A Closer Look at Beak Problems

January 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Pet Birds

Those of us fortunate enough to own one or more feathered friends will understand that it is always a good idea to have at least a basic knowledge of common bird ailments. Forewarned is forearmed, or so they say, and this is especially true when it comes to your bird’s beak. Birds use their beaks for numerous things, so anything could go wrong with it at virtually any time.

There are a surprising number of bird beak problems which occur fairly commonly across the globe. One of the most common is probably that of trauma. Pet birds can easily break or injure their beaks by engaging in activities such as fighting with other birds, chewing on electric cords, flying into windows or fans or trapping their beak between cage bars. They can even hurt them by falling accidentally onto a hard floor. As a result, the beak can be punctured, fractured or partially or completely torn off the face. If anything like this happens to your bird, it would be best to rush it to the vet immediately.

Another thing to look out for is infectious disease. There are a number of viral, parasitic, bacterial and fungal pathogens that can affect the bird’s beak directly or indirectly. Examples of this are psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD), avian pox and scaly leg and face mites. None of them are pretty, but many of them are easily treatable with antibiotics and antifungal treatments.

Then there are those bird beak problems that occur at a much slower rate and may not be noticed until they are already quite well-developed. Some baby birds develop beak abnormalities early on, where their upper or lower beaks grow longer than they should. This is not great for the bird but can be fixed with dental appliances which are similar in application to human braces. Nutritional deficiencies can also cause beak problems, with scaly beaks or overgrown beaks being caused by inappropriate nutrition. Sometimes a bird’s beak can become soft or rubbery. It may take a while to notice these things, but once it has been spotted the bird should be put on a more appropriate diet so that it can recover.

One of the more serious bird beak problems to watch out for is that of cancer. Birds can develop squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma on their beaks which can manifest as an erosion or a discolored mass on the beak. If it is caught early enough it can usually be surgically removed. If you notice anything abnormal about your bird’s beak, the best thing to do is usually to contact the vet as soon as possible. Don’t waste time as you may miss a critical window period that could make all the difference.

Migration Flights Test Bird Stamina

October 27, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

It has long been known that migrating birds embark on particularly long and grueling journeys when they cross the oceans. What hasn’t been known for sure is whether or not they somehow stop along the way – until now that is. A Bar-tailed Godwit has been bestowed with the title ‘endurance champion of the animal kingdom’ after completing his epic 7,200 mile flight across the Pacific Ocean nonstop.

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Gout Does Affect Birds

October 13, 2008 by  
Filed under Pet Birds

Firstly, one needs to understand what gout is. Gout is a buildup of uric acid in the blood and forms due to the kidneys not being able to remove the uric acid from the body because the levels are too high. Uric acid crystals begin to form in the affected areas, causing the gout sufferer extreme pain and discomfort. These crystals form in the ligaments and joints when articular gout is experienced and around organs such as the liver and kidneys when it is visceral gout. Unfortunately, birds are susceptible to gout.

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Long Island Parrot Society Annual Show

October 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

If you’re looking for a great bird event coming up soon, look no further than the LIPS (Long Island Parrot Society) 2008 Parrot Expo. This annual parrot expo is the only major exotic bird exhibition to take place in Long Island. It is a great place to find like-minded bird lovers, to buy your feathered friends some great treats and to learn more about your beloved pet.

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Internal Parasites – Prevention is Better than Cure

September 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Pet Birds

Pet birds that were healthy when bought from a reputable breeder and are kept caged or indoors, are likely to remain healthy if provided with an appropriate diet and suitable housing that is cleaned regularly. It is a good idea though, for bird owners to be aware of various ailments that birds are susceptible to, as the earlier a problem is spotted, the more successfully it can be dealt with. As is the case with mammals and reptiles, birds can be adversely affected by parasites, both internal and external. While the adverse effects of external parasites may be visibly evident, internal parasites can do quite a bit of harm before it becomes apparent that the bird is unwell.

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