Library

  • Nystatin is an antifungal, given by mouth in the form of a tablet or liquid suspension, and used off label to treat Candida fungal infections in dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles. Side effects are rare, but at high doses could cause stomach upset or mouth irritation. It should not be used in pets that are allergic to it. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Obesity is a major problem in older birds on seed-based diets and can contribute to diseases such as atherosclerosis (fat deposits in major arteries) and fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis). Unlike their wild counterparts, pet birds are not given as much opportunity for daily exercise. Pet birds often burn off very few calories in their daily lives. Many bird owners incorrectly feed their pet birds by offering a diet consisting mostly, or totally of high-fat seeds. Obese birds are extremely susceptible to heart attacks and strokes and have a higher anesthetic risk than normal-weight birds. Switching birds from all-seed diets to a more suitable diet consisting mainly of pellets, with smaller amounts of fresh vegetables and fruit, will decrease its overall daily intake of calories.

  • Orbifloxacin is given by mouth and is used on and off label to treat certain susceptible bacterial infections. Give as directed by your veterinarian. The most common side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it or other quinolones, in growing pets, or in conjunction with cyclosporine. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Pacheco's disease is caused by an avian herpesvirus. It is often a fatal disease, but treatment with an anti-herpes medication may be life-saving if used at first presentation. This disease is seen less often in today's pet bird population since most parrots are domestically raised and not imported.

  • Pancrelipase is given by mouth and is used on and off label to treat exocrine pancreatic enzyme deficiency in dogs, cats, and birds. It is also used to treat fur balls in rabbits. Give as directed by your veterinarian. Common side effects at higher doses include diarrhea, cramping, gas, or vomiting. Do not use in pets that are allergic to pork. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Parasites are not commonly diagnosed in pet birds; however, when present they can cause generalized debilitation in birds. With external parasites, your veterinarian can often make a diagnosis based on the results of a physical examination and a microscopic analysis of the skin lesions. Intestinal parasites are usually discovered when the feces are examined microscopically. Blood parasites are typically found during a routine blood count. External parasites are often treated with specific topical or oral antiparasitic medications. Internal parasites can be treated with a variety of oral or injectable medications.

  • Paroxetine is given by mouth and is used off label to treat certain behavior disorders such as aggression, anxiety, and urine-marking. Give as directed by your veterinarian. Common side effects include sleepiness and decreased appetite. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it or other SSRIs, or pets currently taking MAOIs. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Birds use perches for standing, climbing, playing, rubbing, cleaning their beaks, chewing, and entertainment. Perches should vary in size so birds can firmly and comfortably grip or grasp them. Birds can get sore feet if the perch diameter is the same all the time. Perches not only serve as a place for birds to stand on but also as objects on which to chew. Wood branches or natural wood make the best perches because their varying diameters allow birds to distribute pressure to different areas on the bottom of their feet. Natural manzanita wood perches are commercially available for birds. Branches from non-toxic trees outside can also be used as perches. Perches that are chewed up and splintered need to be replaced as birds destroy them. Sandpaper perch covers are not recommended. They can cause irritation and sores to the bottom of birds’ feet. Ropes, such as hemp or untreated cotton, also make great perches. Soft, braided rope perches are a comfortable option for pet birds, especially if they are older and have arthritic feet. Natural hemp or cotton rope provides a soft surface, is easy to grip and is great for birds to chew on. Concrete perches should not be the only perches used in bird cages as they can be abrasive to the bottoms of bird feet, resulting in irritation and sore formation. Plastic perches should not be used. Larger birds may chew and splinter plastic into sharp pieces. Perches should be cleaned every time they are dirty.

  • COVID-19 is a human respiratory disease that was initially discovered late in 2019. This disease is caused by a new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that has not previously been identified in humans. Physical distancing, or social distancing, is one of the most effective strategies available to reduce the spread of COVID-19. While physical distancing, walking your dog is fine as long as you are feeling well and can remain at least 6 feet away from other people. If you have cats, find new ways to play with them indoors. Many veterinary clinics are adjusting their policies to reflect physical distancing guidance related to COVID-19. If your pet needs veterinary care (or if you need to pick up medication, a prescription diet, etc.), call your veterinary hospital first to determine how to proceed.

  • The domestic pigeon includes over 300 breeds, all descending from the rock dove. They originated in Eurasia, but are now found all over the world. They come in many color combinations and their plumage can include anything from feathered feet to crested, maned, or hooded heads. They are generally hardy birds that are easy to tame and care for. As with any pet, pigeons require regular, routine veterinary health checkups.