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Old 05-08-2017, 09:12 AM
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First vet check, nervous mom

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So I got Bowie on 4/15 and decided to take him/her to the vet to get a check up and make sure that everything is 100% okay. The appointment is for this upcoming Saturday. It's $65 for a check up which I don't mind, and they told me that sexing will be included in the visit so that was pretty awesome to me! I'm really excited to find out, but I'm also really nervous because I don't know how it will go.

He has been doing really well with me, step up training has been mastered and loves to be with me to hang out. I haven't had any strangers try to handle him because he still does have a bad biting habit that has been getting better but don't want to risk it yet. He will step up on my finger and perch there for awhile, comfortable with where he is. I've never tried to actually grip & hold him in my hand, I've only ever let him step up. I'm expecting that the vet will need to really handle him in order to examine him which makes me nervous.

It makes me question, is this going to back track any of my progress? Will this cause a fear of hands? Will this cause him to lose some trust with me? I'm prepared to regain it if I need to, I'm just a new parront and trying to know what to expect, although I know that all birds are different. I'm not sure if they sex by feather pluck or blood test though which (I HATE needles) even makes me nervous even though I'm not the one getting it, lol. I just don't want him to experience any pain if bloodtest is the way they find out gender. :[

I know I'm making the best decision, he came from a pet store that didn't handle him much so I just want to make sure that he is as healthy as can be. I guess I'm just looking for a bit of comfort, what was it like taking your bird to the vet for the first time? Thanks in advanced!
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:38 AM
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Re: First vet check, nervous mom

I'm not very familiar with conures, but I'm guessing Bowie will be forgiving of the vet experience. Within a day or so, worst case scenario!

Will Bowie be seeing an avian certified vet? This is important because the knowledge and skills required differs considerably from that of the typical mammal practice. It all begins with the vet-tech taking a history and measuring weight. Avian practices generally have at least one tech well versed with feathered patients.

A baseline blood-panel is invaluable at the first visit. Blood is generally taken from a nail or vein, and a single draw is typically sufficient for most exams. Depending on whether Bowie has specific symptoms and/or your desire to be thorough, various cultures may be suggested.

Avian vets are typically adept at handling, particularly smaller parrots that do not pose lethal beaks.

Good luck, let us know your impressions of the visit!!
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:48 AM
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Re: First vet check, nervous mom

Always Scott to the rescue with my every question! :P I appreciate all of your quick responses to all of my questions, so thank you again!

I did a bit of looking around, at ratings and reviews on all avian vets near me. I picked one that has been servicing odd and exotic pets (birds, reptiles, etc.) for 16 years and they have great reviews, so I believe that my Bowie will be in good hands.

Thanks for putting me more at ease with the blood drawing, it's good to know that they don't need a lot and won't cause much discomfort. I know they will be able to handle Bowie, it's just him being frightened that I'm worried about. I'm sure you're right though, that he will be forgiving. :]
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:48 AM
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Re: First vet check, nervous mom

Please remember that Parrots are all very good at reading our emotions and if you are nervous, they will be. Your goal is to be the Loving Human that saves your little sweetheart from those Vet people. Open arms and lots of love!

Last edited by SailBoat; 05-08-2017 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:55 AM
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Re: First vet check, nervous mom

If you can start today, playing a little bit with bowie and a clean washcloth or small towel when you have your intimate times, he might be less stressed when they towel him to take blood. Always a good idea to have your parrot desensitized to toweling. Salty and I play peek-a-boo with him on his back, almost every nite, and our vet calls him amazon lite, and last visit didn't even bother to use a towel. Even after this vet visit, keep up playing with Bowie and a small cloth or towel.
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Old 05-08-2017, 01:39 PM
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Re: First vet check, nervous mom

thank you for the great tip, wrench!
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Old 05-08-2017, 02:23 PM
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Re: First vet check, nervous mom

Bumble had her first visit when I brought her home in mid-April. I chose a Certified Avian Vet in my area based on the recommendations here. The cost was similar to the local bird-experienced but not certified vet that also came highly recommended, but who had an extremely unprofessional receptionist (who also didn't know what "Certified" meant). I found that her telling me how funny the numbers 420 and 69 are a little off-putting (whether I agree with her or not).

Anyway. The tech and the vet were both much more comfortable handling Bumble than I was at that point, so their lack of stress probably made Bumble calmer. They weighed her on a gram scale, listened to her heart, looked at her, checked her ears, and told me how super cute she is. They didn't towel her when I was with her, but she was well-tamed by the breeder and she has a tiny beak that's less formidable than a conure's.

They took her into the back without me to do her blood draw - probably because parronts are worse than patients LOL - I know it's true with my dogs! I was perfectly happy not to watch.

I was there for a ridiculous amount of time (2 hours and not much of it waiting around). This particular vet was very thorough in giving me information on housing, lighting, diet, enrichment, toys to avoid and/or modify for safety, developing a "buddy" relationship rather than a "mate" relationship, showed me how to target train, etc. The great news is that because of being part of this forum, she wasn't telling me anything new - only confirming that Sailboat, Scott, Birdman666, SilverSage and the others really know their parrots!

Hope this helps



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Old 05-08-2017, 02:55 PM
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Re: First vet check, nervous mom

Thank you Inger for sharing you & Bumbles experience for going the first time! How weird with the receptionist... but I'm glad the experience went uphill rather than down once it came to the actual vet.

That's really reassuring that they could handle your bird so well, being well trained for the job obviously. Trust me, I definitely the description of being worse than the patient when it comes to needles or bloodwork lol! I don't think any of us want to stand by to watch our little babies get that stuff done, but it is necessary. :]

Two hours is quite a long time, but at least it sounds like you definitely got your money's worth! Thank you for helping to calm me, I'm a little more excited about Saturday now to hear how healthy and what gender my little one is.
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:28 PM
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Re: First vet check, nervous mom

Yeah I have to drive almost 2 hours to see a good Avian vet. It is a pain yet it is worth it. My sprinkles has been 2 times now and he was sick when I first got him. He is getting better but still has a little yeast infection. Over all the visits were good and My bird was a good boy and did not put up a fight or freak out when handled.

I am sure your bird will be fine. Good luck let us know how it goes.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:02 PM
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Re: First vet check, nervous mom

Yeah with young parrots you will be lucky to just have the initial visit and not see your vet for a long tine. Youngsters will fall, smack their heads, bend or break feathers, get scrapes and cuts just like a human kid will. And they do get sick sometimes, Good to have a well trained and competent vet to go to. Saltys been to his vet 4 times so far and he is not yet 2 yrs old. But he is more confident now , falls less, and in general seems less of the rowdy youngster. As far as taking blood, I watched, parrots have a bare spot, devoid of feathers, at the base of their neck, so thats where they draw the blood from, usually.
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