do birds go to the vet

Just like dogs and cats, birds need regular wellness checks and vet visits to make sure they are healthy and happy. An excursion to the bird vet can be a lot for your avian friend, however, which is why the team at Dickinson Animal Hospital & Pet Wellness Center is here to give you some tips on making the trip as pleasant as possible for your favorite bird.

Question: I recently adopted my one-year-old budgie, Kipper, last week. Kipper doesn’t seem sick at all, but a friend of mine who owns dogs advised me to make an appointment to take him to the veterinarian. He is, in fact, a happy, typical Budgie who appears to be in excellent health. I really don’t want to have to take him in unless it’s absolutely necessary because vet visits can be costly. Since I’m a college student and on a tight budget, is my friend’s insistence that I take Kipper to the vet true, or is she just making things up? I know that her dogs need to get vaccinated annually, but birds don’t, so I find the whole thing kind of pointless.

Answer: Well done on adopting Kipper! Welcome to the amazing world of bird ownership! Budgies are really cute little birds, and you will have a lot of happy years with your new pet if you give them the care they need. The secret to this, though, is proper care! Your friend is dead correct that you should make an appointment for Kipper to see a veterinarian, and I’ll explain why. Finding a veterinary specialist for birds that you can trust and establishing a positive rapport with them should be your top priority as a new bird owner. As Kipper’s guardian, it is your responsibility to ensure that he receives the best medical care available in the event that he is harmed or falls ill. The best way to get off to a good start is to schedule a veterinary visit to have him examined. You never know; Kipper might now be exhibiting extremely subtle signs of a condition that only a qualified avian veterinarian could identify. Whenever you adopt a new bird, it’s a good idea to have a check-up done to make sure there aren’t any hidden issues. A bird’s natural ability to conceal signs of weakness when ill makes them highly vulnerable to predators; otherwise, they would undoubtedly become prey. Sadly, when it comes to captive birds, this defense mechanism actually works against us because it can make it more difficult to identify issues that need to be resolved. Although veterinary visits can be expensive, it’s possible that by scheduling Kipper’s examination now, you’ll end up saving a significant amount of money down the road. If Kipper really did have a disease or illness, treating it early would be less expensive than treating it later if the condition was allowed to worsen. Additionally, it would spare you the agony of realizing that, had you only taken him to the veterinarian earlier, you could have prevented him from getting so sick. As you can see, there are far more advantages to scheduling Kipper for a veterinary examination than there are drawbacks. You simply cannot put a price on that! Whether your bird gets sick or not, you should follow your friend’s advice and do this every year. It only makes sense to take every precaution to ensure that your bird is as healthy and happy as possible and that there are no health issues. There are numerous other ways to reduce bird care costs without compromising the health of your pets. Making use of your inventive and creative abilities will enable you to maintain Kipper’s welfare as your first concern. Contact your veterinarian right away if you think your pet may be ill. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian for any health-related queries, as they have examined your pet, are familiar with their medical history, and can offer the best advice.

Bird to Vet: How Do You Make the Trip?

Your bird will experience far less stress if you prepare it appropriately for your visit to the vet. Before your next visit to the veterinarian, make sure to do the following:

  • We advise bringing your bird in a carrier made for comfort and ventilation.
  • Make sure the bird carrier fits your bird properly and cannot be escaped!
  • Don’t bring toys or water.
  • Do bring used cage paper for the veterinarian to examine.
  • Snap a photo of the food bag your bird is using and bring a tiny sample.
  • Consider the weather. When the weather is chilly, wet, or extremely cold, bundle up the carrier and heat the vehicle.
  • While you drive to the clinic, cover the carrier to help your pet feel less anxious if they get nervous around new things. Once you’re in an examination room, be sure to take off the cover. Your bird will want to see where it’s landed! .
  • The carrier should be a familiar space for your bird. To teach them to enter and exit without fuss or concern, use their favorite treats.
  • Birds are frequently held in position for exams using towels. Speak with us about how to teach your bird to tolerate being covered in a towel!

When Should I Take My Bird to See the Vet?

Birds are experts at hiding pain and disease. They want no one to know that they’re sick, especially potential predators.

Some symptoms of possible illness to watch for:

  • Lethargic, not sitting on a perch, sleepy.
  • sitting on their cage’s bottom (they’re not sifting through pellets!)
  • Head tucked under a wing or droopy wings.
  • Continuous ruffling of feathers.
  • Picking at or preening feathers or not cleaning themselves.
  • Bald spots.
  • Poor balance or walking in circles.
  • Vocal changes.
  • Changes in its droppings, form, and color.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Changes in eating and drinking habits.

Your feathered friend is hiding its head under a wing. It’s not playing with toys, is listless, and not eating. These could be signs of serious illness. Call us immediately if you suspect your bird is sick.


Is it expensive to take a bird to the vet?

Birds require regular check-ups and potential medical treatments, just like any other pet. The cost for a basic vet visit can range from $50-$150, while more specialized care or emergency services may be more expensive.

What kind of vet takes care of birds?

An avian veterinarian is a veterinarian who specializes in treating birds.

Do birds need vaccines?

Vaccinations. A few vaccines are available for pet birds (notably polyomavirus vaccine), but most caged birds are not routinely vaccinated. If you have questions about the need to vaccinate your bird, you should discuss your concerns with your veterinarian.