How To Know If Your Bird Has Been Poisoned


How To Know If Your Bird Has Been Poisoned

Birds may be exposed to a variety of toxins and poisons in their cages or as they explore or perch around your home.

Birds can inhale, consume or even absorb poisons through their skin.

Lead paint from foreign manufactured bird cage bars or toys, consuming too much salt from human snacks such as crackers or chips or chewing on pop cans may lead to death or thousands in veterinary bills.  Look for bird cages, cage accessories and bird toys manufactured in the USA or by US manufacturers.

Common cleaning fumes from general household cleaners are a frequent culprit to respiratory or other forms of poisoning.  Of course, we often hear about overheated nonstick cookware, irons, etc. but did you know that general household cleaners play havoc on a birds sensitive lungs?  Your bird's highly specialized respiratory system absorbs toxins and poisons in the chemical cleaners.

Symptoms of Bird Poisoning

Look for these common symptoms of toxicity or poisoning. Depending on the toxin, your bird may display one or more of these common poisoning signs:

    • Vomiting 
    • Diarrhea 
    • Lethargy 
    • Increased urination 
    • Blindness 
    • Tremors 
    • Excitability 
    • Depression 
    • Staggering or lack of coordination 
    • Falling from perch 
    • Convulsions 
    • Coma

Bird First Aid 

What did you just spray, cook or clean?  Remembering this may help you determine poisoned your bird. Contact your veterinarian, emergency pet clinic, or your local poison control center immediately. Call the National Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 4-ANI-HELP (426-4435). (Charges may apply.)


The best cure for poisoning is prevention. Bird-proof your home before your bird is exposed to or gets into a poisonous substance.

  • Teflon products
  • Cleaning solutions, especially aerosols
  • Heavy metals
  • Never give your bird pop cans to chew
  • Mop up all potentially poisonous spills immediately.