Parrots make wonderful pets as long as you're able to take good care of them. They're incredibly long-lived; many live for 40 years or more! They bond deeply with their owners, and they mimic human speech so well you'll often feel like you're having a conversation with them. An important part of caring for your parrot is knowing when it's sick and needs to see the vet. Here are some specific signs your parrot needs vet care.
The feathers look ratty or fluffy.
If your parrot's feathers start to look ratty, torn, or generally unkempt, this could be a sign that your bird is no longer grooming itself. Almost any illness could be to blame. Your parrot could be experiencing some pain in its beak that is keeping it from grooming itself, or it could be too tired to groom due to a viral infection.
The bird stops eating and drinking as usual.
If your bird stops eating normally, is eating a lot less or has decreased its water intake, this is a sure sign of illness. The bird could be dealing with digestive issues or a beak problem. It could have an impaction or a bacterial infection in its intestines. Parrots can become dehydrated rapidly, so don't want to see if this gets better on its own; contact the vet.
The parrot is struggling to breathe or has nasal discharge.
Respiratory issues are quite common in parrots — especially those who live in apartments without great ventilation. These issues can become serious quickly since they can prevent the bird from needing the oxygen they need. You may notice a wheezing noise when the parrot breathes, or you might see nasal discharge around the beak. Coughing is less common but does occur in some birds.
The eyes look red or are exuding discharge.
Bacterial eye infections are quite common in parrots. They're treatable with antibiotics, but you do need to act quickly as birds can injure their itchy eyes while attempting to rub the itchiness away. Redness, discharge, a cloudy eye, or a swollen eye is a cause to call the vet immediately.
When in doubt, call the vet. Parrots do get sick from time to time, and most ailments are curable, but these birds can also go downhill quickly if they don't get the treatment they need. An annual checkup with the vet will also help ensure nothing medical goes unaddressed with your parrot.
To learn more information, reach out to a veterinarian near you.