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Sick Bird: What To Do?

Sick Bird: What To Do?

It can be difficult to tell when your bird is sick. Many bird owners do not know the signs and symptoms to look out for. Today, our Clearlake vets will explain what symptoms to look for and what to do when your bird is sick.

Signs of Sickness:

Birds are sweet and bright creatures. They are also creatures of habit. While they may try to hide their symptoms, paying close attention to their daily activities, behavior, and general attitude. When you think your bird is feeling ill look out for these signs:


  • Dull, unfocused eyes
  • Fluffed or rumpled feathers when it is not cold
  • Swollen eyes or membranes, such as the cere
  • Wet or crusty eye, mouth, or nose discharge
  • Dirty, matted feathers
  • Missing feathers
  • Visible injuries, lesions, or wounds


  • Trouble breathing or puffing or panting breaths
  • Reluctance or inability to fly properly
  • Excessive drinking
  • Sitting too still, even when approached
  • Drooping wings or slouched, unsteady posture
  • Roosting in open areas, even on porches or patios
  • Limping
  • Head listing to one side
  • Squinting or seeming to fall asleep
  • Getting snapped at by other, obviously healthy birds

Bird Droppings:

These symptoms may not be present in your bird, so it is important to monitor your bird's droppings.

This might not be the most pleasant thing to do, but it is important. While the color of your bird's droppings may vary slightly depending on what you feed it, you should watch for droppings that are yellow, rusty brown or tarry black.

These can be indicators of internal bleeding or other serious problems. Pay attention to any major changes in the consistency of your bird's droppings. Whether they're too runny or too firm, they can cause complications for your pet.

What To Do When Your Bird Is Sick:

There are several things you can do at home to keep your birds healthy and help them get better if they happen to get sick.

Examine your bird daily for any signs of infection, and make sure to maintain a close relationship with your vet.

Provide your bird with toys and a regular exercise routine, which will positively affect its mental health, and talk to your bird (even if it doesn't talk back) so it gets the social interaction it needs.

It's also important to feed your bird a varied diet to make sure it's getting enough vitamins and minerals. Consult your vet if you're not sure of what foods are appropriate for your particular breed.

Keep your bird's enclosure clean. While most birds take care of their grooming, it's up to the owner to make sure that any waste is cleaned up promptly and that the bird's food and water are fresh and readily available.

Do you have a bird in need of veterinary care? Contact us at Clearlake Veterinary Clinic to learn about which animal hospitals may be able to provide care for your companion.

New Patients Welcome

Clearlake Veterinary Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Clearlake companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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