Avian Medical Requirements
At The Gabriel Foundation, the health of our feathered residents is a priority. We stress the importance of quality, life-long veterinary care. By nature, parrots mask their illnesses. Although medical testing results are not a guarantee that a bird is in good health, indicators of health problems may appear in test results prior to becoming a noticeable illness in your bird. To the best of our ability, we want to support and maintain the health of your current bird(s) and any you may adopt from us. We thank you for supporting this important protocol.
1. Please provide the Foundation with copies of birds’ veterinary records from your current or past veterinarian that indicate that birds in the home have been physically examined by a veterinarian with a special interest in avian medicine within the last 12 months and that are free of any signs of communicable disease.
2. If 36 months or more has passed since the bird’s last comprehensive wellness exam, TGF requires includes Comprehensive Wellness exam. This is a requirement for birds 5 years of age or older. Please include these lab results along with test results which indicate that all bird(s) in the home have tested negative for Chlamydophila psittaci (Psittacosis).
3. For flock testing protocol please discuss options for diagnostic testing for small birds, including lovebirds, cockatiels, budgerigars (parakeets), finches, canaries and diamond doves with your veterinarian.
4. The Gabriel Foundation strongly recommends DNA Gender testing unless a bird is sexually dimorphic, has a history of egg laying, or a DNA Gender Analysis is available.
5. You may be asked to provide documentation for “Old World” birds 25 years or older that the bird has tested negative for PBFD (Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease). Please note, this is NOT mandatory for all birds; but it may be important to rule out for Old World birds that came into the US prior to 1992 that have a 10 year plus history of feather destructive behavior.
Examples of “Old World” birds are Cockatoos, Eclectus, Lories, Ringnecks, Alexandrines, African Greys, Senegals, Red-bellies, Jardine’s, Meyers, Lovebirds, Budgies, Cockatiels & Vasas.
6. “New World” birds should have a visual assessment as part of their physical exam re. the presence of cloacal and/or choanal papillomas and those observations noted in the bird’s medical notes.
Examples of “New World” birds are Macaws, Amazons, Conures, Caiques, Pionus, Quakers & Parrotlets. These species’ lists are not comprehensive; please contact us if you do not see your bird’s species listed or if you have ANY related questions.
7. TGF does not require diagnostic testing for PDD or Avian Borna Virus, unless a bird presents symptomatically with established criteria of generally accepted indicators related to either viral disease.
At the 2013 Association of Avian Veterinarians Conference, TGF’s vet network consisting of local and national avian veterinarians met to determine the basic requirements for birds entering TGF, exiting TGF, and boarding at TGF. These requirements affect what diagnostic testing for existing birds is required by potential adopters. All participants agreed that testing and subsequent result interpretation can be nebulous. There are a few tests that should be done to serve as a baseline for health status of birds entering TGF.
Chlamydophilia testing is not black and white. In most cases, PCR is the test of choice but whatever method deemed appropriate by the bird’s veterinarian is reasonable. The result needs to be interpreted with the knowledge of the CBC results which is why a current CBC is required. Chemistries don’t speak as strongly to the suspicion of contagious disease and are required for birds other than budgerigars, lovebirds, cockatiels, finches, doves and pigeons.
A current physical exam is required for multiple reasons. First, it assures us that the current bird(s) in the household is being taken care of appropriately. It also provides further assurance that the current bird(s) appears healthy. It allows for the opportunity of further testing (for PBFD, Borna virus, Herpes virus, etc.) should the physical exam uncover any marked abnormalities. Depending upon the bird’s history and location, fecal testing may be required to make sure the bird is parasite free. Due to the size restriction of most samples, direct examination of the feces in a saline mount makes the most sense. In certain situations, flexibility is appropriate to batch test multiple individuals in a flock for Chlamydophila, or parasites.
These diagnostics are minimum requirements since the perfect screening regimen to catch all contagious diseases is not available at this time. If you or your veterinarian has questions about our medical requirements, please contact us. Flock health assessment for birds from diverse backgrounds is an important part of bird safety. For a faster response, submit your questions or concerns online at www.thegabrielfoundation.org/about/contact and select the General/Other drop down option. Thank you.
Julie Weiss Murad | CEO and President
The Gabriel Foundation Aviary & Adoption Center
39520 County Road 13, Elizabeth, CO 80107
T: 303.629.5900 x 214 ■ F: 303.646.1351
General questions: [email protected]