Birds

Wellness Info

Post-Purchase Exam: Physical Exam, Gram’s Stain/Fecal Analysis, CBC (Complete Blood Count), Viral Screening, Avian Polyomavirus Vaccine, DNA Sexing, Microchipping

6-Month Exam: Physical Exam

Annual Exam: Physical Exam, Gram’s Stain/Fecal Analysis, Avian Polyomavirus Vaccine, CBC/Chemistries

Geriatric Exam: Physical Exam, Gram’s Stain/Fecal Analysis, CBC/Chemistries, Radiographs, Ultrasound, Endoscopy

Emergencies

If your bird is exhibiting any of the symptoms described below, contact us immediately at 843-216-8387.

Any weakness; staying at the bottom of cage not perching; ruffled or fluffed up; blood loss of any kind; pronounced keel bone; not eating; discharge from eyes, nose, mouth or ears; continuous closing or squinting of the eyes; labored breathing or tail bobbing; sleeping a lot; not talking or singing (if does normally); matted or caked vent (anus); loose or malodorous droppings; sudden change in color of stool or urine; blood in droppings; prolonged straining to pass stool or egg.

If your bird has been attacked by a cat it is a veterinary emergency requiring immediate attention. Cats carry several potentially deadly bacteria in their mouths and claws that can be fatal to birds even if the bird appears unharmed and the skin unbroken. If your bird is showing any of the symptoms detailed above, place him into a hospital box and call us at 843-216-8387. It is important that we examine your pet as soon as possible to correct the underlying condition.

Transport to the Clinic

Transporting birds can be challenging; while you may be a very cautious driver, not everyone is. As a general rule the smaller and lighter the cage or carrier, the better. Using individual carriers for each bird makes working with them easier. Acrylic cages are visually pleasing but as a general rule do not make good transport cages. Remember to secure the cage and to remove food or water. Birds are very good at conserving water, and having an empty crop can help prevent carsickness. Below are examples of some transport cages.

Bags full of canaries2

Each cage was transported in its own paper bag for added security and comfort. Paper towels absorb urine and allow fecal output to be monitored.

bird transport

Small plastic kennels and/or collapsible metal cages (with or without a perch) with newspaper or paper towels on the bottom work well. Notice that the cages are strapped down so they don’t move around.

Services

Wellness Exams, Vaccination, Grooming, Boarding, Microchipping, Gender Testing, Diagnostics, Behavioral Consultation, Hormonal Suppression

Boarding

In order for your bird to board with us, we require an annual exam within the last year with a clean bill of health. An annual exam includes a complete blood count and blood chemistry panel. Your bird must have negative Avian Chlamydia (“parrot fever”) tests (DNA and Antibody) and must have been consistently vaccinated against or have a negative test for Avian Polyomavirus (as needed based on age and species). If your bird’s examination was done by a different veterinarian, it needs to have been within the last six months and your bird’s complete record needs to be sent to our facility several days before boarding so we can evaluate the record to ensure all testing was done to our standards. All avian boarders (with few exceptions including canaries and finches) must have their wings trimmed for their safety and the safety of others. Birds who are normally flighted will receive the minimum necessary wing trim, which should grow out at the next molt. Birds must have a toy; toys are available for purchase or a clean toy may be brought from home. Any toys or snugglies must be freshly washed or new in package.

toys sm2

We carry a wide variety of toys to please birds of all sizes!

pbfd

This is a lovebird with “Beak and Feather Disease” caused by a virus that is very contagious. This is why it is so important to test your birds and be very careful where they board.

finch

This is a finch with “Mycoplasmal conjunctivitis” which is very contagious. This is why it is so important to test your birds and be very careful where they board.

Grooming

macaw beak

This Blue and Gold Macaw came in “just for a beak trim”! Just trimming the beak is not going to resolve this bird’s many issues of concern. As you can see his beak is very overgrown but his plumage is also unkempt and his feathers are dull. You may notice his posture is poor and his wings are drooping. After showing the owner what a normal macaw should look like (see picture below) he realized the severity of his bird’s condition and permitted us to perform the necessary diagnostics to address his bird’s health issues in an immediate matter.
This bird suffered from heart disease, liver disease, osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis and a fungal beak infection just to mention a few, and his owner had no idea. These conditions can be life threatening if not handled properly.

healthy macaw

This is what a healthy blue-and-gold macaw looks like.

tiel wing trauma

You cannot trust your bird’s grooming to just anyone. This is a baby cockatiel whose wings were trimmed too short.

tiel wing trauma4

Every time she tried to fly to her owners she kept falling and breaking her feathers; it became so painful that she started mutilating her wings. We had to perform feather extractions under general anesthesia and keep her on analgesics until her feathers finally grew back.

grey wt1

This young African Grey parrot was given a very poor wing trim at a very early age before he could learn what flying or preening himself was all about; sadly he might be scarred for life.

grey wt2
AGP keel trauma-poor wt

This is another young African Grey who had too many feathers trimmed. Every time she tried to fly to her owner she would crash on the ground and split her breast muscle open. We had to keep her on analgesics, antibiotics and manage the wound until it fully healed and her feathers grew back so she could glide again.

cockatoo wings

Young cockatoo with a leg fracture because too many feathers were trimmed. Talk about starting out on the wrong foot…

Behavioral Consultation

macaw feather picking
Feather picking or Feather Damaging Behavior (FDB) can be caused by many factors, and it is very important to make sure that your bird is not sick and picking because he is hurting inside. Remember that we do not recommend putting collars on or giving your bird any “sedative type medications” because they can mask life-threatening illnesses. We understand how stressful and painful it can be to have issues with your bird, and behavioral consultation is a valuable tool in addressing these concerns.

Anesthesia and Surgery

Finch SPH

Salpingohysterectomy (spay) on a finch; in this case we used some of our higher magnification equipment and microsurgical instruments. She had a tumor in her uterus that was removed and she recovered successfully.

cockatiel SPE closeup

Salpingohysterectomy (spay) on a cockatiel; in this case we use some of our medium magnification equipment and microsurgical instruments. She had several retained eggs that were making her very uncomfortable.

Hospitalization

Amazon in incubator

This Amazon parrot is in an oxygen-enriched incubator because she was presented for respiratory distress.

Ultrasonography

us egg

This is an image of an egg from a bird that presented for egg binding. With medical intervention we were able to remove the egg without any further complications.

Endoscopy

endoscopy

This African grey parrot is undergoing celioscopy for the treatment of a fungal infection of the air sac.

foreign bodies

These objects were retrieved from the stomach of a bird with the aid of our endoscope, avoiding the need for gastrointestinal surgery, which carries a very high risk in birds. Paper clip for size reference.

Domestic Poultry/Waterfowl

chicken uveitis

This chicken was diagnosed with uveitis (inflammation of the vascular layer of the eye).

2 day old swan clutch

Here is a group of cygnets (baby swans) that came in for physical exams and gender determination.

fowl
Chickens, turkeys, quail, and pheasants have been domesticated for centuries. They make great pets, keep bugs away, and can provide you with “farm-fresh eggs”, but beware of roosters because they can be quite territorial/aggressive and may make you less than popular with the neighbors. A nice yard to roam with a predator-proof area and a balanced diet should suffice for most of them. Bi-annual physical exams and parasite checks are very important since they are very good at hiding signs of illness.

Domestic ducks, swans, and geese are becoming very popular pets; a nice yard with a predator-proof enclosure, some sort of water feature and a balanced diet is about all they need. Bi-annual physical exams and parasite checks are very important since they are very good at hiding signs of illness.

Mallard eye trauma pre

This female mallard duck was attacked by a fox.

Mallard eye trauma post

Here she is 6 weeks after her reconstructive surgery.

Muscovy TBT fx hypocalcemia2

Radiograph of a Muscovy duck with an egg and a right leg fracture secondary to low calcium levels from chronic egg laying.

Muscovy TBT fx hypocalcemia

Post-operative photo.

Muscovy TBT recovery

Here she is during her 6-week follow up visit for implant removal. Yes, this is her other leg which also broke due to low calcium levels, but she recuperated successfully after a bit of TLC and physical therapy.

Common Diseases/Conditions

Malnutrition, Obesity, Hormonal Issues

Choosing a Pet

TYPE PROS CONS

African Grey

Highly intelligent, excellent talkers Can be aloof, can be needy, very dusty
FYI: Can be prone to plucking / mutilation

Amazon

Good talkers Can be aggressive, can be noisy
FYI: Can be prone to obesity

Budgeriger (Budgie) / Parakeet

Small size, can be hand-trained to be very interactive Can be nippy
FYI: Can talk, usually fast and high-pitched

Caique

Very playful and interactive, medium size Can be bitey
FYI: Would rather play and roll around than talk

Canary

Beautiful singers Can be skittish and afraid of handling
FYI: Different species bred for various types of singing

Cockatiel

Medium size, very interactive and communicative Dusty, can be nippy
FYI: Can whistle with great skill and can talk

Cockatoo

Generally calm for a larger bird, bonds very intensely, loves to cuddle VERY needy, bond may exclude others – need a lot of socialization and to be taught to self-play, can be VERY loud and VERY dusty
FYI: Need a LOT of time and attention, can be prone to plucking / mutilation

Conure

Small size, can talk, very interactive Can be bitey, can be noisy (especially Sun Conure)
FYI: Can be very loud for a smaller bird

Eclectus

Medium size, males can be good talkers Prone to plucking / mutilation
FYI: One of the few dimorphic parrots, males are green and females are red

Finch

Tiny, generally quiet Can be skittish and afraid of handling
FYI: Society finches will foster babies of other types of finches

Lorikeet

Beautiful plumage, good talkers Very messy, can be noisy
FYI: Eat fruit, nectar, and formulated diet, prone to iron storage disease

Lovebird

Small size, big personality Can be aggressive, can be bitey
FYI: Tend to be independent

Macaw

Big impressive bird for the right kind of person Can be quick-tempered and aggressive, can be noisy and messy
FYI: NEVER belong on your shoulder

Parrotlet

All the spirit of a large bird in a little body Can be nippy, can be demanding
FYI: Can be prone to plucking / mutilation

Pionus

Medium-sized, can talk Have a distinct musty aroma
FYI: Sometimes make a wheezing noise when nervous or upset

Quaker Parrot

Small size, good talkers Bond may exclude others, can be very noisy
FYI: Can be prone to plucking / mutilation

Toucan

Amazing birds best seen in the wild or in a proper aviary setting Need a LOT of room to fly, very messy
FYI: Can be prone to diabetes and iron storage disease