Natural substances including aloe vera, cayenne pepper, chamomile, dandelion, eucalyptus, ginger, and valerian are known to relieve pain in birds. In addition to using natural pain remedies, it is important to consult with a veterinarian to confirm the root cause of your bird’s pain.
What You'll Learn
As a bird owner, you want to ensure your feathered friend is healthy and happy. If you notice your bird is exhibiting signs of pain or discomfort, your first instinct is to help them.
In situations where you may not have immediate access to professional veterinary care, it’s important to understand the tools at your disposal. There are several accessible, natural remedies you can use to help relieve your bird’s pain while you seek veterinary care.
Common Signs Your Bird May Be In Pain
Humans can easily recognize signs of pain or illness in other humans. But how do we read these signs in our feathered companions?
As many bird owners know, birds have an innate survival instinct to hide signs of pain or illness. While this instinct can help birds avoid attention from predators in the wild, it makes identifying a potential illness or injury more difficult for their owners. That’s why it’s important to keep a sharp eye out for signs of pain in your bird.
Weakness & Lethargy
You know your bird better than anyone, which means you’re usually the first to notice a change in their behavior. If your bird suddenly goes from highly active to sluggish and fatigued, this is a potentially serious sign that something may be wrong.
It’s also common for injured or sick birds to lie on the bottom of their cages or refuse to leave their perches. If you notice any of these signs, seek veterinary care as soon as possible.
Are you noticing any uncharacteristic aggression from your normally friendly bird? While a bit of moodiness is completely normal from time to time, a sudden increase in irritability could signify that your bird is experiencing pain or discomfort.
If your bird continues exhibiting aggressive behavior consistently, the cause may be more serious than normal hormonal mood fluctuations.
If you aren’t certain that hormone changes are responsible for your bird’s irritability, it’s best to see a veterinarian to identify the cause of your bird’s mood changes.
If your bird has stopped munching away at their favorite foods, this could be a sign that something is wrong. The high metabolisms of most birds make it extremely important for them to consistently eat enough food. This makes loss of appetite a particularly alarming sign that your bird may be experiencing pain, injury, or illness.
Drooping or Overcompensation
Birds experiencing pain in a particular area of their body will often show their discomfort by avoiding the area. In these cases, a bird will sometimes overcompensate with a different body part. This can include leaning on a particular leg or avoiding the use of a certain wing. Injured or sick birds may also let the afflicted body part droop due to pain or weakness.
If you see your bird has stopped using a particular appendage, this is a strong sign that they’re trying to avoid pain or discomfort from an injured limb.
In birds, squinting is a common sign of discomfort or pain that isn’t necessarily linked to an eye problem. It’s easy for squinting to be taken as a sign that your bird is sleepy, so pay attention to whether the behavior remains consistent while your bird is awake. If your bird doesn’t stop squinting for a prolonged period, this is a sign to contact an avian veterinarian.
Natural Pain Remedies for Birds
Like any good owner, you care about your bird and want them to be safe, healthy, and comfortable. But you may not be able to immediately see a veterinarian upon noticing your bird is in pain. What should you do?
While you should always consult a veterinarian if you suspect your bird is sick or injured, there are plenty of natural substances you can use to relieve your bird’s pain while seeking medical care. These substances can help ease pain caused by several issues, such as skin irritation, wounds, joint pain, and inflammation.
For any substance you give your bird, always remember to consult with your veterinarian on the appropriate dosages for your bird’s size and weight.
Aloe Vera’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a powerful pain reliever for birds and helps alleviate joint discomfort from arthritis. It can be used topically for external wounds or ingested to address internal pain. Always confirm proper dosages with your veterinarian.
Cayenne pepper is an effective pain reliever for birds, mainly because it contains a substance known as capsaicin. This powerful remedy can dull the transmission of pain signals to the brain, helping relieve discomfort in birds.
Chamomile is great for soothing a bird who is stressed or anxious because of pain or injury. This herb also has gentle anti-inflammatory properties to alleviate irritation from arthritis.
Dandelion has great anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it a strong option for easing discomforts such as muscle and joint pain in birds. When misted on the skin in the form of a tea, dandelion can also help soothe itchy or irritated skin.
Eucalyptus is another effective pain reliever for birds. Its powerful anti-inflammatory qualities can help older birds or birds suffering from arthritis.
Ginger can help ease discomfort or pain in birds caused by nausea. It can also prevent motion sickness in certain birds.
The valerian root can help lower inflammation and pain in birds, including pain from nerve damage and arthritis. It also has powerful sedative properties, making it a strong choice to help calm the nerves of a stressed or overly anxious bird.
What to Do Next
Having a solid understanding of natural pain remedies for birds is important, but knowing when to consult with a veterinarian can be life-saving.
Now that you understand how you can help relieve your bird’s pain on your own, it’s important to think about the next steps for their care. If you notice your bird exhibiting strange behavior, losing its appetite, being overly aggressive, squinting consistently, or overcompensating with a certain body part, it’s time to seek professional medical care from a veterinarian.
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I am Bryan Powell and I own BirdHour.com. I love bird watching; in fact, I have a parakeet of my own. I enjoy spending time outdoors and observing the natural world around me. This website is a means of sharing my passion for birds with others who may be interested in this activity.