The family pet bird can require a visit to the vets just like dogs and cats. While we occasionally refer clients to see a bird specialist in general your local vet can diagnose and where possible treat the common bird health problems. One very treatable disease we see in budgies is a mite infestation causing a crusty dermatitis of the beak, face and feet, known as “scaly face mite”. More serious is that budgies are also known to develop various types of cancer. A cancer affecting the kidneys can cause lameness that owners can mistake for a sore leg. If budgies are incorrectly fed an all-seed diet they may develop Fatty Liver Disease, a problem that can be fatal. Cockatiels are also prone to this problem and both species should receive at least 50% of their diet as vegetables.
Spring is here and so is cat breeding season again. This not only means litters of stray and abandoned kittens but also a rise in neighbourhood cats fighting. While a cat bite abscess may improve with a visit to the vet and a course of antibiotics, unfortunately the viral diseases associated with fighting may be with your cat for life. One of these is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), also known as Feline Aids. FIV affects the immune system causing fever, weight loss, oral disease and chronic infections over months or years. Cat owners should discuss with their vet if extra FIV vaccinations are a good idea for their cat. This is also the time to ensure both male and female cats have been desexed.
Have you noticed that your pet has smelly breath? This month is “Pet Dental Month” with the aim to highlight one of the most common medical complaints in both dogs and cats. All pets should receive a thorough dental exam with their annual health check up and vaccination. Just like us, pets can suffer from a build up of plaque and tartar on their teeth. This causes bad breath and red inflamed gums, known as gingivitis. Diet, genetics and poor teeth alignment in some breeds are important risk factors for dental disease. A dry food diet, regular raw meaty bones and dental chew products are ideal for good oral health. At the early signs of dental disease your vet will recommend that your pets teeth are scaled clean and polished under a general anaesthetic.