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Avian Vets general observation

Discussion in 'Comment Court' started by Feathered up, 8/3/18.

  1. Feathered up

    Feathered up Sprinting down the street

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    I know I’m new here and don’t want to ruffle feathers but I noticed some comments in the emergency section and felt the need to point something out.

    While AV is the appropriate response to most true emergencies, there are many areas in the world where AV’s are not available at all or only occasionally. Even in the US there are areas that getting to a vet emergently requires purchasing a plane ticket.

    In my situation, a 3am emergency is never going to be handled by an AV as there isn’t one a reasonable distance away at that hour. Many vets in my area will NOT treat birds at all. The last bird emergency I had, a vet directed me to tractor supply for tylan.........it worked.

    It’s been my experience that when people come to a forum yelling help, they are looking for what to do to stabilize the animal for transport or until they have access to a vet or because they have no option for a vet. There are times that tossing a bird in a carrier and driving 75 miles will end up in a dead bird. Certain injuries and conditions require action or modifications BEFORE transport either to preserve heat or stop bleeding etc. So Avian Vet ASAP is rarely a complete answer.

    In areas where AVs are sparse, labwork tends to take a very long time (I’ve waited up to 10 days) and unless you’re dealing with an organism that is sensitive to the broad spectrum antibiotics generally prescribed on initial visit, you can easily have a bird that is beyond recovery by the time you know what you’re treating.

    Let’s also not forget that vetting has its own dangers. My friend’s CAG died from fright at a vets office. I do have a local AV available Mondays and Thursdays from 8-5 but she has managed to exanguinate two of my birds from bothched lab draws. They literally bled to death internally in my hands from bad lab draws. ( she did a jugular draw on a LOVEBIRD and then tried to tell me he crashed from fright. Necropsy confirmed he bled to death from the jugular stick) needless to say it would have to be truly life or death before I would take a bird there.

    The moral of that is just because google says there’s an AV x numbers of miles from someone, it won’t necessarily mean the bird is safe with that vet.

    I just want to be sure that people take into consideration the considerable amount of care that most people on forums put into their birds and that it stands to reason they are willing to supply the best care they can for their fids. It’s very disheartening when I see people chastised for asking what care they can provide themselves either because a vet isn’t available or won’t be available for days.

    I do like to encourage people with no vet access to seriously research diseases and the treatments and medication dosages as well as holistic alternatives and stock up on supplies and meds for common emergencies.

    Yes, it’s best to use a good vet but sometimes in the interim, we on the forums are all people have to ask for help to save their companions.
     
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  2. Born Free

    Born Free Checking out the neighborhood

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    Even if you live in a large city with multiple avian veterinarians in the area, they won't be available for after hour emergencies. Most 24 hour emergency clinics don't employ avian veterinarians and won't accept birds (because they are unskilled handling birds and simply don't have avian medical knowledge). If a non-avian veterinarian agrees to see your bird, be cautious and use discretion. However, unfortunately, too often people try to acquire online or forum "do-it-yourself" medical advice, even if they have an avian veterinarian nearby and the medical problem occured during office hours to avoid the medical treatment costs and/or a long drive. Sadly, this is common. As lay people, we can misdiagnose and make things worse or kill our birds. Treating your birds yourself can be deadly or cause serious injury.

    On the other hand, anyone who has birds should be educated and know what to do if an emergency occurs to keep the bird stabilized until they can get their bird to an avian veterinarian. If your bird is showing signs of illness, don't wait. Our birds require regular check ups with an avian veterinarian anyway, so it's good to create a relationship with an avian veterinarian even if he/she is a distance away.
     
  3. painesgrey

    painesgrey Rollerblading along the road

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    I agree that forums can be a valuable resource, and it's important to give people the information they need to better understand and care for their birds.

    However, the internet - whether forums, or Google - is still not a viable substitute for proper medical care. In-person physical examinations and tests are absolutely necessary in order to provide the best care for an ailing patient.

    People can most assuredly throw out random differentials and what they think the issue may be, but without tests there's no way to be certain. Without a confirmed diagnosis, recommending proper treatment is a shot in the dark and can do more harm than good. For a bird that's in pain, the go-to medication is typically Meloxicam, which is an NSAID. NSAIDs can often be hard on the kidneys, so many vets (in my experience) will do a blood test to confirm proper kidney function prior to prescribing it.

    But on the internet, people recommend using Meloxicam without considering a bird's kidney function. If you give an NSAID to a bird that has compromised kidney function, what good are you doing? You may be helping the pain, but you're putting them into renal failure by doing so. Then you have yet another problem on your hands.

    Medicine, and certainly avian medicine, is a nuanced science. It takes upwards of a decade for someone to be considered an avian vet, and that's not expertise an hour on google is going to replace.

    Are all avian vets good at their job? Certainly not. However, it's important that people understand their intellectual value in dealing with their birds. Don't discredit their years of expertise, but also don't hesitate to get a second opinion.

     
    Last edited: 8/3/18
  4. rocky'smom

    rocky'smom Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    First off more then 90% of us are not veterinarians. The best advice we can give is: See a avian vet or go to the nearest ER vet in the area. Sorry if this seems like 'pat' answer but it's the BEST answer we can give.
    And the vet you went to botched jugular blood draw, twice, time to find a different vet now.
    As far holistic medicine, only a qualified person in holistic medicine can give that advice.
    The best advice I can give any person coming here in emergency situations, is set up hospital cage, keep the bird warm, give fluids and beat feet to the nearest avian vet or Emergency Veterinarian.
     
  5. finchly

    finchly Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Vendor

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    I agree with your point, @Feathered up . Add to that having "littles" (finches and canaries) and no vet wants to see them at all. I do a lot of medicating at home -- if I know what the problem is. Or if I can make a fairly well educated guess. I often take samples to the vet and just get the lab results and then treat. I use a lot of herbal remedies and teas, too.

    Hubby and I were just on this topic yesterday. We were on the fence about taking one of ours to the vet. Do we? Don't we? He's usually the one who goes along with doctors/traditional medicine. However, he said "The vets really haven't done us any favors, have they?"

    Seriously. The last 3 times we've taken care of it ourselves and everything was fine. This time we decided once again to take care of her ourselves, and we did. We took Capt Jack in a couple months ago to the tune of about $200 and they didn't resolve the problem. I kept going over the symptoms and where he came from and thinking "I know what this is" and finally medicated him for 7 days and -- voila! He's all better.

    The last 3 we've taken to the vet, they threw antibiotics at them, in one case I am absolutely sure they diagnosed him wrong. That one died. I was already writing an avian book but I ramped up my studies of diseases, medicine, and diet at that point.

    *BUT* I hesitate to make suggestions on this board that I KNOW will work because of getting beat down. Worse yet, if the person asks and I answer with a correct response and 6 people jump in saying don't do it, that's not right etc. ---- they're not going to take the advice. It's sort of a waste of my time to look up dosages, type it all out and then nobody wanted to hear it anyway.
     
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  6. Dona

    Dona Jogging around the block

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    I was so happy to find an avian vet that has littles (canaries and budgies) of her own when I got my little linnie. I don't know if it's true, but my feeling is that AVs really like treating the big birds.
     
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  7. SandraK

    SandraK Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    The biggest problem I see in the "help my bird" section is that avian vets are hard to find here in the U.S. Overseas the chances of finding one are slim to none so sometimes the best we can do, as members on AA, is provide information about what products bought at a pharmacy may be used to help treat a bird's injuries.

    No, we're not vets, not by a long shot but any help or suggestions for someone who has nothing else to rely on is better than nothing. Because there are medications that are fine for humans but not good to use on birds and sharing that information helps also.

    The bird in this post flew into the house through a kitchen window which would be a clue that it wasn't in the U.S. since most windows here have screens. Toe injuries, for the most part, aren't deadly but do have to be washed clean and watched for signs of infection. If your bird is dripping blood that is obviously a problem which cannot be ignored but without a vet, all we can do is suggest how to stop the bleeding and/or treat a possible infection with the understanding that we are offering advice but are not medically trained in any way, shape or form.
     
  8. Lady Jane

    Lady Jane Joyriding the Neighborhood Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Before a person even takes a bird into their life I recommend they check to see if there is a bird treating vet within reasonable driving distance. If there is not there are two choices. Self education in avian emergencies or do not get the bird.
     
  9. Brittany0208

    Brittany0208 Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Even though there are 4 avian vets in my area, I don't feel confident with two of them treating my bird. Java has been to two different AVs in the last few months and neither of them knew how to handle or treat my bird. When I brought him in, the vet looks at me like I brought in an alien, telling me they've never seen a Vasa or treated one. So that leads me to believe that they do a quick Google search and go on that. The first vet didn't want to handle him and the second vet said he gases birds that he can't fit in his palm so he doesn't get bit. Over a short period of time, I've lost a lot of trust and confidence in my vets. Both vets had to know where I got him, how I got him. At this point, I'd rather keep him out of the vet's hands unless absolutely necessary. AA has been very helpful in teaching me how to care for him and make him more comfortable without having to trek to the clinic and hope the vet is comfortable with handling him
     
    Last edited: 8/3/18
  10. SandraK

    SandraK Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    The OP in the other tread is trying to get information about an avian emergency. The bird in question was not purchased, it flew into his kitchen and has a wounded toe. You know that the majority of the vets in the States are the cat & dog vets, not avian. The reality is that the few avian vets around are not exactly next door when it comes to distance and most do not offer emergency care 24/7. Plus, my guess would be that most of the information available on the internet is in English which means translations would be necessary. Which creates another problem as in "lost in translation".

    Based on your first sentence a good 99% of the world shouldn't have any type of pet at all, let alone a bird.
     
    Last edited: 8/3/18
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  11. Hankmacaw

    Hankmacaw Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    One of the best vets I have taken my birds to was a Dog and Cat vet, but she was experienced with the care of lots of parrots and would not hesitate a second to get on the phone and consult with a bird vet. I say this to point out that vets are individuals - some great, some mediocre and some a total disaster. The only two vets that I have had problems with were Diplomates of Avian Medicine and they were caca-poopoo.

    My dog and cat vet recommended the vet that I have been with now for twenty years, because my Hank had become so ill that his care was beyond her knowledge. He had long term chronic Aspergillosis when I bought him. Jasper was given to me and at 6 yo she had severe congestive heart failure. I'm lucky, I got two of the sickest birds in the world. They have both had numerous serious illnesses and infections, because of their chronic conditions. I have been told three times for each bird that they probably wouldn't make it through their current crisis. My vet pulled them through. Hank died after 15 years from carcinoid thyroid cancer. Jasper is still alive and religiously goes to the vet every 6 months. She has not had a crisis for a couple of years, but she takes lots of meds, is on a special diet and requires constant nursing. I traveled all over the US with my two birds in my RV and before I'd leave on a trip I would get a list of vets recommended by my vet, or call him and ask for a recommendation when needed.

    I often joke that although I've paid for a vet degree, I don't have one. I have learned a lot in the last twenty years, plus one of my degrees was in microbiology and I worked as a medical technician for a few years - a long time ago. When I give medical advise it's on a pretty low level and I always check my facts before posting advice. Ninety percent of the time I post the substantiation for any advise or information I give.

    One can always come up with a "what if this happens or what if the bird also has that and that med might hurt them", but when the rubber hits the road and a bird is sick/dying, or there just isn't any possibility of a vet I will give my very best to that bird. Like @SandraK said, there are places in this great big world that there are no medical facilities for people let alone a parrot. I've been to some of these places and the people don't love their bird any less than we do in the civilized countries. There are numerous over the counter human meds that can be used for birds - I know a few of them because I live 100 miles from my vet and can't just pop down the street to him
    when something is going on.

    A couple of things you can do to protect your bird with a new vet is, stay with your bird at all times, ask questions/demand answers, and watch the vet closely. Educate yourself, educate yourself, educate yourself - know what a vet should and shouldn't do and don't hesitate to speak up if something is going on that you know is wrong. Don't be afraid to ask for tests that you feel are needed or ask why they aren't performing certain tests. Educate yourself, educate yourself on what to do and what to have on hand if there is an emergency trauma or illness. Your bird can't speak, so you must speak for them.


     
  12. SandraK

    SandraK Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Unfortunately, some diplomas aren't worth using as wallpaper in a bathroom. And I am hesitant to give any type of advice about treatment since I have no veterinary background and birds, like people, may have allergic reactions to some medication.
     
  13. Lady Jane

    Lady Jane Joyriding the Neighborhood Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Excellent post @Hankmacaw I so appreciate you and I am sure others do also. Jasper says thank you for taking care of me!
     
  14. Feathered up

    Feathered up Sprinting down the street

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    I agree with you both. A vet visit should be the ultimate goal in any case a bird needs medical attention. And yes, Google can be quite wrong.

    Even administering meds to a bird can be risky if you are administering dosage by beak to an unwilling fid, the risk of aspiration is great.

    Some of you understood the point of the post. The point was not to say we should offer medical advice. Or pretend to be vets. The point was that perhaps we should ask if a vet is available at all. If not, there ARE reliable sources of information that we can point them to or share what we did when this happened to us or just say, oh I’m so sorry and offer moral support.

    I’m not going to re-home or not have my birds because my DH got a great job offer in a rural area. So I can’t get on board with the statement regarding vet availability being a pre req for ownership. I do however advocate people knowing the expense involved in owning certain animals and ask if they are financially prepared for the care and vet bills.

    That said, I’m only suggesting we not be quick to judge if a vet doesn’t seem an option or if someone says it will be x number of days before a vet is available.

    And @rocky’smom I think it’s pretty clear from my OP that I stopped using that vet. I drive 2 1/2 hours to one that I like pretty well now when I need to. There is not an animal ER within 80 miles of me that will see any avian species. And that’s pretty much the rule, not the acception. Many have stopped taking birds below a certain size as well. As owners, it’s becoming more and more important that we educate ourselves as best as possible.

    I understand people being uncomfortable giving actual medical advice. That is very different from disparaging the people who don’t have access.
     
  15. finchly

    finchly Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Vendor

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    Yep.

    And I think once we realize they don't have access, multiple "Take him to the vet" posts are unhelpful. In the US everyone assumes vets are around but if they're in another country that might not be the case.

    OTOH we DO want them to take it to a vet.... if at all possible. Not just "oh, I can't take him because I really don't want to drop $200 on my bird that might die anyway." You know?
     
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  16. SandraK

    SandraK Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    In a perfect world, taking a pet to the vet would be as easy as a person being able to go to the doctor, however it isn't that easy for people either.
     
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  17. TikiMyn

    TikiMyn Biking along the boulevard Avenue Spotlight Award

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    I have been Reading Some books about herbs and their uses, do you have any recommendations?:) I think uit knowledge would be very valuable!
    Especially to people here who might not have an AV in their area.

    I agree that a vet is not always possible, but in a lot of cases is desirable of course. When my cockatiels situation was critical I called my AV over 20 times but Didn’t get an answer. I don’t know what the problem was, I had other people call for me as well in case it was a problem with my phone, but she didn’t answer them either. Now my cockatiel had a problem with his lungs, likely a seed stuck, but still @Hjarta5 posted how to reanimate a bird a while back and that might have saved him if I would have been able to suck the seed out. I didn’t know the avenue back then but a suggestion like that *might* have saved his life.
     
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