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Characteristics

  • African grey parrots are highly intelligent birds and are now commonly bred in captivity as pets. The African grey has a charming personality and is recognized as one of the best talkers among all pet parrots. It is important to keep these smart birds busy, as boredom can lead to problems, such as feather picking and screaming. African greys require regular, preventative veterinary health checkups.

  • Some commonly kept Amazon parrots include the double yellow-headed Amazon, yellow-naped Amazon, blue-fronted Amazon, green-cheeked Amazon, and orange-winged Amazon. They bond readily, often with one member of the family. This one-on-one bond occasionally may lead to aggression towards others. Amazons are generally very affectionate and often solicit petting and head scratches. Like all pets, Amazon parrots require regular, preventative veterinary health check-ups.

  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) is a genetic mutation affecting many breeds that causes developmental defects in the eye that can lead to vision deficits or blindness. This defect can be diagnosed by a veterinary ophthalmologist between 6 and 8 weeks of age by visualizing spots of choroidal hypoplasia or a colobomas . It can be associated with microphthalmia or enophthalmia. It can lead to retinal detachment and blindness. Although laser repair of partial retinal detachments can be attempted if detected in early stages, there is generally no treatment for CEA. Vision varies depending on the extent of the lesions and some dogs will become blind. Prevention requires not breeding animals that carry the mutation and this can be achieved through genetic testing of breeding dogs.

  • Color dilution alopecia is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder that affects dogs with dilute-colored coats causing hair loss. Some dogs will also be affected by secondary bacterial infections so topical management and pruritus treatments may be needed to improve the dog's comfort. Affected dogs and their relatives should not be bred.

  • This handout discusses excessive drooling (hyper-salivation) in dogs. There can be many causes for this particular complaint, and a short discussion of the more common reasons is included. Further diagnostic and treatment options are outlined.

  • Cats are not completely color blind as they can see yellow and blue as well as shades of grey. Their eye structure does allow them to see better in dim light compared to people. Near-sightedness is common among cats.

  • The simple answer to a complicated, much researched question is, yes! Dogs do recognize our facial expressions which makes them wonderful family members.

  • Knowing how and what your dog can see will help you make good choices for her. For example, you should keep your dog’s color range in mind when shopping for toys. She will enjoy yellow and blue toys more than red ones. And you’ll understand why she gets distracted during a game of fetch as she hones in on a bird flying 50 yards away. You’ll also know that to get her complete attention, you should stand directly in front of her where her range of visual acuity is greatest. And the next time you are lucky enough to be graced with a rainbow in the sky, rest assured that your dog can enjoy it, too. She will not see ALL the colors of the rainbow, but she may see a bit of yellow and blue. And that will be just fine for her!

  • You’ve probably heard lots of funny cat anecdotes; about how you don’t own them…they own YOU; how they feel superior to everyone, especially dogs; that they expect to be treated like royalty. If you are considering a feline acquisition, first consider this: lots of those remarks are true! This handout explains the other factors to consider in selecting the cat most likely to choose your family, too.

  • Dogs can be amazing family members and greatly enrich our lives! Adding a dog to the family is also a serious commitment, and research before choosing a dog will help set the family and the dog up for success. This handout goes over some factors to consider when selecting a dog.

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