If you are planning to adopt an Eclectus parrot, you need to have an avian veterinarian lined up before you do so. An avian veterinarian is a veterinarian trained and experienced at caring for birds. Some avian vets specialize in certain birds, and others will care for all breeds.
Unfortunately, a veterinarian can refer to himself as an avian veterinarian, but that doesn’t mean that he is a certified avian veterinarian. Certification can only be obtained through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Just four years ago, in 2004, there were only 102 certified avian veterinarians around the world. Certification requires six years of a large amount of avian practice, as well as a series of examinations.
This doesn’t mean that a non-certified veterinarian cannot care for your Eclectus parrot. You should, however, seek out a veterinarian who is in the process of becoming certified, if at all possible. Since there are so few veterinarians worldwide who have accomplished certification, instead, you should seek out a veterinarian who is a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians. This organization has more than 3000 members worldwide, and these are veterinarians who are working towards certification. You can contact the AAV to get a listing of the members in your area. You can also ask your breeder for recommendations.
Once you have a list of veterinarians to choose from, you should set up a consultation appointment with each one. Most will charge you their regular office visit rate for this visit, but finding the right veterinarian makes the cost well worth the expense.
You should ask these veterinarians the following questions:
- How much experience do you have with Eclectus parrots?
- How much avian experience do you have overall?
- Do you have any birds as pets yourself?
- How much do your services cost?
- What are your regular hours?
- Do you have after hour emergency care?
- How often do you recommend that I bring my bird in for a check up?
- Are you a member of the AAV?
- Where did you receive your training?
- Do you make house calls?
With the answers to these questions from each veterinarian that you contact, you should easily be able to make a choice. Write the questions down for each veterinarian, and write down his or her answers so that you can compare them later.
Just because one veterinarian stood out among the others in the initial consultation, you need to pay close attention during the first visit your Eclectus parrot has with the chosen vet. Do you approve of the way that he handles the bird? Does he show genuine interest and concern? Is he rushed? Are the atmosphere and/or the veterinarian causing the bird stress? The chances are that if you liked the veterinarian during the initial consultation, he will do fine with your new bird just make sure that you have a veterinarian lined up for your birds care.