avian bird heath care management

Avian birds are complicated creatures and an incomplete understanding of their physical, nutritional, physiologic and psychological needs often leads to long-term, inadequate care.


Avian Bird Profile

These factors must be understood and corrected in order to restore and maintain good health. Owners should evaluate their bird's movement, body posture, head position, behavior, appetite, attitude, ocular clarity and excrement output on a daily basis. These observations will help the doctor identify abnormalities before a disease has a chance to progress to an irreversible point. During advanced stages of the disease, symptoms may include drowsiness, increase or decrease in food and water intake, changes in the color or consistency of feces, urine or urates, coarse, ruffled or moist feathers, inability to perch, picking or scratching, changes in body posture, wing position or talking and singing abilities.

In order to help identify management and disease-related problems early, it is advisable to perform a complete physical examination on a new patient twice in the first year and annually thereafter. The initial evaluation periods are an opportunity to identify and correct problems before they advance. Owners can contribute to the well-being of their companions by providing a thorough history of the bird, which frequently provides obscure clues that may identify risk factors important in diagnosing and resolving a patient's problems. Here are some questions to think about.

avian bird

Have any new birds recently been added to the household?

This is important because new birds are a source of previously unencountered pathogens. It is necessary to quarantine new addition until a visit to the vet can confirm the bird is free of infectious disease.
A complete physical exam including a choanal/cloacal swab, full blood count, and a psittacosis test is recommended. Has there been any change in food or water consumption?

Symptoms of the disease can include a slight increase or decrease in food or water consumption. However, it is important to distinguish between the food offered to a bird and the food consumed by the bird. An adequate diet may be offered, but an inadequate diet may be consumed. Birds that consume mainly seed-based diets may develop malnutrition even with vitamin supplements. Examination of the color, texture, consistency, and volume of the feces provides information about appetite, behavior, and certain body functions. The feces should be visually evaluated on a daily basis.

Is the bird restricted to an indoor environment?

Frequent exposure to fresh air and sunlight is important for a bird's overall health. Birds that are restricted to an indoor environment commonly have more medical problems.

Is the bird exposed to toxic compounds?

Inspect the indoor environment to determine if it is contaminated with toxins. Birds have an efficient respiratory system, and brief exposures to toxins can be life-threatening. Some commonly encountered toxins that could have a dramatic effect on the health of your bird include cigarette smoke, fumes from burned foods, leaking gas, fumes from disinfectants (Clorox, ammonia, Lysol), furniture polish, floor wax, paint, hair spray, dry cleaning fluid and carpet and furniture cleaners.

Have there been any changes in a bird's behavior?

Changes in behavior that should be noted include excessive sleeping, resting in a fluffed condition and a decrease in talking, singing and playing. Scratching and excessive preening may indicate a local or systemic abnormality and personality changes such as increased aggression and screaming may also indicate problems.

What is the bird's reproductive status?

Seeking seclusion (such as hiding under furniture, behind drawers, under papers), tearing up paper, a crouched copulatory stance and masturbatory actions with objects or people are suggestive of breeding behavior.

avian bird heath Questionnaire


  1. What are the symptoms and how long has it been going on?
  2. Are there any other pets in the household?
  3. If yes, are they ill?
  4. Are other family members ill?
  5. What exposure if any does the bird have to other birds?
  6. Has the bird ever had any other medical problems in the past?
  7. Has the bird ever been on any medications? If so what type and how long?
  8. Where was the bird obtained?
  9. When was the bird first introduced to the home?
  10. Did the bird come with a health guarantee?
  11. Where is the bird kept in the house?
  12. What kind of substrate (materials to use to catch feces) in the enclosure.
  13. Is the home heating system electric or gas
  14. What is the temperature in the home?
  15. What houseplants does the bird have access to?
  16. Is the bird frequently exposed to fresh air and sunlight?
  17. Is the photoperiod natural and regulated, or random and irregular?
  18. Have you ever used exterminators in your house?
  19. Is the bird exposed to cigarette smoke?
  20. What potential aerosols is the bird exposed to (household chemicals, disinfectants, hair sprays)?
  21. What disinfectants are used in the enclosure and how often?
  22. Have any changes recently occurred in the home (new enclosure, different diet, painted house, changed carpet, new pets or strange people in the house, moved the bird to a new location the house)?
  23. What types of foods are offered?
  24. What types of foods are consumed?
  25. What feeding schedule is used?
  26. Are any dietary supplements used?
  27. Is the appetite increased or decreased?
  28. Have the droppings changed in color, frequency, consistency, or quantity?
  29. Has the water intake changed?
  30. Does the bird use a water bottle or water bowl?
  31. Any coughing, sneezing, diarrhea, or vomiting?
  32. Have noted changes remained the same or progressed?