Pet Bird Diarrhea

Know the signs of diarrhea in pet birds and what causes it.

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A bird's dropping consists of three parts: feces, urine and urates.Via Andrew Wilkinson/Flickr

Description of Diarrhea

An increase in the overall liquid found in the droppings does not necessarily mean the bird has diarrhea; rather diarrhea occurs only if the fecal part of the dropping (a dropping consists of three parts: feces, urine and urates) is loose and watery. The feces may have not shape or consistency to it and a bird with diarrhea often has fecal material stuck around the vent. There might be a foul odor to the feces or gas bubbles might be observed.

Signs of Diarrhea

Diarrhea can be caused by an intestinal infection (viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoal or parasitic), liver disease, pancreatic disease, renal disease, ingestion of a foreign object (such as a piece of a toy or string) and ingestion of toxic chemicals or spoiled food.

What To Do

Monitor your bird’s droppings for 24 hours and if the diarrhea remains, the bird and its droppings need to be examined by your avian veterinarian.

Long-Term Care

Your vet may need to run tests, such as a Gram’s stains, blood work and radiographs to determine the cause of the problem. When you take your bird in to see the avian vet, do not change the papers in the bottom of the cage, so that the vet can evaluate several specimens.

Disclaimer’s Bird Health Index is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your bird’s health if you suspect your pet is sick. If your pet is showing signs of illness or you notice changes in your bird’s behavior, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

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