Signs of Illness in Birds

Birds are very cute little pets. However, our feathered friends are very small and fragile, and, just like any other animal, are susceptible to illness, injury, and disease. It’s very important for bird owners to know what to look for. In this article from All About Animals Veterinary Services, serving the Villa Rica Area, GA, a local vet lists some warning signs.


Birds have very sensitive lungs, so it isn’t a surprise that respiratory issues are not uncommon among them. Polly may have trouble breathing if she is sick. She may breathe through an open beak, or bob her tail as she inhales or exhales. Sneezing is another red flag, as are wheezing; clicking noises; coughing; shortness of breath; discolored feathers around the nostrils; and changes in vocalizations.


If Polly is ill, her feathers may look dull or unkempt. Changes in the color, texture, or structure of your bird’s feathers can also be warning signs. Birds sometimes pluck their feathers when they’re sick, which can cause bald spots and feather loss. Other things to look for include red, cloudy, or watery eyes; visible swelling or bruises; and changes in the appearance of your winged friend’s beak and nails.


As you clean your bird’s cage, watch for changes in the color, texture, or amount of Polly’s droppings. Red, black, or yellow droppings are a major red flag, and often indicate a medical emergency. Vomiting, diarrhea, and trouble defecating are also signs of illness.


If you pay close attention to your bird, you’ll be more likely to spot minor changes in her behavior, habits, or posture that can signify illness. Some things to look for include falling, weakness, dizziness, head tilting, and stiffness. Drooping wings are another red flag, as are a lack of appetite, withdrawal, listlessness, changes in weight, and/or uncharacteristic vocalizations. Polly may also shift her body weight from leg to leg, or just sit on the bottom of her cage.


These are just a few signs of sickness in birds. There are many others. Contact your vet as soon as you notice anything amiss with your pet. Don’t wait to see if things clear up by themselves. The sooner an issue is diagnosed and treated, the better!

Do you know or suspect that your pet bird is ill? Contact All About Animals Veterinary Services, serving the Villa Rica Area, GA, today!

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