How to Choose an Avian Veterinarian
The most important advice that I can give you about choosing an avian veterinarian is to do it now. Don’t wait until your parakeet gets sick or injured before you try to find a vet.
Since parakeets hide their illnesses, if they do begin to look sick, you must immediately get them to an avian vet. For this reason, you should choose a vet that specializes in birds before you even bring your parakeet home. The following tips will help you choose an avian veterinarian that is right for you and your parakeet.
Ask for Recommendations
Ask other bird owners for recommendations on a good avian vet. Talk to your breeder, pet store, or your other pet’s vet about who they would recommend. Be sure you choose a vet that specializes in birds. You don’t want to show up at the vet’s office with a sick bird that needs immediate attention only to hear that they know nothing about birds.
Experience and Credentials
Ask your vet if they own any birds themselves. Is your vet a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians? The AAV’s objective is to advance and promoting avian medicine and stewardship and a good avian vet will be a member.
You can find out AAV member veterinarians here:
Choose an avian vet that is located near your home. You don’t want to be hours away in case of an emergency. What are their normal office hours? Are they open on Saturday? Do they have an emergency number you can call when they aren’t open? Do they make house calls?
If you have a choice of several vets, visit their offices and be prepared to ask questions. Can they handle emergencies? Is there more than one avian vet in the office? Can you see the other vets if yours is not available? Are the office employees friendly and courteous? Are appointments needed or do they take walk-in clients?
Carefully listen to how the vet answers your questions. Is he friendly and willing to talk? Or is he short with his answers and too busy to speak with you? Is the office clean and well managed? Does it smell?
Office visit costs are an important factor when choosing a vet. What are the normal office fees? Do they take credit cards? Will the vet be willing to work with you on payments if your parakeet needs a procedure or medicine that is expensive?
Being a Good Client
Choosing the right vet is only part your responsibility. Learn what is normal behavior for your parakeet and be able to recognize if there is something wrong. Try not to miss a scheduled appointment and always give plenty of notice if you must. Always be on time. If you have an emergency, call to see if the vet is available. If he’s not, ask for a referral to a near by hospital or emergency service.