Welcome to the Bird Wing

parrotIt isn’t hard to see why there are more birds kept in Australian households than dogs and cats. Available in such a wide range of sizes, shapes, colours and behaviours, from a single budgie to aviaries full of macaws, these winged creatures give us incredible joy.

Fortunately for our feathered friends the standard of care has improved dramatically in recent times. We now know a lot more about bird nutrition, behaviour and how to keep a wide variety of species in good health. At BBEVS we believe that birds deserve access to a high standard of veterinary care, just like dogs and cats.

Birds deal with disease and injury very differently to dogs and cats. Many bird species are seen as prey and even in the safe confines of our homes, will disguise any signs of illness or weakness. This means that by the time we notice they are unwell, disease can often be advanced. Please call us on (07 3217 3533) if you suspect your bird is unwell and also follow see below My Bird is Unwell for further information.

A cornerstone of maintaining wellness in birds is regular preventative health examinations. These examinations use a combination of physical examination and diagnostic testing to assess your pet for any early signs of disease, as early identification of disease provides the best chance of successful resolution. See Bird Health Examinations below.

We also recommend veterinary assessment of all new pets. This is important for early identification of abnormalities and is particularly relevant if you already own birds or exotic pets, as some diseases can spread rapidly from the new arrival to the other animals in your household. If you are new to bird or exotic pet ownership, this initial consultation will ensure that you start your ownership armed with the most up-to-date knowledge for that particular species.

We advise 6 monthly health examinations and during these visits we will also discuss your bird’s environment, diet and behaviour. Behavioural problems may require a longer appointment time so please make our reception staff aware of any issues when booking an appointment.

Your bird will receive a full physical examination, including crop and faecal examination. At this time we can also trim your bird’s nails and discuss wing trimming.

Direct worming can be performed where required.

Listed below are descriptions of common laboratory tests that are recommended and can be performed during the Bird Health Examination. Many of these tests may be recommended for diagnostic purposes if your bird ever becomes unwell and it is always ideal to have a ‘baseline’ or normal values for your pet to compare these to in times of illness.

Common Bird Tests

Test Type
How is the test performed?
What does the test show?
When is this test recommended?
Faecal examination
Microscope exam of the faeces Parasites
Bacterial levels
Yeast levels
All Birds
Crop or Oral examination
Microscope exam of crop or oral swabs Parasites
Bacterial levels
Yeast levels
All Birds
Gram stain
Specific bacterial stain of faeces and crop samples This test shows us the types of bacteria that are present and can guide us in choosing the best antibiotic Abnormal crop or faecal bacterial numbers
Culture and sensitivity
External laboratory test that grows bacteria or fungi in faeces, crop or other areas. This test identifies the exact bacteria, yeast or fungi as well as telling us which antibiotics will work to treat the infection Abnormal levels of bacteria, yeast, fungi.
Recurrent infections.
Blood sample Anaemia
All birds
Chlamydia (Psittacosis) testing
Blood sample Exposure to the infection Chlamydia All birds
Blood sample Liver function
Kidney function
Calcium levels
Blood sugar levels
Electrolyte levels
Some birds
Viral testing
Blood sample Beak and Feather Disease Some birds
DNA sexing
Blood sample Your bird’s sex Some birds

Signs of Illness in Birds

  • ‘Fluffed’ or huddled appearance
  • Sleepiness
  • Quietness or loss of voice
  • Changes to droppings – more watery, diarrhoea, changes in colour
  • Increased effort in breathing
  • Vomiting or regurgitation
  • Bleeding, swellings, wounds
  • Not using wings or legs
  • Abnormally long beak


  • Please call us on (07) 3217 3533 immediately.
  • Please note that we run by appointments. We endeavour to provide all our patients with an appointment time to avoid delays. Emergencies will be triaged by our experienced nursing staff when you arrive.
  • See Contact Us for further information on our opening hours and location. Outside of these hours contact the Animal Emergency Centre in (AES) Underwood on (07) 3423 1888.
  • Place the animal in a secure travel container (or regular cage if possible) and keep this covered to reduce stress levels in your pet.

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