Tonawanda News

Features

November 7, 2012

CRITTER COMPANIONS: Answers to some questions about your pets

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — A: Congratulations on your future adoption. When bringing home another pet, quarantine is important. I would place the new bird in its own cage in a separate room for ten to 45 days. Thirty days is the average. The time would depend on vet visits, medical history and the types of testing you are willing to do. 

If your new bird’s quarantine area is in hearing range of your first love bird, Honey, than your introduction has already begun. 

Placing the birds in sight of each other would be the next step. I would start on opposite sides of the room and then slowly move the cages closer to each other over a few days. Stop moving the cages if either bird starts showing signs of distress, like open wings, hissing, panting or raised head feathers. 

The birds will dictate on how quickly you can move the cages together. If you want to house them together, having multiple hiding places, food and water bowls and places to retreat from one another is essential.

•••

Q: My 10-year-old son wants an aquarium. How do we know which fish are healthy? Arlene K., Tonawanda

A: Fish are great at communicating with us about how healthy they are. Remember EBBS when selecting fish. EBBS is an acronym for eyes, body, behavior and surroundings. 

The first thing I look for is eyes. Make sure the eyes are not sunken or bulging and are clear. 

Next, look at the overall body of the fish. The body should also be lump free and should have no missing scales. White spots or patches on the scales can mean different diseases. The fins should be intact with no tears or holes. The gills should be bright. 

Respiration is an important indicator on the water quality and the fish’s health. Every time the gill goes in and out, you can breath in and out. If the respiration is normal, you should be breathing normally. 

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