Educational Articles

Birds

  • When birds are ill, they will commonly develop a change in their droppings. While not usually specific for any one particular disease, a change in the color, frequency, volume, or character of droppings may indicate a problem that requires immediate veterinary attention.

  • Our knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving. This is due both to heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition and to increased research into the needs of different bird species. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. Different species of birds often require different foods.

  • The African grey parrot, originally from central Africa, is a highly intelligent bird, now commonly bred in captivity as a pet. This elegant medium-sized bird is entirely grey with a strikingly red, short blunt tail.

  • Our knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving. This is due both to heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition and to increased research into birds different needs. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. Different species of birds often require different foods.

  • The colorful Amazon parrot (Amazona sp.) is one of the most common of all the pet parrots kept in captivity. They originate from Mexico, Central America, South America, and the adjacent islands of the West Indies.

  • Amitriptyline is used off label and given by mouth to treat behavioral and pain disorders in dogs, cats, and occasionally birds. Common side effects include sedation, dry mouth, constipation, and urinary retention. This medication should not be used in pets sensitive to TCAs, seizures, or pets currently using MOIs or flea collars. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Anorexia (a loss of appetite) and lethargy (a feeling of listlessness and general inactivity) are commonly seen in sick pet birds. While not diagnostic for any specific disease, these signs can indicate severe illness in a bird that requires immediate medical attention. Birds rarely get sick overnight. Usually birds are ill before pet owners notice outward signs of illness.

  • Aspergillosis is a fungal infection that commonly causes respiratory disease in pet birds. It can cause both upper (nose, sinuses, eye, and trachea) and lower (lungs and air sacs – a specialized part of the respiratory tract that birds have) respiratory problems or more broadly distributed systemic infections. Aspergillus is normally an environmental contaminant and is not contagious from bird to bird.

  • Bathing is very important to the proper maintenance of feathers. To have healthy feathers and skin, birds should get wet. Bathing encourages birds to preen or groom their feathers. It keeps feathers free of dirt and helps preserve their wonderful, natural luster.

  • Elongated beak and/or toenails are reasons for veterinary care in all pet birds. Beaks should not be trimmed regularly unless performed by an avian veterinarian. Toenail trimming may be done at home, but only when taught by an experienced bird breeder/owner or avian veterinarian.

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