Help! My bird is ill

I have received several emails with questions about their parrot being ill.

First of all: I am not a veterinarian and even if I was, it is impossible for me to diagnose your bird via email!

Second: If you think your bird is ill you should not waste time waiting for somebody to read and answer an email! Some diseases can kill your parrot in a few days or even hours! If for instance your bird has caught a pneumonia you must hurry to the veterinarian or it can be too late!

Know your bird and watch out for any changes:

  • Has the bird changed behaviour – does it seem apathetic?
  • Does the bird have trouble breathing?
  • Has the bird lost appetite and stopped eating and drinking?
  • Is the bird sitting in the bottom of the cage or aviary instead of its perch?

If you can answer “yes” to one or more of the above questions, then I strongly recommend you visit the veterinarian as soon as possible!

If you have to wait some hours before visiting the vet you can try to help the bird by:

  • Replace the drinking water with lukewarm chamomile tea (careful: it should not be hot!) – this can aid with minor stomach problems and other minor problems.
  • Keep the bird warm by placing an infrared heat lamp close to the cage – place it near one end of the cage in such a way that the bird can sit either close to the lamp or farther away and thereby adjust how much heat is comfortable.

If the feces have a different color or mostly  consist of water it is often due to the bird eating something that upsets the stomach – this can happen if it eats too much of certain fruits and vegetables. As long as the bird behave as it usually does you don’t need to rush to the veterinarian but keep watching the feces and see if the problem solves itself in a few days – if not you should visit the vet.

Make sure to only buy good quality food and do not give too much fruit and vegetables as this can upset the stomach. And keep it away from anything poisonous!

Also make sure to keep the bird away from other birds to reduce risk of spreading potential infections!