When we talk about parrot illnesses we could go on for hours and hours as there is so much to cover, but what we will try to do is talk about the common illnesses and how you can spot signs of illness in your parrot.
PLEASE REMEMBER WE ARE NOT VETS SO IF YOU SUSPECT YOUR PARROT IS ILL YOU SHOULD CONTACT YOUR AVIAN VET.
SIGNS OF ILLNESS:
How do you know your parrot is ill?
This is a very hard question to answer as all birds “mask” any ailments they have, as in the wild they would get “picked” on and possibly killed if they show any signs of weakness. When you can physically see that your parrot is ill, its normally too late, so you must make a mental note of what is “normal” with your parrot so you can spot any sign of things being wrong.
What signs should I look for?
- Abnormal breathing
- Abnormal droppings (note the quantity, colour, consistency)
- Abnormal feathers, feather growth or moult
- Abnormal sleep pattern: Continuous , both feet on the perch when normally one foot is tucked up , head tucked under the wing, head turned towards the wing with eyes only partly closed
ANY CHANGE IN NORMAL ACTIVITIES:
- Different perching area
- Discharge from the beak, eyes or nostrils
- Drinking a lot more water than usual
- Drooping head, tail or wings
- Dull or swollen eyes
- Energy levels
- Excessive feather picking or plucking
- Face and head feathers coated with mucus and semi-digested seed
- Falling off the perch
- Fluffed up appearance
- Hunched over posture
- Interaction with humans
- Interaction with other birds
- Loss of appetite
- Lumps or swellings on the body
- Playing with toys
- Sitting on the bottom of the cage
- Soiled vent
- Tail constantly moving up and down
- Talking or whistling
- Untidy appearance
- Weight loss
COMMON ILLNESSES IN PARROTS INCLUDE:
ASPERGILLOSIS: Affects the respiratory system causing a clicking sound during breathing.
GIARDIA: An internal protozoal parasite that resides in the intentional tract.
Symptoms include: diarrhoea, feather picking.
CHLAMYDIOSIS (PSITTACOSIS): Symptoms include weight loss, green urates, and lethargy.
POLYOMER: Affects young chicks with the following symptoms; daily weight loss, vomiting, depression, lethargy, dehydration, haemorrhage at injection and/or pluck feather sites.
BEAK & FEATHER SYNDROME: Feather changes such as retaining the feather sheaths, fractures of the shafts, short clubbed feathers, curled feathers, haemorrhage in the pulp cavity, premature shedding of new feathers.
PRO-VENTRICULAR DILATATION SYNDROME: Weight loss accompanied with a good appetite, undigested seeds in the droppings, regurgitation, enlarged pro-ventriculus, seizures.
PSITTACINE POX: Upper respiratory tract disease/lesions on the oral, pharyngeal, oesophageal or crop mucosa, depression/ anorexia, diarrhoea, bloody stools.
PAPILLOMATOSIS: Cloacal masses, smelly faeces, infertility, recurrent prolapses, droppings accumulated on the vent.