If you own a bird, you’re responsible for knowing when your feathered friend isn’t feeling their best. Below, your Bucks County, PA veterinarian gives you a crash course. Here are five signs of a sick bird:

Cere Discharge

Your bird’s cere is the area above the beak that houses the nostrils; think of it as your bird’s nose. If you see discharge coming from this area, or notice dried crusty material there, it’s time to call the vet. Also take note of inflammation or redness in this area. These symptoms could be indicative of infection or disease, and your veterinarian should examine your bird promptly to determine the cause.

Loss of Appetite

A loss of appetite isn’t a good sign in almost any pet, birds included. If you’ve noticed a lot of extra leftovers in your bird’s food dish for an extended period of time, let your veterinarian know. All sorts of health problems could be to blame, including injury, infectious disease, intestinal blockage, and much more. Your veterinarian will be able to find the cause of the appetite loss and get your bird eating normally again.

Eye Issues

A bird in full health should have clean, clear eyes. If you see cloudiness in the eyeballs, redness, swelling, crusty material, discharge, inflammation, or anything else that looks out of the ordinary around the eyes, place a call to your vet’s office. Like the signs listed above, disease, infection, and other issues may be to blame; you’ll want your bird examined quickly.

Ruffled Feathers

Birds ruffle their feathers as a part of their normal behavior patterns, so this alone isn’t unusual. However, birds don’t typically keep the feathers ruffled for long periods of time. If you see your bird keep the feathers ruffled for longer than a 24-hour period, it’s time to check with the professionals. Call your vet’s office to see if your bird may need veterinary attention.

Changes in Waste

Major changes in the color and/or consistency of a bird’s waste may indicate internal health problems. While your bird’s waste characteristics are bound to change slightly depending on what they eat or drink, take note if you think your bird’s waste colors are drastically different. Also let your vet know if you find the waste to be runnier or more firm than usual.

Contact your Bucks County, PA pet clinic for more information on your bird’s health and wellness.