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Is the Bird Sick?
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Bird owners have to be alert to detect any signs of sickness in their pet. Otherwise, the problem may become too severe before treatment is started. Use these guidelines:
  • When birds develop sickness, they become nervous, defensive and fearful. In turn, their appetite and attitude toward food is affected. Understanding this, bird owners can detect important, early signs that something is wrong by paying close attention to their birds at mealtime.
  • Change in the character of the droppings or a decrease in the number or volume.
  • The bird becomes less active, talks less, sings less, and neglects beak and toenail care.
  • Change in attitude, decreased friendliness, increased grouchiness.
  • Change in the bird's appearance or posture. Seriously sick birds generally ruffle their feathers, begin closing their eyes in a sleepy fashion and will droop low on the perch.
  • Any noticeable breathing while resting or heavy breathing after exertion, a change in character of the voice or any unusual respiratory sounds - sneeze, wheeze or click.
  • Any enlargement - even fat is abnormal in birds.
  • Unusual crustiness, discoloration or inflammation of the face, beak, feet or legs.
The following symptoms may not require emergency treatment, but because they are abnormal, any bird showing these signs should be check checked by your veterinarian:
  • Prolonged molt or continual presence of pin feathers.
  • Broken, bent, picked or chewed feathers.
  • Unusual or dull feather colors.
  • Stained feathers over nares or around vent.
  • Crusty material in nostrils.
  • Redness, swelling or loss of feathers around eye.
  • Flakiness of skin or beak.
  • Loss of pattern, baldness or sores on bottom of feet.
  • Lameness or shifting of body weight.
  • Overgrowth of beak or nails.
  • Minor changes in talking, biting or eating habits.
  • Low reproduction in breeding birds.
If these early signs are missed, they may progress to these more serious symptoms and veterinary assistance should be sought at once.
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