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first time going to the avian vet..questions...

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Donovan
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first time going to the avian vet..questions...

Post by Donovan » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:49 pm

Going very soon for the first time to the avian vet.

I have two birds. One is 3 years old and the other is 1 year old. These birds are fully flighted and have never been to a vet. They've never been off of my property since i've had them.

- Should they be in separate carriers? Can I expect the birds to get loose and fly around the vet room or will they reach into the carrier and grab? (this is going to be a down and dirty experience for them i'm sure. No time for coaxing or luring... it's gonna be more grab and do I imagine.

- Should I only take one of them? (money's tight and avian vets aren't cheap. Taking both in one visit is preferable right now while I'm able)

- My normal carry-cage is fairly large (used for transporting them outside to the aviary). I have a pet carrier also. They're familiar with the carry-cage and can easily be lured into it. Would the avian vet prefer to receive them in a proper cage or should I carry them in the pet carrier?

- If I do carry them in the pet carrier do i rig up a perch for the ride or put a couple of towels in the bottom and have them stand around on those for the ride (ride will be about an hour and a half)

- Do I need to have some dropping samples ready? If so what is the vet's preferred method for that?.. a swipe from a paper towel or what?

Another thought I have is that I suspect one of the birds may have a liver issue despite not eating much seed. His beak seems too long and just doesn't seem quite right. It's subtle but I see it, so I want to go in for a wellness check and see if the vet spots the beak issue.
In my mind I'm testing him. I will bring it up, but I want to give him the opportunity to discover it on his own.

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InTheAir
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Re: first time going to the avian vet..questions...

Post by InTheAir » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:51 pm

I love going for healthchecks! I write down every random question I have on birds and fire them at the vet after they have examined the bird. You see the vet go pale when I pull my list of questions out ;)

If your birds get on well in the cage and it fits in your car, I'd use that. Put fresh paper down. Parrots are pretty good at providing a poop sample during the appointment so it's nice and fresh. My guys have never let me down on that point.

Nila steps up out of the cage for the vet and when the vet wants to restrain him they pass him to me so I can pass him back restrained (we trained that trick). Sapphire was carefully toweled in her travel cage by the vet and placed in the cage when she was finished. It depends on the birds. If you are confident that you can step your bird up, put it on the scales and get it back in the cage you can tell the vet that and they may prefer you to do it to reduce stress.
Nila almost always has a fly around :lol: he looses patience with being poked and prodded eventually and zooms over to me, Dave or his cage. I think any avian vet is used to it.

Bring your credit card because you will probably need bloodwork done on Neko :wink: Our av always warns us if any tests are very expensive and lets us know how important the test is. If the vet doesn't look for the cause of beak overgrowth, i would find a new vet....

I hope it goes well.

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Donovan
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Re: first time going to the avian vet..questions...

Post by Donovan » Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:33 pm

putting paper down in the bottom of the cage sounds good but i'd want to be able to definitively say which droppings are whose. Knowing birds they'll provide samples right there at the vet so maybe between that and simply looking directly beneath them it should be easy enough to manage.

These birds aren't handled much. I can pet Neko here and there under the right conditions and even pick him up... but i'm pretty sure these won't be the right conditions... unfortunately i suspect this is going to be a force event.... where they're grabbed, held, and handled in a way that's going to scare the crap out of them.

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InTheAir
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Re: first time going to the avian vet..questions...

Post by InTheAir » Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:01 am

Let the vet do all the grabbing then and you can be the one that gives them treats once they are back in their cage. :mrgreen:
Nila made a good effort of providing a sample on the vets foot once :wink:

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Re: first time going to the avian vet..questions...

Post by MissK » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:55 am

You might also consider getting a fresh sample on wax paper just before you leave the house. You can fold that up to not lose hydration and you can label each for a Plan B in the event they don't produce at the vet's. But unless they are too bothered to eat, I think the Treat Transit Time is not very long, so if you treat them when you're ready to get out of the car I think they should produce.

Don't forget there may be dogs in the waiting area, so bring a cover and plan ahead.
Also, just to be clear, they will charge for each bird individually.
-MissK

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Re: first time going to the avian vet..questions...

Post by AJPeter » Thu Feb 19, 2015 1:49 pm

Vets will use a towel to steady the bird. and stop them panicking, you might consider nail clipping as well, my vet wanted to charge £15 but in the end cut them for nothing. But Billie could not kand on anything for weeks after.

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Donovan
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Re: first time going to the avian vet..questions...

Post by Donovan » Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:31 pm

nail clipping isn't necessary.. all their perches are rough texture so that i never have to. Neko's nails are a little long but they're still always the same....

and no dogs miss k.. it's an exotic and avian vet specifically.......

IntheAir i didn't think about giving treats while there.. good idea

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Re: first time going to the avian vet..questions...

Post by AJPeter » Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:31 pm

When you take the carrier out of the car it will be very cold, have a nice warm blanket to put round the cage until you get into the vets, and get yourself a gel hot bottle you gently heat it up in the microwave and it will keep the birds nice and warm.

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Donovan
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Re: first time going to the avian vet..questions...

Post by Donovan » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:34 pm

and do what with the bottle?

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Re: first time going to the avian vet..questions...

Post by AJPeter » Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:38 pm

Before of after?

SkyeBerry
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Re: first time going to the avian vet..questions...

Post by SkyeBerry » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:02 am

re: the warm bottle - wrap it in a cloth and place it on the bottom of the cage - it is a heat source the birds can move closer to if it is cold- you can do the same thing with a cold pack if it is hot weather .

If I am travelling in cold weather I just warm the car first. The spare set of keys comes in handy for this. I take the two sets of keys to the vet and leave the birds with the reception staff and start/warm the car there as well.

Because both birds are an unknown to you as far as how they will act at the vet, I would take them in separate cages/carriers. IF the birds have to be 'chased' in the cage to get them out, they are going to upset one another. This way you will know how each bird reacts on its own - ie) without being upset by the other birds capture. From what I have read about your birds they are not so bonded that separating them will upset them. Do bring a cover for each cage but let them see out when you travel - facing forward. Birds can and do get car sick. I confirmed this with my vet. My sunny will sometimes regurgitate even though he never does this at home.

The cover also helps to keep the birds calm while you are waiting in the reception area. I generally partially uncover the birds and let them look around a bit and judge their reaction. So far, mine like to look about. A partial covers gives them the option and you the opportunity to see what makes them more comfortable - if they seem scared I would cover them.

My vet does not care what you bring the birds in. Just make sure it is safe, and any doors, crates, tops etc are secured to ensure there is no accidental escapes. Ensure no moving/swinging toys or feeders or objects they may become airborne missiles that might hurt the bird. I have the pet carriers as well as some smaller sleep/travel cages. My birds will often cling to the side of the cage closest to me. Vet says this is actually quite safe and they can quickly grab hold with there beak as well if they feel insecure. I like having towels on the bottom of the cage just in case someone does fall. Some birds will eat and some might not. Some spray millet works good for this though. Rarely do my birds drink. I offer them water (from home that I bring in a bottle) in a dish I place in the cage when I get to the vet. You could also just leave some moist fruit in the cage - orange, grapefruit, berries, apple etc

re: poop samples - dropping that occur on the way to the vet and even at the vet can end up looking quite a bit different from what the bird 'supplies' at home. The vet is generally more interested in what they look like when they are at home - so Miss K's suggestion is a good one. You can always ask the vet if they have a preference how they like the droppings 'delivered.'

Don't be so sure about the force required to get your birds out for the exam. In fact, I will be surprised if an avian only vet proceeds with this type of method. Remember they can always have you turn off the lights and they can get the bird in darkness or a dim light -they just sit - my vet does this with sick finches and you never even hear a sound until she says to turn on the light and she has it in her hand. For the bigger birds that are not 'handable' she always has a piece of folded fleece that she uses between her and the bird. Only her fingers are around the neck and they do not struggle. I truly believe it has a lot to do with your vets 'energy' and yours. Don't be rolling your eyes...I mean if the vet is calm and confident and you remain the same, there is no fear/anger/adrenaline and other pheromones for the bird to smell. There is literally no fear for them to 'sense.' I was generally surprised at the end of Skye and my's first vet visit to realize the vet still had him in her right hand, only fingers around his neck, but with the fleece, and he was hanging upside down while she was talking to me. He was totally calm and relaxed. No struggling, no sounds, and no fear. She calmly put him back in the cage and he calmly perched. We have returned to this vet several times, she has also clipped his toe nails, and he had never showed any fear or apprehension.

I have also had my parrots on my arm. They are looking at me and she again calmly gets them from behind using the fleece. No 'peep,' struggle, or apprehension from the bird. Please let us know how it goes. re: the beak - if at early stages a good diet can sometimes reverse the problem/s - I know we all wish you and the birds the best for their visits.
Mary

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Donovan
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Re: first time going to the avian vet..questions...

Post by Donovan » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:14 am

i'll give that some thought about having them in separate cages.. plus i know how it is with one bird coming out while you're trying to put the other one in lol

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Donovan
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Re: first time going to the avian vet..questions...

Post by Donovan » Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:16 pm

well the vet trip went way better than expected. It amazed me how well behaved Neko was. Sure he flew around and was difficult for a total of about 1-2 minutes during the 1 hour visit. And that wasn't even all at once..
for the most part he was very cooperative and well behaved which i didn't expect.

there's another avian vet a little further out that i will try with my next bird.

This one made one mistake that bothered me. While i was sitting in the room some woman came in to talk to me and didn't shut the door behind her. She exposed my fully flighted bird to the entire lobby area. Neko was very relaxed and showed no signs of discomfort by the activity of her coming through the door and didn't act like he wanted to fly around so i didn't say anything.
As soon as she left and closed the door behind her I heard the front door of the lobby come open.. another pet owner coming in.

So... that person could have walked in while that vet assistant was standing there with the door wide open... Long story short, I don't think they have good checks and balances when dealing with flighted birds. What if my bird had been spooked and flying around their lobby when that person came through the door? (probably nothing would have happened... but you don't go with -probably-)

- Before opening the exam room of a fully flighted bird you must make sure the door leading outside is secure.... plain and simple... and no i'm not being overly paranoid like a friend of mine told me I was being.

So my next avian vet will be the one that's about 30-40 minutes further away. I'll see if i am more comfortable with their facility.

Other than a single moment of irresponsibility they seemed okay as far as vets go... but even walking in to the place i didn't get the best vibe... so i'll check the other one and see what it's like.

And I will take a friend for backup to make sure if my bird is flying around the place that no one can come into the front door until he's contained. Sounds like overkill I know... but I actually thought of that before going to the vet and sure enough.. they made the one mistake i didn't think they would.. Standing there talking to me about stuff I don't even remember with the door wide open and a fully flighted bird who is already scared sitting there just waiting to go flapping around the place.

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Donovan
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Re: first time going to the avian vet..questions...

Post by Donovan » Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:25 pm

oh, and his beak and nail growth was deemed to be poor maintenance on his part.

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Re: first time going to the avian vet..questions...

Post by MissK » Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:10 pm

Leaving the door open IS a mistake, to be sure, but I would also fail you, sir, for not getting it closed right away. :evil:
-MissK

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Re: first time going to the avian vet..questions...

Post by clawnz » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:47 pm

If they were good except this simple, but bad mistake then I am not sure you need to find another vet.
Discuss the mistake and I am sure they will take action to make sure it does not happen again.
And they need to know as it maybe a simple mistake like this that sees someone else who's bird flies out the door.
I would of thought any one coming in would knock before opening a door like that.
Simple mistake easy fix.
Mistakes are a fact of life.
And if your bird cannot be trusted should it not of been restrained while in there!
I know it is not always, possible. Paco gave us the slip and was flying around at the vets and I had to get a net to take him. normally he would land back on me. And I did comment on the fact that their door did not close on it's own, you had to close it.
Which I thought was a bad thing.

Just my own thoughts and comments.

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Re: first time going to the avian vet..questions...

Post by AJPeter » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:29 pm

Donavan you need to talk about your concerns with the vet, Clawnz is right if you burnt your boats with this vet and went to another and had a dust up there you could be up the creek with no paddle and a sick bird on your hands.

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Re: first time going to the avian vet..questions...

Post by SkyeBerry » Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:59 pm

The exam room doors at my vets have the bathroom type door locks so they can be locked from the inside to ensure that a flighted bird is safe. No one can just open the door.

Although a simple mistake, this was a BIG mistake for a clinic that specializes in birds. Is this not what we are constantly warned about? Around here (my area) there is always someone posting that their bird was 'lost' because it flew out an open window or door. Was the vet in the room with you when this happened? If not I would politely inform the vet what happened and the obvious concern. I would certainly not burn any bridges but I do not see how this would do so. If it was my practice, I would want to know about this so that I could go over protocol with the staff. If the vet was there, I am curious, did he/she say anything to you?

Even though I liked my vet the first time I met her, I have taken my smaller birds to other vets for simpler things to see what other options were available in case of emergency or my vet not being available for whatever reason. Lets just say I hope my vet is around forever. My point is, there is no reason not to check out the other vet if you are willing to drive the distance. FYI - I did tell me vet I tried the other place for the reasons I stated above. She had no issue it nor should she or any other vet.
Mary

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