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Bringing Back the Magic: A Transformational Memior
By Alicia McWatters, Ph.D.

Our current avian healthcare system is overwhelmed by the practice of disease management. As PDD and PBFD, and other avian diseases not quite so threatening, such as giardia or pseudomonas, reduce the quality of life for our Greys, many still rely on reactive medicine rather than proactive preventive care.

The question remains: Are you looking into all aspects of avian healthcare or are you so entrenched in conventional medical treatments that you are not seeing the whole picture? Where do holistic healthcare practices fit into the picture for your Grey?

As more bird owners demand more from their avian healthcare providers, they are finding that holistic healthcare is providing them with safe and effective alternatives they can use in conjunction with conventional medical care. Holistic care can include both conventional and alternative medicines. Although, often times alternative medicines are so effective that conventional medicines can either be weaned from eventually or in some cases, are not needed at all. This all depends on the bird and its specific health condition.

Holistic care is deep-rooted in a strong tradition, based on scientific and anecdotal evidence, and is much safer than many of the conventional treatments available for birds. Holistic care also emphasizes prevention rather than symptomatic relief. Holistic healthcare providers view the patient as a complicated puzzle consisting of many pieces, rather than concentrating on just one piece as often happens with conventional medical care.

There is no question that nutrition and natural medicines can have positive effects on the health and disease treatment of birds. Choosing holistic care for birds is more popular than ever. Consulting with a holistic avian healthcare provider is just a phone call away. These providers may utilize nutrition, herbs, homeopathy, flower essences or acupuncture in their healing programs for their clients. Most providers do telephone consultations with the exception of one who uses acupuncture as a healing tool.

Just as you would have your dental care provided by a dentist and not an auto mechanic, you should also have holistic care provided by a holistic healthcare practitioner, not your friendly next-door neighbor.

The importance of holistic care used with the guidance of a professional should go without saying. However, there are some folks experimenting with nutritional supplements, herbs, flower essences and homeopathy with no clue as to what they are doing. It takes a professional in the avian field to help assist those who have a bird with special nutritional needs or a disease that requires special care.

It has become common practice, especially with e-mail lists, for folks to seek help with nutrition and medicines from non-professionals. It is SO dangerous when incorrect products are used, incorrect doses are given, and it also wastes time and money and sometimes.a life. I have seen where people who have an ill bird will go on for weeks, and even months, seeking e-mail list help. Often the result of this type of help is a bird that does not ever achieve wellness and remains chronically ill. The Internet e-mail lists are not the place to receive high quality health care assistance.

I highly advise that folks seek professional guidance when it comes to health care for their birds. This guidance may come from a doctor of veterinary medicine, nutrition, herbal medicine or homeopathy or a doctor may combine two or more of these modalities. All of these professionals have years of schooling and study behind them in order to provide their clients with the very best of care. Sometimes a combination of two doctors is advisable. These doctors both help the client for they each have knowledge and experience that is complementary to one another.

When your Grey is ill, you want to nip the problem in the bud and not waste time and money experimenting with your bird's health on your own. Seek professional help. There are doctors of nutrition and natural medicine that specialize in avian health that can teach you the proper way to nourish your bird and keep it healthy for years to come.

NOTE: Keep in mind that each holistic healthcare provider has different experiences in their practices. While one doctor may not have had a positive outcome with treating a particular disease, such as giardia, with alternative medicines, another doctor may have had a number of giardia cases ameliorated with alternative medicines. Also, while one doctor may not have experience in nutrition, but instead acupuncture and homeopathy, another may have experience in herbs and nutrition. Do your research and learn what each doctor's knowledge and experience is before selecting the doctor with whom to work.

This article was published in the Fall 1998 issue of the Grey Play Round Table® Magazine: ; ; ; .

All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without the consent of the author.
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