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Wellness Care

Avian Wellness Care

Annual Examinations are Important for Birds and Exotic Pets

All birds and exotic pets need to be seen annually for a wellness exam, and we tailor our wellness exams to meet their health needs. The best treatment for any disorder is to catch it early, before your bird or exotic pet is showing any signs of illness. An annual exam gives us the opportunity to ensure that your bird or exotic pet is healthy and have baseline records and baseline blood values for future reference in the event that your pet is ever sick. An annual exam gives you one-on-one time with us so we can answer all of your health and behavior questions. We can offer many solutions concerning behavior, environment and tips to enrich your pet’s life using food, toys and other items.

During your pet’s annual exam, our veterinarian may recommend additional testing for your pet. This may be a result of finding an abnormality during the exam or because it is the first time the pet has been to see a veterinarian. There are several reasons we may recommend additional testing:

  • To ensure your pet’s health, since they are masters at hiding signs of illness.
  • New birds coming from a pet store or breeder may be carrying a variety of viruses or bacterial pathogens that are not causing an active problem but may be transmitted to other birds or pets.
  • Many boarding facilities (including ours) will require that all birds, reptiles, and other exotic pets have been tested for specific diseases to ensure safe boarding for all pets.


This is an easy procedure that can be done in-office without anesthesia. Microchipping is the safest permanent identification. Leg bands are dangerous and can be life-threatening if entangled. For more information about microchipping, please click on the microchipping page under “general medicine”.

Bringing your Bird to Winter Park Veterinary Hospital

We recognize that coming to the hospital can be a stressful experience for any pet, particularly our bird patients. We are very sensitive to this fact and do whatever we can to limit this stress. Your bird may be more comfortable in a quiet, dark place for traveling, so talk to us about the appropriate carrier for your size and type of bird. If possible, acclimate your bird to his bird carrier prior to your visit with us.

Avian pets with a strong veterinarian-patient relationship will benefit from better overall health and improved disease control.  We encourage avian pet parents to establish a relationship with us early in their pet’s life, before an emergency necessitates a visit.  We have an experienced exotic veterinarian on call 7 days a week for avian and exotic pets established with us as clients. As part of our lifetime commitment to our established avian pet parents, in the evenings and on Saturday and Sunday we prioritize established avian pet patients if capabilities are limited.   Therefore, establishing and maintaining the relationship with us is important for your avian pet.

Birds are Masters at Hiding Signs of illness

Since birds are very good at hiding their signs of illness, an annual checkup is a good way to screen for problems we can’t see. To keep your bird healthy, you need to know when they are sick so you can call us to get the medical care your bird may need. If your bird exhibits signs of illness, please call us right away; it probably is an emergency situation for your pet. Learn to recognize a sick pet—it is common for the first signs go unnoticed. This is best done back actively educating yourself as to what a “healthy bird” looks and sounds like. Usually the first signs of sickness include:

  • Changes in behavior, such as decreased activity level or decreased vocalization
  • Decreased appetite – Remember that birds will pretend that they are eating, so don’t be fooled
  • Diarrhea or persistent abnormal droppings
  • Too much fluid in the droppings (polyuria)
  • Fluffed feathers or changes in the feathers
  • Changes in general appearance and posture
  • Sitting on the cage bottom
  • Coughing, sneezing, abnormal breathing sounds
  • Nasal discharge
  • Frequent scratching at the nares or the side of the head
  • Tail bobbing
  • Weight loss
  • Regurgitating, vomiting
  • Change in water intake
  • Weakness

Serious signs of Illness

Please call us immediately if your bird is exhibiting any of these symptoms:

  • Drooping wing or wings
  • Falling off the perch
  • Eyes closed with long periods of sleepiness
  • Vomiting/regurgitation
  • Frequent sneezing with or without discharge
  • Discharge from nostrils, eyes, mouth or any part of the body

Our veterinarians and staff are highly skilled at treating and caring for many types of pets and are pleased to be able to offer care, behavioral advice and guidance. Please give us a call today to set up an appointment for your special pet.