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Wings of Hope, New Jersey
Rescue and Sanctuary
P.O. Box 22, Cleveland, GA  30528
Ph: (732) 833 - 7825   Fax: (706) 219-3573
Email:  WOH@wingsofhope-nj.com

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Recognizing Illnesses in Birds
How Can I Tell If My Bird Is Sick?
In the wild, a bird will endeavor to uphold a strong appearance when sick. This is called, "survival of the fittest". By the time a bird actually shows an owner that it is unwell, it has likely been sick for some time. It is because of this that bird owners must learn to recognize the subtle signs a bird presents when unhealthy before it is too late. Many things contribute to ill health. Improper diet is the most common cause of ill health. Trauma, poor upkeep, inferior hygiene, stress and genetics may lead to ill health. Just because the bird's outward appearance is normal does not mean the bird is healthy. Any deviation from normal should be taken as a sign of ill health.

The following is a list of signs that should alert you that your bird is sick:
any change in regular behavior or personality
unusually tame behavior
irritability, agitation
poor general appearance (feathers "ratty")
eye discharge
cloudy eyes
swelling around eyes
nasal discharge
blocked nostrils
sneezing (excessive)
wheezing or "wet" breathing
cere (the skin around the nostrils) irregularity
labored breathing or open mouth breathing
tail "bobbing" with each breath
change in voice or no voice
anorexia (not eating or reduced eating)
changes in amount of drinking
weight gain
weight loss
fluffed feathers
drooping wing(s)
listlessness, inactivity, depression
sleeping more
lumps, bumps, swellings or bulges on the body
lameness or swollen joints
paralysis
weakness
redness or visible irritation
not perching, sitting on bottom of cage
wet droppings
diarrhea
change in the color of the droppings
staining of the feathers around the vent (anus)
decreased droppings
wet feathers around face and head
vomiting or excessive regurgitation
sore feet
balance problems
seizures
unconsciousness
flaky or crusty skin
excessive scratching
changes in the texture of the beak
overgrown beak or nails
feather changes, color, chewed, plucked, damaged
baldness
prolonged molt
abnormality of beak growth
protrusions from the vent (prolapse)
bleeding
Do not try to play doctor. If you are concerned about anything, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Do not wait until tomorrow!