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Birds

  • When birds are ill, they will commonly develop a change in their droppings. While not usually specific for any one particular disease, a change in the color, frequency, volume, or character of droppings may indicate a problem that requires immediate veterinary attention.

  • African greys are vulnerable to both calcium and/or vitamin A deficiencies, as well as obesity. Feeding a well-balanced diet and making sure your parrot consumes the proper proportions of foods offered will help prevent the development of these conditions. Pellets are the ideal food for your pet African grey and should represent approximately 75-80% of your bird's diet. The remainder of the diet should be comprised of fresh fruits, vegetables, and a small amount of seed (if any).

  • African grey parrots are highly intelligent birds and are now commonly bred in captivity as pets. The African grey has a charming personality and is recognized as one of the best talkers among all pet parrots. It is important to keep these smart birds busy, as boredom can lead to problems, such as feather picking and screaming. African greys require regular, preventative veterinary health checkups.

  • Allopurinol is an oral medication typically used to prevent uric acid and calcium oxalate stones in dogs. It is also used off-label to treat leishmaniasis and gout in dogs and other species. Side effects are uncommon but may involve stomach upset. Caution must be taken when allopurinol is used in conjunction with certain other medications. It should not be used in pets with liver or kidney dysfunction or in red-tailed hawks.

  • Our knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving. This is due both to heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition and to increased research into birds different needs. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. Different species of birds often require different foods.

  • The colorful Amazon parrot (Amazona sp.) is one of the most common of all the pet parrots kept in captivity. They originate from Mexico, Central America, South America, and the adjacent islands of the West Indies.

  • Amitriptyline is used off label and given by mouth to treat behavioral and pain disorders in dogs, cats, and occasionally birds. Common side effects include sedation, dry mouth, constipation, and urinary retention. This medication should not be used in pets sensitive to TCAs, seizures, or pets currently using MOIs or flea collars. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Anorexia (a loss of appetite) and lethargy (a feeling of listlessness and general inactivity) are commonly seen in sick pet birds. While not diagnostic for any specific disease, these signs can indicate severe illness in a bird that requires immediate medical attention. Birds rarely get sick overnight. Usually birds are ill before pet owners notice outward signs of illness.

  • Aspergillosis is a fungal infection that commonly causes respiratory disease in pet birds. It can cause both upper (nose, sinuses, eye, and trachea) and lower (lungs and air sacs – a specialized part of the respiratory tract that birds have) respiratory problems or more broadly distributed systemic infections. Aspergillus is normally an environmental contaminant and is not contagious from bird to bird.

  • Azithromycin is given by mouth or injection and is used on and off-label to treat a variety of infections. Give as directed. Common side effects include stomach upset. Do not use in pets that are sensitive to macrolide antibiotics. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

Merivale Papanui Veterinary Clinic
375 Papanui Road 
Merivale, Christchurch 8052 

Phone: 03 3529279
Email: [email protected]



For all emergencies when we are not open please contact the 'After Hours Veterinary Clinic' on 033661052, cnr of Antigua and Disraeli streets, Christchurch.



Clinic Hours

Monday 8:00am – 7:00pm
Tuesday 8:00am – 7:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am – 7:00pm
Thursday 8:00am – 7:00pm
Friday 8:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 8:00am – 12:30pm
Sunday Closed