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Symptoms & Diagnosis


Early recognition of disease is extremely important if it is to be controlled. Birds are experts at hiding symptoms of disease. This is a defense mechanism to insure their survival in the wild. Therefore it is necessary to catch your bird on a regular basis for a physical exam because a disease may be quite well advanced by the time he shows any signs of the illness. Any bird that appears sick must be helped immediately.

Symptoms & Diagnosis Troubleshooting - It must be emphasized that it is far better to confirm a diagnosis before initiating treatment rather than to decide on a treatment based upon symptoms and probabilities. Symptomatic treatment of illnesses may, however, become necessary for those unable to self-diagnose by using a microscope or those without access to an avian veterinarian. This Quick Reference Guide has been designed with those people in mind.

Respiratory: Coughing, sneezing, gurgling sounds, pasting of the nostrils, swollen sinuses, abnormal tearing, matting or crusting of the eyes, gasping for air, tail bobbing extension of head & neck, excessive beak rubbing, discharge from mouth, nose or eyes.

Gastro intestinal: Persistent watery diarrhea, drinking large amounts of water, regurgitation of food or water, bloody or mucus diarrhea, sticky wet vents. Weight loss in spite of normal food intake, loss of muscle mass from the breast bone, decreased appetite, change in the color or consistency of droppings.

Reproductive: Impaired hatchability of eggs, infertility, reduced egg production, soft or dead in shell eggs, early chick mortality, wet smelly nests, crop bloats with air, stunted & dying babies.

Neurological: Circling, twisting of the head and neck, falling to one side or the other, unable to raise, paralysis, star gazing.

Physical appearance: Failure to replace old feathers, deformed feathers, persistent ruffled feathers, drooping wings, lumps on head, wart like sores, cheesy abscesses beneath the skin, swollen joints or foot pads, black spot on abdomen, bloody beaks.

Behavior: Eyes closed, vocalization stops or becomes quieter, decrease in food & water consumption, listlessness, appears depressed, reluctance to move, failure to stand erect on perch, sudden increase in mortality, chicks huddling near the heat source or excessive peeping.

© lady gouldian 2017


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