How Do I Care for a Sick Parakeet?

Patti Kate

Caring for a sick parakeet should be done under the supervision of a qualified veterinarian. If you suspect your parakeet is ill, locate an avian veterinarian or one who specializes in treating exotic pets. The bird should be kept in a warm location, free from drafts. Although your bird may not want to eat, it's essential the bird receives nutrition, as a parakeet's metabolism is faster than that of a larger species of bird. Try hand feeding your parakeet a nutritional treat to sustain it.

Parrots may hide symptoms of illness to protect themselves in the wild.
Parrots may hide symptoms of illness to protect themselves in the wild.

Birds hide symptoms of illness as a means of defense against predators in the wild. Although your pet parakeet is domestically raised, its instincts remain the same. A sick parakeet may try to disguise its illness, until it is too late for the bird to be helped. As a responsible bird owner, it is imperative that you recognize the signs of illness so your pet may receive immediate treatment.

Pet budgerigars typically live five to eight years.
Pet budgerigars typically live five to eight years.

If your parakeet becomes inactive and refuses to eat, your bird may need veterinarian treatment. If your sick parakeet is on the cage bottom, with its eyes closed and head tucked into its feathers, it could be seriously ill. Under these circumstances, bring your sick parakeet to a qualified veterinarian at once. Do not delay, as one day in the life of a sick parakeet is equal to a week in human time. Secure the bird in a bird carrier, with a towel draped over one side, so that it is free from drafts and sights that might frighten or stress the bird.

Assuming your avian vet has prescribed medication to treat your feathered friend, you must follow directions accordingly. Your sick parakeet must be kept in a quiet and warm location. Do not stress the bird further by allowing children to play with it or disturb its rest. Keep other pets out of the parakeet's immediate area as well. Place other birds in a separate cage, so the illness is not spread.

A sick parakeet that refuses food and water must be hand fed. To do so, you should gently wrap the bird in a towel to restrain it during the hand feeding process. Water and soft foods such as fortified oatmeal may be feed through a syringe, but use extreme caution. To avoid the risk of aspiration, offer one drop at a time and never use force. Your veterinarian can recommend nutritious foods or supplements that may be given to your sick parakeet to help the bird regain strength as it recovers.

Kefir can help treat diarrhea in parrots.
Kefir can help treat diarrhea in parrots.

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