New Bird Care From West Valley Pet Clinic & Avian Medical Group’s Avian Specialist
Even the most experienced avian veterinarian can have a difficult time telling the health status of a bird from a physical exam alone. In addition, the signs of illness in birds are often nonspecific and rarely lead to a diagnosis. Avian veterinarians rely heavily on laboratory diagnostics to find the cause of an illness as well as assure wellness in birds.
Laboratory Diagnostics for Birds
Laboratory diagnostics for avian patients are the most valuable under the following conditions:
- During a post-purchase examination to assure the health of a new bird
- At periodic well-bird check-ups (blood test every 2 years in young birds and annually in older birds) to catch problems early
- Whenever a bird appears sick, to find the cause and best treatment
- At the recheck visit to determine how well the treatment has worked
Available diagnostics for birds include these specific tests:
- During a post-purchase exam to assure the health of a new bird
- At periodic well-being check ups (blood work every 2 years in young birds and annually in older birds) to catch health issues early
- Whenever a bird appears sick to find the cause and guide treatment
- At a recheck visit to determine how well the treatment worked
Available diagnostics include blood tests to assess organ function, response to infection, fecal testing to look for abnormal bacterial growth, avian gastric yeast or the uncommon parasite, bacterial cutlures to identify the cause of infections (such as in skin or sinus) and the best antibiotic to treat with, disease testing (looking for DNA evidence of transmissible infections such as psitticine beak and feather disease, psittacosis, avian flu, polyoma virus, biopsies to assess the cause of disease for feather picking, abnormal lumps or even inside the body through endoscopy and of course, if needed, a post-mortem exam if a cause of death needs to be determined.