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Detecting Illness in Caged Birds

 Submitted by Michael Adams on January 8, 2010

Birds, instinctively, tend to hide the fact that they may be ill. As a result it may be difficult to understand that your caged bird may be ill. The illness may only come to light when it progresses further, in which case it may become too late.

It is important to know how to detect disease and illness in caged bird. Here are a ways to keep a track on the health of your bird.

Observe the manner in which your bird rests.

Adult birds usually sleep while resting on one leg. If the bird starts resting on both feet, it could indicate that the bird may be ill and unable to keep balance on just one leg. Serious illness may cause the bird to sit on the floor of the cage, rather than on the perch. The bird’s droppings are also indicative of illness and disease. Inspect your bird’s droppings on a daily basis while cleaning the cage. Keep a track of the frequency, appearance and texture. Normal bird droppings are black or brown in color with a clear liquid around it. This is due to the fact that urination and defecation in birds takes place in one dropping. If the droppings appear too watery or discolored, it could be a sign of illness. Make a note of the bird’s activity as well. If the bird is inactive or sluggish, it could imply sickness. However, the difference in activity during times of health and illness may be very minor in birds. Observe the amount of food the bird is eating. Offer them food at the same time daily and observe how much time it takes for them to finish the food. If they lack appetite, it could be due to illness.

When birds are ill, they usually fluff up their feathers. This is one of the most distinct symptoms of ill health in bird. It implies that the bird is losing heat from its body. Healthy birds have shiny, black eyes. Note the appearance of your bird’s eyes. If they appear sunken and dull, it could mean illness. If you find that your bird is displaying the above mentioned symptoms, note them down and then contact your veterinarian. If a veterinarian cannot be reached immediately, place a towel over the bird’s cage or place the bird in a box lined with a towel to maintain a darkened state for the bird. Run a hot shower and then place the cage or box in the bathroom, so that the bird obtains warmth from the steam. Then you can place the bird under an infrared heat light of low wattage. Allow the bird to either stay under it or move away from it.
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