Video:How to Recognize a Sick Birdwith Dr. Simon Starkey
Before you leave the pet store with your new bird, it's important to make sure you're taking home a healthy pet. Learn the signs that indicate a bird is sick, and find out what to look out for to make sure your pet is in top condition.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Recognize a Sick BirdHi! I'm Dr. Simon Starkey and we're at the Manhattan Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine - and I'm here for About.com. Today, I'm going to show you and tell you about things to look for in your sick pet bird. And we have Pauly here to help us today.
Note the Bird's BehaviorIt's important to consider a healthy bird first. So, when you obtain your bird or when you're at a pet store, looking for a bird, consider how they're acting in the store. Birds should be bright and alert, they should be inquisitive. As we can see Pauly's looking at me, expressing interest. His feathers are flush with his body, and he's very interested in his surroundings.
Birds are typically prey species in the wild. And as such, they need to be very alert and aware of their surroundings. So, if you ever see your pet bird fluffed up in the corner, not showing you attention and being weak or lethargic. These are very important signs and you should consider contacting your avian veterinarian right away.
Pay Attention to the Bird's AppetiteOther important things to be aware of is you bird's appetite as well as its attitude. Birds eat commonly several times during the day, birds have a high metabolism and it's extremely important that they always have fresh food and water available. Pay attention to your bird's appetite and drinking habits when you first obtain your bird. And, if you notice any changes these may be important. Often there will be a decline in appetite and or thirst. However it's equally important to consult your veterinarian if you notice a sudden increase in thirst or appetite as these too could be signs of disease.
Notice Changes in Bird DroppingsAnother important and often early sign in disease in birds is changing in the nature and the consistency of their droppings. Bird's droppings consist of three components. A liquid portion, which is actually urine, a white portion which represents a concentrated form of urine produced only in birds and reptiles and a green or brown portion. This is actually the true feces. Now if any of these components change in color, consistency, size or shape this can be an important indication of disease. Things to look out for might be an increased volume of the liquid or indeed the fecal portion of the droppings - and, again, an indicator of ill health. So, please familiarize yourself with your bird's droppings.
Track Changes in the Bird's WeightIt's also important to consider your bird's weight. Because they're feathered creatures, weight loss in birds is not as apparent as it is in furred creatures like cats and dogs. I recommend that owners investigate weighing their bird, at least once a month, as a decrease or increase in weight can be a sign of ill health. Additionally if you're pet bird is cooperative and one of the birds that likes to be touched, you may gently feel your birds breast bone and try and assess how much musculature is there. If you notice a thinning over time, please feel free to contact your qualified avian veterinarian.
Keeping Birds HealthyIt's important to be aware of health in birds, so you'll be able to distinguish ill health. So, whenever your bird is at home, take a look at it. See, if it's in good body condition, if it's alert and attentive, also look at birds in the park as wild birds are often healthy birds. And if you're passing by a pet store, stop in and have a look at those birds as well.
Thanks for watching, and to learn more, visit us on the Web at About.com.