River Road Veterinary Hospital

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207-825-2105

Avian Care

Avian Care

Birds make wonderful, fascinating companions—but they do require consistent care to keep them happy and healthy.

The single most important thing you can do to maintain your avian friend’s health is to make sure you keep up with regular veterinary exams. Birds are very good at hiding signs of illness or injury. Don’t let them fool you! While twice per year is optimal, at minimum they should see the veterinarian annually to:

  • check body condition and weight
  • inspect skin and feathering
  • examine eyes, ears, nose, and throat
  • palpate the abdomen
  • listen to heart, lungs and air sacs
  • discuss diet and socialization
  • test alertness

We may also recommend routine testing for parasites, inflammation, bacterial infections, anemia, nutritional health, immune system function, and disease.

Birds are fragile and their health delicate; they tend to hide symptoms from us as an instinctual defense mechanism. The fact is, if you think something might be wrong with your bird, chances are you’re right and an examination today could allow us to prevent a problem tomorrow. You should never miss an opportunity to have your bird examined.

Birds are very good at hiding signs of illness or injury. Don’t let them fool you! If your bird exhibits any visible signs of illness, please call us right away—it is likely an emergency for your bird. It’s very common for the first signs of avian illness to go unnoticed, so it is important bird owners know what look for:

  • Changes in behavior, such as decreased activity level or decreased vocalization
  • Decreased appetite – birds will pretend that they are eating, so don’t be fooled
  • Diarrhea or persistent abnormal droppings
  • Too much fluid in the droppings (polyuria)
  • Fluffed feathers or changes in the feathers
  • Changes in general appearance and posture
  • Sitting on the cage bottom
  • Coughing, sneezing, abnormal breathing sounds
  • Nasal discharge
  • Frequent scratching at the nares or the side of the head
  • Tail bobbing
  • Weight loss
  • Regurgitating, vomiting
  • Change in water intake
  • Weakness
  • Serious signs of Illness
  • Please call us immediately if your bird is exhibiting any of these symptoms:
  • Drooping wing or wings
  • Falling off the perch
  • Eyes closed with long periods of sleepiness
  • Vomiting/regurgitation
  • Frequent sneezing with or without discharge
  • Discharge from nostrils, eyes, mouth, or any part of the bod

Please give us a call at (207) 825-2105 to set up a wellness appointment for your feathered pet or if you have any concerns that your bird may be ill.