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APPETITE LOSS

Your bird needs to nibble all day to keep up with his fast metabolism, so if your feathered friend doesn't come running when you ring the dinner bell, take notice. Birds who stop cracking seeds and munching pellets can become undernourished in record time.

Causes

Birds instinctively hide all signs of illness, so many sick pets continue to eat. In fact, autopsies of birds with debilitating diseases often reveal a crop full of food. So if your pet stops eating, he's probably been sick for a while and may be seriously ill.

Any illness can cause your pet to lose his appetite. But before you panic, make sure there's nothing wrong with the food you're offering. Stale, moldy or bug-infested foods will compel your bird to call a hunger strike - and who can blame him? So will foods like strange fruits, vegetables or pellets. Offer your pet a fresh helping of his favorite snacks. If he still turns up his nose, call your veterinarian immediately.

Appetite loss in birds is a serious condition that can quickly lead to starvation, so act fast. Prompt treatment may save your pet's life.