Written by Karine, TaffyWduck
Vet care is one of the most important aspects of pet ownership. It often is what makes the difference between a good owner and a bad owner. When you take on the responsibility to care for any animal, you must be conscious of the importance of proper vet care for your pets.
Birds are no exception to the rule. Just because most of the popular pet birds are somewhat inexpensive (ie : 10$ for a budgie) it doesn't make them disposable. They feel, they get sick and they deserve to be helped if they need it, no matter how easy it is to replace it. It is true that avian vets are kind of rare and expensive, but face it: this is something you needed to ponder before you got the bird.
Birds are complex little critters and one of their particularities is that they hide their illnesses until they get so critical they don't have the strength to hide it. It's a defense mechanism, for in the wild a sick/injured bird will be abandoned by its flock and left for the predators to take "care" of. It doesn't make a difference how much your birds trust you, it is in their instinct to hide their symptoms and by the time they show that they are sick, it can all be over within 24 hours if they are denied the medical assistance they need.
Pet stores will try to sell you a bunch of over-the-counter medication to give to your bird. These are useless and even dangerous. Most of these remedies are weak antibiotics and they are more likely to either do no good at all (if your bird isn't affected by a bacterial/fungal infection) or worsen the problem (make the infectious agent even more resistant and harder to cure). Also, medication in the water is useless:
The bird is likely to stop drinking because the medication changes the taste and color of the water. This is very dangerous because it can cause dehydration.
You have no idea about the dose the bird gets, making it very dangerous for overdosing or for it not to get enough.
Would you wait to see if one of your kids was sick? Would you wait and see if you were sick? Probably not. Then why adopt that wait-and-see attitude when it comes to your bird, it will likely mean that your bird will die with horrible suffering... and just because you want to save a few bucks. Yes, vet care is expensive and yes, not everyone can afford it, but the thing is : if vet care is too expensive, do NOT get a bird, just wait until you have the money.