Many bird owners are surprised to learn that all pets, including their birds, need an initial visit by an avian veterinarian and at least an annual checkup (many veterinarians recommend checkups at least twice a year, to allow for early detection and treatment of potentially life-threatening diseases.) Regular veterinary care is necessary in order to ensure your bird lives a long, healthy life. The most important visit is the very first one, and it should occur immediately after you acquire your pet bird. During this visit, the veterinarian will perform a physical examination and recommend various diagnostic or wellness tests, to determine your bird’s state of health and see if your pet might be harboring any diseases that require treatment.
Veterinary Care – Annual Bird Visit
It is common for people to have personal annual physical examinations or to take the dog and cat in once or twice yearly so why not the bird in your family? It is most important to have any new bird examined within the first couple of days after purchase. A routine veterinary examination is recommended at least twice annually. Your veterinarian may have very important reasons to see your bird on a different schedule so discuss it. The most important job a veterinarian has is to help ensure your pet stays as healthy as possible and hopefully never gets sick. This is called preventive medicine.
“A routine veterinary examination is recommended at least twice annually.”
- Toenail Trims
- Wing Clipping
- Beak Trimming
We also offer an initial checkup for new lizard owners to help identify current or potential medical problems and, if necessary, begin treatment. In addition, we can provide you with information on appropriate enclosures, environmental requirements, sanitation, and disease prevention.
Regular veterinary care is necessary in order to ensure your pet lives a long, healthy life. The most important visit is the very first one, right after you acquire your pet reptile. During this visit, the veterinarian will perform a physical examination and conduct various diagnostic tess to determine your pet’s state of health and see if your pet might be harboring any diseases that require treatment. The visit will also include a thorough discussion of proper feeding, housing, and care of your new pet. It is important that you fell comfortable and confident with your veterinarian and the hospital staff. Make sure your pet’s veterinarian is qualified or the experienced to treat reptiles. Reptile medicine has become a specialized part of veterinary medicine, and most general practitioners are not comfortable or knowledgeable in reptile medicine. Ask about the qualifications of your veterinarian, who at the minimum should be a member in good standing of the ARAV (Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians.). If they are not comfortable seeing your pet, ask them to refer you to someone who has more experience.
Physical Examination – Every visit starts with a thorough physical examination. During the physical, the doctor will record your pet’s weight, general appearance, and mobility. Your veterinarian will review any information that you may have been given when you acquired your new reptile, and will discuss the pet’s nutritional needs and general care. Then the veterinarian will palpate (feel) various parts of the pet’s body. Any abnormalities that are noted may indicate the need for specialized testing.
Blood Testing – Just as your own regular medical visit includes blood testing, so does a routine checkup for pets. Blood testing can include a complete blood count (examining the red blood cells, white blood cells, and thrombocytes) and serum biochemical profile (which evaluates various organs and electrolytes.)
Fecal Analysis – Microscopic examination of the feces allows detection of internal parasites (coccidia, flagellates or other protozoa and intestinal worms.)
Microbiological Testing – Special stains called Gram’s stains may be used on fecal swabs, skin scrapings or other samples to detect the presence of abnormal bacteria and yeasts. Depending upon the findings from the Gram’s stains, additional tests such as a culture and sensitivity may be needed to determine the species of bacteria or yeasts and the appropriate treatment.
Radiological Testing – Using X-rays the doctor can examine your pet’s body for abnormalities in the size, shape, and position of body organs; screen for masses such as tumors or granulomas; look for abnormal fluid accumulation; and check the bones and joints.