It may seem unusual to observe a budgie have a sneezing fit. Some owners don’t realize that budgies can sneeze, but with exceptions, this can be normal behavior.
Budgies sneeze to clear their nasal passages of irritants and mucus. It can happen on rare occasions, or the budgie may start constantly sneezing, which is always negative.
A budgie will sneeze when something irritating, such as dander, seed shells, or pollen, gets in its nose.
Regular sneezing fits should never be ignored, as there’s something wrong in a budgie’s environment or with its health, such as a respiratory infection.
Is It Normal For Parakeets To Sneeze?
Sneezing is also known as sternutation.
It’s normal for a budgie to sneeze, as it’s a natural way to clear the nasal passage of airborne irritants.
Dust may gather in the nose, and digging through its cluttered seed bowl, can lead to sneezing. Also, a budgie can produce a small amount of nasal discharge.
As long as a budgie doesn’t have a runny nose constantly and the nasal discharge isn’t thick and discolored, your budgie is likely in good order.
Unfortunately, excessive sneezing can signify respiratory problems or too many irritants in the air. Also, the color, consistency, and quantity of nasal discharge should be monitored.
Why Is My Budgie Having Sneezing Fits?
Budgies have sneezing fits when there are irritants in the nose that the initial sneeze didn’t clear.
The nasal passage is an open cavity, and anything that passes through it can enter the air sacs. In part, this is why sneezing occurs, as the body attempts to keep particles out of the air sacs.
Also, sneezing occurs when there’s excessive mucus production in the nose. To prevent blockages from developing in the airways, the body triggers a sneeze to clear any built-up mucus.
It can occur in fits or at random times. Irregular sneezes are a response to environmental triggers, such as dust and odors. However, it can be a symptom of allergies or illness.
According to the American Review of Tuberculosis, a parrot was diagnosed with tuberculosis after the owner noticed odd sneezing fits and other symptoms.
So, let’s explore some of the possible causes of your budgie’s sneezing:
If these particulates stay in the air long-term, they can cause a build-up in the nose, which will be ejected via a sneeze. The more dust in the air, the more sneezes a budgie will produce.
Does the room need to be cleaned and dusted more frequently? Do you need a new vacuum cleaner?
If you live in a particularly dry climate, the extra dust in the moisture-lacking air will cause further irritation. A humidifier can resolve this problem, so your budgie sneezes less.
Budgies have sensitive respiratory systems, and artificial fragrances can be dangerous.
Imagine walking through the perfume area in a department store. There are a lot of different smells that make you feel overwhelmed and dizzy. It can make your eyes water, nose sting, and cause sneezing.
Unfortunately, what budgies experience is much worse. The efficiency of the respiratory systems of birds is amplified and is one of the leading causes of premature death in budgies.
Artificial scents come from many different sources, including:
- Cleaning chemicals
- Laundry detergents
- Cooking food in Tefal cookware
- Air fresheners
Remove any smells from these sources in your budgie’s room. Also, if your budgie sneezes more while you’re handling it or in close proximity, it may be due to your deodorant or fragrance.
Something Lodged In The Nose
Without your assistance, sneezing is the only way budgies can dislodge an object stuck in their noses. The problem is that anything small can get lodged inside the budgie’s nasal cavities.
Seed shell casings and feather particles are the most likely irritants. However, fibers from cloth, splinters from wooden perches, and dried clumps of feces are possibilities.
Ash and smoky air can cause severe respiratory problems for birds. The signs won’t always be obvious, but they’re likely to present themselves in the nose, throat, and lungs.
They can be caused by outdoor fires, with smoke drifting in. The same applies to internal fireplaces. Burning unseasoned wood or wood that still contains moisture creates smoke and ash.
A dirty flue can force this air down through the fireplace and into the home.
Why Is My Budgie Sneezing Loudly?
Sneezes will vary in cadence, depending on the budgie and how many irritants are in its nose.
Usually, the volume of the sneeze isn’t something to be concerned about. That’s true even if your budgie lets out a loud sneeze.
It’s the sound of the sneeze that you need to monitor, so note the following:
- Is the sneeze strained or wheezing?
- Is the sneeze rattled?
- Does the sneeze sound clogged with fluid?
- Is the budgie struggling to breathe during, before, or after the sneeze?
You should also consider the frequency of the sneezes. According to Avian Diseases, an unusual amount of sneezing can signify health problems.
If your budgie is constantly sneezing, check for other symptoms, such as:
- Labored breathing
- Nasal discharge
- Discolored nasal discharge
- Bloody nasal discharge
- Fluffed feathers
- Tail bobbing
- Watery eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Damage to the beak or ceres
If these symptoms appear, even without sneezing, reach out to a vet.
Budgie Sneezing At Night
Budgies can’t sneeze during sleep. So, if you hear your budgie sneezing at night, it’s not sleeping.
This can mean the budgie woke up for a moment to check its surroundings or indicate that it’s unable to sleep. If the budgie loses out on sleep and develops a sneezing habit, it’s sick.
Budgie Has Runny Nose
Sneezing forces pressure through a narrow passage, resulting in the mucus being forced out. So, mucus can be left around the budgie’s ceres, which will eventually dry into a crust if not cleaned away.
However, don’t mistake wet discharge from a sneeze as a runny nose. A runny nose is where discharge leaks from the cere regardless of sneezing.
Of course, a sneeze can force a lot of mucus from the nose at once and dislodge blockages deeper in the nostrils. Sneezing and a runny nose can also co-exist.
Pay attention to the color, quantity, and consistency of nasal discharge:
- Clear nasal discharge that’s thin (slightly watery) is normal, healthy mucus.
- Thickened mucus or any coloration of the mucus is abnormal.
- Excessive amounts of healthy mucus can be unusual.
What To Do If Your Budgie Is Sneezing
If your budgie is sneezing, monitor it for any concerning signs beyond the sneezing. Depending on what your observations reveal, you should look for additional symptoms that relate to:
- Viral infections, like bronchitis
- Fungal infections, such as aspergillosis
- Bacterial infections, like e. coli infections
Budgies are good at hiding when they’re unwell.
Still, if you can’t spot any other signs of illness, inspect the nose for obstructions. For example, it could be a piece of a shelled seed or feather. These tickle the sensitive interior of the nose, triggering sneezing.
You may be able to remove the item with a pair of tweezers if it’s partially exposed. However, don’t dig around inside the nostrils or you risk pushing it in deeper.
How To Treat A Sneezing Budgie
Medical causes require prescribed treatment from a vet, while environmental causes require changes to the living space to prevent recurring sneezing.
There are two ways to treat sneezing in budgies:
Treating the Illness
Hundreds of different illnesses can result in sneezing and nasal discharge in birds. Due to the many possibilities, the best way forward is to consult a vet for an expert diagnosis.
Depending on the diagnosis, various treatments and supportive therapies may be prescribed.
Ensure that you treat the budgie for the entire prescribed period, not just until its symptoms disappear. Otherwise, the problem will inevitably return.
Adjusting the Environment
It’s common for budgies to sneeze while you’re cleaning the home.
Vacuum cleaners, feather dusters, and brooms introduce dust particles into the air. Even wiping down surfaces can make dust particles airborne, including when you’re cleaning the budgie’s cage.
Removing the budgie from the room while cleaning is essential, even if bird-safe cleaning products are used. Open the windows and allow the room to air out before returning the budgie to the room.
Budgies shed feathers and dander regularly. Irregular cleaning or an over-crowded cage can cause an excess of both to collect on the cage’s floor. Even slight movements or flapping of the wings can make irritants airborne, allowing them to be inhaled.
Installing air filters in the budgie’s room is a good option for persistent cases. If you live in a dry and dusty region, this could be the only way to control the air quality.
It’s normal for budgies to sneeze occasionally, but there shouldn’t be continuous sneezing. Unfortunately, sneezing can sometimes be a symptom of health issues, including respiratory infections. Monitor your budgie’s sneezing for strain, frequency, and unusual (thick and discolored) nasal discharge.