Signs My Pet Bird is Unwell

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Signs My Pet Bird is Unwell

Like all pets, there certain illnesses or healthcare problems pet birds are susceptible to. Your bird can exhibit symptoms in many different ways, some more obvious than others. As a pet bird parent, it is important you understand what these health issues are to not only help treat them, but also prevent them.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about the signs your pet bird may be feeling under the weather, how to help them, and how to prevent more healthcare issues from developing.

Common Healthcare Problems in Birds

If you notice any of these healthcare issues in your pet bird, it is important they are taken to see a veterinarian right away, preferably one that specialises in exotic pets.


Obesity is an issue encountered with all pet birds. It can stem from poor diet and not enough exercise. To counteract this, make sure your bird is on a varied and healthy diet of formulated bird mixes, fruit, vegetables, and seeds, and is getting plenty of exercise and supervised out-of-cage time.

2. Poor Feather Quality

If you notice your bird with tattered or dull feathers, this could be a sign of a health issue. Bald patches may also appear and you may notice stress bars. Your bird could be suffering from allergies, skin irritation, baldness or cysts. Ensure your bird is getting plenty of exercise and a healthy, balanced diet each day, and that he has plenty of room in his cage.

cage accessories and toys

3. Lack of Appetite

If you’ve recently adopted a pet bird, they could still be getting used to their new home and could take a few days to settle in, resulting in a lack of interest in food. All the new sights, smells and sounds could be threatening for your bird, so give it some time before they warm up. If your bird has randomly stopped eating his food for no apparent reason, it could be the sign of a more serious underlying condition. Take them to your local vet, one that specialises in exotic pets/pet birds if possible. Depending on what other symptoms your bird is experiencing, a faecal and/or blood test may be carried out to determine if parasites or other infections are the issue.

4. Discharge from eyes, nose, mouth

Sneezing is normal in birds, but if you notice frequent sneezing/discharge from the nose or mouth, it could be a symptom of something more serious, such as a respiratory disease.

If you notice discharge from the eyes or squinting, increased blinking, swollen eye lids or a cloudy cornea, be sure to bring your bird to the vet for medical attention. It could be parasites, a virus, poor hygienic conditions, ulcers or an environmental toxin exposure (such as smoke from cigarettes or other airborne toxins).

Signs Your Bird May Be Ill

If you notice any of the signs below, I recommend consulting with your local vet, preferably one that specialises in exotic bird care, right away. For more on healthcare issues in birds, see my blog post here.

  • Feather Loss/Bald Patches
  • Biting
  • Screaming
  • Lethargy
  • Heavy breathing
  • Lack appetite
  • Lack of interest in toys
  • Sitting at bottom of cage
  • Change in colour or consistency in droppings

Any More Questions?

If you have any concerns regarding your pet birds’ health, I recommend you consult with your local veterinarian. For more on feeding and caring for your pet bird, speak to a member of the Petmania team in store today.

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