What to Expect from Your First Avian Vet Visit
| An avian veterinarian is the most qualified person you
can take your birds to when they are ill (or for a first checkup!). However,
since there are only about 85 certified avian vets in the country, a lot
of new bird owners have never heard of them and don't know what to expect,
both on the exam table and in their wallet!
Before you go, make sure you have this information: Hatch
date (at least the month) of the bird(s), their daily diet, where you obtained
the bird from, and a little bit of its favorite treat as a reward.
An office visit to the avian vet costs around $25-$35
per bird, depending upon the vet. A good avian vet will also:
If this is your first visit to the vet, the doctor will probably
recommend throat and fecal swabs, which are a good idea, since a bird that
acts perfectly normal can still have bacteria or other unwanted pests!
You can expect to pay $8 for each gram stain and $10 for each wet mount.
If the vet finds anything on the slides, he may show you. The vet will
also recommend a test for Chlamydia, which runs $25-30, and you may or
may not want to have it tested.
Check the eyes, nares, and throat
Weigh the bird
Check and trim the claws
Examine each wing
Listen to heart and lungs
Check the vent and crop
The doctor should also discuss avian nutrition with you.
Good diets include 60-70% pellet and the rest as veggies, fruits, grains,
pasta, cuttlebone and mineral block.
Overall, the veterinarian can answer any questions you
may have regarding your bird's health or behavior. Don't be afraid to sound
like an idiot, he/she has probably heard it all many times before.