Misstreatment at vets?

by tiffany

Today I took my new cockatiel to the vet, yesterday he had gotten out of his cage and flew into a couple walls and I was very concerned for his well being. The first thing I did was call them and set an appointment for the earliest time they had (they were recommended to me from where I purchased the bird). I told him about how he got out and the fact that his wings weren't clipped like I thought and that he wasn't hand tamed so he wasn't used to people.

He then proceeded to SHOVE a paper towel covered hand into my birds face, causing him to panic and crash around in his cage. He then let my bird fly FACE FIRST into the walls, monitor, solid wood door, and about 3 other surfaces (at one point he even ended up doing a flip over his own cage.) and he also crashed to the floor twice. All the while the vet was standing there saying "Oh he is a wild one and this is just what they do, he is in panic mode and he is trying to escape, this is just what they do"

Then he picked my bird up and the poor guy was SCREAMING louder then I have ever heard (even when I had picked him up the night before he wasn't as loud) and held him like a football upside down in one hand. He was also poking and prodding him which I’m just hoping was part of the exam. The vet then stuck a camera into my little bird to see if he was healthy, he said something about the color (I could hardly hear him because my bird was screaming all the while) and all I actually heard was "well ma’am your bird is healthy, do you want his wings clipped?"

I told him I did and while I waited for him to come back with my bird I was preparing to ask him some questions about cockatiel care, and when the nurse came back to put my baby away, I was so distraught and surprised that he wasn't coming back that I didn't even notice the fact that there had been no fecal exam, no checking of weight, not even a look at the small cut on his face from the night before. The most examining he did was with the camera but other than that he did no other things that I had read about and expected from an avian exam.

In the end it cost me 73 bucks to have my bird get panicked and sore, get his wings clipped, and for me to lose ALL of the trust I had gained with my little boy. (He was starting to eat out of my hand, and now he doesn't even like it when I sit next to his cage) and for all I know he could still very well be injured. Is this a typical exam or is he really a bad vet?

Comments for Misstreatment at vets?

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Apr 01, 2012
Bad experience at vet office
by: The Avian Vet

Head trauma cases should be seen immediately, not made to wait until an appointment is available. It sounds like your bird really is not tame, not did he have the right wing clip if he was flying like that after he was supposedly clipped.

While it is true that birds occasional do this, it is also possible to handle them with less stress and prevent most of this thrashing. It is also possible to capture and restrain a bird without it escaping. The more experience a veterinarian has with handling such birds, the better the outcome. Even the most experienced handlers can sometimes have problems, too. I do not know what qualifications this veterinarian has, however, with birds, and I cannot comment on whether this was mishandling or whether this was just a bad moment for everyone. Some birds are much more difficult to handle but again, experienced handlers tend not to have this many problems.

What was the purpose of the camera? Restraining birds should be done with the most comfortable possible. Birds do not like to lay on their back, but part of an exam it may be necessary, but he should not be kept on his back the entire time. Poking and prodding may be a ‘bad’ way to describe it, but an exam may require palpations or insertions. A simple exam is not enough to be able to declare a bird healthy.

Are you sure this was an experienced avian veterinarian? Why was the bird taken out of the room? What was the camera for? What did it show?

This is not a typical visit with an experienced avian veterinarian.

Dr B
Find an Avian Vet

Apr 01, 2012
Misstreatment at vets?
by: Linda

YES, this is a very bad avian vet, and I'm SO sorry you and your bird were subjected to this troll!

Find another avian vet for any future visits, and you are correct in that this one did nothing worthwhile here. Your bird could be hurt from flying into the wall, and he could have an infection which is common with new birds. All this barbarian did was to set you back months on regaining your bird's trust.

I wish I could say all avian vets care about birds, and I cannot say that. Some of them are in it for the money and actually care very little for the birds. They have to go to extra years of school to be licensed to diagnose and treat exotics, and they do this with money on their minds not a bird's welfare. I suggest you call your local Better Business Bureau and file a complaint about this avian vet. Most businesses have to be members and pay yearly dues, so hopefully this one is a member. You can also report them to the Avian Vet Board, and you should be able to find a listing for this in phonebook or information. Find another avian vet to see if your little bird has an infection or damage from flying into the wall and for all future needs.

The best test for bacterial infections is called a "throat swab". They take a q-tip and swab bird's throat gently while he is being gently held by being held wrapped in a towel. The throat swab is more accurate than the anal swab. Also have some basic bloodwork done to test for viral infections and/or any problems with organs.

Give your bird time to get over this attack before taking him to another vet, but don't wait too long because he may need medical services sooner than later.

Again, I'm very sorry this happened to you both, and I apologize for the behavior of this very arrogant, uncaring avian vet. Hopefully, they won't stay in busines very long.

By the way, I am NOT an Avian Vet, but have worked with and studied birds AND Avian Vets for most of my long life all across the country. I've been to bad avian vets, and they never see me again. You will find an avian vet who actually loves your bird and all birds and animals, and you'll put this bad experience behind you.

We are always here for you so write in anytime you have a question or want to tell us how your bird is doing. You are welcome to our little family, and we hope you find a good avian vet who will be respectful of both you and your bird in future.

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