Avian Wellness Care from Summertree Bird Clinic in Dallas TX
Many owners are surprised to learn their birds need an initial visit to an avian veterinarian and at least an annual wellness exam. Regular veterinary care is necessary to ensure your bird lives a long, healthy life.
“I have owned and cared for birds for more than 30 years. In that time, I have witnessed numerous changes in the recommendations made for nutrition, husbandry, and general care. I believe that we, as avian caregivers, are now on much more solid footing in recognizing all the elements needed to provide a happy home for our birds.”
~ Dr. Hugh Hays, DVM
Initial Wellness Visit
The most important visit is the first one, right after you acquire your pet bird. During this visit, the veterinarian will perform a physical examination and various diagnostic tests to determine your bird’s state of health and identify any diseases that require treatment. This visit includes a thorough discussion of proper feeding, housing, care, and grooming of your new pet.
While avian protocols vary, diagnostic testing may be recommended to keep your bird healthy. We do not anesthetize birds to draw blood samples.
The Avian Exam
Every visit begins with a thorough physical examination. During this exam, the veterinarian will:
- Record your bird’s weight, general appearance, and mobility
- Palpate various parts of the bird’s body
- Listen to your bird’s heart and lungs
- Note any abnormalities or changes that have occurred since the previous visit
The veterinarian will discuss routine grooming of nails, wings, and sometimes beak. Due to the use of artificial lighting, birds molt differently in captivity than in the wild. If you wish to keep your bird’s wings trimmed, we will schedule routine wing trimming two to four times a year. Nails are trimmed to allow for comfortable perching and routine nails trims may also be needed.
Findings at this exam may indicate the need for specialized testing.
Diagnostic Testing for Pet Birds
Early diagnostic screening often includes a complete blood count (CBC) to examine the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelet count and a chemistry panel to measure organ function and overall health (cholesterol, triglycerides, and calcium levels).
Additional diagnostics may include testing for chlamydiosis (also called psittacosis, a disease that is transmissible to other birds and people), polyoma virus, psittacine beak and feather disease, avian herpes virus, and avian influenza.
- Fecal testing involves a microscopic examination to detect internal parasites such as coccidia and roundworms.
- Microbiological testing called Gram’s stains allow examination of the cloacal and choanal regions of your bird. We use these stains to determine the presence of abnormal bacteria and yeasts. Depending upon findings, additional culture and sensitivity tests may be needed to identify the type of bacteria or yeasts and formulate the appropriate treatment.
- X-rays allow us to examine the inside of your pet for abnormalities in the size, shape, and position of internal organs; screen for masses such as tumors or granulomas; identify abnormal fluid accumulation; and evaluate the bones and joints.
If your bird will be boarding with us, view our avian health requirements. Please advise our staff if your bird is boarding elsewhere, so the correct diagnostics are performed. A boarding certificate will be faxed to that facility once the diagnostics are completed.