Is Your Bird Sick?
Being sick is miserable for anyone. While we can rest and recuperate, birds have to constantly be on the defense. The nature of birds is to hide their weaknesses and illnesses so that predators don't notice. However, this makes it difficult for you, as their owner, to tell if they have an illness. The best way to care for your bird is to know his normal activities and watch for abnormal ones. The earlier you notice your bird isn't feeling well, the easier it will be to find a solution. One thing you can do to ensure that your bird is maintaining his health is to weigh him regularly on an avian scale. Weight loss can point to stress or decreased intake of food and possible sickness.
Signs of SicknessThere are numerous signs of sickness within birds. A change in personality is usually one of the first indicators of sickness. Birds are typically playful, active, alert, and steady on their feet. When a bird's behavior and personality change, he probably isn't feeling well. Lack of maintenance is another sign of sickness. Sick birds might not preen very much so their feathers will look ratty and disheveled. Other signs of illness include a change in droppings, vomiting, sleeping too much, balance issues, severe diarrhea, discharge from the nares, difficulty breathing, and uncontrollable itching. Another important thing to inspect is if your bird has stopped eating or drinking. If so, you will want to keep him hydrated by using plenty of fluids.
How to Care for a Sick BirdIf your bird is showing signs of sickness, the first step is to keep your bird warm with a heated pad or a heat lamp. The Snuggle Up Bird Warmer is a good source of warmth that does not give off light to disrupt sleep. However, make sure that it is not too hot – 75 to 85 degrees F is a good temperature. To keep track of the temperature in your bird's environment, keep a thermometer close by.
If it's not too serious of an illness and you can care for your bird at home, it is important to keep him in a quiet and stress-free environment for a quick recovery. One tip for doing this is putting him in a smaller cage and removing perches so that he is not exerting too much energy. Make sure he is eating and drinking enough. Lastly, ensure that your bird can relax; put him in a place with dimmed lighting and refrain from checking on him constantly and holding him.
If you notice your bird has suddenly become ill, take him to your avian veterinarian. Remember that caring for your bird is crucial for his well-being. Watch his activities, know his behaviors, and provide him with good nutrition.
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