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Birds

  • Height dominance in pet birds can be an issue with a poorly trained pet bird or dominant pet bird. Birds that are allowed on shoulders or top of cages can be aggressive and nippy if not trained to "Step-up" on command. Proper training and socialization are essential to allow birds to perch wherever they wish.

  • Home renovation can be arduous for every member of the household. Both pet owners and pets can be stressed during the construction process. Pets are faced with many potential hazards in a construction site. Pets can also interfere with construction workers and pose a safety risk to them. Awareness of possible construction site problems will help home owners avoid pet-related issues. Knowing how to deal with problems that do occur will minimize health risks for pets. A little planning can make the renovation process run more smoothly for workers, home owners, and pets.

  • Birds are naturally mischievous and if not properly supervised, will get into many predicaments. It is crucial that you bird proof your home. The bird's cage is its house and the confines of your home represent the bird's environment.

  • In general, the bigger the cage, the better. A rectangular stainless-steel cage, is preferable and one that is longer than it is tall, but tall enough to ensure a bird has room to move up and down without hitting its tail on anything. All-metal cages are the most practical to keep clean. Bars on the cage must be close enough together to prevent the bird from getting its head or legs stuck between the bars. Perches that are easily cleaned or replaced and of varying diameters are best. Perches that are chewed up and splintered need to be replaced as birds destroy them. Soft, braided rope perches that are easy to grasp are another great option for pet birds. Large birds should be provided with stainless-steel dishes, as they are indestructible, easy to clean, and attach securely to the side of the cage. Pet birds need daily psychological stimulation and entertainment. There are numerous commercially available foraging and puzzle toys designed to engage and entertain birds for hours. For large birds, toys should not have snaps, clasps, bell clappers, open chain links, easily removable or broken parts, glass, or extraneous loose fibers that birds may chew or swallow or that could wrap around a toe or foot. Toys should be cleaned with warm, soapy water and rinsed thoroughly.

  • Bird cages must be big enough for birds to move around with ease and to not strike their wings or tail as they move from perch to perch and stretch or flap their wings. Bars on the cage must be close enough together to prevent the bird from escaping or getting its head caught. Natural wood branches of varying diameters make the best perches, as they more closely mimic birds’ perches in the wild. Wood perches may help wear birds’ nails down and provide birds with something to chew on. Sandpaper perches should be avoided. Natural hemp or braided cotton rope are softer on birds’ feet and are another great perch option. Food and water dishes should be made from sturdy, non-toxic materials that are easy to clean and disinfect every day. Enriching bird toys must be provided, such as ladders, rope, swings, mirrors, bells, hanging toys, hidden food items in the cage, or pieces of wood or leather to chew on. Introduce new toys slowly to allow the bird to become accustomed to them over time. All toys should be periodically washed and disinfected.

  • If your pet had an emergency crisis, how would you manage it? Ask your veterinary hospital how they handle after-hour emergencies. Use this handout to help you plan ahead and be prepared in the event of a pet-health emergency.

  • Hydroxyzine is given by mouth or injection and is used off label to treat allergic or itchy conditions. Give as directed. The most common side effect is sedation. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it or cetirizine, or pets that have heart failure, urinary obstruction, or stomach obstruction. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Contrary to popular belief, pet birds not raised with other birds typically bond to their owners and are unlikely to want to live with another new bird. If you feel your bird is lonely or bored, first consider providing more enrichment in the form of safe toys and entertainment. If you decide you want to introduce another bird into your household, be sure you are ready to take on the work of caring for more than one bird and be certain to introduce him slowly. All new birds should be checked by a veterinarian before exposing the original bird to a new one, and the new bird should be quarantined in a separate, isolated room within the house for 30-45 days. Some birds never accept new birds in their territories. Consult your veterinarian if you are experiencing problems.

  • Itraconazole is given by mouth in the form of a capsule, tablet, or liquid to treat fungal infections in cats and for off label treatment in dogs and small mammals. The most common side effects are anorexia, vomiting, liver toxicity, skin lesions, or limb and vessel swelling. It should not be used in pets with liver disease or low stomach acid production, and used with caution in pregnant, lactating, or pets with heart disease. If a negative reaction occurs, call your veterinary office.

  • Ketoprofen is given by mouth or injection and is used on and off label to treat pain and inflammation in many animal species. Give this medication as directed by your veterinarian. Common side effects include gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it or other NSAIDS, in horses used for breeding, or in pets using other NSAIDs. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.