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Birds + Pet Services

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Many birds naturally eat plants as part of their diet. Birds will chew on and possibly consume plants in the course of play and curiosity. Some plants will just make a bird sick while others can kill them. This handout catalogues many of the indoor and outdoor plants that are considered safe for birds.

  • Many birds naturally eat plants as part of their diet. Some birds will chew on and possibly consume plants out of curiosity or during play. Many toxic plants will just make a bird sick if they ingest them, but some can kill them. Fortunately, rather than ingesting plants, most birds shred and play with plants with which they come in contact. This handout catalogues many of the indoor and outdoor plants that are considered to be potentially toxic to birds.

  • Polyfolliculosis is a condition where several feathers grow out of one feather follicle. These feathers may be irritating, causing the bird to pick at them or pluck them out. There is no specific treatment for this condition.

  • Avian polyomavirus infection (APV) of pet birds belongs to the family Polyomaviridae. APV can cause benign feather lesions in budgies, slow crop emptying in weanling parrots, hemorrhages on the skin, or acute death. Species particularly susceptible to APV infection include budgies, Eclectus parrots, Caiques, and hawk-head parrots. Clinical signs, diagnostic testing, and preventive measures are explained in this handout.

  • Poxviruses can infect many species of birds, and each species of bird may have its own unique species of poxvirus. This handout explains three forms of the virus: cutaneous, diphtheroid, and septicaemic. Each of these forms has distinct clinical signs. Diagnosis, treatment, and ways to minimize the risk of infection in your bird are explained.

  • Telemedicine is the act of practicing medicine from a distance and your appointment will be conducted by a licensed veterinarian. Before your appointment, gather information on your pet’s history and your current concern. Look at a calendar and write down a timeline of your pet’s problems. Be prepared to answer questions that you would normally be asked at an in-person appointment. Write notes to help you remember everything. Most telemedicine appointments involve the use of some type of video chat. Conduct your visit in a quiet area with good lighting and have your pet with you before the call starts. Not all concerns can be addressed through telemedicine. If your veterinarian is unable to arrive at a diagnosis via telemedicine, he or she can help you determine the next step for your pet to ensure that he or she receives optimal care.