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:
  • 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
   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.
   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.