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The Vet (Annual Exam):
Once a year the conures are taken to the vet for their annual exam. It consists of listening to their heartbeat, looking in their eye's, ears, and throat. Palpating their breast to see if they have the correct muscle mass. Taking a gram stain which tests to see if they have any bacteria that is not normal to their system, and therefore able to cause serious infection. The bacteria falls into two types, gram positive, and gram negative. Gram negative bacteria is the source of infection, while gram positive bacteria is not. If your bird has been sneezing a lot they will do a culture and sensitivity test. This involves swabbing their throat and using this bacteria to start a culture. The bacteria that grows can then be tested for their sensitivity to various antibiotics. Based on the results of this test an antibiotic will be recommended. For my love bird the dosage was .03cc, and for my conure the dosage was .05cc, twice a day for 10 days for both birds. If they tell you that the dosage is .3cc or .5cc ask them for a recheck, and overdose of medicine can be fatal to a bird. They made that mistake once with my bird. the .5cc was supposed to be .05cc. (cc = cubic centimeter)
They will also weigh your bird at every visit. Often the first sign that a bird is sick is when his weight starts to drop. Since a bird will hide his sickness as long as possible, once you see that your bird is not feeling well, it can be too late. If you can, buy a scale and weigh your bird once a week. Our vet recommended the Ohaus ls2000 portable scale.

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