Bird Lifestyle

Well bird exams are extremely important because birds are masters at hiding illness. By the time birds start to show obvious signs of illness, it can be very difficult for them to recover. It is crucial for a bird owner to observe signs such as: decreased appetite, stops talking, sleeping more than usual, drooped wings, changes in stool/urates. A physical examination by a skilled veterinarian with experience in avian medicine may detect Vitamin A deficiency, mites, respiratory abnormalities, bone/joint abnormalities, sinus/eye infections, and feather disorders.

I. Initial "New" Bird exam should include: physical examination, nutritional counseling, husbandry counseling, grooming, and fecal analysis including a fecal gram stain. This is for all type of birds.
II. Initial "New" Bird exam for birds > 100grams (Parrots, Macaws, African Greys, Caiques, Cockatoos etc.) These birds should have the above tests done +/- bloodwork (Polyoma virus, Psitaccine beak and feather disease PBFD, Psittacosis, CBC, and possible DNA sexing.
III. Every bird should have a physical exam biannually (6 months) and a fecal analysis every 6 months. Bloodwork should be done yearly. Radiographs may also be helpful in detecting pneumonia, heart disease, liver disease, egg binding in adult birds.


1. Fecal Gram Stain: This test checks for abnormal bacteria or yeast in the feces. If this test comes back abnormal, we may culture the feces in order to choose the most effective treatment plan.
2. Fecal flotation/parasite check: This test will check for the presence of parasites or protozoa in the intestinal tract of birds, including roundworms, coccidia, and giardia.
3. CBC: This test checks for anemia, infection or blood parasites.
4. Serum Chemistry: This is a blood test that checks out individual organs in birds: liver, kidney, pancreas, etc.
5. Psittacosis: This is a blood sample that is sent to the laboratory to check for psittacosis (chlamydiosis). This disease can spread to humans and is known as "parrot fever."
6. Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD): This blood test is recommended for all Cockatoos. This disease causes severe beak and feather malformations.
7. Radiographs (X-rays): Many diseases can be detected by full body x-rays including: pneumonia, abscesses, liver disease, fungal infection, malformed joints/bones, and egg binding are just a few of them.