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Birds

  • These attractive, stocky little birds are native to the plateau woodlands of sub-Saharan central and eastern Africa. They are small to medium sized birds. Meyers are quite gentle, quiet, funny, playful highly intelligent and social little birds.

  • Feathers insulate to maintain body temperature and protect birds from the elements and play an important role in aerodynamics and flying. Feathers need to be removed or fall out to stimulate new feather growth. Therefore, to keep itself in fine feather, a bird needs to molt each year to get rid of old or damaged feathers. In the wild, molting corresponds with the change of seasons or the changing day length. Other factors influencing the timing of molting include temperature and available nutrition, as well as the bird’s general health and reproductive state. Pet birds are not exposed to seasonal light and daylight length fluctuations in our homes that would mimic seasons. Pet birds’ exposure to varied light cycles may lead to irregular, incomplete, long or short molts.

  • Our knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving. This is due both to heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition and to increased research into birds different needs. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. Different species of birds often require different foods.

  • Mynah birds (Gracula sp. and Acridotheres tristis) originate from Africa, India and Southeast Asia and are best known for their ability to talk and to mimic any and all sounds.

  • While sick birds can occasionally be treated by their owners at home, any bird showing signs of illness should be examined by a veterinarian. Birds that are gravely ill will require hospitalization, while those that are still eating or that are only mildly affected may be treated by their owners under their veterinarian’s direction. For your bird to have a good chance of recovery, medication(s) must be administered as directed. Most pets recover faster when kept at the upper end of their normal environmental temperature. If your bird is ill, do not change his normal day/light cycle. Sick pets need extra calories to fight illness and recover, and cage rest is often best while the bird is recuperating. A bird that is ill should be isolated from other pets, preferably in a separate room. While not often the case, some bird diseases can be transmitted to owners.

  • Nystatin is an antifungal, given by mouth in the form of a tablet or liquid suspension, and used off label to treat Candida fungal infections in dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles. Side effects are rare, but at high doses could cause stomach upset or mouth irritation. It should not be used in pets that are allergic to it. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Obesity is a major problem in older birds on seed-based diets and can contribute to diseases such as atherosclerosis (fat deposits in major arteries) and fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis). Unlike their wild counterparts, pet birds are not given as much opportunity for daily exercise. Pet birds often burn off very few calories in their daily lives. Many bird owners incorrectly feed their pet birds by offering a diet consisting mostly, or totally of high-fat seeds. Obese birds are extremely susceptible to heart attacks and strokes and have a higher anesthetic risk than normal-weight birds. Switching birds from all-seed diets to a more suitable diet consisting mainly of pellets, with smaller amounts of fresh vegetables and fruit, will decrease its overall daily intake of calories.

  • Orbifloxacin is given by mouth and is used on and off label to treat certain susceptible bacterial infections. Give as directed by your veterinarian. The most common side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it or other quinolones, in growing pets, or in conjunction with cyclosporine. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Pacheco's disease is caused by a herpes virus. Many species of birds are susceptible. Cockatoos and Amazon parrots are very susceptible to the infection and usually die, whereas conures, such as the Nanday and Patagonian Conures seem to be resistant to the disease.

  • Pancrelipase is given by mouth and is used on and off label to treat exocrine pancreatic enzyme deficiency in dogs, cats, and birds. It is also used to treat fur balls in rabbits. Give as directed by your veterinarian. Common side effects at higher doses include diarrhea, cramping, gas, or vomiting. Do not use in pets that are allergic to pork. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.