Signs of Illness in Birds

Do you have a pet bird? Birds are super cute pets. These little guys do require quite a bit of care, however. Your winged buddy will need good food, a comfortable habitat, proper veterinary care, and safe, suitable entertainment in order to stay happy and healthy. It’s also important for you to keep an eye on Polly, and watch for potential signs of illness. Birds are very small and fragile, and can get sick quickly! Read on as a North Phoenix, AZ vet lists some common things to watch for.


Unusual movements or postures are often an indication of illness in birds. If Polly is sitting in a stiff or hunched position, staying on the bottom of her cage, losing her balance, or wobbling, she could be sick. Some other things to watch for include trembling, walking in circles, stiffness, lethargy, and unusual wing positions.


Your pet’s feathers are a good indication of her health. If Polly has ruffled feathers, or if her feathers are stained, wet, matted, or dull, she may be ill. You’ll also want to watch for bald spots, as well as feathers that are broken or abnormally shaped or colored. Other things to watch for include discharge from the eyes or nares, a discolored or overgrown beak; visible lumps or swelling; and red, watery, dull, or sunken eyes.

Respiratory Problems

Sneezing, wheezing, and trouble breathing are all red flags. Sick birds may also breathe through an open beak (the bird equivalent of mouth breathing) or get out of breath after even light activity. Discharge or crusts near your pet’s nares are another warning sign, as are changes in the way Polly sounds.

Digestive Issues

Sudden increases or decreases in your pet’s appetite can be a warning sign. Vomiting and diarrhea are also red flags. Weight loss, discharge from the mouth, and changes in the color, texture, or odor of Polly’s waste can also indicate illness. Bloody waste or discolored waste is a serious warning sign.


These are just some symptoms of illness in birds. Ask your vet for more information. We also recommend doing plenty of research on your bird’s specific breed. If you notice any signs of illness in your feathered pal, contact your vet right away.

Please contact us, your North Phoenix, AZ vet clinic, for all your bird’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Comments are closed.