Common problems of pet bird ownership
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Common Problems of Pet Bird Ownership. Shannon C. Kircher. Introduction. Veterinarian’s duty to educate owners about potential problems: - Health problems - Proper care - Exotic Pet Trade - Release of birds. Hypothesis. Feather plucking in caged birds

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Common Problems of Pet Bird Ownership

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Common problems of pet bird ownership

Common Problems of Pet Bird Ownership

Shannon C. Kircher


Introduction

Introduction

Veterinarian’s duty to educate owners

about potential problems:

- Health problems

- Proper care

- Exotic Pet Trade

- Release of birds


Hypothesis

Hypothesis

  • Feather plucking in caged birds

  • Abnormal behavior due to lack of enrichment

  • Beak abnormalities


Methods

Methods

  • Primary research at exotic animal hospital (case reviews)

  • …and literature review (reviews, primary research, surveys, discussions)


Results

Results

  • Most common owner-associated reasons for pet deaths

  • Most common health issues affecting pet birds.

  • Most common problems with patients seen at my hospital.


Owner associated deaths

Owner-associated deaths

  • Water deprivation

  • Unclipped wings

  • Toxic fumes

  • Trauma

  • Other animals

  • Toxic food/plants

  • Hand-feeding mishaps

  • Diseases caused by owners

  • Heat exposure

  • Sleeping with birds

Sources: Wissman 2006, McKechnie 2008, Veterinary Record 2008


Common pet health problems

Common pet health problems

  • Feather cysts

  • Baldness

  • Feather plucking

  • Mites

  • Pododermatitis

  • Psittacosis

  • Avian polyoma virus

  • Salmonellosis

  • Pox virus

Sources: Smeagal 2008, Faye 2008, Veterinary Record 2008


Clinic results

Clinic results


Top 5

TOP 5

  • 22 of feather plucking patients = behavioral

  • Giardia found in 10 birds (9 feather pluckers, 1 abnormal stool patient)

  • URI in 10 birds

  • Beak malformations in 6

  • Mites in 5


Discussion

Discussion

  • Hypothesis partially correct, but information was difficult to synthesize

  • Clinic results skewed, but showed owner-associated problems were uncommon (vitamin deficiency)

  • Owner-education important!!!


Thank you

Thank you…

  • Dr. Michael Samuels

  • Jody Lee


Sources

Sources

Faye, S. 2008. Foods and plants toxic to birds. AvianWeb.com. http://www.avianweb.com. Accessed 30 March 2008.

McKechnie, A.E. 2008. Phenotypic flexinility in basal metabolic rate and the changing view of avian physiological diversity: a review. Journal of Comparative Physiology. 178(3): 235-247.

Smeagal, L. 2008. Pet bird care: Common diseases and illnesses affecting pet birds. Helium.com. http://www.helium.com. Accessed 25 March 2008.

Wissman, M.A. 2006 Top ten bird killers. ExoticPetVet.net. http://www.exoticpetvet.net. Accessed 25 March 2008.

Veterinary Record. 2008. Birds. Journal of the British Veterinary Association 162(10): 297.


Questions

Questions?


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