Birds are amazing pets that have personalities as colorful as their feathers. However, they can be delicate little creatures, and much like us, they get sick from time to time. Plus, because of their small size and unique bodies, it can sometimes be hard for their owners to tell when they’re unwell.
Birds sometimes hide their symptoms due to their survival instincts, which makes it even more challenging to identify if they’re sick. Therefore, it’s crucial for pet parents to be aware of the subtle signs of illnesses to know when it’s time to call a vet.
Here are some signs of a sick bird that you shouldn’t ignore:
1. Your Bird’s Eating or Drinking Habits Have Changed Suddenly
Sudden changes in your bird’s diet and water consumption can indicate that they’re sick. If they are eating or drinking way more or less than usual, it could be a sign of a metabolic disease, psychological stress, a digestive disorder, or just feeling unwell.
2. Your Bird’s Droppings Look Different
Normal bird droppings typically consist of three parts: a fecal portion (solid waste), urates (semi-solid waste), and urine. A healthy pet bird’s droppings should be firm and consistent in color, typically dark green or brown.
If you notice any changes in color, consistency, or frequency of the droppings, this may indicate a potential health issue. Look out for unusual colors like black or red, consistency changes (too watery or too hard), and other issues like having an unusually unpleasant smell , worms or undigested food. It may be best to go for an online vet consultation if so.
3. Your Bird Has Breathing Issues
Birds with respiratory infections may exhibit breathing issues like wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, or nasal discharge. Additionally, tail bobbing (where the tail moves up and down) while breathing could also indicate respiratory distress.
4. Your Bird Looks “Off”
It’s best to look out for any changes in your bird’s appearance—them looking “off” might not just be an aesthetic issue. It could be one of the telltale signs of a sick bird.
See if your bird has dull or ruffled feathers, bald spots, or changes in the color of their feathers. Also, swelling, lumps, or changes in the bird’s eyes, beak, or feet can also be signs of illness.
5. Your Bird Isn’t Acting Like They Usually Do
Birds that are feeling sick may show changes in their behavior, such as a decrease in activity, increased aggression, or changes in their voice. They may also spend more time at the bottom of the cage or aren’t as alert as they usually are.
6. Your Bird Is Losing Weight
Sudden or gradual weight loss can indicate a serious health problem in birds. Regularly weighing your bird is a good practice that can help spot any changes right away.
7. Your Bird Is Vomiting Frequently
While regurgitation (throwing food up then eating it again) can be a normal behavior in birds, frequent or excessive vomiting can be a sign of gastrointestinal issues or other health problems.
Know When to Call a Vet
These are just a few potential signs of a sick bird, but they can also indicate normal changes in your pet. To ensure that you’re on the safe side, though, it’s best to consult a veterinarian who specializes in birds if you notice any of these symptoms.
It’s also good to take your bird for regular check-ups, even if there are no signs of illness. Doing so helps your vet monitor your pet’s health and identify any potential issues before they become serious.
If you’re looking for a convenient way to talk to a vet, PetPal has you covered. PetPal is your go-to resource for online vet consultations in the Philippines, with friendly specialists ready to help you out. Book an online consultation today!