramyxovirus (Newcastle); other less common viruses are Papillomavirus, Polyomavirus, and Usutu virus.
- Avian Gastric Disease (Macrorhabdus ornithogaster)
- Candiaisas (Candida spp.)
- Fungal dermatitis (Fungal skin infections)
Endoparasite (internal parasites)
- Coccidiosis commonly caused by Isospora canaria in canaries
- Toxoplasmosis caused by Toxoplasma gondii
- Atoxoplasmosis (also causes blackspot)
- Air Sac mites
Ectoparasite (external parasites)
- Knemidokoptes mites (scaly leg and face mites)
- Dermanyssus gallinae (Red mites)
Non-infectious health conditions
- Egg binding
- Feather Cyst
- Heavy metal toxicity
- Male baldness
Other health conditions
Reviewed by Dr. Wael Abu-Hmoud
- Ruben Horn et al. (2015). Identification and antimicrobial resistance of members from the Enterobacteriaceae family isolated from canaries (Serinus canaria). Pesq. Vet. Bras. 35 (6) https://doi.org/10.1590/S0100-736X2015000600011
- Sharman M. Hoppes (2015). Bacterial Diseases of Pet Birds. Merck Vet Manual. retrieved June 2021 from https://www.merckvetmanual.com/exotic-and-laboratory-animals/pet-birds/bacterial-diseases-of-pet-
- Di Francesco CE et al (2018). Reproductive disorders in domestic canaries (Serinus canarius domesticus): a retrospective study on bacterial isolates and their antimicrobial resistance in Italy from 2009 to 2012. Vet Ital. 30;54(2):169-174. doi: 10.12834/VetIt.955.4952.2. PMID: 30019333.
- Samanta I., Bandyopadhyay S. (2017). Infectious Diseases. In: Pet bird diseases and care. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-3674-3_2