How Your Veterinarian Can Help
Your avian veterinarian can advise you as to the characteristics of the many pet bird species to help you decide which would be most suitable for you. An avian veterinarian can also teach you to identify obvious signs of illness, which will help you to choose a healthy bird. Bird health is difficult to evaluate, and the knowledge of how to recognize a healthy bird is a valuable tool. A quality bird source, whether a pet store or a breeder, will welcome an informed shopper.
Post-purchase Exam: Start with a Healthy Bird
When buying a cat or dog, it is customary to take the new pet to a veterinarian for a health check. This same health check is important for a newly purchased bird, not only to protect your financial investment, but also to protect the health of other birds, pets, and even people in the home. Many diseases and other health problems are not obvious by just looking at the bird. An avian veterinarian is trained to recognize subtle signs that indicate health problems and can use testing to screen for problems not visible on physical examination. Ask your avian veterinarian about screening tests for bacteria, viruses, and parasites, and about blood tests to monitor organ function and other physiological processes. A blood test should also be done to determine the sex of your bird since males and females can have different health issues. Additionally, discuss vaccinating your bird against viral diseases.
Learn How to Best House and Feed Your Bird
Your veterinarian can recommend an appropriate cage with proper perches, fun toys, foraging feeders, water bottle, and other cage accessories to ensure that your bird is comfortable and secure. Your avian veterinarian can also make recommendations for feeding your bird properly, and what treats are healthy and safe to give to your bird.
Have a Well-trained, Responsive Bird
Your avian veterinarian can explain normal and abnormal behaviors and many avian veterinarians can assist with behavior modifications so you may truly enjoy the companionship of your pet bird. Birds need to learn that biting, screaming and other unwanted behaviors are unacceptable in the home environment, and at the same time, owners must have realistic expectations of a pet bird. The psychological well-being of the owner and the bird are equally important to establish and maintain a good relationship.
Annual Health Checkup
AAV recommends that you have your bird seen by an avian veterinarian a minimum of once per year. Annual visits allow your veterinarian to 1) establish normal values that can be used as a baseline, and 2) to screen for problems that cannot be seen. Disease and other health problems in birds can be difficult to identify, consequently, an annual health check is essential in the prevention and early detection of illness.
AAV: Setting the Standard in Avian Care
Avian medicine is a distinct, and very specialized field that requires extensive training, advanced skills, and facilities designed and equipped to treat and hospitalize birds. AAV was established to provide veterinarians with this special education and to update them with the latest information to help maintain bird health. The AAV provides veterinarians with an annual conference and a wide range of scientific literature to assist them with continuing education. As part of the advancement in avian medicine, AAV makes annual contributions to conservation and avian medical research to further our knowledge of avian medicine and improve the care that veterinarians can provide.
Finding an Avian Veterinarian
There are several good resources for finding an avian veterinarian near you. Among these are referrals from other bird owners and local bird clubs. Local bird clubs are an excellent source for knowledgeable and informed bird owners. A comprehensive list of avian veterinarians can be found on the AAV website – visit www.AAV.org, and click on “Find a Vet.”
How did you find your avian veterinarian? Do you have any advice to share?
Mahalo- Paco 🙂
**adapted from Association of Avian Veterinarians**