April is Avian Awareness MonthPublished April 18, 2012
Avian Awareness Month is celebrated in April, giving bird lovers who share their hearts and homes with these delightful winged wonders something about which to warble. Pet birds make remarkable companions, and give their owners an incredible amount of pleasure and joy.
When it comes to the care and health of pet birds, avians have their special veterinary needs, just like our furry companions.
Veterinary Avian Specialists
Locating a veterinary avian specialist is strongly recommended. Since these veterinarians have studied extensively about this branch of veterinary medicine, their expertise helps assure your bird’s robust health.
Avian veterinary specialists keep abreast of the latest information. They also recommend that following any new bird purchase, during the initial visit to the practice, blood work is done that both creates a baseline and assesses the state of your bird's health.
Since birds instinctively hide any overt signs of physical illness, it's important for owners to be on the lookout for anything that may indicate that your pet bird is under the weather.
Sickness Symptoms for Birds
Included in these signs are:
- abnormal sleep habits
- acting unusually irritable or overly passive
- sitting at the bottom of the cage
- puffed up appearance
- labored breathing
- coughing or sneezing
- discharge or excessive moisture from the nares
- swelling of the eyes
- change in color or white content in the stool
- diarrhea or black stool
- scaling or crusting of the skin
- weight loss
- increased temperature of the feet or beak
Even though on the surface a bird may appear perfectly healthy, it may, in fact, be harboring a serious disease that is not readily apparent.
Since many avian illnesses do not show outward signs, blood work is the most reliable way to detect any hidden medical conditions and/or problems which can mean the difference between a bird’s life and death. Depending on the results of these blood tests and physical examination, bird owners and their veterinarians can work together to optimize the health of a beloved avian companion.
It goes without saying that providing pet birds the best possible nutrition is one of the essential parts in keeping birds healthy and happy. As a rule of thumb if the food we eat is nutritious, it will also be nourishing to pet birds.
For example; birds enjoy eating dried fruits, veggies, herbs, greens and even bee pollen. At the same time, it is just as important to know the foods and plants that are toxic to birds.
Birds are social creatures and greatly enjoy their guardian’s company. Spending time playing with your bird, giving them time out of the cage, is essential to their emotional health. Keeping your bird entertained, stimulated and interactive creates a win-win situation for both birds and their caretakers.
Bird owners: Please leave a comment telling us about what you enjoy the most , living with these beautiful animals.