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Signs Of Sickness In Birds
September 1, 2023

Have you recently adopted a bird? Polly is a wonderful pet: she definitely packs loads of personality into a small package. One important element of being a good pet owner is keeping an eye out for signs of illness or injury. That may require a bit of a learning curve for first-time bird owners. A Las Vegas, NV veterinarian lists a few things to watch for in this article. 

Reduced Appetite

It’s almost always a bad sign when an animal isn’t interested in food. Pay attention to Polly’s eating habits. Feeding her at the same time each day can be helpful with this. If you’re noticing leftover food and/or your feathered pal doesn’t seem to be drinking as much water as usual, she may be ill. It’s also important to monitor what comes out of your bird. Changes in your pet’s waste, such as discolored or runny stools, can be signs of serious medical issues.

Cere Issues

Changes in the shape or color of Polly’s cere—the area around her nostrils—are also warning signs. Pus or crusted discharge are definite red flags, and can be indicative of infection or respiratory issues.

Ruffled Feathers

Polly’s feathers should be smooth and clean. Discolored, broken, dirty, stained, or missing feathers can all be signs that something is wrong, as are broken or bleeding pin feathers.


Every bird has their own unique persona. Sudden changes in Polly’s usual mannerisms or vocalizations can be warning signs. For instance, a normally friendly bird that is suddenly angry or aggressive may be sick. Lethargy is another indication that something is wrong.

Weight Changes

A sudden loss or gain of weight—especially one that can’t be explained by dietary changes—can also be an indication that something is wrong. Weighing Polly regularly can help you spot these changes.

General Appearance

The more attention you pay to your pet bird, the easier it will be to spot indications that something is wrong. Look Polly over daily as you’re spending time with her. Lumps, bumps, bruises, and swelling are all clear indications that something is off. You may also notice your winged buddy standing or moving in a strange way, perhaps shifting her weight.


Polly’s eyes should be clear and bright. If they appear crusty, dull or sunken, or are watery, there may be something going on with your feathered pal.

Do you have questions about your bird’s health or care? Contact us, your Las Vegas, NV animal clinic, today!