Caring for a Senior Bird

Is your bird entering—or already in—her senior years? Polly will never stop being cute, but she will need some extra TLC as she ages. A local North Dallas, TX vet discusses senior bird care below.


The average lifespan of your feathered pal will depend on what type of bird you have. Smaller birds, like zebra finches, may only live about 4 years. Some big birds, such as Macaws, can live over 60 years. Do some research, and ask your vet when to look for signs of aging.

Signs of Aging

Speaking of signs of aging, they can be quite subtle in birds. Look for changes in Polly’s eyes. She may develop cataracts or start squinting. You may also see redness, or notice the color of her irises changing. Your winged buddy may also sleep more, and become quieter and less playful.


A proper diet is important at all ages, but it’s particularly crucial for older birds. Malnutrition is one of the leading causes of death for birds. One thing to be careful of is Vitamin A deficiency. This often happens in birds that eat all or mostly seeds. With some birds, such as African Greys, calcium deficiency is a concern. You also don’t want to go the other way, and overfeed your pet. Believe it or not, birds can become obese, which is extremely problematic for them. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Common Health Issues

Just like people, birds often develop health issues as they age. Some common ones are heart disease, respiratory issues, liver trouble, and kidney problems. Many of these issues can be managed, but early intervention is very important. Keep up with your pet’s exams! Watch for symptoms of illness, such as lethargy, weakness, diarrhea, weight changes, seizures, sneezing, wheezing, egg binding, discolored or ruffled feathers, bad breath, tremors, dizziness, or fainting. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these warning signs.

Caring For Polly

Your colorful pet may become stiffer and less mobile. Make sure that she has easy access to her food and water dishes. Older birds may also benefit from flexible perches and platforms to sit on. Most of all, pay lots of attention to Polly, and spend time with her every day.

Do you have questions about caring for your feathered friend? Contact us, your North Dallas, TX vet clinic, today!

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