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Caring For An Aging Bird

November 1, 2019

Is your bird entering her golden years? While many birds can live quite a long time, sooner or later, just like any other living being, they will enter their senior years. As your winged pal ages, she’ll still be as cute and lovable as always, but her needs will change a bit. Here, a Thorold, ON vet discusses caring for a senior bird.

Signs of Aging

The signs of aging in birds are very similar to the signs of aging in other pets. Polly may become less active, and she may seem stiff and sore. She may also become calmer. (Note: this isn’t always the case: some of our older feathered patients are quite feisty!) Your pet’s feathers may look duller and less vibrant. There are also some behavioral clues to watch for. For example, your bird may become less friendly with strangers as she ages.

Keep Up With Veterinary Care

Older birds often develop health issues, such as cataracts, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and/or renal failure. Make sure Polly sees the vet regularly! At home, watch for signs of illness, and call your vet immediately if you notice anything amiss.

Watch Polly’s Weight

Many of our animal companions are prone to gaining weight as they age. Keep a close eye on Polly’s waistline. Obesity is very dangerous for birds! You may need to make regular adjustments to your colorful little pal’s diet to keep her at a healthy weight.

Beak/Claw Care

It isn’t uncommon to see overgrown beaks and nails in senior birds. You’ll need to keep Polly’s claws trimmed. As for her beak, your vet may recommend giving her soft wood to chew on. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Cage Arrangement

Just like younger birds, Polly will need perches of different sizes and textures. However, your bird may become stiff and sore, and the skin on her feet may also get thinner. You may need to set the perches up a bit differently to make it easier for your winged friend to get on and off them. If your bird has arthritis, she may enjoy rope perches. Also, make sure your feathered pal’s cage isn’t exposed to drafts or direct sunlight, and is in a quiet, safe location that won’t cause her any stress.

Do you have questions about caring for a senior bird? Contact us, your local Thorold, ON vet clinic!