All SASH hospitals are open 24/7 all holiday season


Specialist bird veterinarian service treating all types of birds

  • SASH North Ryde has the only Specialist in Avian Medicine in NSW
  • Offering most comprehensive veterinary care for birds
  • Supported by other specialist departments such as 24/7 Emergency & Critical Care, Diagnostic Imaging, Ophthalmology, Pathology, and more

Hundreds of different species of birds are kept as pets in our homes. From the smallest finch to the largest macaw, our feathered friends bring us companionship and joy. We believe in providing the highest standard of care for our avian patients.

We offer all services for birds including:

  • Primary accession medicine (preventative examinations and treatments)
  • Diagnostic workup including laboratory testing and imaging studies
  • Surgery and endoscopy
  • Hospitalisation with dedicated theatre, avian wards and custom enclosures
  • Micro-chipping
  • Chlamydia (psittacosis) and PBFD (beak and feather) testing
  • Flock health and reproductive investigations
  • Behavioural investigations and management
  • Multidisciplinary care from our own specialists in anaesthesia, radiology, surgery, oncology, ophthalmology, pathology and cardiology with 24/7 support from our emergency and critical care team
  • Onsite diagnostic facilities including MRI, CT and fluoroscopy
SASH North Ryde is proud to host New South Wales’ only Avian Medicine specialist in private practice; Dr Melinda Cowan.

The Birds We See

Whether they are kept as pets, for show competitions, racing, demonstrations or for breeding purposes – we see all birds!

We have experience treating all types of birds:

  • Parrots – from budgerigars to macaws
  • Passerines – canaries, finches
  • Pigeons
  • Poultry – chickens, turkeys
  • Waterfowl – ducks, geese, swans
  • Raptors
  • Native wildlife

Illness In Birds

Birds are well renowned for hiding symptoms of illness or injury. This is often referred to as the ‘preservation reflex’ and considered an evolutionary trait to avoid being eaten. They can often hide signs of disease until the problem has become very advanced and many injuries that initially seem minor, can actually be very serious. We recommend always erring on the side of caution when something seems unusual with your bird and having them examined by an avian veterinarian.

Signs of illness or injury in birds:

  • Fluffed feathers, hunched posture, partially closed eyelids
  • Less active, sleeping more
  • Not eating, reduced appetite or ravenous appetite
  • Changes in normal behaviours or routine
  • Less vocal or change in voice
  • Having difficulty moving or unable to fly, walk or perch
  • Limping or not using a leg
  • Sneezing, nasal discharge
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Changes to one or both eyes (swelling, redness, discharge)
  • Vomiting
  • Changes to the droppings (diarrhoea, excessive water)
  • Drinking excessively
  • Bleeding, wounds, lumps or swellings
  • Chewing or pulling out feathers, traumatising skin
  • Long beak, long nails
  • Seizures, tremors

Bringing Your Bird To The Vet

Bringing your bird to the vet can be a stressful time, especially when they are unwell or injured. It is important to remain calm because birds are very good at picking up on distress signals.

All birds need to arrive at the appointment in an enclosure. If your bird’s cage is too large or difficult to bring in for the appointment other types of enclosure that can be used include:

  • Cat and dog travel carriers
  • Smaller bird cages
  • Plastic containers with ventilation holes
  • Cardboard boxes with ventilation holes and must be able to be secured (they are not advised for medium to large parrots!)

If you are unable to bring their regular enclosure to the appointment, a photo of the cage and surroundings can often be helpful for the veterinarian.

Examination of faecal samples is a routine part of the examination. To ensure that a quality faecal sample can be obtained, remove sand and grit from the floor of the cage or place newspaper over.