Birds make great companions for someone who doesn’t want a major responsibility. Even with a bird, though, it is important to know when they are sick so that you can get them the proper treatment.

Birds are delicate animals. Their bodies have a small, lightweight bone structure which allows them to fly. Because they are so tiny, an illness can end their lives just like that.

Symptoms of Illness in pet birds

Talk to your veterinarian. They can help you to identify different symptoms of possible illness in your bird. It will require attentiveness on your part so that you know immediately when you need to take action.

Appetite Changes

A bird, just like a person, may respond to illness with either weight gain or weight loss. You would think it would be easy to tell with a bird but it is not always. Often, they will ruffle their feathers when there is a problem. This can hide weight loss.

A bird that consistently seems to be eating more than normal may have a parasite. Taking him to the vet could reveal that he has diabetes or that he just needs more nutrient intake because he has become more active, such as socializing with new birds in the flight cage.

sick budgie bird inside the cage
Image Credit: atsurkan, Shutterstock

Feather Issues

Like we just stated ruffling of the feathers can hide weight loss. But, ruffled feathers can also indicate that there is some sort of respiratory problem going on with your pet bird.

When feathers begin to fall out, this can indicate that something serious is going on also. Molting is a part of a bird’s development and they will lose feathers. But with French molt, the bird loses its feathers that it needs to fly. It will recover but it can be a sign of stress in the bird’s life or serious illness.

Runny Cere

Right above the beak are two tiny nostrils for the bird to breathe. This is what passes for his nose. If you notice that this area is red, runny or there is inflammation, your bird could be suffering from an infection of some sort. If they sneeze, it might indicate a cold, but even that can be caused by changes in his environment that you may need to pay attention to.

Eye Problems

Bird eyes are vibrant and clear normally. Eyes that are cloudy or have discharge coming from them could indicate a problem with the respiratory system. Other problems are also indicted by cloudy eyes: psittacosis, muscle disorders or a problem with the nervous system.

sick Dove with inflamed eye
Image Credit: Chaowat S, Shutterstock

Beak changes

The bird’s beak is quite useful. It cracks seeds and helps them vocalize. If you notice cracks in the beak or color changes, consult with your vet immediately. The problem could be poor nutrition, infection or injury sustained by the bird.

How is your pet bird feeling today? If you don’t know, check him out and get help for him immediately. Please also check out Animal-World’s Bird Care page!

Featured Image Credit: Rodica Vasiliev, Shutterstock