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Signs of Illness in Birds

Did you know that the USDA’s Bird Health Awareness Week starts November 6th? Birds make very cute and charming little pets. Their colorful feathers, bright personalities, and pretty songs have earned them some very loyal fans! Our feathered friends do have some very specific needs, however. One thing that is very important for bird owners is learning how to recognize signs of illness in their pets. Birds can get sick very fast, so it’s critical that any potential medical issues be addressed immediately. In this article, a Livonia, MI vet lists some common symptoms of sickness in birds.

Unusual Posture/Movements

Watch for uncharacteristic posture or behavior. If Polly isn’t feeling well, she may stagger, tuck her head in, walk in circles, pace, tremble, or sit in stiff or unusual positions. Birds also sometimes act aggressive and/or bob their heads when they are ill.

Lack Of Appetite

Monitor your bird’s food intake carefully. Healthy pets have healthy appetites. If your feathered buddy isn’t interested in eating, she could be ill.

Irregular Breathing

Respiratory issues are another red flag. If Polly is out of breath, wheezing, or breathing through her mouth, she may be sick.

Unusual Droppings

Any changes in the color, texture, or amount of your bird’s droppings can be signs of illness. Keep an eye out for black, yellow, or rust-colored droppings, as these can be warning signs that Polly is very sick.

Changes in Appearance

Look at your winged pal closely every day. Redness or discharge from the ears or eyes can both be indicative of illness. Sunken eyes; bald spots; tattered, dirty, or ruffled feathers; and a swollen or red cere are also red flags. You’ll also want to keep an eye on Polly’s beak: if it looks discolored, flaky, swollen or asymmetrical, your cute little pet could be sick.

Abnormal Behavior

Any changes in Polly’s vocalizations, behavior, or personality can be indications of illness. For instance, a normally-talkative bird that falls silent may be sick. The reverse is also true: if your feathered friend is usually quiet, but suddenly starts making a racket, you could have a sick bird on your hands. Contact your vet immediately if your bird has any of these symptoms, or is acting unusual in any way.

Do you have questions about your bird’s health or care? Call us, your Livonia, MI pet hospital! We’re here to help!

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