Veterinarian Ann Arbor -Veterinary

As a veterinarian in Ann Arbor I try to treat all my patients equally although I must admit I have a special fondness for birds. As birds age the immune system weakens and is less able to fight off environmental pathogens such as gram negative bacteria. Early detection of these bacteria will make treatment easier and more successful in the older patient. Yearly cultures on healthy birds are important to establish a database of the normal flora for that bird. Finally, vaccinations are a good part of any preventative medicine program for young and old birds alike. Vaccinations are given to prevent contraction of usually a viral disease and hence remove that bird from the population as a potential carrier of that infectious organism. Environmental issues are also a concern for geriatric patients. Muscular-skeletal changes need to be considered when setting up a cage. If a bird has stiff, arthritic or deformed joints, these need to be considered when choosing the cage, perches, toys, playpens, food and water containers, and cage substrate. Environmental temperature may also play a role in a geriatric bird's comfort. Feather loss will greatly affect thermoregulation and should be considered when placing the cage in you home or making rapid changes in the house temperature. Nutrition is also a consideration when keeping geriatric patients healthy. Currently there is no information in the literature concerning the dietary needs of older birds. Follow the recommendations of your avian veterinarian for individual cases. Special diets are available for birds with organ failure such as liver and kidneys and for digestive problems associated with age and / or disease. I always recommend that people talk to a local Ann Arbor veterinarian before feeding these special diets.

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