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Ask Bondi Vet

My parrot has one eye that stays closed

I have a Blue & Gold Macaw named Joe. He has been in the family for 51 years. The last year or so one of his eyes keeps closing. No discharge just keeps closing.


1 Answer

What a wonderful family pet. I can understand your concern in regard to Joe’s symptoms. A closed or squinting eye is a common symptom of ocular disease in all many species of animal. Most commonly closing of the eye is a sign of pain. Examples of painful eye disease in parrots include conjunctivitis, corneal ulceration or keratitis and inflammation inside the eye (uveitis). Less commonly a closed eye without any redness, swelling or discharge may be associated with a neurological disorder called Horner’s syndrome.

Eye disease in birds is a very specific problem and requires specialist skills and instruments in many cases to diagnose the problem. Eye disease should be investigated early to avoid any threat to vision and also rule out the presence of disease elsewhere in the body as the eyes can often be the first indication of generalised illness. I would recommend taking Joe to a veterinary ophthalmologist who will be able to thoroughly examine Joe’s eye and give you a diagnosis and treatment plan for your feathered family member.


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