Just like any other pet, your bird needs regular checkups and preventive care to stay healthy and happy. But finding a qualified avian veterinarian can be tough—after all, not every vet is trained to care for birds.
Here’s what you need to know to choose the best avian vet for your feathered friend.
Choosing an Avian Veterinarian: Why You Should Choose an Avian Veterinarian
Whether you have a feathered friend or are looking to adopt one, you want to make sure your avian companion receives the best possible care.
That’s why it’s important to choose an avian veterinarian that is experienced and knowledgeable in avian medicine. Not sure where to start?
Check out our top 5 reasons why you should choose an avian veterinarian for your bird.
1. Experience and Expertise
Avian veterinarians are specially trained in avian medicine and have years of experience treating birds. This means they are better equipped to handle any situation that may arise with your feathered friend.
2. Access to Resources
Avian veterinarians have access to specialized resources, such as aviary facilities and diagnostic equipment, that general practitioners do not. This allows them to provide your bird with the best possible care.
3. Wide Range of Services
Avian veterinarians offer a wide range of services, from routine checkups to emergency care. This means you can rest assured knowing that your bird is in good hands no matter what the situation may be.
4. Personalized Care
Because they see fewer patients, avian veterinarians are able to provide more personalized care for each one. This allows them to get to know both you and your bird on a personal level and develop a rapport that will last for years to come.
5. Complete Care
Avian veterinarians provide complete care for your bird, from beak to tail feathers. This means they are able to catch potential problems early and nip them in the bud before they become serious health issues.
How to Choose an Avian Veterinarian
When it’s time to choose an avian veterinarian, you want to make sure you are entrusting the care of your feathered family member to someone who is qualified and experienced.
Consider these factors as you make your decision.
Consider the Reception Staff and Technicians
The first people you will interact with when you call or visit the vet’s office are the reception staff and technicians. They should be friendly and helpful.
They should be able to answer your questions or direct you to someone who can. If they are rude or dismissive, that’s a sign that you should keep looking.
How Are the Vet’s Handling Skills?
Watch how the vet and staff handle the birds in the office. Do they treat them with respect? Are they gentle? Do the birds seem stressed?
If so, that’s a red flag. Ideally, you want to find a vet who has calm hands and a gentle touch, as well as a staff that is comfortable around birds.
Ask About the Vet’s Educational Background
All veterinarians must have a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from an accredited veterinary school, but not all vets have additional training in avian medicine.
Ideally, you want to find a vet who has completed a rigorous residency program in avian medicine and has board certification from the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP).
Experience Working With Birds
Ask about the vet’s experience working with birds.
How long have they been doing it? What kind of birds do they usually see? The more experience a vet has working with birds, the better.
Familiarity with Specific Species of Birds
You want to make sure that the avian veterinarian you choose is familiar with the specific species of bird that you have.
Different species of birds have different health needs and the more experience your veterinarian has with your specific type of bird, the better.
Coverage for Emergencies (and House Calls)
Emergencies happen and when they do, you want to know that your avian veterinarian will be there for you.
Many veterinarians offer emergency coverage as well as house calls so that your bird can get the care they need, when they need it.
Respectfulness and Ability to Answer Questions
When you take your bird to the veterinarian, you may have a lot of questions about its health and well-being.
It is important to find an avian veterinarian who is respectful and able to answer all of your questions in a way that you can understand.
Member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians
The Association of Avian Veterinarians is the leading professional organization for avian veterinarians.
Members of this organization are required to adhere to a code of ethics and standards of practice so you can rest assured that your bird is in good hands.
Sees a Large Number of Birds Per Week (Compared to Other Animals)
You want to make sure that the avian veterinarian you choose sees a large number of birds per week compared to other animals.
This way, you can be confident that they have the experience necessary to provide the best possible care for your pet bird.
Veterinary care can be expensive but it is important to find an avian veterinarian who fits both your needs and your budget.
Many veterinarians offer flexible payment options so be sure to ask about pricing before making your final decision.
A Few More Tips for Finding the Right Avian Vet
Just like you want the best doctor for yourself, you want the best avian vet for your feathered friend. After all, our birds are family, and we only want the best for them.
So, how do you find an avian vet that is the right fit for you and your companion? Here are a few more things to keep in mind.
Make a List of Everything You Want in a Vet
The first step is to make a list of everything that you want or need in an avian vet. This list can be as long or as short as you’d like.
For example, you may want someone who specializes in birds, who has experience with your specific type of bird, who is close to your home, or who takes your insurance.
Once you have your list, you can start narrowing down your options.
Ask For a Tour
When you have a few vets in mind, call them and see if they offer tours of their facility. This is a great way to get a feel for the vet and the staff.
During the tour, pay attention to how clean and well-kept the facility is.
Does the staff seem friendly and knowledgeable? Is the vet open to answering any questions that you have?
Doing this will help you get an idea of what it would be like to take your bird there for an appointment.
Explore Multiple Options
Don’t just go with the first avian vet that you find. Explore multiple options so that you can be sure that you are getting the best possible care for your bird.
Ask friends or family members if they have any recommendations, look up reviews online, or even ask your regular veterinarian for some suggestions.
Schedule a Wellness Visit
After you’ve found an avian vet that you think would be a good fit, schedule a wellness visit so that your bird can meet the vet and staff.
You can also ask any additional questions that you may have. This is also a great time to bring up any concerns that you have about your bird’s health.
Don’t Just Go for Emergencies
When it comes to choosing an avian veterinarian, bird owners often make the mistake of only considering emergency care options.
While it’s important to have a vet on hand in case of an unforeseen medical crisis, it’s also important to choose a vet that can provide comprehensive care for your feathered friend.
A good avian vet will be able to provide routine check-ups, vaccinations, and dietary advice, as well as offer guidance on issues like cage selection and behavior training.
In addition, a good avian vet will have a wealth of knowledge about different bird species and their specific needs.
Do Your Part in Identifying Health Concerns
When your feathered friend is not feeling well, you want to take them to see the best avian vet possible.
After all, these veterinarians have dedicated their lives to helping our feathered counterparts stay healthy.
That being said, it is still important to do your part when it comes to identifying health concerns. This way, you can be sure that the vet you choose is the best possible fit for your bird.
First and foremost, take note of any changes in your bird’s behavior. Is there a sudden change in eating habits? Are they sleeping more or less than usual?
Any change, no matter how small, could be an indication of a larger problem. In addition, pay attention to your bird’s appearance.
Are their feathers looking dull or unhealthy? Do their eyes seem sunken or glassy? These are all signs that something might be wrong.
Trust Your Gut
After meeting with each avian vet on your list, you should have a good idea of which one is the best fit for you and your feathery friend.
When making your final decision, trust your gut—you’ll know which vet you feel most comfortable entrusting the care of your beloved bird.
With a little patience and research, you’ll be sure to find the perfect avian veterinarian for your family!
How Much Does a Vet Cost for a Bird?
Veterinary bills can be pretty expensive, especially if you have a pet that needs routine care or one that gets sick often.
Birds are no exception—they may not need routine vaccinations like dogs and cats, but they are susceptible to a number of health problems that can require regular vet visits.
So, how much does a vet cost for a bird?
On average, a basic vet visit for a bird will cost between $50 and $100.
This will cover a physical exam, any necessary tests or screenings, and any general advice or recommendations the vet has.
If your bird is sick or injured and needs more intensive treatment, the cost will go up accordingly.
How Often Should a Bird Be Examined By a Veterinarian?
Routine veterinary check-ups are an important part of keeping your bird healthy.
How often your bird needs to be seen will depend on factors such as its age and overall health, but in general, it is recommended that birds be examined by a vet at least once a year.
Just like any other pet, birds need to see a veterinarian on a regular basis to ensure their continued good health.
How often your bird should be examined will depend on a number of factors, including its age, species, and overall health. However, it is recommended that birds be seen by a vet at least once a year for a routine check-up.
During a routine check-up, your vet will ask you about your bird’s diet, behavior, and any changes you’ve noticed in its health or appearance.
An important part of the check-up will also be a physical examination of your bird.
This will usually include taking its temperature, listening to its heart and lungs with a stethoscope, and feeling its body for any abnormal lumps or masses.
Your vet may also collect a stool sample to test for parasites.
In some cases, your bird may need more frequent veterinary visits.
For example, if your bird is molting (losing feathers), it may need to be seen more often so that the vet can determine if there is an underlying medical condition causing the problem.
Birds that are breeding or showing signs of illness will also need to be seen more frequently.
Choosing an Avian Veterinarian: Is It Worth Taking a Bird to a Vet?
There are a number of good reasons to take your bird to the vet. First, regular veterinary care can help catch health problems early before they become serious.
Your vet can also provide you with valuable information on how to keep your bird healthy and happy.
Furthermore, building a relationship with a veterinarian can give you peace of mind in knowing that there’s someone you can turn to for help if your bird ever does become sick or injured.
So, is it worth taking your bird to the vet? Ultimately, that decision is up to you.
However, we hope that this article has provided you with some food for thought so you can make the best decision for your feathered friend.
Choosing an avian veterinarian is an important decision. You want to make sure you find someone who is qualified and experienced.
Consider these factors when making your choice: the reception staff and technicians, handling skills, educational background, and experience working with birds.
With a little research, you can find the perfect vet for your feathered friend.