Can Parrots Get Ringworm? (Answered!)

Living with parrots in the house is an excellent experience in itself.

They come around your home.

Ringworm is a widespread infection among children and people.

There are more chances to develop ringworm if you have pet cats and dogs in your home.

A thought came into my mind, can parrots also get ringworm?

Do all species of parrot get ringworm, or only a few get them?

The answer to this question is yes. Just like other pets, parrots can also get ringworm. It is a quite common infection among birds too. Ringworm can also infect the owners of these cute little parrots. The best way to prevent them from ringworm is to have your pet parrots examined and tested properly from an avian vet. 

Also, all species of parrots can get ringworm as it is quite a common infection.

It is good to take your parrots to the vet to stop the spread of ringworm.

If you get ringworm, then avoid contact with parrots in your house and take proper treatment first.

It is also crucial to know what exactly is ringworm?

Do not misunderstand ringworm with any other disease.

Keep reading, and let’s clear some following confusion about the disease and its effect on parrots.


What is Ringworm?

Can Parrots Get Ringworm?

It is a type of skin infection caused by a group of fungi, Cryptococcus fungi, Malassezia yeast, etc.

They can appear anywhere on the body of parrots.

It appears as a red, itchy rash in a circle with neat skin in the middle.

Ringworm disease is named so because of its appearance.

It resembles a worm in the shape of a ring.

Fungal skin infections are caused by various fungi like ringworm, Cryptococcus fungi, Malassezia yeast, etc.

They can occur anywhere on the body.

People might be confused with its name and think that it is because of some worms.

No worms are involved in this skin infection.

It is also known as dermatophytosis, dermatophyte infection, or tinea.


What are the causes of ringworms in parrots?

With good and healthy nutrition and a clean environment, parrots tend to be friendly pets.

But like all living creatures, they can always be at risk of developing any kind of bacterial or fungal infection.

In most scenarios, a parrot’s immune system is strong enough to keep such infections at bay.

But if a pet parrot has a weak immune system, then their owner needs to pay close attention to signs of ringworms or any sort of other fungal infection.

If the owner ignores the infection and it goes untreated, the parrot may start to peck at the infected zone until it becomes ulcerated.

The more the fungal infection increases, the greater the risk will be that it could authenticate lethal.

Following are some other common causes of ringworms in parrots.

Common Causes Of Ringworm In Parrots
A weak immune system
Over peopled
Poor diet
Unhygienic environment
No proper source of ventilation
Respiratory contamination
Not balanced environment ( too dry or too humid)
Other infections


How can the age of the parrot be the reason for Ringworm infection?

Infection doesn’t need to appear if you contact ringworm.

Age is also a significant factor in ringworm infection.

The age of the exposed parrot, whether they have other health problems or immune system disease, whether they have different skin infections or sensitivities, and the amount of environmental impurity that is present.

These all are crucial factors in the development of ringworm infection in birds.

Young and old age parrots are more vulnerable to ringworm infections.


How ringworm infection infects pet parrots?

Fungi reproduce by producing spore cells that are made by some plants and resemble a seed.

It makes skin contact with a spore to cause a ringworm fungal infection.

Infected parrots are continuously shedding spore-covered feathers.


What are the symptoms of ringworm in parrots?

In human beings, a ringworm infection usually starts as an itchy red patch of skin that will expand outwards in a ring-like shape.

As it progresses, the middle of the skin patch will heal while the border will be inflamed and red.

The most common symptoms associated with ringworm fungal infections in parrots are:

Common Symptoms
Weakness or weight loss
Change in or loss of voice
Difficulty in breathing


Whereas in general, symptoms affecting the skin include:

Symptoms affecting the skin
Inflamed skin patch


If your pet parrot is pecking a skin area more than average, so do not ignore that check for infection.


What are some skin infections in parrots other than ringworms?

Ringworm is a common skin infection among parrots.

Other than ringworm, there are also some various types of skin infections in parrots, including bacterial skin infections or fungal skin infections.

It is better to know about all kinds of diseases.

So that there would be fewer chances that you confuse ringworms with other diseases.


Bacterial skin infections in parrots

They are caused by bacteria, such as bacilli, staphylococci, and streptococci.

Bumblefoot (pododermatitis) is a bacterial infection caused by staphylococci in parrots.

They are treated with antibiotics that are applied orally or applied to the skin.


Fungal skin infections in parrots

They are caused by various fungi like ringworm, Cryptococcus fungi, Malassezia yeast, etc.

Yeast infections usually occur around the beak of parrots.

They are also treated by oral medicines or by spraying the infected zone.


Is ringworm a contagious disease for parrots?

Yes, ringworm is contagious and can be passed between parrots or people by direct contact or by contact with any kind of contaminated objects such as toys, bedding, food containers, furniture, or other environmental surfaces.


How does ringworm affect pet parrots? 

After exposure to the fungal spores or infected surrounding other pets or humans, it takes two to four weeks before your little feathery friend shows clinical signs.

There may be areas where the feather is gone, and hard crusts may develop on the skin in the affected part of the parrot body. An appearance of a round patch in your parrot skin may be seen.


What are the safety measures I should take if my parrot gets ringworm?

The best method to protect yourself from ringworm is to have good hygiene.

Wash your hands frequently, especially after contact with your ill parrot.

Clean and disinfect your parrot cage, as well as any tools used for the parrots.

Dilute chlorine bleach (1:10) can also be used.

Wear gloves and protective clothing when you come in contact with your parrot.


What to do if your parrot gets a ringworm infection?

If you are confirmed that your pet parrot has developed a ringworm infection, take her to an experienced bird specialist as soon as possible for proper diagnosis, treatment, and medication.

The longer these fungal infections go untreated, the more damage they can do to your pet parrot.


What are the methods of identifying ringworm in parrots?

Before concluding that a skin scratch is caused by ringworm infection, it is vital to affirm the diagnosis by a sample of the fungus in a test laboratory, which includes the resolution of the particular species of ringworm mainly causing the disease.

A positive sample can often be confirmed within some days, but in some of the conditions, the ringworm spores growth may be slow, which means that it can take up to a month before a suspected doubt is confirmed negative.


Another method to verify that your parrot has a ringworm infection or not

A particular type of ultraviolet lamp called a Wood’s lamp is used, which may cause some species of ringworm fungi to illuminate, but this test is not always error-free.

A Wood’s lamp test is often used as a rapid screening test in multi-bird facilities, and doubtful cases are then confirmed by the culture.


Treatment of ringworm in parrots

Treatment of ringworm in parrots is always necessary to avoid the spread of the infection to the surrounding other pets or children.

Treatment of an individual parrot will include a prescription of anti-fungal medicine, combined with clipping or trimming feathers from the infected scratches to minimize further spread of environmental contamination.

In some severe cases, it is necessary to fully remove your parrot furs.

In small cases, an anti-fungal cream, gel, or an anti-fungal shampoo will be prescribed for application for a specific time of several weeks to months.

In most of the cases, effective treatment requires the use of oral antifungal medications for a minimum treatment period of six weeks.

In the meantime, the household must be cleaned in depth to eliminate any environmental source of re-infection.

In conclusion, I would only remind some very essential instructions that takes care of yourself and your family, if your lovely pet parrot gets a ringworm infection.

Seek the assistance of a professional, experienced bird specialist.

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