General Health Check-up
Healthy animals are happy animals! We are pleased that many of our appointments per day are animals coming in for their routine annual or biannual health checks. Dog and cat owners are used to taking their pets for a yearly check-up and vaccination. While most clients will place more importance on the actual vaccination the animal is receiving, the importance of a good physical examination during the visit should not be underestimated. While many of our exotic pet species do not require routine vaccinations, regular health checks are an extremely important part of an effective home wellness plan. Regular health checks allow early detection of problems, and it provides the opportunity to adequately monitor weight, dental health, parasite control and any existing medical conditions.
If you’ve recently acquired a new bird it is highly recommended that you bring it in for a post-purchase exam. During the examination the vet will examine your bird for any health issues and discuss the diet and any questions you might have. We also recommend a faecal check for parasites and general viral and bacterial screens for the common infectious organisms (such as chlamydia psittici, beak and feather disease virus, polyoma virus). This is especially important if you have any other birds in the house, as these pathogens can be carried for a period of time without any obvious signs of disease.
Routine Avian Visits
We see many of our patients for a routine avian visit 3-4x per year. During this time the parrot will be given a general health check, have a wing clip (if required), nail clip, beak trim (if required), vitamin injection and dewormer. While we strongly support keeping parrots fully feathered where possible, allowing free flight in an aviary, we recognise that that this is not a realistic set-up for everyone. In parrots that require feather trimming we desire to make the process as stress free as possible. We also aim to find a “happy balance” in feather trimming that does not allow free flight, but enables the bird to glide instead of fall to the ground if it should attempt flight.
Microchipping Your Pet
We strongly recommend having your parrot microchipped. Having a microchip implanted allows permanent identification for your pet, with the microchip information linked to your contact details. Should your pet get lost, a quick scan of the microchip will allow the finder to contact you and your pet can safely be returned to you. In an ownership dispute, the presence of a microchip will also be the only way of positively identifying the pet as yours. We regularly microchip parrots the size of a cockatiel and larger. A normal 15 min consultation is all that is needed for this.
Are your pet’s nails getting a little sharp? Many pets often don’t wear down their nails as they naturally would if they were out in the wild. This is particularly true in pets kept indoors. We recommend regular nail clipping, and will gladly assist if you have trouble doing it at home.
Surgery may be required as part of the treatment of your bird or exotic pet. Having your pet undergo an anaesthetic and surgery can be a nail biting experience for any pet owner. At CEAH we have specialised surgical and monitoring equipment to ensure the safest possible procedure. We recognise that exotic pets are very different from dogs and cats, and for each species we have a unique anaesthetic protocol designed to facilitate the safest anaesthetic and quickest recovery.
Sterilization is recommended for many exotic pets and it is important in preventing various problems that can occur later in your pet’s life. We recommend that rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and mice should all be routinely sterilized to prevent a range of issues.
Say cheese! Rabbits and the truly herbivorous rodents such as Guinea Pigs and Chinchillas feed on tough, fibrous vegetation in their natural environment. As a result the cheek teeth, like the incisors, have evolved to continuously grow throughout life. These pets are often fed a diet with a less than ideal fibre component, and as a result dental disease is very common.
Teeth that are not worn down correctly will continue to grow and can eventually form spurs (sharp needle like protrusions) that cut into the tongue and gums. This can lead to pain and loss of appetite and can lead to life threatening complications if left untreated.
A dental check-up is recommended every 6-12 months in rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas. More frequent check-ups are needed in animals with existing dental disease. If elongated teeth or spurs are found, we will recommend booking your pet in for a dental procedure where the teeth are shortened and spurs removed.
At CEAH your pet will not be hospitalized with noisy dogs and cats! Your pet will have it’s own specially designed hospital cage in a temperature controlled ward. The cages are designed to minimize the risk of trauma and escape. Every effort is also made to make it as homely and comfortable as possible (whether that means a soft blanket, hiding box or lots of toys). All reptiles are housed with the appropriate lighting (UV, heat light etc).
We offer a range of routine and specialized diagnostic tests either in house or with an associated hospital or laboratory. These tests include, but are not limited to, blood tests, urinalysis, faecal screens, DNA testing, radiography, endoscopy, CT scan and MRI.
Our team is highly specialized and undergo extensive on site training to ensure only the best cuddles and head scratches are provided to our patients. No patient is too grumpy, no beak too sharp that it will scare away our team of dedicated attention givers. Never underestimate the importance of some well timed TLC. We have bucket loads of that in hospital, and we’re not afraid to use it!
#WARNING: Patients may enjoy the attention so much that they may never want to leave!!
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