Educational Articles

Birds + Pet Services

  • Abnormal droppings are a non-specific sign of illness in birds. Causes may range from a dietary intake of excess fruits to bacterial or viral intestinal infections and heavy metal toxicity. Any changes in the color or consistency of your bird's droppings should be addressed by your avian veterinarian.

  • African greys are vulnerable to both calcium and/or vitamin A deficiencies, as well as obesity. Feeding a well-balanced diet and making sure your parrot consumes the proper proportions of foods offered will help prevent the development of these conditions. Pellets are the ideal food for your pet African grey and should represent approximately 75-80% of your bird's diet. The remainder of the diet should be comprised of fresh fruits, vegetables, and a small amount of seed (if any).

  • African grey parrots are highly intelligent birds and are now commonly bred in captivity as pets. The African grey has a charming personality and is recognized as one of the best talkers among all pet parrots. It is important to keep these smart birds busy, as boredom can lead to problems, such as feather picking and screaming. African greys require regular, preventative veterinary health checkups.

  • Allopurinol is an oral medication typically used to prevent uric acid and calcium oxalate stones in dogs. It is also used off-label to treat leishmaniasis and gout in dogs and other species. Side effects are uncommon but may involve stomach upset. Caution must be taken when allopurinol is used in conjunction with certain other medications. It should not be used in pets with liver or kidney dysfunction or in red-tailed hawks.

  • Amazons are vulnerable to calcium and vitamin A deficiencies, and when fed a predominantly seed-based diet, they are prone to obesity. Feeding a well-balanced diet in the proper proportions will help prevent the development of these conditions. This handout provides guidelines for providing your Amazon parrot with an optimal diet to thrive and flourish.

  • Some commonly kept Amazon parrots include the double yellow-headed Amazon, yellow-naped Amazon, blue-fronted Amazon, green-cheeked Amazon, and orange-winged Amazon. They bond readily, often with one member of the family. This one-on-one bond occasionally may lead to aggression towards others. Amazons are generally very affectionate and often solicit petting and head scratches. Like all pets, Amazon parrots require regular, preventative veterinary health check-ups.

  • Birds of all species are innately designed to hide symptoms of illness until later stages of a disease process. Any signs of a change in appetite or behavior should be brought to the attention of an avian veterinarian. If an avian patient stops eating, this becomes a life-threatening situation quickly.

  • Aspergillosis is a severe and sometimes life-threatening fungal infection that commonly causes respiratory disease in pet birds. Infected birds may show respiratory signs, including tail bobbing, difficulty breathing, and coughing. Several diagnostic tests are available, but surgical laparoscopy is the most accurate. Aspergillosis is a very challenging disease to treat and even more difficult to cure. In many cases, referral to an avian specialist is advised.

  • Azithromycin is given by mouth or injection and is used on and off-label to treat a variety of infections. Give as directed. Common side effects include stomach upset. Do not use in pets that are sensitive to macrolide antibiotics. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Bathing is very important for the proper maintenance of feathers. The dry air in our homes created by central heating and air conditioning is not conducive to the maintenance of healthy feathers and skin, so pet birds should be encouraged to bathe at least three to four times a week. This handout provides helpful tips and safety precautions for bathing your bird.

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