In avian medicine there is a decisive difference between the diagnosis and treatment of obvious problems and the ability to detect, identify and correct subtle abnormalities. The doctor must evaluate the patient and its environment in order to identify the underlining abnormality. Birds normally attempt to hide symptoms of disease as a survival adaptation. In the wild, individuals that show symptoms of disease or injury are easy targets for predators and they are sometimes segregated or attacked by other members of their flock.
Birds are complicated creatures and an incomplete understanding of their physical, nutritional, physiologic and psychological needs often leads to long-term, inadequate care. Owners should evaluate their bird’s movement, body posture, head position, behavior, appetite, attitude, ocular clarity and excrement output on a daily basis. These observations will help the doctor identify abnormalities before a disease has a chance to progress to an irreversible point.
In order to help identify management and disease-related problems early, it is advisable to perform a complete physical examination on a new patient twice in the first year and annually thereafter. Owners can contribute to the well-being of their companions by providing a through history of the bird, which frequently provides obscure clues that may identify risk factors important in diagnosis and resolving a patient’s problems. Here are some questions to think about. 1. Have any new birds recently been added to the household? 2. Has there been any change in food or water consumption? 3. Is the bird restricted to an indoor environment? 4. Is the bird exposed to toxic compounds? 5. Have there been any changes in a bird’s behavior? 6. What is the bird’s reproductive status?
For more information contact: All Pets Veterinarian Hospital, Inc. at (703)327-6666