Is it time for your bird’s annual health check?
At this practice we have over 3,200 avian patients and many years of experience in treating a wide range of bird species. We recommend that all birds get an annual health check. If you think about it, pet cats and dogs get a full health check at their yearly booster vaccination. Yet cats and dogs are predators and readily show signs of ill-health.
It is very different with birds. Most of our pet birds are prey animals --in the wild they are vulnerable to attack so spend all their time trying to stay alive. Consequently birds have an instinctive "preservation reflex" where they try to appear inconspicuous at all times-- even when feeling ill. They are like Oscar winning actors and superb at putting on a good show! This explains why pet birds can appear to die without warning.
Annual Health Check
This is designed to pick up early signs of ill health before it's too late. It involves a weight check and full physical examination including check on heart, lungs and air sacs. We also recommend an annual blood test to screen for any latent problems. Blood tests for sexing and viruses and faecal examination can also be performed as well as wing and nail clipping.
Signs of a sick bird
When a bird is sick, it will fluff it's feathers up to keep warm, have droopy eyelids and sleep a lot. They may stop eating, have loose droppings and become less active.
If your bird has reached the stage of not caring and appears ruffled even in front of you, it is critically ill.