Be Careful with Canary Bird Antibiotics.

Antibiotics can harm your canary bird.
Learn how and when to use them for canaries.


Only in severe cases do I use...

***Antibiotics.***

Antibiotics are drugs designed to kill bacteria within an animals system.

Unfortunately, without a veterinarians diagnosis you won't know if your canary bird is infected with a bacteria or a virus...Antibiotics will have no effect on a virus.  In fact...it may make matters worse as you'll see in a minute...

Another problem is...

In a healthy canary 80% of the bacteria in his system is GOOD bacteria--bacteria that aids in digestion of food.  The other 20% is "bad" bacteria but...although "bad" a small amount is necessary for digestion.

It's kind of like when your doctor talks about "good" and "bad" cholesterol.  You don't want to get rid of the bad cholesterol completely--it does have a benefit.  You just don't want it to get too high.  You want to have a healthy "balance" of good and bad cholesterol within your system.  Similarly...

The Canary Bird Needs a Healthy Balance...

...of bacteria in their digestive tract. Antibiotics create a bacterial IMBALANCE...So, the bottom line is...

Antibiotics will kill, indiscriminately, ALL the bacteria in your canary's system...both good and bad.

Without a good bacterial balance your canary bird is not able to digest his food-->he will "go light" (lose weight)...day after day...week after week...until he starves to death.  And...

It doesn't matter how much he eats.  He may eat twice his normal diet but his system, with it's lack of good bacteria--the bacteria that the antibiotic just wiped out--is unable to extract the nutrients from the food. 

He eats and eats until he starves.

I used to recommend antibiotics anytime a canary got sick but they are so harmful to your birds immune system that it just doesn't make sense.  However, antibiotic is not ALL bad...They do have their place but...

I ONLY use antibiotics in the case of SEVERE bacterial infection. 

You need to make your own decision whether to use antibiotics or not...and--by the way--there is an alternative...more below.

Antibiotics may work quickly in making your bird feel better but it destroys your canary's flora leaving him with an ineffective immune system. He'll seem to improve but...

  • Often within a few days the bacterial infection is back stronger than ever OR

  • A whole new infection will take over because his immune system is so low.

But like I said...

"...in severe cases I use antibiotics."

I always have an antibiotic on hand because you never know when a canary bird will get extremely sick.  If I have a canary that is...

  • Sitting at the bottom of the cage

  • Feathers puffed up

  • Eyes closed.

  • Seems to have no interest in life...

I WILL use an antibiotic.

At the very least I make sure I have an antibiotic to use UNTIL I can get to the vet.  The hope is that a broad spectrum antibiotic will at least buy me and my canary some time.

I use "Ornacycline Antibiotic".  A good broad spectrum antibiotic available at most pet stores.


Like I said...If you can afford it, take your canary to a vet.  Anything else is a risk.  If you decide to use an antibiotic make sure you follow up with the "alternative".

"What's the Alternative?" Glad you asked but...

Before we get into the alternative...

Have you signed up for CanaryAdvisor.com CanaryTips! Ezine yet?

We talk about these kinds of canary bird health issues all the time in CanaryTips!...

And it's FREE. Join the club...click here to sign up.


And now for the alternative to antibiotics.  A must read for those interested in optimal canary bird health...Click Here. Return from Canary Bird Antibiotics to Medicines Main Page.