How Do I Treat Parakeet Diarrhea?

Kathleen Howard

The first step in curing parakeet diarrhea is understanding the cause of the condition. Common causes of diarrhea include stress, sudden dietary changes, bacterial infection, viruses or exposure to toxins. In some cases, you might be able to cure your parakeet’s diarrhea by adding a small amount of kefir, bran or hulled oats to the diet. Certain medicines can also be used to help nurse the bird back to health. If your pet does not respond to these treatments, consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Hulled oats can be used to treat parakeet diarrhea.
Hulled oats can be used to treat parakeet diarrhea.

Parakeets are sensitive, intelligent animals. Changes in their environment, food or routine can cause stress, which often leads to diarrhea. If you have recently moved your pet or switched its food, this might be the reason your parakeet appears ill. In most cases, stress-related diarrhea will resolve on its own once the bird has adjusted, or once you have resumed a more normal routine. If the condition does not improve within a day or two though, there could be a more serious reason for the diarrhea.

Parrots should not be fed chocolate, mushrooms, apple seeds, dried beans, onions or avocado.
Parrots should not be fed chocolate, mushrooms, apple seeds, dried beans, onions or avocado.

Exposure to certain types of human food can also cause diarrhea in birds. Avoid giving parrots and parakeets chocolate, mushrooms, apple seeds, dried beans, onions and avocado. These foods can cause a variety of dangerous side effects in small pets, including parakeet diarrhea. If your parakeet has developed diarrhea after consuming one of these foods, contact a veterinarian immediately.

The budgerigar is also known as the common parakeet.
The budgerigar is also known as the common parakeet.

If you are unsure as to why your parakeet has begun suffering from diarrhea, try adding a small amount of kefir, bran or hulled oats to your pet’s food. Kefir, which is a type of yogurt, will balance the bacteria in your parakeet’s digestive tract. Bran and hulled oats absorb water in the stomach, which should help your bird produce more solid droppings.

Your next option is to treat parakeet diarrhea with an over-the-counter medication. There are a wide range of products designed to cure diarrhea and restore digestive health in parakeets and other exotic pets. To keep your pet nourished, you should also give it a product containing electrolytes and vitamins. These products are readily available at many pet supply stores and veterinary offices.

If your parakeet’s condition has not improved within a day or two, visit your veterinarian. Parakeet diarrhea might be a sign of an infection that requires antibiotics or other medication to cure. If diarrhea is left untreated, pet birds can become severely dehydrated and suffer serious health problems. Diarrhea that is accompanied by tremors, sunken eyes or weight loss should also be evaluated by a veterinarian. Getting your pet parakeet prompt medical care is the best way to ensure a successful recovery.

Kefir can help treat diarrhea in parrots.
Kefir can help treat diarrhea in parrots.

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Discussion Comments


I'm actually against the idea of domesticating birds and putting them in cages. I have had parakeets in the past and in hindsight, I think the birds were very unhappy. Moreover, parakeets require a lot of care and even the smallest change can upset them and disturb their health. People buy parakeets not knowing much about them and think that they're very easy to care for but that's not how it is.

Temperature changes, bacteria, new foods, stress and even the quality of their drinking water can upset their digestive system and cause diarrhea among other things. Their cage also needs to be cleaned regularly, they need a clean, hygienic and comfortable environment in a warm (but not hot) temperature.

It's best to not buy and cage these animals. They are better off in their natural environments. And if we don't buy them, stores will have to stop selling them.


@bear78-- Yea, he's probably just stressed. You can try talking to him but if that's making him more upset, it may help to just cover the cage and allow him to rest for a while.

Sometimes when parakeets are upset, they might eat less and that can cause the droppings to be more loose or watery than usual. So check to see if he's eating. If you're giving him feed that's different than what was given to him before, that could also be the cause of diarrhea.

If things don't improve tomorrow though, you should take him to a vet and make sure he's not ill.


I just adopted a parakeet a few days ago. He seemed fine the first day but now he has diarrhea and doesn't look too happy. I don't think he's ill. He just seems upset that he's in another place and all alone. What can I do to help him adjust? I think his diarrhea will go away once he gets used to his new home. I just don't want him to get sick until that happens.

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