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Client Education

The following are useful educational handouts which can be downloaded, printed and made available to your clients.

Adrenocortical Disease in the Ferret

Adrenocortical disease is a common endocrine disorder in middle-aged to older ferrets.

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Aggression in Rabbits

To the uninitiated, rabbits have a reputation for being docile, passive creatures. Any aggressive actions from a rabbit can be surprising–even alarming–to new owners…

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Aquatic and Semi-Aquatic Turtles, Care of

Aquatic turtles are personable, popular pets, however their upkeep can be labor intensive.

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Are Rabbits Right For You?

This handy guide details the key facts you need to consider before committing yourself to a pet rabbit.

Visit the Make Mine Chocolate website and download the PDF handout. (Link posted with permission).


Are You the Right Pet For Me?

What you need to know before adopting a house rabbit.

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Aspergillosis

Aspergillosis can develop in any bird, but companion birds most frequently diagnosed with aspergillosis include…

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Avian Bornavirus Infection

Avian bornavirus was identified as the cause of proventricular dilatation disease or PDD in 2008. Avian bornavirus (ABV) infection is one of the most frustrating diseases encountered in avian medicine…

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Avian Influenza

Avian influenza or “bird flu” is a group of viral infections that occur naturally among birds. Some wild birds like…

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Avian Polyomavirus

Avian polyomavirus is one of the most important viral diseases seen in the companion parrot.

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Avian Polyomavirus

Avian polyomavirus (APV) is an important disease in psittacine birds. APV is of greatest concern in young birds…
Client handout donated by Dr. Eric Klaphake.

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Avian Reproductive Behavior

The onset of reproductive or “broody” behavior varies with the species.

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Bats and Rabies

A public health guide on bats and rabies by Bat Conservation International.

Download the PDF Handout (link posted with permission).


Bearded Dragons, Care of the Australian

Bearded dragons are omnivores that accept a wide variety of foods. Variety is the key to good nutrition and foods offered should include..

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Behavioral Modification Techniques in the Companion Parrot

There are a number of medical reasons for feather picking and a complete diagnostic evaluation of your bird’s health status is always recommended. The following techniques may be helpful, however, whether the underlying cause of the feather picking is behavioral or medical.

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Biting in Companion Birds

The parrot beak is not inherently a weapon. Instead it is a sensory organ used to touch and explore the world. Much of the exploration parrots do with their beak is not biting, however this exploration can get a little rough, or even…

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Blue-Tongued Skink

The blue-tongued skink is a stocky, cylindrical lizard with small legs and a large head, known for its deep, vivid blue tongue…

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Box Turtle, Care of the

Box turtles are one of the most common reptile pets in the United States. There are many subspecies of the box turtle, with the Eastern box turtle and three-toed box turtle being most commonly kept as pets.

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Bunny Proofing Your Home

The measures taken to protect your house rabbit and your furniture are commonly referred to as “bunny proofing” or “rabbit proofing…

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Caging the Companion Parrot

The ideal bird cage should be spacious and clean, with multiple perches and stimulating toys. Specific cage requirements will vary with the species and the amount of time your…

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Cats Indoors

Every year, cats kill hundreds of millions of birds in the United States alone. Download the American Bird Conservancy PDF brochure that advises clients on the best way to protect birds and cats.

Visit ABC’s website and download the PDF brochure.


Chinchillas

The long-tailed chinchilla is native to the mountains and foothills of the Andes in South America. These rodents are known for their large ears and soft, luxurious fur…

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Chronic Egg Laying

Chronic egg laying is the production of an excessive number of eggs or repeated clutches (or collections) of eggs. Chronic egg laying often occurs in the absence of a normal…

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Cockatiel Concerns

The small, affectionate birds we call cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) have undergone extensive modification through their breeding in captivity. Color variations or mutations have increased in number over the years…

Client educational handout donated by Dr. Larry Nemetz.

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Cold Weather Tips for Exotic Animal Pets

While most exotic pets are housed indoors, there are still some key concepts to keep in mind when winter comes around.
Client educational handout donated by Dr. Eric Klaphake.

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Converting Your Bird to a Healthy Diet

Conversion to a healthy diet will improve the health and feather quality of your pet bird. Before beginning a dietary conversion, your bird should be…

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Corticosteroids

Dispense this client educational handout to owners of insulinoma ferrets and other patients on steroids.

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Do’s and Don’ts of Avian First Aid

First aid is the initial treatment given to an injured or ill bird during an emergency. The goal of first aid is to stabilize the bird until veterinary medical care can be provided. First aid is not a substitute for qualified avian veterinary care…

Client handout donated by Dr. Greg Burkett. Print the the first two pages to provide more generalized information, or print all four pages to include more specific first aid tips.

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Ear Abscesses in Turtles

Ear or aural abscesses are extremely common in box turtles and aquatic or semi-aquatic turtles like red-eared sliders…

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Feather Destructive Behavior

Feather destructive behavior represents a range of actions from excessive preening to feather plucking or feather picking to self-mutilation.

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Feather Picking

Feather picking is the most frustrating condition seen in pet birds from both the veterinarian’s and the owner’s perspective—and most likely from the bird’s perspective too!

Client educational handout donated by Dr. Eric Klaphake.

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Feeding Insect Eating Reptiles

An insectivore diet consists completely or partially of insects. Amphibians, some turtles and snakes, and many lizards belong to this group. In the wild, reptiles eat a wide variety of insect prey. Most captive reptiles can be fed…

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Feeding Snakes

All snakes are strict carnivores…When should my snake be fed?…Should I feed fresh or frozen prey?…How often should I feed my snake?

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Feeding Your Pet Bird a Healthy Diet

In their native habitat, some parrots like cockatiels, budgerigar parakeets, as well as many cockatoos and macaws are seed-eaters. These birds are able to balance their diet because of the…

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Ferret, Care of the Pet

Ferrets are playful, friendly animals that can make excellent pets for the right person…

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Ferrets and the Flu

It’s flu season! If you’re a ferret owner, that means extra worry about your furry little family member. Ferrets are susceptible to several strains of human influenza virus, which is spread…

Client educational handout provided by Dr. Connie Kirk.

Download the PDF Handout with a color photo (203 KB) or text only (42 KB).


Forgaging Behavior in Companion Parrots: Behavioral & Environmental Enrichment

In the wild, parrots exhibit four main behaviors: social interaction, grooming, foraging, and sleeping. The vast majority of their days are spent foraging or searching for food.

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Green Iguana, Care of the

The green or common iguana (Iguana iguana) is a tree-dwelling reptile native to the tropical and subtropical regions of central and South America and parts of Mexico. The iguana is a solitary creature. Soon after hatching, the young go…

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Guinea Pigs, Care of Pet

The guinea pig is a docile rodent native to South America. Guinea pigs are lively, lovable pets that require relatively easy care.

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Hedgehogs

The African pygmy hedgehog, also known as the 4-toed or white-bellied hedgehog, originates from central Africa.

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Holiday Hazards

The companion parrot is part of the family! When including our feathered friends in the holiday season we must keep them safe.

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Household Dangers

There are a host of potential household dangers that may confront our winged companions…

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Insulinoma in the Ferret

Insulinoma, or pancreatic beta cell tumor, is an abnormal growth of the pancreas that secretes excess amounts of insulin. Unfortunately, insulinoma is an extremely common disease of middle-aged to older ferrets.

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Lead Poisoning in Birds

Lead poisonings in birds most commonly occurs from ingestion of substances containing lead. Lead can be found in many household items…

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Litter Training the House Rabbit

Rabbits naturally choose one a few places (usually corners) to deposit their urine and most of their fecal balls. Therefore training a rabbit to urinate in a litter pan involves little more than…

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Lories and Lorikeets, Care of

Lories and lorikeets are some of the most colorful members of the parrot family. Native to Australia, Tasmania, and the South Pacific islands, many species are threatened or endangered in the wild due to habitat loss or trapping. Lorikeets tend to be relatively small, slender birds, between…

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Medicating Your Bird

Keeping your pet healthy is everyone’s goal. However if your bird becomes ill, effective treatment will require that medications are given at the right dose and frequency for the…

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Metabolic Bone Disease in Reptiles and Amphibians

What is metabolic bone disease? Nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism, or metabolic bone disease, is a common condition associated with abnormalities of the bones.

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Mouse, Care of the Pet

Mice are good-natured, inquisitive creatures that make great, inexpensive, low-maintenance pets.

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Normal Parrot Behavior

Pet bird behavior is complex, and it is crucial that bird owners have a realistic understanding of what to expect from their pets…

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Orphaned Wildlife: Baby Birds

This 4-page manuscript provides guidance on what to do when one finds a baby bird.

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Orphaned Wildlife: Baby Birds SHORT VERSION

This 2-page document provides guidance on what to do when one finds a baby bird.

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Orphaned Wildlife: Mammals

Cottontail rabbits hide their nests in plain view in the middle of a lawn, in brush piles, or long grass…

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Parrot Toys & Toy Safety

Parrots are extremely intelligent creatures; and toys are one of the most important items we can purchase for our birds. Many avian behaviorists recommend four types of toys…

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Plants and Branches for your Bird

Few studies have been conducted to determine which houseplants are toxic to birds, so all plants that contain known toxic chemicals have been excluded from the Safe Plant List below…

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Prairie Dogs

The free-ranging black-tailed prairie dog is a social rodent that lives in “towns”. Prairie dog towns consist of…

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Prepare Your Home For Your New Baby Bird

The more prepared you are as a new owner, the easier your baby bird’s adjustment will be to his new home. Use this checklist to smooth the transition.

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Prevent Problems with Boas & Pythons

According to the Humane Society of the United States,17 deaths and many more injuries have been related to large constrictors since 1978. Given the tens of thousands of large constrictors sold, the incidence of fatalities and injuries is relatively low, however every incident—including the death of four babies in their cribs and three additional children—is particularly tragic since these cases are completely preventable.

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Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease

Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) is an important disease of psittacine birds or parrots. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there on PBFD and there is also a lot of information that is still unknown.
Client handout donated by Dr. Eric Klaphake.

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Psittacosis in Birds & Humans

Psittacosis is an infectious disease of birds and people caused by Chlamydophila psittaci

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Rabbit Care

A good rabbit diet should be made up of good quality pellets, fresh hay, water, and fresh vegetables. Anything beyond this is a “treat” and should be given in limited quantities.

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Rabbit Introductions

Does my rabbit really need a companion? Many experts on house rabbit care agree that most individuals are not meant to live in solitude, away from members of their own kind…

Download the PDF Handout with color photos or the black and white version.


Rat, Care of the Pet

Rats are clean, friendly, playful, and quiet, and of all the “pocket pets” they are considered uniquely responsive to their owners.

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Responsible Reptile & Amphibian Ownership: Know the Facts On Salmonellosis

“Simply having a reptile in the household increases the risk of Salmonella spp. infection”. Learn who is most at risk and what you can do to minimize your family’s risk of contracting disease.

Download the 2-page black & white PDF handout or the 3-page color handout.


Savannah Monitor, Care of the Pet

The Savannah monitor (Varanus exanthematicus) is native to the savannahs of eastern and southern Africa. In the wild these monitors are scavengers covering large distances as they..

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Senior Rabbit, Care of the

Depending on the breed, the average life span of the domestic rabbit ranges from 6 to 12 years. Today many pet rabbits live to…

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Signs of Illness in Your Bird

It is a natural instinct for parrots to hide signs of illness. In the wild, this skill serves them well, and in fact, may save their lives…

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Spaying and Neutering Pet Rabbits

Should I have my rabbit “fixed”? In most cases, the answer is an unqualified YES. If you are not planning to breed your rabbit, then spaying or neutering will extend your pet’s lifespan and make your rabbit a better companion…

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Sugar Glider, Care of the

Sugar gliders are small, nocturnal marsupials native to Australia and New Guinea.

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Syringe Feeding Small Herbivores: Rabbits, Guinea Pigs and Chinchillas

Why syringe fed? A cornerstone of treatment is delivery of food containing high dietary fiber. Proper syringe-feeding technique is essential..

Flier includes color images!

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Teaching Bathing Skills

Many companion parrot species originate from tropical environments with high humidity in which they bathe often. Even parrots from arid environments enjoy and benefit from…

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Toxic Plants

Toxic plants reported in small animals include aloe vera, Amanita mushrooms, Amaryllis sp…

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Training Basic Skills

Many parrots instinctively strive for a position of dominance within their flock (your household). Many of the behavioral problems that can arise from such a situation, may be prevented when…

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Unsafe Foods For Birds

…Better safe than sorry: Avian veterinarians rely on such a wide range of information because it is generally considered best to err on the side of caution. The following list divides potential danger foods into three categories…

Download PDF Handout reviewed by Jill Murray, RVT, VTS (Clinical Practice – Exotic Companion Animal) (92 KB)


Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays an important role in maintaining a healthy….

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Vitamin A

Vitamin A is one of the most common deficiencies in pet bird medicine, especially in South American species like…
Client educational handout provided by Dr. Larry Nemetz.

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Why Does My Rabbit..?

House Rabbit Behavior: Common Questions Answered–
In many instances, rabbits kept in hutches, pet stores, or laboratories do not receive enough stimulation or physical space to demonstrate their full behavioral repertoire. Owners of house rabbits know these are intelligent creatures with distinct personalities and a range of behaviors…

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Water Bottles in Birds

If you elect to provide your bird with a water bottle, it is imperative that your pet be properly trained and that appropriate equipment is purchased…

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Why Does My Rabbit..?

House Rabbit Behavior: Common Questions Answered–
In many instances, rabbits kept in hutches, pet stores, or laboratories do not receive enough stimulation or physical space to demonstrate their full behavioral repertoire. Owners of house rabbits know these are intelligent creatures with distinct personalities and a range of behaviors…

Download PDF Handout