Signs My Bird is IllMost people have a daily routine and a way we are used to seeing them behave. The same applies to our pets, regardless of whether it is a cat or a bird. An animal will have a certain place at home she likes to sit or lay, or she will have certain bird food she likes to eat, or maybe she always greets you when you come in the door from work. Those routines sometimes make it easy to notice when an animal is not feeling well. When your bird is used to yelling out a greeting, or singing a certain song when you walk in the door and suddenly stops doing that or you notice she is being more quiet and withdrawn, that may be a sign of oncoming illness.

An illness in an animal is not always easy to identify, as some animals will hide the illness so that they do not appear weak to others. They will hide it until they become horribly ill and can no longer hide the symptoms. At this time, getting your pet in to see the doctor may be a matter of life or death for your animal. Pay attention to those daily routines, because if you notice a change early, it can be much easier to treat an illness. It may also be considerably less expensive to treat when diagnosed early. With birds, it is especially important to catch an illness early because birds are so fragile. They can go from happy and healthy to death in just a matter of a few days if medical attention is not sought soon enough.

Common outward signs of an infection or cold may include:

  • Watery droppings  – Bird droppings look a certain way for each bird. Typically there is a darker, solid center with whiter liquid around the outside. With certain illnesses their droppings may become more liquid, and it may also become discolored.
  • Nasal discharge – When people get sick you can often hear it before you see any symptoms. A visibly runny nose, or runny eyes are a very good indication that there may be infection or other illness present.
  • Fluffy feathers and droopy posture – Ruffled feathers are often an indication that a bird is either cold or it is ill. The droopy posture may be hard to visualize without seeing it but once you see it the posture will be very easily recognized as abnormal.
  • Loss of appetite or energy level – If a bird stops eating or eats much less than usual or if it stops playing with its toys and doesn’t have any interest in coming out to play when it would normally jump at the chance, then there may be something wrong.
  • Discoloration – Visible discoloration of eyes, beak, feet, or legs can be a symptom of possible illness.

Always make sure you keep the phone number for a vet who will see exotic birds on hand. Also, find out if your local emergency vet clinic will see exotic birds. This will save valuable time if an emergency situation with your bird occurs, and every minute counts when trying to help your feathered friend feel better. It is also a very good idea to keep a bird first aid kit on hand in the event of emergencies which need to be tended to immediately or in the event of very minor injury.

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