How To Know If You Have A Sick Parrot

25 May 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Like other household pets, your parrot will never tell you that it doesn't feel well. In fact, by the time it shows outward signs of illness, it is likely very sick. If you pay attention to you parrot's daily activities, you can spot when something has changed, which may be a sign of illness. Here is how you can tell if it's time to take your parrot to the veterinarian for a checkup.

Nutritional Problems

Parrots can often develop problems because of a poor diet. If your parrot begins to look tired, listless and their feathers are dull and ragged, check with your veterinarian about the diet. A seed-only diet doesn't provide them the vitamins and minerals they need. A pelleted food made for your species of parrot is a better choice as it has supplements for your bird's health. Adding regular doses of fruits and greens gives your parrot's immune system a boost.

Bacterial Illnesses

Your parrot can catch a cold from bacteria in the air, food or water. Keep their cage, food and water dishes clean. Don't let uneaten food or droppings accumulate on the bottom of the cage where bacteria can grow. Some of the signs that your bird may have a bacterial infection include:

  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • watery droppings
  • wheezing and strained breathing
  • loss of appetite

Your veterinarian like one from Centennial Animal Hospital may give your parrot an antibiotic and some drops to give your bird daily until the symptoms are gone.

Viral Illnesses

Several viruses can cause your parrot to come down with gastrointestinal and neurological problems. These are often severe and may not cause symptoms until much later in the cycle. At the first sign of any of these symptoms, contact the animal hospital and get your parrot in for a checkup:

  • unsteadiness on their perch
  • tremors or seizures
  • missing or broken feathers
  • beak deformity
  • diarrhea, vomiting
  • loss of appetite

There aren't any cures for the viral illnesses, but your vet will help your parrot be more comfortable until the symptoms go away.

Yeast Infections

Juvenile parrots are more prone to yeast infections while their immune system is developing. These infections are mild and your vet can treat them easily with anti-fungal medication. The signs of a yeast infection include:

  • whites spots on the inside of the mouth
  • coughing and regurgitation
  • runny droppings
  • change in color of the droppings


The protozoan giardia can infect the lining of your parrot's small intestine. This causes irritation of the digestive system and also affects the skin. The symptoms of giardiasis include:

  • plucking at feathers
  • dry skin
  • itchy skin
  • diarrhea
  • color change in droppings

Your parrot may pick at their feathers and skin until they are bare and raw. Once the condition is this bad, it's hard to reverse the plucking behavior so start treatment quickly.