Accidents happen, fids get into things, fall, bounce off walls and fall down the sides of their cages. Actually, that's the short list. An active, playful parrot tends to get into everything and try most all things during a typical day. The odds of some birdy getting hurt or a bit banged up are there. That being said, the odds of the situation, almost any situation, not leading to panic mode can be raised by having a healthcare system in place.
A Parrot Healthcare System first consists of having an Avian Vet or Vet, if no Avian Specialists are in your area, as part of your Companion Parrot Lifestyle. It is far more cost efficient as well as stress reducing to have a yearly wellness checkup, with blood work history on record. It is FAR more cost efficient with NO stress at all to have that same Professional see your bird 3 or 4 times a year additionally for grooming services. By having your Avian Vet as an integral part of your Parrot's care visually and scientifically you and he/she are on the same page and fully aware of your parrot's health/personality/looks and tendencies. Your Vet is intimately aware of your bird. THAT will come in handy next time someone's blood feather breaks, or feather discoloration rears its head, or they start plucking, or they become morose or depressed. It shortens the investigative processes to find causes and cures if YOU AND YOUR VET ALREADY ESTABLISHED THE NORMS for your bird. I had to capitalize those words. They are important.
About twice a month I receive a text, email or private message asking me to help with a health question or concern for a fid. Of course, my answer begins with, get to the vet! But the majority of these inquiries lead to the same problem. They do not have a regular avian vet, and haven't been to one as of yet. I am NOT JUDGING here. I understand how expensive this process is, we have multiple parrots. I know the cost, because I pay the cost myself. But if you have a parrot, who is now at the bottom of the cage panting, quiet and not eating or drinking properly, and you've never had your baby to a vet; the process to cure will be longer and it may be too late for that process to take place.
If it is possible, and if it is within reason for you and your flock creating this Parrot Healthcare System is priceless both in cost efficiency and in YOUR stress levels going down and not spiking when something does go wrong. And it may.
If you do not have access to an Avian Vet/Vet easily and you are not in a situation that affords access if one is nearby; you can still take steps to help when something does go wrong, or a problem arises that forces a Vet visit. Start a Parrot Wellness Journal! A book that can be carried with you to a Vet's office that allows them to access simple baseline information quickly. Have the simple story of your parrot first; age, how long you have been a parront to this bird, and if possible where he/she came from to you.
After the general background add these:
- Get a kitchen scale or bird scale that measures weight in grams. Weigh your baby every week. Write that down. Weight and weight changes are a BIG part of diagnoses.
- Keep notes of food, food intake, water intake. Nothing fancy here, maybe take a half hour on the weekend to jot down what they have been eating, or what foods have changed, their water and liquid preferences and how they are doing in amounts.
- Take a photo of your baby twice a year; front and back. Visual clues come in feather formation and coloring. And changes can occur slowly and your photo library CAN be helpful!
- Fourth, this one will sound odd, but it is helpful. Take photos of your fids poop once a month. I know, it sounds a bit obsessive and odd. But changes and abnormalities are based on historical baselines. Examples over time can help!
This can be a journal on your computer, print it all out once a year, OR you can save it all online in a private Facebook page. No need sharing poop pictures. But it's accessible via a web browser by the vet at your discretion.
Our Parrot's health is OUR responsibility. And healthcare is OUR job to provide. It is my personal practice for Felix and his crew. It is my first line of defense, and I cannot begin to tell you the confidence and calm I have when little things do happen, and they do. Because waiting in the background is Dr. Zellner. And Dr. Z has seen and held and talked about my fids most likely just a few months ago. She has a history on file she can quickly read through. She has current and past blood work to reference for troubleshooting. Together she and I have Healthcare well in hand.
If you can, and you haven't as of yet, please consider taking your fid in for a yearly wellness checkup. And please consider allowing your Avian Vet to personally groom your fids for those touch stone visits that An Avian Vet appreciates. It helps them do their job even better. And if an Avian Vet/Vet is not within your means or location do start your Parrot Wellness Journal! It is a priceless book, and will only benefit your parrot's health and future. It costs nothing but your time.