If you are a fan of birds and you have ever heard your budgie sneezing, you might be pretty concerned, especially if it has started doing this on a regular basis or if it is showing other symptoms of illness.
Many people aren’t even aware that birds can sneeze, so this may take you by surprise the first time it happens. However, birds are just as capable of sneezing as people.
There are a couple of things that can prompt a budgie to sneeze, and while it’s important not to panic, you should be aware if your budgie is sneezing a lot.
Don’t ignore any unusual behavior from your budgie, as birds are sensitive and often attempt to hide any indication that they are sick until they are really ill, because signs of weakness might cause them to be picked off in the wild.
Seeing a budgie sneeze or have a fit of sneezing can be quite odd the first time you witness it, and sometimes pretty alarming, but it is often nothing too serious.
Indeed, it can be very cute, and as long as it is a rare occurrence, it’s probably not worth worrying about. Simply make a mental note of it and look out for other signs of sickness as well.
Why Is My Budgie Sneezing So Much?
Your budgie will usually sneeze in an attempt to clear its nasal passage from some kind of blockage – this could be mucus, dust, smoke particles, dander, or due to irritants in the air, such as those caused by chemical sprays or scented candles.
The bird will sneeze a couple of times, shake its feathers, and get on with whatever it was doing before the irritation was caused.
However, sometimes sneezing will be a sign that your budgie is sick, because just like humans, budgies can suffer from irritation in their nasal passages as a result of illness.
Respiratory infections will cause repeated, persistent, and regular sneezing, and will need treating before they get worse, or your budgie may die.
Sick budgies sneeze because the body is attempting to clear bacteria or a virus from its system, dislodging them from the nasal cavity in the bird’s mucus.
Your budgie may have a sudden fit of sneezing because the first sneeze or two fail to clear whatever has caused the irritation, and this is not necessarily a sign that the budgie is sick.
However, if this happens a lot and the bird is lethargic or its droppings are messy, you should be paying attention and preparing to get it to a vet if necessary. Sneezing may be benign, but it’s better to be cautious about your bird’s health.
Should I Be Worried If My Budgie Is Sneezing?
You can only judge how worrying the sneezing is by monitoring how frequently it occurs and determining whether there are any likely irritants that could be causing it, rather than an illness.
For example, if your bird is kept in a breeze, it may be more prone to irritation because dust particles will be carried on this breeze, providing an environmental trigger for the sneezing.
However, if you cannot determine a clear cause for the sneezing, you should check for any other signs that the budgie is ill. If it is miserable, disinterested in its usual activities, low on energy, lethargic, or seems to have lost its appetite, you should be taking it to a vet.
Furthermore, you should check the color and texture of the mucus produced by the bird, even if this sounds unpleasant.
Healthy mucus should be clear and runny, and any variation on this indicates that there is something wrong with the bird; if the mucus is thick or has any color to it, the bird may be unwell.
Even if the mucus looks normal, if it appears in excessive amounts, the bird may be suffering from some kind of infection, and should be checked over. Runny eyes, wheezing, and labored breathing are further indications that you should be worried about your bird’s health.
How To Treat A Sneezing Budgie
You need to determine the cause before you can treat a sneezing budgie; if it is sick, it may need to see a vet for a course of antibiotics or another prescription medication, because otherwise the condition is likely to get worse.
Don’t wait before taking the budgie to the vet; it will not show signs of illness until it is quite unwell, so prompt action is likely to be crucial.
If your bird is sneezing because of irritants, however, you may be able to deal with these or at least reduce them at home without veterinary care.
You should start by thinking about any irritants that may be in the room, such as candles, chemicals, or major sources of dust, and remove these if you are able to do so.
You should also remove the bird from its cage while you clean the cage, as this is likely to throw around dust particles that could cause sneezing.
When dusting in the same room as your budgie, use a damp cloth to minimize the amount of dust that is dislodged into the air; it should stick to the damp cloth instead.
You may want to move your budgie to another room while vacuuming or sweeping, as this can also cause dustiness and sneezing.
Open the windows to let dust escape, and try to clean regularly to avoid too much dust buildup occurring. Keeping your budgie in a clean environment should help to reduce sneezing.
If your budgie is sneezing a lot, you should check it over for any other signs that it is ill, and take it to a vet promptly if you find any. However, if your budgie is just reacting to things like dust or other irritants in the air, make efforts to remove these, but don’t worry too much about small sneezing fits. Like people, budgies do this to clear their nasal passages, and if it is infrequent and short-lived, sneezing is nothing to worry about.