Educational Articles

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.

  • Bergamascos are easygoing, balanced, and observant, and tend to bond strongly with their owners. They are patient and tolerant with children, making them excellent family guardians and companions.

  • Boerboels are strong and fearless with guardian instincts, but they're also very playful and affectionate toward their owners.

  • When governor Richard W. Riley signed into law the act making the Boykin Spaniel the state dog in South Carolina, he said it was because of the fierce dedication, stalwart loyalty, noble character, and eagerness for both hard work and lively play exemplified by this native breed.

  • Canaries are lovely small birds. The males have a very melodious song. Canaries are generally easy to care for, and with a proper diet and routine veterinary check-ups, they can live up to 10 years.

  • Cirnechi are friendly, affectionate, and loyal – but they're also independent and incredibly intelligent. Although they're only moderate energy dogs, they need plenty of mental stimulation in order to be happy.

  • 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.