To ensure the health of your bird and the safety of your household, Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital recommends the following Wellness Program:
Health exam every 6 months
Disease screening tests
Psittacosis (parrot fever) test
Grams stains every 6 months
Fecal parasite test every 6 months
Blood tests every 12 months
The right diet
HealX Bird Builder
HealX Sunshine Factor or Booster
Home showers (Water, HealX Rain Spray,HealX Soother Spray)
Ultraviolet B Light
Natural unfiltered sunlight 2 to 6 hr a day
Special light bulbs such as Zoo Med's Avisun Compact 5.0 UVB or Powersun
Boarding or pet-sitting
Why does my bird need an examination be a veterinarian every 6 months?Birds hide their illness. A regular examination may detect signs of illness early, and allows the veterinarian to answer any health or behavioral questions you may have. Depending on the age and medical history of your bird, it may need a wellness exam even more frequently.Why does my bird need so many tests?Many bird diseases are difficult to detect without specialized tests.
Some of these diseases, such as parrot fever, can cause serious illness in people.
Psittacosis PCR Test (Parrot Fever): A seemingly healthy bird may be a carrier of this contagious disease that can infect humans and other birds that share the same household. A drop of blood and swab of feces is all that is needed to detect this disease. A negative test will provide peace of mind for your pet and your family. If your bird tests positive, we’ll start the necessary medical treatment to eliminate the infection. Highly recommended for any new bird, birds that have never been tested, and birds that are groomed or have other contact with birds outside the home.
Gram stains: A quick swab of your bird’s mouth and feces allows us to screen for abnormal bacteria and yeast. We recommend Gram stains every 6 months, and whenever your bird is ill.
The pink bacteria in this slide are Gram-negative bacteria that will cause illness in parrots. The purple bacteria are Gram-positive bacteria that are part of the normal flora of a parrot.
Fecal Parasite Test: Birds may carry parasites that can infect other pets and people. Giardia, coccidia, and roundworms are just a few of the many parasites that are spread by the feces of seemingly healthy birds. We recommend fecal parasite examinations every 6 to 12 months to ensure the continuing good health of you and your pet.
Blood Tests: Yearly blood tests are a good idea for any bird since they are not always able to tell us they are not feeling well. One out of three seemingly healthy birds have disease detected through a simple blood test called electrophoresis. A yearly thorough blood test will help understand your bird’s health, and allow early treatment of any problems detected.
Why do you recommend these diets?
Providing the right diet is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your bird’s long-term health. These manufacturers are known for producing high quality diets for birds and supporting research efforts to better understand birds' dietary needs.
Why should I use a veterinary hospital to groom my bird?
Every bird we groom is handled by a technician or doctor that is trained to recognize signs of illness. Your bird will be weighed before it is groomed to detect any changes in weight that may signal an illness. If anything abnormal is detected, the technician or a doctor will talk to you about it before proceeding with the groom. We double-check all wing trims to make sure your bird cannot get any lift when it flaps its wings. We make sure that the nails are the right length and smooth to touch. We can trim overgrown and deformed beaks and in some cases can even correct old deformities and help your bird chew again normally.
HealX Rain and Soother offer healthy ways to stimulate preening and feather care. Soother is especially helpful for birds that have flakey skin or are scratching during the change to drier seasons.
Why are special light bulbs important?
Birds need ultraviolet-B light for normal calcium and vitamin D metabolism. This ultraviolet-B light does not go through glass, plastic, or window screen so your bird either needs access to sunlight (which is difficult to do in Arizona without overheating your bird) or it needs an artificial light shining into its cage.
Why should I microchip my bird?
A microchip inserted into the chest muscle of your bird offers a permanent way for you to prove ownership of your bird.
Who should take care of my bird when I can't?
It's important to prepare ahead of time and decide who will take care of your bird when you are out-of-town or otherwise unable to provide daily care. We also offer a caring boarding environment whenever you need someone else to take care of your bird. If a problem arises during boarding, one of our doctors will assess your bird at no charge and call you to discuss what treatment may be needed. If you are not comfortable boarding your bird, you may want to find a reputable pet-sitter. We can provide you with the names of different pet sitters comfortable with birds.
Dr. Kevin Wright, Diplomate ABVP (Reptile and Amphibian Specialist)
Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital
744 N Center Street
Mesa, AZ 85201
(480) 275 7017