Friday, May 16, 2014

The importance of a good avian vet

Just yesterday, I had a medical emergency with one of my birds. I had a green cheek conure, that after laying an usually large clutch of eggs, had one last egg inside her that she could not pass. This is commonly called "egg bound" and birds can die from this if the egg is not passed. The little hen looked exhausted, I knew she needed help. I am very fortunate to live close to my avian vet. I called and told them the problem and let them know I was on the way. The receptionist at the front desk told me they would be ready for me when I got there. They got my bird right in. Since I noticed the bird's distress right away, and did not wait to bring her in, the bird was strong enough to handle the trip to the vet, and the egg extraction procedure. After spending the night, she is now back home with me safe and sound, and is feeling much better. Needless to say, she will be receiving a nice long rest, so we won't be having any new clutches of green cheeks for a good while.

She did have some eggs in the nest, which are in the incubator (including the egg that was extracted at the vet's). So we will see what happens!

So many people, wait until they have an emergency before finding an avian vet for their bird. Well, if you have an emergency, and you are trying to locate an avian vet, you are losing precious time. It is so important to have your name on file with a vet BEFORE something happens. You will have a much easier time getting your bird in if you are a client on file. Even if your bird is healthy, I recommend that my customers bring their birds in occasionally for a well bird check-up or even a grooming, so they have an established relationship with their vet. During such appointments, a vet can detect any potential health issues which have a good chance of being corrected if addressed early on.

Unfortunately, I see all too often on the internet chat boards, people will post that their bird is ill, has a chronic problem, or got injured, and they are asking for medical advice from the group. I always get upset when I see this. Birds lose condition very quickly when they have a health issue. Don't wait for advice, don't try some crazy home remedy, get your bird in to a qualified avian vet ASAP. The earlier you get your bird in, the better chance it will have to recover. A bird that has been sick for a few days, may not have the energy reserves left to handle the stress of a vet visit and medical procedure.

Vet visits are expensive, particularly emergencies. I recommend that bird owners put money aside in an emergency fund just for their birds. Put a little bit in each week. I recommend a reserve of a minimum of $500, $1,000 is even better. You don't want to be in a position of not being able to bring your bird to the vet in a crisis situation because you can't afford it.

There are more and more avian vets available, particularly in and near the larger cities. There is most likely one or more in your area, or within an hour's drive. On my website, I have a link where you can find an avian vet. The link is located near the middle of the page:

1 comment:

  1. So happy all turned out well for her. I will also be living close to my vet and will make sure I have an established relationship with her. I had a dog that was attacked by another dog on superbowl sunday, when the Saints were playing! (my vet gave out his cell phone to all his clients). When I called he said meet me at the office. A good relationship with a vet can't be underestimated. :) He had to sedate my dog and clean all the wounds. my dog made a full recovery.