The face of avian medicine is constantly changing. While the level and sophistication of avian practice may not yet be on par with that of cat and dog medicine, avian medicine has undergone great changes in the past 10–15 years. We avian practitioners know more than ever about what our patients need to stay healthy. We perform complicated diagnostic testing and intricate surgical procedures on birds. We understand bird diseases, dietary requirements, and behavior in greater detail than we ever have before. With the advent of the Internet, our clients also have greater (albeit sometimes misinformed) knowledge of their birds’ needs and problems. Owners’ questions are often very complex; consequently, we must stay well informed in our answers.
The purpose of this round table discussion is to raise a few issues avian practitioners encounter in a clinical setting and to share how these practitioners respond to these issues. I have asked 4 veterinarians who work with bird owners on a daily basis to discuss their views and experiences. The participants are Douglas Aspros, DVM, Bond Animal Hospital, White Plains, NY, USA; Cyndi Brown, DVM, Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, Tinton Falls, NJ, USA; Kemba Marshall, DVM, Dipl ABVP (Avian), Summertree Animal and Bird Clinic, Dallas, TX, USA; and Anthony Pilny, DVM, Dipl ABVP (Avian), The Center for Avian & Exotic Medicine, New York, NY, USA. In sharing their views, I hope these practitioners make all of us who regularly interact with bird owners think about our own responses and how these responses change as the practice of avian medicine evolves.