Treacherous Greenery: Plants are Often Poisonous to Birds

Your bird is suddenly limp and hardly eats anymore? This could be due to poisoning – triggered by a houseplant. So that your vet can help, you should collect clues. Your animal world reveals what to look out for.

Certain plants can cause poisoning in birds. Often, keepers do not even know which plants are poisonous. “You can’t tell with the naked eye,” says Elisabeth Peus. She is a veterinarian for ornamental and wild birds at the pigeon clinic in Essen.

When you get a new plant, you should therefore choose a location that your birds cannot reach – such as a separate room.

The Environment Should Also Be Checked

Not only parts of the plant itself can be dangerous, but also the immediate surroundings. “High levels of germs can also be found in irrigation water residues or plant coasters,” says Peus in the magazine “Budgie & Parrot Magazine” (issue 2/2021). They can be a secondary source of poisoning for the animals.

But how do you know that your bird may have ingested poison? If you experience symptoms such as tremors, drooping wings, gagging or vomiting, as well as no thirst and no appetite, you should be puzzled.

It is then not only important to bring the bird to the vet quickly, but also to provide extensive information: “If you are suspected of being poisoned, you have to bring pictures of the plant, leaves, flowers, and fruits, or at least larger parts of the plant,” advises Peus. Everything together can give the veterinarian the decisive hint.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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