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Attention To New Bird Owners - Semi Rant

Lady Jane

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I have written this again and again> Most important thing you can do before you bring a new bird home is to line up a vet, avian if possible. Even if this vet is hours away or in another town. There will come a time you will need this. Over and Over again people say We don't have a vet in this town or area. Why even consider bringing a bird home when you know there is no vet available or no money for vet care of you bird.

OK I said it again!!!
 

Lady Jane

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@Staff or mod please correct my title to read Semi rant. Thanks
 
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Skyandkiwi

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Yes that is true! I keep a sticky note with my avian vet phone number in my vet savings. Speaking of vet savings, it is also very important you are able to provide medical care before you bring a bird.
 

painesgrey

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"Avian vets nearby" was one of the first things I would search for when we were looking to move. Going from a suburban city of 35,000 to a no-stoplight town of <1,000 means that I was going to have far, far less resources in my immediate area. It was super important for me to know what vets were available and how far away they were. We have a fair few vets in a nearby town (~30 minutes away), but the closest exotic vet is an hour away.

If you're planning on moving, just like you would check schools for your kids and access to grocery stores and other necessities, do your research on the vets local to where you're looking to move. You absolutely need to have a plan for when/if things go south. Knowing exactly what you're going to do when/if your animal gets sick is a vital part of ownership. You should never wait until your animal is sick to start doing research on what vets you have access to. Get phone numbers and hours of various vets within a few hours' drive and keep them handy in case of emergency.
 

Lady Jane

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People tend to get the toys, cage, food and so called research on the computer about the bird they want. Are they ready? There is so much more to providing enrichment and understand of the avian world. What is it that makes people forget avian medical care? Wish we could have those members in this thread that are still in the preparation process to speak up.
 

taxidermynerd

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I remember a person coming here for advice in a 911 thread. They said they didn't have a vet near them. I pm'ed them to ask their location. Turns out they were not very far (30 minutes) from Niles (where Dr Sakas practiced). Of course I'm glad I was able to help out, but a simple Google search would have done the job.

I consider myself very lucky, my vet is phenomenal, and only 10 minutes from my house! The next closest vet is in Elmwood Park, a full hour-and-a-half away. We've made that drive before (they are also a 24/7 ER) but it's not ideal.
 

Shezbug

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I always find it odd, sad, disgusting, irresponsible (take your pick) that people can justify not taking a sick or injured bird to the vet as the vet is too far away..... if a human was in the middle of nowhere hiking or camping and hurt themselves a little bit or came down with an illness they would be doing everything they could ASAP to get to medical help regardless of distance and time- if you can not do the same thing for your helpless bird then I feel like you should not have one.
My vet is nearly 2 hours one way and half of the roads are really horrible run down country roads, my bird still gets vet care when needed same as I get Drs help when needed.
The other thing really bothering me at the moment regarding this cant go to the vet thing is hearing that the vet clinics are all closed because of Covid- we all have the virus in our countries and very few places (if any) have made the vet clinics close- most places I know and can think of are still offering animal medical care as it is classed as a necessary and essential service!
 

taxidermynerd

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Same here. I know my vet is doing curbside (with some exceptions). We even had to have Roxie hospitalized at one point (last time she had pancreatitis) and that was done curbside. And I know at least my vet will never turn away an emergency. I imagine it's much the same across the US (not sure about other countries).
 

clarousel

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I feel really fortunate that Singapore is small so I don't have to travel any longer than an hour away and there are two reliable vets I can go to. One is further out but it's just a more expensive cab trip (no pets allowed on public transport). It's difficult when you can't drive/don't have a car but I think there's always a way about it?

I admit I never thought of the possibility of vet trips when I got Preeno. It's definitely something people need to know about and consider before getting any animal!
 

mak

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Why even consider bringing a bird home when you know there is no vet available
Just for clarification purposes, are you suggesting that someone who lives in a place with no avian vet (not that they just didn't find one, but that there is not one) should not buy a bird? If the person is dedicated enough to be on AA and learn how to take care of their bird properly, should they rather not buy the bird and let it be bought by someone else in that place who will ALSO not have an avian vet to go to?
Also, I for one had no idea that there was even such a thing as an avian vet before I bought my first birds. I thought a vet is a vet. Does that mean that a person who didn't know they needed an avian vet before buying a bird should re-home their bird?
While it's definitely important to have an avian vet, those that come asking for help should not be made to feel bad because they didn't know how important it is or because they don't have access to one. If someone is in a situation of needing medical help, it will not do any good to tell them "well you should have done such and such."
Sorry for replying to a rant with a rant.
 

finchly

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While it's definitely important to have an avian vet, those that come asking for help should not be made to feel bad because they didn't know how important it is or because they don't have access to one. If someone is in a situation of needing medical help, it will not do any good to tell them "well you should have done such and such."
I don't think anyone here does that. Well, sometimes newer people do because they want to be noticed. But the ones who have been here longer just try to help.

Maybe by making this a post, we will help someone who's researching realize they need to look into avian care before getting their bird.

What bugs me is not that they don't have care -- it's when they SAY they don't have care or it's "too far" or it "costs too much." Then we say there's a vet an hour away, and they reply that's too far/costs too much/ can't get there for some reason.

There is ALWAYS a way to get a living creature taken care of. Yes it may mean driving further than you'd like. It might mean taking a carrier on public transport. It could mean changing your schedule or paying out money you were saving to buy a new sofa. If you don't have the funds, it could even mean giving up your pet to someone who can afford it.

And it might mean spending $200 at the vet on that budgie you bought your kid because --- you need to teach the kid how to properly care for things.
 

tka

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"Avian vets nearby" was one of the first things I would search for when we were looking to move. Going from a suburban city of 35,000 to a no-stoplight town of <1,000 means that I was going to have far, far less resources in my immediate area. It was super important for me to know what vets were available and how far away they were. We have a fair few vets in a nearby town (~30 minutes away), but the closest exotic vet is an hour away.

If you're planning on moving, just like you would check schools for your kids and access to grocery stores and other necessities, do your research on the vets local to where you're looking to move. You absolutely need to have a plan for when/if things go south. Knowing exactly what you're going to do when/if your animal gets sick is a vital part of ownership. You should never wait until your animal is sick to start doing research on what vets you have access to. Get phone numbers and hours of various vets within a few hours' drive and keep them handy in case of emergency.
This is exactly what I did. Happily, my workplace and one of the UK's leading exotic vet practices are fairly close to each other so it was a relatively easy decision to make. If it wasn't for Leia then I'd probably live somewhere cheaper but with a longer commute, but I want to a) maximise her time out of the cage which would be difficult with a 1hr+ commute each way (not unusual for London) and b) be close to an avian vet. So here I am, getting my bank account gouged on a monthly basis :)

I do think it's worth thinking about the huge changes in veterinary medicine over the past 80 years or so. Alfred Wight (better known under his pen-name of James Herriot) reflects a lot on this in his writing. When he trained in the 1930s, he was even taught about urban working horses. Much of his initial work was on farm animals - agricultural draft horses, cattle, pigs - and usually getting kicked about or generally mauled. Cats and dogs made up a relatively small proportion of the practice and exotics would be unheard of (despite parrots being kept in the UK). He documents the massive changes in the veterinary profession over fifty years - the introduction of sulfonamides, antibiotics and even more sophisticated treatments, the phasing out of draft horses in favour of machinary, and, crucially, the popularity of cats, dogs and small animals. I think we in the US, Canada and Europe sometimes forget that other countries have very different veterinary priorities and resources, and that not so long ago, we too would struggle to get vet care for even a cat.

That said, I do think there has to be some initial research on veterinary care when you're working out whether it's feasible to keep a bird. It's as important as working out what cage you should get or what you should feed. If you know that there isn't avian care in your region or that you'd struggle (or simply don't want) to pay vet bills, is it really responsible to get a bird?
 

mak

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What bugs me is not that they don't have care -- it's when they SAY they don't have care or it's "too far" or it "costs too much." Then we say there's a vet an hour away, and they reply that's too far/costs too much/ can't get there for some reason.
100%. I was only talking about when there is no avian vet. This is the case in some countries.
 

mak

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I think we in the US, Canada and Europe sometimes forget that other countries have very different veterinary priorities and resources, and that not so long ago, we too would struggle to get vet care for even a cat.
Exactly.
That said, I do think there has to be some initial research on veterinary care when you're working out whether it's feasible to keep a bird. It's as important as working out what cage you should get or what you should feed. If you know that there isn't avian care in your region or that you'd struggle (or simply don't want) to pay vet bills, is it really responsible to get a bird?
Again I must point out that even if there is no avian vet in the region / country doesn't mean there is no care. A regular vet can still provide much of the care necessary. Further more, there are still birds being bred and sold in these areas. Does it make sense for a caring person not to get one and leave it for someone less caring?
Obviously, cost of care is different and a bird owner must pay for care when needed.
 
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