Have you ever wondered - "Is my parrot sick?" Or, "Did that fall cause injury?" "Are things bad enough that I need to go to the vet?" Read this:
Parrots are masters at hiding illness, pain, and injuries so it is really important to know how your bird normally acts and to know the signs of when a bird is sick.
You also need to know your birds normal weight in grams. Grams are much more accurate than ounces. Make it a habit to both weigh your bird every week and monitor its droppings every day.
Sick or injured birds show a set of symptoms that, when you know them are easy to recognize. If you get into the habit of observing your bird each and every day, you're much more apt to catch an illness in the early phases when it is easier to treat.
How do birds act when they are sick?
- Fluffed feathers
- Not eating
- Weight loss of 10%
- Listless behavior
- Inactive – not playing or vocalizing as it usually does
- Sleeping when you “spy on it”
- Unusual or limited droppings
- Sitting on the bottom of the cage
If your bird has any of the above symptoms, it has likely been sick for a couple of days. Remember that birds instinctively hide illness so as not to chased from the flock.
By the time your bird shows the above symptoms, it could be dangerously ill and it is in an emergency situation. These symptoms are critical, so please don’t take them lightly!
Can a bird recover from sickness?
Most otherwise healthy birds can and do recover from being sick when you catch it early, treat them properly at home, and work with your vet. One of the most important things that you can do to help your sick bird is learn which sick bird symptoms need immediate care and which symptoms can wait.
Another thing that you can do to help your sick bird recover is to learn how to make a hospital cage so that it in peace. A hospital cage will help your bird get the rest it needs to recover.
Third, learn how to give a bird medicine. Training your bird to take "medicine" from a syringe when it is healthy will come in very handy when and if you ever need to medicate it when it is sick.
Diane Burroughs, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist trained in ABA therapy techniques. She specializes in avian anxiety disorders and is certified in Nutrition For Mental Health. Diane has written a number of bird behavior books and she offers behavior consultations. She's developed a range of UnRuffledRx Science-backed Parrot Wellness Supplies.
Diane's products have been featured in the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery and at Exoticscon, a conference for exotic pet veterinarians. Her bird collars & supplements are stocked in avian vet clinics and bird stores throughout the US. With over 30 years in the field of behavior, Diane has created thousands of successful individualized behavior plans that help pets thrive.
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