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Our Small Animal Hospital Welcomes Small Pets For Wellness Exams

Dr. Doslov with two bird patients

Caring for a pet, especially a small one, entails a big responsibility. Small animal hospitals, like the Kennedy Heights Bird and Animal Hospital in Surrey, BC, understands that and we know all about small pets.  If you have a small pet like a rabbit or bird, it’s important that you schedule an annual wellness exam for him.  We can help make sure that your pet is in good condition and that any potential health problems are diagnosed and treated immediately.

For the Birds: What is a Wellness Exam for a Bird? 

Dogs and cats are usually taken to animal hospitals for an annual checkup. However, it’s even more important for birds to undergo regular examinations since birds will hide symptoms of disease and even the most observant bird owner may not notice a problem.

Sarah assists Dr. Schild in trimming a parrot’s wings

In the wild, a bird that looks sick is the first to be preyed upon, so that it is very instinctive for birds to hide any signs of disease and act normal as long as possible. By the time you can see that your bird looks sick, he has probably been ill for a lot longer.

Here’s what a bird examination entails:

  • History – We will ask you detailed questions about the bird’s environment and background. Many problems birds develop are directly related to diet, housing, ingested toxins such as metals and inhaled toxins in the environment such as cigarette smoke and use of Teflon frying pans. These small animals are very sensitive to air quality- birds in the vicinity of smoke from Teflon frying pans often die very quickly!
  • Physical examination – At the Kennedy Heights Animal and Bird Hospital we are experienced in the gentle, low stress handling of birds. Our doctor will examine body condition, eyes, ears, mouth, listen to the heart and lungs, check the abdomen (stomach area) for tumors or egg binding , examine wings, legs, nails, beak, feather quality
  •  Weight measurement – The bird’s weight is a crucial component in any bird examination, since it gives pertinent information about its health. We measure weight in grams and not ounces and so it’s easier for us to detect even the smallest of weight changes.
  • Examination of droppings – Since bird droppings are the urine and fecal components combined, our animal doctors examine the droppings carefully for clues to your birds health. The droppings can be analysed for bacteria and various parasites microscopically.
  • Blood tests – We are experienced in taking blood samples from birds when needed to determine the presence of certain diseases such as kidney and liver disease.
  • Other tests we can perform at our small animal hospital if needed during your pet bird’s exam are: microbiological testing, x-rays, and virus screening.

For the Mammals: What is a Wellness Exam for a Small Mammal?

Marcus is a 2 year old rat. He was wheezing, so we did a complete physical exam. This is a very common infection for these little guys to have.

Like birds, small mammals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, hedgehogs, sugar gliders, and ferrets also need a checkup at least once a year – even better is twice a year. Since most small mammals don’t live very long, it’s essential to find out if there’s something wrong with your little pet right away. As with other animals, early detection means the best prognosis for recovery.

Here are the components of a small mammal checkup:

  • Physical examination – The gentle and low stress handling of these small creatures is important. Our doctors and staff are very experienced in making these small pets feel as comfortable as possible while ensuring they get a thorough “nose to toes” checkup.
  • Blood tests – when needed, we are experienced in taking blood samples from small mammals to check internal organ function.
  • Fecal exam – Analysis of the feces under the microscope is done for the purpose of detecting presence of parasites.
  • Dental exam – small mammals have unique dental needs and unique dental problems, so a thorough evaluation of the teeth is important.
  • X-rays – we are able to take x-rays or all our small pets right at the hospital and have results very quickly.

For the Reptiles:  What is a Wellness Exam for a Reptile? 

Similar to birds and mammals, reptiles such also need to visit the vet at our small animal hospital at least once a year.

  • Physical evaluation – Our veterinarians will examine your reptile’s general appearance. We’ll also ask for an updated history regarding your pet’s diet, environment and behaviour, since most diseases of reptiles relate to their diet or housing. Your reptiles general condition, eyes, mouth, heart and lungs and limbs and abdomen will be checked.
  • Blood test – Reptiles can also undergo blood testing when needed.
  • Fecal analysis – Intestinal parasites are quite common in reptiles and our vets will examine your reptile’s feces microscopically to determine if there are any existing parasites inside his body like coccidia, or other protozoa and intestinal worms.
  • X-rays are often also often performed on reptiles for a number of reasons.

If your small pet is looking sick please bring him in immediately, they are delicate and can get worse quickly. However, it is best to bring your small pet in to our small animal hospital for a preventive annual health checkup.

Call us up and schedule an appointment at (604) 591-5304 or visit us at the At Kennedy Heights Bird and Animal Hospital at 8614 120th Street, Surrey (BC) V3W 3N6.

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