tom ricks bird edit

The care of your avian companion is important to all of us at Town and Country Animal Hospital.

Tom Ricks, DVM, is one of only three members of the Association of Avian Veterinarians in the State of Mississippi. 

Our veterinarians and staff are experienced with all types of avian pets.

Avian pets have special needs… our services are designed to care your the full range of your avian’s needs. That is why you should choose Town and Country Animal Hospital.

Pet birds can make great companions, bringing beauty and beautiful sounds to your home. Like other pets, birds have unique needs. Ongoing veterinary care determines if birds have potentially dangerous parasites or diseases and the best treatment plans.

Birds are well-known to slowly exhibit signs of disease and need the care of a specialized avian veterinarian. If you are a bird owner and are seeking an experienced avian veterinarian for a checkup or to address a specific issue, contact us today.

We are aware that some pets are uncomfortable in a waiting room with other animals.

Contact us ahead of your visit. We will work with you and your pet on an individual basis to prevent any discomfort in our reception area.

We have a large waiting room with room to separate your pet from other incoming patients, and we will work with you and your pet on an individual basis to prevent any discomfort in our reception area.

Please be sure your pet is properly restrained in a safe carrier for transport to Town and Country Animal Hospital.

All our staff are pet owners themselves and understand what you and your pet are experiencing when you visit TCAH.

Avian Services:

  • Physical examinations, recommended every 6 to 12 months
  • Counseling on nutrition, husbandry, and behavior
  • Fecal exams for parasites and bacteria
  • Gram stains and cultures for bacteria and fungus
  • Blood profiles
  • Digital radiology
  • Endoscopy
  • Surgery
  • DNA sexing
  • Grooming of nail, wings, and beak
  • Boarding
  • Emergency and urgent care during normal business hours

Signs That Your Bird May Be Sick:

It can be difficult to tell if your bird is sick. Birds mask illness instinctively; however, they are usually some subtle signs that can help you determine if your bird may be ill. Recognizing signs and symptoms of illness early can aid in the treatment of your bird.

Should your bird have any of the following signs contact one of the friendly staff at Town and Country Animal Hospital to make an appointment for your bird:

  • Closed or swollen eyes
  • Nasal discharge
  • Sneezing, difficulty breathing, wheezing or clicking sounds
  • Diarrhea
  • Anorexia
  • Weakness, limping, wing droop
  • Sitting in one place for an extended period with feathers “all puffed up”
  • Scaling or crusting around the face
  • Lethargy
  • Regurgitation
  • Sitting at bottom of cage
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Seizures
  • Loss of balance
  • Difficulty flying

Feeding Your Bird

Nutrition is an intricate part of owning a happy and healthy bird. At Town and Country Animal Hospital, we recommend feeding Harrison’s Bird Food products. Different breeds of birds have different nutritional requirements. It is important to discuss your bird’s nutritional needs with one of our helpful staff members.

Foods high in fat and starches should be avoided in all species.

It is also important:

  • To keep your bird’s food and water sources fresh and clean throughout the day
  • To know that some foods can be toxic to birds

Brief list of some of the most common types of food toxins in birds:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • apple seeds
  • Avocado (guacamole)
  • Chocolate
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Table salt

Safety First!

Birds are extremely curious creatures. This can lead to birds getting into materials that may be dangerous to their health. It is important to keep your bird out of reach of the following:

  • Hot cooking oil
  • Overheated items with non-stick surfaces
  • Ceiling fans
  • Sandpaper covered perches
  • Tobacco or cigarette smoke
  • Solid air fresheners and scented candles
  • Toxic houseplants
  • Pesticides
  • Easily dismantled toys
  • Dogs, cats, ferrets, and young children
  • Cedar, redwood and pressure treated shavings
  • Lead or zinc, found in chrome and galvanized metals
    • If you are unsure of the composition of a metal (cage, toy, chain, etc.), hold a magnet to the metal. If the magnet attaches to the item then there is a good chance that it is made of lead or zinc and could be toxic. That item should be removed.
  • Paper towel rolls (glue may be a source of zinc)
  • Carpet powders

Helpful Avian links:

Association of Avian Veterinarians www.aav.org
Harrison’s Bird Food www.harrisonsbirdfood.com
Bird Channel.com www.birdchannel.com
National Audubon Society www.audubon.org

If you find a sick or injured wild bird, call Dr. Karen Rushing, wildlife veterinarian. State law prohibits ownership, housing and care of wild animals.

We pride ourselves in treating your pet as our own and will work to ensure your pet remains as comfortable as possible while visiting TCAH.