Do you have a bird? Our feathered friends make very cute and lovable pets. Just like any other animal, they are prone to illness and injury. Although Polly may be able to talk, she probably can’t tell you if she doesn’t feel well. Therefore, it’s important to watch for warning signs. Here, a Santa Rosa, CA vet lists some signs that your feathered friend needs immediate care.

Changes In Droppings

When cleaning Polly’s cage, pay attention to her waste. Changes in the color, amount, or texture of your pet’s droppings can be indicative of serious medical issues.

Lack of Appetite

A lack of appetite is almost always a red flag in animals. If Polly isn’t eating much, or just doesn’t seem interested in her food, she may be ill.

Weight Loss

Weight loss is also a concern. Of course, birds don’t weigh much to begin with, so a change of weight may not be immediately obvious. It’s a good idea to weigh Polly regularly.

Respiratory Issues

Healthy birds should breathe quietly, at least when they aren’t screaming their favorite songs at the top of their lungs. If Polly is sneezing, wheezing, coughing, or rasping, contact your vet immediately.

Unusual Activity

Sick birds sometimes bob their tails, let their wings droop, or move in a strange, stiff fashion. Polly may also sit at the bottom of her cage, walk in circles, lose her balance, or even fall off her perch.


Birds are usually quite active and alert. If Polly usually loves to play and dance, but is just sitting listlessly in her cage, she could be sick. Sick birds can also get tired out very easily.


Watch for changes in your bird’s appearance. Things like red or sunken eyes, swelling, discharge around the eyes or cere, and/or discoloration of the legs are all warning signs.

Poor Feather Condition

Birds are usually pretty diligent about preening themselves. If Polly doesn’t feel well, however, she may neglect her beauty ritual, which can cause her feathers to look matted or greasy. Tattered, soiled, or missing feathers are also red flags.


Any unusual behavior is a cause for concern. For instance, if your winged buddy is sick, she may vocalize differently. She may also act either more aggressive or more submissive than usual.

Please contact us, your Santa Rosa, CA vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!