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Having a sick bird is very stressful as few veterinarians are skilled in bird medicine and surgery. At Pittwater Animal Hospital we are fortunate to have Dr Juliet Smithyman  who has a special interest in birds.

All of our other veterinarians are well trained in general bird medicine and intensive care. This means when your bird is sick they can be seen straight away, stabilised and treatment initiated. Sadly Juliet can not work every day.

When should I bring my bird to the vet?

It is useful to have a health check of your bird when you first acquire the bird. An appointment can be booked with Dr Juliet Smithyman where your bird can be

  • Weighed
  • Examined
  • Diet and housing discussed
  • General care routine reviewed

This gives us a baseline assessment of your bird and can often prepare your bird for a healthy start in your house. The cost will be a standard consultation plus any pathology charges which Juliet will explain fully.

How can I tell if my bird is sick?

Bird owners need to be very attuned to their pets, as the signs of a sick bird are very subtle. Success in treating a bird depends on early intervention. We would recommend a consultation if

  • Your bird has lost weight
  • Feeding habits change
  • Droppings change
  • Decreased movement around it’s enclosure
  • Breathing becomes more noticeable

Simply make an appointment online or phone 9913 7979. 

What are the signs of a very sick bird?

If your bird is noticeably unwell it is a very sick bird. Signs include

  • Fluffed up with eyes partly closed
  • Change in voice or decreased vocalization
  • Difficulty breathing – increased effort with breathing such as tail bobbing up and down
  • Weakness – sitting in the bottom of the enclosure or wings held loosely out
  • Regurgitating food
  • Obvious weight loss

What should I do if my bird is sick?

Make an appointment straight away. It is best to call on 9913 7979 as we will make room for you as soon as possible.


All our veterinarians  are trained in bird intensive care.

Our regular vets can try to stabilize your bird’s condition, then it’s treatment can be reviewed and adjusted later by one of our veterinarians with a special interest in birds.

Should I take my bird to a specialist?

Some complex problems are best addressed by a specialist. For immediate care however it is best to have your bird assessed by one of our veterinarians as specialist appointments can be delayed, and often early intervention is needed.

Dr Izidora Sladakovic  up at The Pet Specialists at Terrey Hills is our closest bird and reptile specialist.

Do you do wing clips and nail trims?

Yes. All our vets can trim wings and clip nails on birds. For these general care treatments it is often good to see Dr Juliet Smithyman as she can establish a relationship with you and your bird.

Does it cost less to have my bird examined at the vet?

Bird diagnosis and handling is a complex and skilled veterinary area. Often bird consultations are prolonged as gentle patient handling is required and extensive history is needed.

To see a veterinarian at Pittwater Animal Hospital a standard consultation fee is charged. For rechecks, wing clips and nail clips discounted fees apply.


Some complex problems are best addressed by a veterinary specialist. For urgent care it is best to have your bird initially assessed by one of our veterinarians. It can be difficult to get a specialist appointment immediately, and early intervention is often needed.


Dr Izidora Sladakovic  (Izzy) up at The Pet Specialists at Terrey Hills is our closest exotic pet specialist.



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