Nursing Care for Sick Pet Birds
- Give all medications as directed.
- Keep your pet bird warm.
- Do not change your bird’s sleep cycle.
- Make sure your bird eats and drinks.
- Avoid stress.
- Separate sick birds.
- Notify your personal physician if you become ill.
- Notify your veterinarian if your bird’s condition worsens.
How do you take a sick lovebird to the vet?
Download Article Download Article Lovebirds are friendly and fun pets who can live happy lives full of affection for their owners and their mates. Lovebirds are hearty, so keeping them healthy isn’t typically a chore, but it is still important to monitor them for signs of illness.
- 1 Look for changes in their feathers. Feathers are often a conspicuous sign of illness in birds. Not preening, having consistently ruffled feathers, areas with thin or no feathers, matted feathers, excessive molting, rapid changes in color, and picking out feathers can all be signs of illness in lovebirds.
- Any of these symptoms individually is concerning. If you notice even one of these, contact your avian vet immediately.
- Consistently puffed up feathers, combined with lethargy, is usually the first sign of illness in a lovebird. If you notice these symptoms, take your bird to the vet immediately.
- 2 Check their beak. Problems with the beak can indicate any number of problems, including the critical Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD). Check to see if the beak is overgrown, flaky, discolored, loses symmetry, or if there is discharge around the nares (the nostril-like openings on the beak).
- If you suspect your bird may have PBFD, isolate them from any other birds immediately and make an appointment with your vet, as this disease is highly contagious. Sick birds and new birds should always be quarantined away from other birds.
- 3 Monitor their droppings for texture and discoloration. Abnormal droppings could be signs of a serious illness, including PBFD and Chlamydiosis. Look for discoloration in droppings, especially green or yellow colors, an abnormally thick or runny consistency, and a major increase or decrease in the number of daily droppings.
- 4 Watch them to see if their breathing is labored. Respiratory illnesses are one of the more common problems in lovebirds, so you need to watch their breathing carefully when you check for signs of illness. Difficulty breathing, breathing through an open beak, wheezing, trouble breathing while flying, and sneezing could all indicate respiratory problems, a serious sign of illness.
- Difficulty breathing is a critical symptom in most birds. If you notice any respiratory symptoms contact your avian vet immediately or take your lovebird to your closest animal hospital.
- 5 Seek immediate attention for injuries or critical symptoms. If you notice any burns, bite wounds, bleeding, vomiting, seizures, rapid weight loss, lumps or swelling in the body or on the feet, consistent tail bobbing, or if your bird falls off its perch, seek immediate vet attention. These are critical symptoms that indicate that your bird needs immediate medical attention.
- 1 Watch for changes in your bird’s attitude. Just like people, lovebirds can get depressed or anxious when they don’t feel well. If your bird seems withdrawn, shows little interest in fly time, sleeps a lot, or gets overly nervous or excited when someone enters the room, it could be a sign that they feel sick.
- 2 Monitor the amount of food and water they consume. Both a decrease or a sudden increase in thirst or appetite could be signs that your bird is sick, and may be indicators of nutritional disorders, a common problem in lovebirds. Pay close attention to how much your lovebird eats and drinks on a daily basis. If you notice a sudden change, contact your vet for recommendation on treatment.
- 3 Check for changes in their posture and positioning. If your bird has drooping wings, frequently tucks their head, or huddles instead of standing tall, it could be a sign that they don’t feel well. Behavioral symptoms such as these are typically considered critical, and require a vet visit immediately.
- 4 Look at where they are in their cage. Sitting on the cage floor or holding onto the cage with their beak instead of sitting comfortably on a perch are two major indicators that something is wrong. If your bird is unable to perch normally, contact an avian vet immediately for recommendations and to see if an appointment may be necessary.
- If you notice this behavior in your bird, then you need to contact a vet about an emergency visit. Your bird needs immediate care.
- 5 Track their movements. When a bird doesn’t move around much in its cage, it can be an indicator of stress or a larger health problem. If you notice your bird staying on a single perch or sitting for long periods at their food or water dish, they may be exhibiting symptoms of a serious illness.
- 1 Isolate the bird. If you have multiple birds, it is best to move a bird that isn’t feeling well into another cage in a different room. This helps reduce stress for your sick bird, and helps stop contagious diseases from spreading to your healthy birds.
- 2 Take your bird to an avian vet. Sick birds need special care from a vet that focuses on treating birds, commonly called an avian vet. If you think your lovebird may be sick, call your local avian vet immediately to make an appointment.
- If you think your bird is critically sick, ask for recommendations for an emergency animal hospital if your vet can’t see you immediately.
- Ask the vet about what steps and precautions you should take with the bird for the time in between your call and your appointment.
- You can search for an avian vet by visiting http://www.aav.org/,
- 3 Reduce stress around the bird. Stress can cause the onset or worsening of some diseases in birds. Reduce stress by keeping perches low, making sure food and water are easy to reach, minimizing handling, and allowing a quiet space for your bird to rest.
- 4 Provide supplemental heat. Supplemental heat is necessary as birds lose body heat rapidly when sick. Use a heat lamp to provide your bird with an environment around 80° to 85° F (26°-29° C).
- Natural sunlight is also important to help ward off vitamin D deficiencies. Place your bird in an area with access to natural light, or use full-spectrum lamps to provide the UVA and UVB rays they need.
- 5 Clean their cages daily. Help eliminate bacteria that can grow in dirty cages by removing old cage liner or paper and rinsing out food and water dishes with soap and hot water daily. Additionally, the cage and all toys, dishes, and accessories should be disinfected using a bird-safe disinfectant once a week.
- Remember to allow the disinfectant to dry completely before rinsing it away with hot water. The cage and equipment should then be allowed to dry again before returning your lovebird to its home.
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Advertisement Article Summary X To spot signs of illness in lovebirds, check for any changes in their feathers, since consistently puffed up feathers are usually the first sign of illness. Another sign to look out for is labored breathing since respiratory illnesses are one of the more common problems that affect lovebirds.
- Watch your lovebird carefully, and if you notice wheezing or breathing through an open beak, contact your vet immediately.
- Additionally, if your lovebird begins sitting on the cage floor or frequently tucks its head into its wings, this may be a sign of illness and you should take it to the vet immediately.
For more advice from our Veterinary co-author, including how to check your lovebird’s beak for illness, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 87,636 times.
What to do if your lovebird has diarrhea?
Download Article Download Article Diarrhea in lovebirds can be caused by a variety of conditions, some serious and some not so serious. These conditions can only be diagnosed by a veterinary professional. However, by tracking your lovebird’s symptoms, caring for your sick bird, and working to prevent diarrhea-causing illnesses you can help keep your bird healthy.
- 1 Look for watery feces to identity diarrhea. In healthy birds, droppings should contain mostly brown or green with white, semi-solidified feces with a small amount of liquid urine. If your bird has more liquid in their droppings, but the fecal matter appears solid, this is a condition called “polyuria” that is sometimes mistaken for diarrhea.
- Bacterial infections.
- Viral infections.
- Fungal infections.
- The presence of parasites.
- Changes to diet.
- Non-food items lodged in the intestinal tract.
- Ingestion of chemicals, toxins, or spoiled food.
- 2 Look for other symptoms. If diarrhea is the result of a medical problem, often it will be accompanied by additional symptoms. Pay close attention to your bird, and look for changes in their behavior. It can be helpful to jot down a few notes about your bird’s symptoms. This kind of record can be very helpful for your vet. Some symptoms to watch for include:
- Ruffled feathers.
- Tucking the head beneath the wing.
- General lethargy.
- Loss of appetite or refusal to eat.
- Blood in the stool (which may appear black or dark green).
- 3 Seek medical attention. An occasional bout of diarrhea is perfectly normal. However, if your bird’s diarrhea lasts longer than 24 hours, returns frequently, or is accompanied by additional symptoms, you should seek the advice of your vet immediately.
- Birds tend to hide their illnesses as long as possible. As a result, when you notice symptoms in your bird, they may already be quite ill.
- It is a good idea to look for a vet before your bird becomes sick. If possible, look for an aviary specialist.
- 1 Offer a complete history of the problem. In order for your vet to make an accurate diagnosis, they will need as much detailed history about the condition as you can provide. Be prepared to discuss:
- When the diarrhea began.
- How often it has occurred.
- Any additional symptoms and how they have progressed.
- A detailed description of their diet and how they have been eating.
- Whether or not they have been exposed to other birds and when.
- Any other medical conditions your bird has been diagnosed with.
- Any medications your bird is taking.
- Your vet may also ask you to bring in a stool sample.
- 2 Diagnose the problem. Diarrhea in lovebirds can be caused by a number of different ailments, ranging from serious to benign. As such, your vet will likely need to run a series of diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your bird’s diarrhea, and determine the best course of treatment. Some tests your vet might run include:
- A physical examination.
- A complete blood count (CBC).
- A serum biochemistry panel.
- An endoscopy.
- Fecal tests.
- 3 Provide treatment. Once your vet has diagnosed the source of your bird’s diarrhea, they can offer you some treatment options. Be aware that diagnostic testing and treatment for your lovebird may be expensive. Speak to your vet about costs and payment options before you proceed. Some treatment options for diarrhea-related conditions include:
- Hospitalization to provide fluids.
- Antibiotic or antifungal medications.
- Endoscopy or surgery to remove obstructions.
- Medications to protect and help heal the intestinal tract.
- 4 Offer mild food and water. When your bird is experiencing diarrhea, it is important to offer a mild diet and plenty of fresh water. Provide your bird with the pellets they normally eat, but do not offer fresh fruit, vegetables, or other treats until they have been diarrhea-free for 24 hours. Also, be sure to change their water regularly.
- If the diarrhea seems to have subsided, you may begin offering small amounts of fresh produce.
- If your bird will not drink water, contact your vet immediately.
- 5 Monitor droppings. Clean out your bird’s cage and remove any litter from the floor. Instead of adding litter to the clean cage, place paper across the bottom. Keep an eye on this paper, and change it daily, in order to monitor the status of your bird’s droppings.
- Be aware that some conditions in birds can be spread to humans (such as psittacosis). It is a good idea to wear rubber gloves and a mask while cleaning your bird’s cage and handling the bird while it is sick.
- Sick birds are susceptible to heat loss, so be sure to return the cage to a warm but well-ventilated room once you have cleaned it.
- 6 Provide medications. Depending on your bird’s diagnosis, your vet may prescribe antibiotic or antifungal medication for you to give your bird at home. Usually, this will come in a liquid form that can be added to your bird’s water.
- Follow all instructions from your vet.
- Even if your bird’s condition has improved, continue to give your bird the medication for as long as your vet has advised.
- If your vet has advised you to do so, be sure to isolate your sick bird.
- 1 Keep the cage clean. Diarrhea in lovebirds may be caused by parasites, bacteria, or fungi. You can prevent the presence of these irritants by maintaining a clean and sanitary environment for your bird.
- Clean food bowls with soap and water daily.
- Provide fresh cage lining daily.
- Sanitize your bird’s cage once a month (or more often if they are ill).
- 2 Quarantine new or sick birds. Parasites, viruses, fungal infections, and bacterial infections can all be spread from bird to bird. Prevent the transmission of diarrhea-causing illnesses by placing new birds in quarantine for up to six weeks. This should also be done with birds who are ill, or any bird who leaves the home and comes into contact with other birds.
- Ideally, keep the quarantined bird at a friend’s house.
- If you must keep the bird at home, take it into a different room and cover the vents in that room.
- 3 Provide routine veterinary care. Diarrhea-causing conditions are most easily treated when caught early, perhaps even before your bird exhibits symptoms. This can be accomplished by bringing your bird to see the vet every 6 to 12 months. During these exams, your vet will:
- Examine your lovebird.
- Weigh your bird.
- Perform blood tests.
- Perform a fecal exam.
Ask a Question 200 characters left Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit Advertisement Article Summary X To treat diarrhea in lovebirds, take your bird to the vet if it’s had diarrhea for more than 24 hours.
- At the appointment, your vet will perform an exam to determine the cause of the diarrhea and may recommend antibiotic or antifungal medications or a brief hospital stay to rehydrate your bird.
- When you bring your bird home, offer it mild food, like pellets, and plenty of clean water.
- While your bird is recuperating, don’t offer it any fresh fruit, vegetables, or other treats that could upset its stomach.
In order to keep the cage more sanitary, wash the food and water dishes in soapy warm water daily, and line the cage with fresh paper every day. For more tips from our Veterinary co-author, including how to prevent illnesses in your lovebirds, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 37,500 times.
Can I give my lovebird high fever medicine instead of pneumonia?
Proper medication – Undoubtedly, it’s wrong to give any type of medicine if the lovebird is sick. Never ignore the diseased birds if you find any type of infection in them. In most cases, some birds feel uneasy, and others remain secure. Mainly it is not the right way to give high fever medicines instead of pneumonia.
How do I know if my lovebird is sick?
Respiratory Problems in Lovebirds – Respiratory problems are common in small birds. When my lovebird, Lulu, was sick, I noticed the symptoms mentioned below. There may be other symptoms as well. If you notice these symptoms or any unusual behavior in your lovebird, please take them to the vet immediately.
- Labored breathing (difficulty in breathing, accompanied by tail bobbing)
- Panting after flying/exercise
- Breathing with an open beak
- Sneezing while flying
- Puffed-up feathers for a long time
- Fever (warm body and beak)