When to Visit the Vet

For Birds

When to visit the vet with your bird

Dogs and cats have been domesticated for thousands of years, but our pet birds are still basically tamed wild animals, and will hide their symptoms until they may literally fall off their perches. If Fido or Felix appears vaguely unwell we frequently adopt a watchful wait-and-see policy but if Tweety starts looking poorly he needs to be seen NOW. If he has been huddled on the floor of the cage for two days his chances of recovery range from poor to nonexistent

It is difficult to tell what is going on under the feathers. If the bird is fluffed up and appears dull, sleepy and depressed it is obviously ill. However if handled and felt, a number that only first appeared sick hours before, turn out to be so emaciated that they have been ill a long time and we are only picking up on the end stage of the disease

The major things to look for are changes from the normal behaviour of your bird(s). Know the way they normally behave, then critically assess any changes. Look for altered postures and changed perching behaviour, changed patterns of food intake, breathing difficulties, changes from normal droppings, swellings, the list goes on. If in doubt it is better to look when all turns out to be well rather than not looking when the bird desperately needed help - we so often do not have the luxury of time

Birds should also be examined when first purchased or acquired especially if there are other birds at home, when it is also essential to quarantine the new arrival. These measures aim to prevent the introduction of disease. As with cats and dogs a yearly check up is a sensible idea