General Husbandry of Caged Birds

Disease: How to Recognize It and What to Do
Most disease in caged birds is directly or indirectly related to malnutrition and stress. Malnutrition most often stems from what the bird eats, rather than bow much it eats. Most caged birds are offered enough food, but they do not receive enough of the proper foods and in the proper proportions. Stress results from any condition that compromises a bird's state of well being. Examples include poor husbandry, inadequate diet, rapid temperature changes, and trauma.

All owners of caged birds must understand that birds tend to "hide" signs of illness. Birds can compensate for serious internal disease in such a way that they appear healthy externally. It is theorized that evolution has "taught" birds to hide signs of illness to avoid being harassed and possibly killed by other birds in the same flock. Because of this disease masking tendency, by the time a bird owner recognizes illness in a pet bird, the bird may have been sick for 1 2 weeks. Therefore, one cannot afford to take a "wait and see" approach and hope the bird improves. Be observant and act promptly. Learn to look for subtle signs of illness, and take special note of changes in the routine and habits of your pet bird. Seek veterinary assistance promptly if you suspect illness.

Following is a list of signs of illness easily recognizable by the concerned bird owner. Alone or in combination, they signify potential illness in your bird.


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Renton Veterinary Hospital
128 Rainier Avenue South
Renton, WA 98057
Phone: (425) 255-8676
Email: rentonvet@yahoo.com
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