Most people recognize the most obvious signs of illness in pet birds such as vomiting/regurgitating, loss of appetite, or the typical “fluffed up” appearance and sitting at the bottom of the cage birds show when they are very ill. But some signs of illness can be difficult to recognize such as subtle behavior changes, change of habits, vocalization changes, or variations in color or consistency of droppings. This is why it is so important to know what is normal for your bird: what time does he/she normally go to sleep? What is its favorite perch? How often does it speak/vocalize? How many droppings are normal for it to make in a day? What foot does he/she normally eat with? Never assume that a subtle change in your bird is normal as it could absolutely be a sign that something is wrong. Here is a brief list of some obvious and not so obvious signs of illness in birds:
- Decrease or increase in appetite✅
- Increase in urination
- Increased drinking
- Feather or skin changes✅
- Discharge from the eyes or nostrils
- Sneezing or wheezing
- Fluffed feathers✅
- Tail bobbing while breathing
- Sudden behavior changes including biting or screaming
- Decrease in activity level✅
- Voice change
- Change in flight ability✅
- Spending more time on the bottom of the cage✅
- Weakness or inability to perch✅
- Overgrown or discolored beak
- Change in droppings: color or consistency
- Straining to poop
- Wing or wings drooping
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Blood on the bird or in the cage/on perches
Any of these changes, or any other changes recognized in pet birds, should be brought to the attention of an avian veterinarian to determine whether or not it is a sign of something more serious.
Wendy ( bless her ) suggested cremation and having his ashes made into something…. I only have the electric oven and a barbecue, so I’ll go with taking him back to where I got him from and let them do what they do, rather than have him dug up from my garden by one of next door’s several cats, or the local fox.
I think I’ll go to a different pet place to find another lil fella, in case the whole flock in the last place is infected with something that Dicky had….