Monthly Archives April 2014

My Experience As A NY Bird Doctor

Does Your Bird Need to See a Bird Doctor?

When I’m out in the streets of NY, I frequently get asked, why does your bird need to see a bird doctor? The answer is simple: your bird needs to see an educated bird vet annually for a thorough check-up to try prevent illness. You, like your bird, need annual check-ups. Although some birds can talk, they can’t call or make an appointment to see a bird doctor.

Seeing a Bird Vet

Seeing a bird vet to help prevent disease in your bird before it occurs is better for your bird (and for your pocketbook) than treating disease once it happens. Having been a bird doctor in NY for 20 years, I can tell you that birds suffer from many common diseases, including malnutrition from improper diet, egg binding (egg stuck inside), gout (kidney failure), liver disease, cancer, bacterial and viral infections, and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries with cholesterol).

Finding a Great Bird Doctor in NY?

A great bird vet not only will perform a complete physical exam, but also will teach you specifically what your bird needs to eat to stay healthy.  Your avian vet should help you review your cage setup to help ensure that you’re providing an appropriate environment, help you understand normal versus abnormal behavior so that you’ll know when to be concerned, and teach you about common diseases, so that you’ll know what signs to look for before these conditions progress. Don’t wait until it’s too late – start off the spring right, and call your bird vet today! 914.864.1414

We’re located at: 709 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills, NY 10507 | 

Why Guinea Pigs Are The Best Pets!

Thinking of getting a pet but don’t want the responsibility of a cat or a dog? How about a guinea pig? March is Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig month, so what better time to get a new pet and also help save a life?

Guinea pigs, or “cavies,” are short-tailed, rough-haired South American rodents (family Caviidae). Guinea pigs have always been one of the exotic pets I recommend most, especially for families considering a pet for the first time. Why are guinea pigs one of my favorites? Here are 10 reasons guinea pigs make great pets:

1. Guinea pigs are hardy. When cared for and fed properly, guinea pigs are generally very healthy animals. Like other pets, they can be prone to particular diseases — for example, dental disease and bladder stones in their case — but these conditions may be prevented to some degree with proper nutrition and regular medical checkups. Also, since guinea pigs are from cool climates, they don’t do well in hot, humid conditions. Keeping them inside lessens the likelihood that they’ll overheat and/or dehydrate.

2. Guinea pigs are easy to care for. They require hay, fresh water, fresh vegetables and a small amount of pelleted food formulated for guinea pigs, plus a vitamin C supplement each day. They also need a fairly large cage lined with paper-based bedding. The cage needs to be spot-cleaned daily and completely cleaned weekly. Add some daily attention and they are good to go. Just remember, unless you want to end up with several little additional guinea pigs, you’ll need to separate males from females even before they are a month old!

 

 

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A Pig as a Pet? You bet!

Gone are the days when the word “pig” would conjure up a vision of a huge sloppy sow on a farm, rolling in mud. Today, pigs are commonly kept as pets in people’s homes, even in urban areas. Pet pigs and farm pigs are the same species, so, theoretically, they can mate. However, their breeds — and therefore their sizes, temperaments and basic needs — can vary greatly.

Size Matters

Pet pigs are generally divided into different types depending on size. The term “mini pig” is a general description that includes many different sizes of pet pigs — but keep in mind, to some people, the term “mini pig” can still mean a pig that is quite large by household pet standards. Depending on whom you ask, there are a variety of names for different sizes of pigs, but in general, mini pigs commonly kept as pets fall into one of the following groups:

Potbellied pigs (also known as Vietnamese potbelly pigs, Chinese potbellied pigs and potbelly pigs) stand 16 to 26 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh between 125 and 200 pounds. While still quite large, these are much smaller than farm pigs, which can weigh 800 pounds or more.

Miniature potbellied pigs stand 15 to 16 inches tall at the shoulders and may weigh up to 100 pounds.

Teacup potbellied pigs are 14.5 inches tall at the shoulders and are really just smaller potbelly pigs, generally weighing 35 to 45 pounds. Be aware that the “teacup” designation refers to how big they are at birth, not at adulthood.

Toy potbellied pigs are 14 inches tall and weigh 35 to 45 pounds.

Micro mini pigs stand 10 to 12.5 inches tall and weigh 18 to 30 pounds.

Mini Julianas (also called miniature painted pigs or spotted Julianas) are 8 to 12.5 inches tall and weigh 15 to 28 pounds. Julianas are a separate breed from potbellies. They are more delicately structured than the potbelly and have a long nose and a spotted coat.

While these pet pigs are commonly distinguished by size, all pigs, including farm pigs, are very small at birth (generally between 2 and 4 pounds). That’s why it’s essential, if you’re getting a pet pig, to find out how big its full-grown parents are (and perhaps even its grandparents)…

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