Parakeets are such wonderful companions as pets, it's always sad when they get sick, but it's also dangerous. The reason that Parakeet sicknesses are so risky is that they often don't show that they are sick until it's almost too late to help them. Because of this, keeping a watchful eye on a parakeet is the best way to make sure illness gets treated in time. There are also a few steps pet owners can take while waiting to get the bird to the vet. The warning signs to look for are as follows:
Appetite. Parakeets that are sick eat less than they do when healthy. When a parakeet stops eating as much as usual, it is time to get that bird to a doctor.
Poop. Parakeet droppings look different when they are sick, so keep a watchful eye on the bottom of the cage. Look for changes in amount of poop (either more or less), watery poop, or different color poop. Often when the bird gets different food, the droppings will look different, so try to avoid false alarms.
Activity. Parakeets that are sick won't move as much as usual. Also they are quieter.
Mood changes. Sick parakeets get grouchy, nervous, and afraid.
Appearance. Sleepy eyes, long beaks and nails, and ruffled feathers can all be a sign that a parakeet is sick. Also, any lumps or growths are a sign that the bird needs medical help. Similarly, if there is oozing from the eyes or nostrils, the bird should be seen fast.
Respiratory indications. Breathing irregularities, changes in voice, sneezing, and crusty appearance on the face all indicate that the parakeet is sick.
Now that the signs of sickness in a parakeet are known, the next step is to contact a qualified veterinarian. Hopefully the bird already has a doctor to see on a regular basis, but if not, an avian veterinarian should be located immediately. Most dog and cat vets are able to provide referrals to other practices that specialize in exotic pets such as parakeets. While the bird is awaiting medical attention, the pet owner can take some steps to help.
Give the parakeet sun. Sunlight helps parakeets get sufficient vitamin D. If the bird is deficient, sunlight can help it feel better quickly and elevate its mood.
Electrolyte fluids. Emergency re-hydration may be necessary if the bird is dehydrated. Water can be substituted for Pedialyte to help the parakeet avoid dehydration.
Warmth. Keep the bird warm at a constant temperature. If necessary put the parakeet in a smaller room where the temperature can be regulated.
Cleanliness. A clean cage is especially important to a sick parakeet that is more susceptible to germs.
By taking a few special measures a parakeet owner can help diagnose sickness early and provide emergency care until the parakeet can be seen by a veterinary professional.