Choosing a Veterinarian for your Cockatiel
Finding a good veterinarian for your cockatiel may be more difficult than you think. Unlike regular veterinarians that specialize in cats and dogs, finding one that understands birds could be hard. Usually you may have a few to pick from, so here is what you should ask before deciding on an avian vet.
The most important question should be their hours of operation. Cockatiels are prone to night frights, which is where they start to fly around their cage frantically. They may break their wings, beak, or blood feathers during the early hours of the morning. Most vets are only open until 6 PM and are then closed overnight. This could be potentially fatal for a bird emergency at 10PM. Always ask whether or not they respond to emergencies or have a clinic in the area that is open 24 hours a day for emergencies. Veterinarians are usually closed during the weekend, so try to have a back up in case of emergency.
Make sure that this veterinarian has worked with cockatiels previously and understands how their bodies work. They should be able to stop serious bleeding and be able to remove blood feathers if one becomes broken. If they just have basic training in avian care, then it is up to you whether or not to take your cockatiel there. Ask them whether or not they are up to date with their avian training as well.
It is best to ask how much their office visits and emergency visits cost upfront, so there are no surprises when a tragedy occurs. Finding good quality care can be rather expensive in certain areas of the country, so be prepared to dig deep into your pockets. Emergency visits can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the procedures involved. If your cockatiel needs to spend the night, expect a large bill for its care.
Always have an avian vet picked out before an emergency occurs. This will cause less stress for the owner and cockatiel. If you are frantically searching for a vet as your cockatiel is bleeding or struggling to breath it could become a problem. Check your local telephone book for listings of avian vets and ask your local pet store. It is also best to find other bird lovers in your area to see which vet they go to for emergencies. The best source is from other cockatiel and parrot owners because they have first hand experience with the vet.