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Watching for the Signs of a Sick Parrot

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Part 1 by Bridget Lee

We are often told that it is difficult to tell if a companion parrot is getting sick, or is sick, because it can hide its illness so well. I think a perceptive person will recognise that something is off, if they know what is normal for their parrot and the symptoms to look for. Unless a symptom screams out that the bird is sick, once people become aware of a few more subtle signs, they may need to consult with their avian veterinarian.

Sometimes it may take a couple of subtle symptoms for people to realise there are some they really need to pay attention to. The most important aspect is taking the time to, and getting into the habit of, visually and/or physically inspecting your parrot on a daily routine, so you notice if it is developing a problem. Check the eyes, the nares, notice the breathing, the posture and anything else that could be a change that indicates a health problem. Make it a game called something like ‘Beak, Wings, and Toes’ so your parrot knows to let you touch the various parts of its body. If you get into the habit of playing this game, chances are you will find anything before it becomes a serious health problem.

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