5 signs that show your pet bird has pain
While it's true that some birds are able to talk, they still aren't able to tell us if they are sick or in pain. Birds are notoriously good at hiding signs of illness or injury, as any signs of weakness can mean trouble in the wild if predators take note. However, there are subtle things that you can look for that will help clue you in if your bird is experiencing physical discomfort. Read on to discover 5 signs that your bird is in pain, and be sure to contact your avian veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect that your bird could be sick or injured.
- Favoring certain body parts
If you notice that your bird is spending the majority of his or her time on one leg, or that the bird seems to avoid using a certain wing or moving in a certain way, then it would be wise of you to suspect that something is causing the bird pain in these areas. While it is normal for birds to try to hide any signs of illness, birds who are experiencing pain are often unable to completely mask their discomfort. It is best to schedule a prompt appointment with your avian veterinarian if you observe these sorts of behavior in your pet.
While we do our best to keep our feathered friends' safety in mind, accidents and injuries can occur at any place and time. Pet birds can even hurt themselves within the safety of their own cages at times, so keeping tabs on your bird's behavior is the best way to know if he or she is having trouble with pain. If you notice that your bird seems to be squinting his or her eyes, it is smart to take it as a sign that your bird is in discomfort, and it may not necessarily be related to an eye injury. Assess your bird thoroughly if you note any signs of squinting, and contact your avian vet for further advice.
Birds are normally highly active creatures, so any sign of lethargy or fatigue should be taken as potentially serious. Birds that are found lying on the bottom of the cage or who refuse to leave their nests or perches are often very sick and in need of immediate veterinary care. If you notice that your bird seems less active than usual, contact your avian vet as soon as possible for an evaluation and any necessary treatment.
Tame, handfed pet birds can still be moody at times, and this is completely normal -- however, excessive irritability that seems out of character for your particular bird can be a sign that something is wrong. While it's true that aggression and irritability go along with normal symptoms of hormonal behavior in parrots, it's better to be safe than sorry if you aren't 100 percent sure that hormones are the cause of the way your bird is acting. Promptly contact your bird's vet for advice if you notice signs that your bird is lashing out abnormally.
- Loss of appetite
Parrots and other birds have extremely high metabolisms, making it necessary for them to have adequate food intake at all times. It's normal for some parrots to be pickier than others, and certainly normal for any bird to have specific preferences when it comes to meals, but a bird that outright refuses to eat anything at all is usually a bird that is in dire need of veterinary attention. If you suspect that your bird isn't eating as much food as he or she normally consumes, try offering your pet a favorite treat such as millet or another type of fresh, bird-safe snack. You should be able to tell pretty quickly if your bird is interested in eating it or not, and if not, it's time to make a trip to the vet as soon as possible.