Having a pet bird is completely different from having a pet cat or dog. Although you may have experience with taking care of a sick cat or dog, taking care of a bird can be completely different. Pet birds are extremely good at hiding their pain. And unfortunately, birds are very prone to injuries, even within the confines of their cages. You may never know that they are sick until the illness or pain becomes severe. Birds hide their illnesses and pain as a survival technique in order to avoid appearing weak and as a potentially easy target for predators.
Here are 7 signs of illness to look out for:
1. If your bird is not feeling well or is in pain, it may often favor a certain body part. For example, it may choose to exclusively stand on only one leg or it may choose to not move one of its wings. Too much focus on certain body parts means that something is wrong with the bird.
2. One way to know whether your bird is feeling well or not is to notice whether it is squinting. Squinting is a very good predictor of your bird being in pain; however, it does not necessarily indicate an eye infection.
3. Birds are very active creatures. However, if you notice your bird showing signs of lethargy and fatigue, take it seriously. Birds refusing to leave their nests or lying on the cage’s floor are usually very sick and need veterinary care.
4. It is normal for birds to get riled up easily. Even tame pet birds get angry sometimes. But, if you notice your bird in an extremely aggressive or irritable mood, it may be an indicator that something is wrong with your bird. If these mood changes occur, take your bird to a vet immediately.
5. Birds have very high metabolisms. Therefore, it is important that they have access to food at all times. It is normal for some species of birds to be very picky about their food. However, there is always something wrong with a bird who outright refuses to eat anything. Offer your bird their favorite snack. If it still will not eat, take the bird to a vet immediately.
6. Monitor your bird’s droppings. Brown, yellow, tarry, or black droppings indicate internal bleeding or other serious problems. If your bird’s droppings are overly runny or too solid, there may be complications present.
7. If your bird has its feathers ruffled up for a long time, it may indicate that the bird is suffering from a respiratory problem or some other health disease. The ruffled feathers often mask the weight loss a bird goes through. Make sure to weigh your bird regularly, every week or once a month, and note any changes.
We hope that these tips help to ensure the health of your pet bird. Lake Hamilton Animal Hospital proudly offers veterinary care to all pet birds. Book an appointment today!