"Birds see in colour which is important in recognising food and danger and is possibly used in mating rituals. Birds also see with enormous accuracy and at long distances. Some have very advanced depth perception and motion detection capabilities.."(reference:THE MARVELOUS AVIAN EYE by Linda Pesek DVM"
Inflammation and infection of the eyelids and conjunctiva in birds have been related to various organisms. Vitamin A deficiency can also present with eye problems. Vitamin A should be supplemented when treating any suspected poxvirus infections.
Various viruses can also cause problems.
Various bacterial can cause conjunctivitis and swelling in the sinuses.

All this aside, Eye problems are rare in Canaries and in 30 Years I have only seen 1 Canary born blind.
It is also suggested that Cinnamon birds because of their Pink Eyes are more susceptible to Cataracts, although I have never seen evidence of this.

The symptoms of eye problems can be:
  • Eyes glued shut.
  • Eyes red and sore.
  • Eyes weeping.
  • Cataracts.
  • Falling off perch.
The usual problems with eyes come about due to
  • Dirty cages and perches.
  • Injuries due to sharp objects.
  • Born Blind.
  • Vitamin A deficiency.
  • Virus.
  • Bacterial infection.

Where a bird has an infection or injury.
  1. You need to ensure the bird is isolated / quarantined, to avoid other birds becoming infected.
  2. Clean the cage to prevent the bird from becoming re-infected. Remember the usual cause is a dirty environment.
  3. Use a Vitamin A supplement (Retinol) or Carrot, Spinach, Egg & Broccoli in that order are the best foods for vitamin A.
  4. Treat by using a chemist purchased, saline solution or liquid tears. 1 drop per day. Never use a disinfectant or antiseptic cream as these are too strong and will cause blindness (unless of course provided by a vet specifically for birds).
  5. Try to find sharp objects if an injury has occurred.
If this is unsuccessful and an infection has not improved consult a vet who may suggest systemic broad spectrum antibiotics based on culture/sensitivity results.

Where a bird is blind it will have difficulty feeding itself and will be unable to fly successfully, however in a small cage it will survive on the floor.

Provet - www.provet.co.uk.
Nicholas J. Millichamp, BVetMed, PhD, DVOphthal, MRCVS, Diplomate, ACVO Dept of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A & M University College Station, TX.
Central Texas Veterinary Ophthalmology Austin, TX.
Linda Pesek and Winged Wisdom.
The Ohio State University http://ohioline.osu.edu.

Published: James Hart 12/05/05