Sick Bird Symptoms
Symptoms and Potential Causes ... Bird Species and Diseases They are Most Susceptible to ... Avian Pain Assessment & Management
Primary symptoms and possible causes:
Some of the avian diseases require direct or indirect contact with a diseased bird (viral / bacterial disases, for example). If a pet hasn't been in contact with other birds for years, then one can exclude / ignore them for the most part. In those cases, it is more likely that nutritional factors or toxicities are involved in the disease process.
One can narrow the possibilties further down by considering susceptibility of the species (as listed). If none are listed, then most birds may be susceptible to the disease.
Bird Species and Their Respective Syndromes (Lists diseases specific bird species are most susceptible to)
Nost Notable Symptoms:
- Breathing / Labored
- Drooling: Yeast
- Eyes: Swollen, Red and/or Runny
- Feather Problems
- Head Twisting, Unnatural Head Positioning, Circling
- Head - Wet feathers, possibly soiled: A wet head on an otherwise dry body typically describes what happens when a bird vomits, as opposed to regurgitation. Other symptoms include head shaking. Supportive care needs to be provided until the bird can be taken to the vet, which should happen as soon as possible.
- Joints / Legs / Feet: Swollen, Maybe Painful
- Legs: Weak, Paralysis
- Lethargy / Weakness / Depression
- Bird Poop / Droppings (Abnormal) and / or Increased Water Consumption and More Urine in Droppings
- Respiratory Problems / Breathing Difficulties
- Skin Disorders (irritated sore skin, itchy skin, feathers falling out without being plucked, misshaped feathers, abnormal feather development)
- Sudden Death
- Swollen Abdomen or Crop
- Swollen Vent
- Voice - Loss of voice or changes
- Weight - Changes: Changes in a bird's weight can be a sign of a health problem
- Wing - Deformed (not by an injury)
.Breeding-age Hens Only:
Egg Binding - Swollen vent, weakness
Egg yolk peritonitis - Common / possible symptoms: Sudden death, loss of appetite/anorexia, weakness, depression, respiratory distress, lethargy, fluffed feathers, lack of vocalizations, yolk-colored droppings, swollen vent and/or abdomen (the swelling feels spongy to the touch), and ascites. Some of these symptoms also mimic egg binding. Most commonly seen in cockatiels, lovebirds, and waterfowl.
Scaly Legs / Swollen Feet - Common in canaries and finches.
Staph Infections / Foot Infection: The foot is likely to be swollen and may feel hot.
Scissors Beak - This is most commonly seen in cockatoos and macaws, but can occur in any species.
Parrot Beak - Most common in cockatoos, but can occur in any parrot species.
Angel Wing - common in waterfowl, such as geese, swans, and ducks
Marek's Disease - Occurs mainly in chickens under 16 weeks of age. Symptoms: Leg and/or wing paralysis, high mortality, tumors on visceral organs.
Lymphoid Leucosis (Poultry Viral Disease / Infectious Disease): Occurs mainly in laying hens between 4 and 10 months or age. Tumors in the bursa of Fabricius will spread to many other internal organs, especially the liver, spleen and kidney.
Most commonly caused by an infection in the trachea. Most often fungal (aspergillus), but could also be bacterial.
In budgies, cockatiels and some other species, goiter (an enlarged thyroid gland) is also known to cause sqeaking or crying sounds in addition to regurgitation and coughing. The enlarged gland compresses the trachea leading to voice changes and respiratory difficulties.
The vet needs to run diagnostic tests, such as cultures and blood work.
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Information contained on this website is provided as general reference only. For application to specific circumstances, professional advice should be sought.
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