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Birds

  • Pet birds often become ill when they are not cared for or fed appropriately. Birds can develop infections with bacteria such as Chlamydia psittaci and parasites such as Giardia. They also commonly suffer from reproductive problems, such as egg binding and reproductive tumors. Many feather-pick when psychologically stressed or sexually frustrated. Birds on all-seed, high-fat diets may become obese and develop fatty liver syndrome. Older birds may develop cloacal papillomas or cancer. Your veterinarian familiar with birds will formulate an appropriate diagnostic and treatment plan if your pet bird becomes ill.

  • The complete blood count (CBC) assesses different parameters of the cells in the blood including total number, appearance, size, and shape. Red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets comprise the cellular component of the blood. Changes in the red blood cells can affect oxygen delivery from the lungs to the blood. Changes in the white blood cells can indicate infection, inflammation, and cancer. Platelets are needed for adequate blood clotting so decreased numbers can raise concern for spontaneous bleeding.

  • Conures are considered small- to medium-sized birds and are characterized by long slender bodies, long tapered tails, and large beaks. Tame conures can be very affectionate, social birds that demand a moderate amount of daily attention. Conures are not well known for their capacity to speak but often scream loudly. Some conures commonly kept as pets include the jenday conure, blue-crowned conure, nanday conure, mitred conure, sun conure, green-cheeked conure, and maroon-bellied conure. Young birds may be easier to tame and train than older, wild-caught, or colony- or parent-raised birds. New birds should be exposed early to different events to help them become calmer, more well-adjusted pets. After bringing your new bird home, you should have it examined by a veterinarian familiar with birds to help ensure that it is healthy. Like all other pet birds, conures require annual, routine veterinary health check-ups.

  • Crop infections in birds are not as common as they once were, but are still a potentially dangerous condition in all avian species. A slowing or stoppage of crop motility can be caused by bacteria, yeast and a variety of viruses. Early veterinary attention is essential to help treat this condition.

  • This handout discusses the use of cryosurgery in pets. This technique involves the use of extreme cold to destroy abnormal or diseased tissues. A short discussion in included as to how the technique is used, and in what circumstances it may be appropriate to use.

  • Hospitals providing curbside care have restructured their practice to avoid the need for clients to enter the lobby and exam rooms. This is designed to promote physical (social) distancing and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Curbside care offers a number of benefits for you and your pet. By eliminating the need for you to enter the hospital, potential COVID-19 outbreaks are reduced. The veterinary team is protected under a curbside care model, and in turn, so is your pet. Even in curbside care, you will have an opportunity to speak with your veterinarian in order to discuss findings and recommendations. To help the curbside appointment go smoothly, bring a written list of concerns or fill in any forms your practice has sent to you prior to the appointment. Curbside care truly is in the best interests of you and your pet.

  • Cutaneous papillomatosis is the development of papillomas (non-cancerous growths, or warts) caused by the papillomavirus and affects many pet birds. Commonly affected species are finches, canaries, cockatiels, budgerigars, and African grey parrots. The clinical signs and treatment for this condition are explained in this handout.

  • Cytology is the microscopic examination of cell samples. Cytology can be used to diagnose growths or masses found on the surface of the body, and also to assess bodily fluids, internal organs, and abnormal fluids that may accumulate, especially in the chest and abdomen. Cells can be collected using various methods including fine needle aspiration, skin scraping, impression smear, cotton-tipped swabs, or lavage. A biopsy is the surgical removal of a representative sample of tissue from a suspicious lesion. The most common biopsy techniques are punch biopsy, wedge biopsy, and excision biopsy. The tissue is then processed and is examined under a microscope via histopathology. Histopathology allows the veterinary pathologist to make a diagnosis, classify the tumor, and predict the course of the disease.

  • Your veterinarian wants to keep your pet healthy and the fact is that people who are better informed take better care of their pets. Do not be overwhelmed by “medicalese”. Try your best to understand this foreign language and if you cannot quite decipher it, ask your veterinarian to speak more plainly.

  • Diazepam is given by mouth, injection, or into the rectum and is used off label to treat anxiety, seizures, tense muscles, or decreased appetite. Give as directed by your veterinarian. Side effects include sleepiness, increased appetite, incoordination, weakness, agitation, drooling, and aggression. Do not give to cats by mouth, and do not use in pets that are allergic to it or other benzodiazepines, or in pets with severe liver disease. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.