Your avian veterinarian should be one of the most important aspects in providing your bird with a long and healthy life. I highly recommend establishing a relationship with a veterinarian the first day you acquire your new bird. Additionally, all birds should be examined at least yearly by a veterinarian and I recommend regular lab screening as well. The lab screening will vary depending upon what the veterinarian feels is important but typically includes a fecal panel, complete organ panel, and a look at the red and white blood cells. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Birds are notorious for not showing signs of illness until they are critical and a good way to catch them in the early stages of any disease is with basic lab screening. Another benefit of lab screening is for the establishment of normal values for your individual bird. This becomes important when your bird is ill because we have those baseline values to compare the current results to. This allows your veterinarian to determine the longevity of the disease and also helps to allow them to focus on the changes that are of most importance. If I could do only one thing with this web site, it would be to enforce the importance of a good relationship with your veterinarian. Your bird will never get better care then by seeing someone who knows him/her and most importantly knows what is typical for your bird, both in behavior and laboratory results.

If you are in need of an avian vet, below is some useful information to assist you in locating and selecting an avian vet in your area. It is important to realize that while there may not be an avian vet as close to you as you would like, that is not an excuse to deprive your bird/s of the proper veterinary care they are entitled to have. Many of our members have to travel for hours (turning into day-trips) to visit their AV.

American Board of Veterinary Practitioners
Be sure to select Avian as the Practice Category. Members of the ABVP are board certified avian specialists.

Association of Avian Veterinarians
Membership to this organization is on a fee basis and does not necessarily mean that the vet is board certified. Regardless, there are some outstanding AV's that belong to this organization.

What is a Certified Avian Vet ?

This link is to a page on our main site that discusses how and what to look for when deciding on an avian vet. I want to place emphasis on the closing paragraph:

Finally, please make contact with a good avian vet long before you actually need him or her. Don't wait until your bird is ill to go shopping for a vet. This is not the time to waste time. Plus... established patients will always have preference, so become one with your vet before you may actually need him.

Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress