Bird Health

Our practice is well equipped to provide general health care for birds including beak and nail clipping, wing clipping, parasite control and general health management. Birds are managed in a stress free manner and general inhalation/gas anaesthesia is available for those patients that require immobilisation. We also offer treatment of sick or injured birds within the capability of the practice and are able to advise owners on awareness and care of their pets.


The gas/inhalation anaesthesia used on birds within the practice is isoflurane in combination with oxygen. Patients are anaesthetised using a gas mask and monitored closely while procedures to be performed are completed as quickly and efficiently as possible. This is done on a booking basis only. Sexing can be done on request by Dr Oswald Nel, who is also very involved in disease control and import/export of avian species between South Africa and other African countries. All birds coming in for routine procedures are given vitamin supplements and parasite control. Blood tests are available for certain avian diseases and will be advised by the vet if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is feather plucking normal?

Feather plucking is often stress related and may be as a result of poor environmental enrichment, nutrition or systemic illness. It is essential to seek veterinary advice as soon as possible as many of these causes are manageable when corrected timeously.

Should I be concerned if my bird is puffed up with closed eyes and open-mouth breathing?

This is the most common presentation for birds with respiratory illness and these patients should be taken to the vet immediately, Prognosis becomes more guarded the longer one waits and respiratory disease in birds is potentially life threatening.

Can I get sick from my bird?

Birds are often carriers of zoonoses, illnesses that can be passed on to humans. Although these illnesses are more likely to affect immunocompromised people such as the very young or old, pregnant women and HIV positive people,  all humans may be at risk and it is important to seek veterinary advice on whether your bird’s illness is a risk to you and your family.