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Five Signs of Ill Health in Birds

Are you a bird owner? It’s up to you to recognize when your feathered friend isn’t feeling well. Here, a Riverside County, CA veterinarian tells you about five common signs of illness in birds.

Eye Trouble

Any healthy bird should have clean, clear eyes. If you notice that the eyeballs appear cloudy, or if you see any redness, swelling, crusts, discharge, or other abnormalities around the eyes, call your veterinarian right away. Prompt veterinary treatment may be necessary to combat infection, disease, or vision problems.

Cere Issues

Your bird’s cere is essentially their nose—it’s the small area above the beak where the nostrils are located. Keep an eye on this area, and watch for any discharge, crusty material, inflammation, redness, or other signs that don’t look right. Such symptoms could be indications of infection or illness, and you’ll want to have your pet examined by a veterinarian to find the root cause of the problem.

Loss of Appetite

Like just about any pet, a loss of appetite isn’t a good sign in birds. If your bird isn’t eating regularly and you’re noticing a lot of leftovers in the bowl, it may be time to place a call to your vet’s office. Various health issues, from intestinal blockage to infection to injury, could be the cause. Such maladies must be dealt with quickly so that your bird’s appetite returns to normal.

Ruffled Feathers

Birds do ruffle their feathers as a part of their normal behavior patterns, and you’ll probably see your pet do this quite often. However, leaving the feathers ruffled for long periods of time may indicate that there is a problem. Here’s a general rule of thumb to follow: if you see that your bird has kept the feathers ruffled for 24 hours or longer, let your veterinarian know.

Waste Changes

While a bird’s waste characteristics can fluctuate a bit depending on what they consume, drastic changes in the color and/or consistency of your bird’s droppings warrant a veterinary opinion. Let your veterinarian know if you think your bird’s waste is runnier or firmer than usual, or if you see drastically different colors like red or yellow.

Keep your Riverside County, CA animal hospital’s phone number close by to call when you think your bird may be suffering from a health problem. This way, you’ll be able to get your bird proper medical care in a timely fashion.

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