Some sick bird symptoms


Disclaimer: these are just some of the signs
of a sick bird. Not all birds who display these are sick,
and not all birds who are sick display these. Always, always consult your vet! And darn it, read real avian publications
for more information and more things to look out for. If your bird is sick or injured please take
it to an AVIAN VET Birds often pretend to be fine when someone
is watching nearby (survival instinct), so observe very carefully. Puffed-up feathers. Birds fluff up their feathers to keep warm,
and also when they relax for sleep … and also when sick. A bird who sits puffed up much of the day
is likely in trouble. Tail-bobbing when breathing. Birds who sit there puffed up, bobbing their
tails, may be sick. Not eating their favorite food. Maybe the bird’s full — but they need to
eat often, so if after a day the favorite food is untouched, something’s likely wrong. Half-closed or closed eye(s) for much of the
time. Alert and healthy birds usually have both
eyes wide open while awake. If the eyes start closing, and it’s not because
you’re scratching a birdie head and inducing pure birdie joy, the bird might be sick. Oh, and be careful: birds often close one
eye but not the other. You may not notice a bird is keeping its farther
eye closed sometimes. Sleeping excessively. Like people, birds who sleep a lot more than
usual may be in trouble. Bad posture when at rest. Healthy small parrots usually sit somewhat
vertically, not fully horizontally, though it depends on the type. Bad posture from sickness is usually combined
with puffed up feathers. Discharge/wetness around the nose. It may be hard to see the nose, but it’s usually
at the top of the widest part of the bill, right near or under the feather line. Watch for moisture/discharge there. An occasional sneeze is OK, but if it stays
moist…. Throwing up/getting undigested or half-digested
food stuck to the cage in weird places. Can be mistaken for harmless courtship-related
regurgitation. New owners should play it safe and check with
a vet. You can eventually learn to tell if it’s nausea
vs. lovey-dovey behavior, but watch very carefully. Poop sticking to the vent feathers. This is apparently a common sign of possible
sickness, especially if it keeps happening. Discolored, undigested, or runny poop. Watch for changes in the shape/color of the
poop. Runny poop can happen if you’ve just given
your bird a bath or if it just drank lots of water, but those effects only last for
about an hour with small birds. Color changes can mean a change in diet (seed
diets usually produce greenish poop, pellets usually produce brown), but off-colors or
unusual colors are a warning sign (black is usually a bad sign). The poop should also look well-digested — no
lumps in it that can be identified as what they used to be. If your bird eats seeds, there should NOT
be whole, undigested seeds in the poop Ragged, poorly preened feathers. A sign the bird isn’t feeling up to caring
for its feathers, which is a bad sign, since feathers are vital to a bird’s survival in
the wild. Sneezing. Especially if it’s frequent. Lack of energy. If a normally playful bird doesn’t play very
much any more, it may well be sick. Sudden temperament change. A normally mellow bird may get grouchy and
nippy, or a rambunctious bird might just get very quiet and mellow. It might be just hormones or a bad feather
day … or it could be something else. Weight loss. Dangerous especially to small birds, who don’t
have much in the way of bodily reserves. Most casual bird owners don’t weigh their
birds very often, so it’s important to work with a vet to check a bird’s weight. Sometimes you can tell by feeling the keel
bone, the bone that runs down the center of the bird’s chest — if it sticks out like
a razor, the bird is starving! In a healthy bird, there’s so much flesh on
the chest you can hardly feel the bone. Crooked beak/crooked toenails. Either can be a sign of long-term illness,
and should be checked out by your vet as soon as possible. In budgies, crusted-over nose (cere) and/or
feet. A possible sign of mites. Talk to your vet about the options. Any sign of blood! Bad sign. If your birdie is bleeding, you need to stop
it immediately. Call your vet! If you see one or more of these, or anything
else odd or weird, don’t waste time, Call up your trusted avian vet ASAP! Finally, sometimes the worst happens, despite
the best care and the best vets. Birds can and do die. Sometimes it’s from careless breeding, sometimes
it’s pure bad luck, or an accident, or maybe it’s just time for the bird to pass on. The best you can do is to get as informed
and educated as possible (from more than one source), remember that keeping your pet happy,
well-loved, and mentally occupied is one of the best preventative medicines ever!

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