Recognizing Signs of Illness in Birds

Fluffed ruffled parrot


Many medical conditions produce very a similar clinical picture in the bird. Clinical signs of illness frequently include non-specific signs of illness, such as lethargy, closed or partially open eyes, anorexia, and a fluffed and ruffled appearance. Depending on the origin of illness, additional signs can include an increased respiratory rate or effort and abnormal stool production.

Signs of illness in birds are often quite subtle until disease is advanced. Fortunately, quite a bit of information can be gleaned from a detailed history and careful observation. View this brief slideshow for tips on the visual examination . . .

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To cite this page: Pollock C. Recognizing signs of illness in birds. April 6, 2011. LafeberVet Web site. Available at