When Alex The African grey died in 2007 at the age of 30, his death made global news. Alex succumbed to parrot heart disease that went undetected by his caretakers. Alex opened the eyes of many the world over with his amazing intelligence uncovered by Dr. Irene Pepperberg. What did not make big news was the cause of his death, atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis, often known as hardening of the arteries, leads to cardiovascular disease, and the most common cause of heart disease in parrots.
Why birds get parrot heart disease
Parrot heart disease often goes undetected until it is too late. A variety of factors contribute to conditions like atherosclerosis, such as poor diet and lack of proper exercise. No matter how active we think our birds are, they cannot get the kind of exercise their little bodies were born for.
One of the most controversial issues amongst parrot owners is whether to clip their bird’s wings or not. While many breeders and veterinarians who service breeding communities still advise clipping, more responsible avian specialists have stood up to say, “In many instances we are doing a disservice to our clients and their pet birds if we automatically trim.”
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