Hi TB! Today was 3 month old Bubbles first well birdie visit with his avian vet. I thought I'd tell you what we did so that if you are wondering why someone would take a healthy bird to the vet, I can share why our family chose this option!
Jo Ann had advised me to take in a record of daily weight checks to our first vet is it, which turned out to be very helpful. Bubbles has gone from 43 to 45 grams, so we know he's eating well and gaining weight as he's growing. I also weighed Bubbles right before the visit, and now know that our scale matches the one at the vet. That helps because if I tell her over the phone that he's losing or gaining weight, we are on the same page. She also taught me how to feel his keel bone to assess whether he's at a healthy weight for his size.
She listened to his heart and breathing, and felt for masses or problems in his abdomen. She looked him all over- his eyes, skin, feathers- checking for mites and skin conditions. She taught me how to clip wing feathers, and showed me how to recognize blood feathers.
She spent a long time talking with us about his habitat and diet. She feels that a lot of bird and exotic issues are related to inadequate care. She is a proponent of captive foraging, and spent some time talking about how to enrich his environment. She went over signs of a sick bird. We discussed perches and toys. She gave us a whole packet of reading materials with information and suggestions on all of these topics. We discussed specific ways to improve his diet and how to encourage him to eat a variety of healthy foods. She helped us devise ways to ease his nerves. She had recently returned from a conference and spent some time talking about some of the speakers she heard- avian ophthalmologists, avian experts. She discussed things very specific to birds: what substrate are we using? (White paper towels). What chemicals are we using to clean his cage? (Vinegar or peroxide solutions, with him out of the cage). We discussed proper UV lighting exposure for birds. All in all, the visit took almost an hour.
This visit cost us about $80. I know that's a huge amount of money. However, it's a lot less than making mistakes that could have been avoided and now needing emergency intervention, oxygen, overnight stays and medicines. The thoroughness of her checkup ensured that Bubbles is free of existing mites, parasites, or other conditions that could be treated early and less expensively before progressing to a life threatening (and wallet draining) issue. It also gives her a baseline to compare if any questions or changes arise. These little birds seem so small, but they work their way into our hearts so powerfully! A well bird checkup heads off a lot of preventable problems that we might have overlooked due to lack of knowledge. And that's my essay on why a well bird visit worked for me
Also: Bubbles got a clean bill of health!