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Discussion Starter #1
Do you all test all your birds specifically for psittacosis? Back when I got mine I wasn't so cockatiel savvy and when I asked the vet what I was supposed to test my birds for they just did gram stains and physical examination. That was the extent of their checking over. I wanted to do every test I needed to do but they told me nothing else was necessary. I now disagree!
 

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I never have and probably never will unless there's reason to suspect it. I'm a big believer in the "less is more" approach with birds, especially after some experiences where I feel I've caused my birds more harm than good by insisting on tests for things that weren't likely.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply. Would you say it's unlikely mine have it? I'm not really sure exactly how common it is. I have a vet appointment for tomorrow morning because buttercups droppings were very watery for a few days earlier in the week (99% urine). However they seem to be sorting themselves out. I was thinking maybe I'd still take her anyway or maybe I'll take Darla for her black nare problem. Anyway, you think I should hold off on asking about testing for psittacosis? The vet I usually see is... Not very good, in my opinion, and it's made me a bit paranoid hearing that they are fine and then it turns out they are not. I am seeing a different one tomorrow but the urge to just ask for tests instead of opinions is definitely there.
 

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I don't know exact statistics, but my impression is that there's a lot more fear of psittacosis than there are well-cared-for birds with psittacosis. I think the risk is highest if you're getting a bird from a pet store or other questionable background, but it's unlikely that you'd get a bird with psittacosis and have it go undetected for a long time.

I've had this conversation with my vet, who is very well-respected (has even published research on avian health and consults with zoos/wildlife rehabs/etc.) and has been in practice a long time. Basically his stance is that many avian illnesses are very difficult to detect, even with testing, and many of the tests are unreliable as far as the likelihood of false positives/false negatives. So he really only advocates testing for things where there's clinical evidence present (e.g. if a bird had respiratory symptoms, then maybe test for psittacosis). Otherwise the test results are hard to interpret, and you can end up treating for things where the treatment does more harm than just leaving the bird alone.

But of course we all have to make those decisions for ourselves and our birds and our peace of mind. For what it's worth, I would probably want to get the black nare checked if it's not improving, since you already have the appointment.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you, that helps. I will take her in instead of buttercup though it does seem it's improved slightly. It's less the black that concerns me and more the bit of discharge it's producing. It's a tiny amount but still stressing me out. I'll ask the vet if he thinks it's a good idea to do the tests all things considered once he sees her.
 
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