Ask Lafeber


December 3, 2021


Will bloodwork indicate if the bird’s diet is nutritionally complete?


Hi Nan,

The initial blood panel can help guide the Vet to what the next step is. More often with nutritional issues, there are external signs such as poor feather condition. The Vet will ask about the bird’s diet and then may order additional blood tests that are related to nutrition. As Dr. Lamb discussed, bloodwork is basically a jumping off point. So no, there isn’t a fail proof way to diagnose something like nutrition just with bloodwork. The Vet needs all of the information to make a informed diagnosis. Such as with the case she discussed – the diet seemed like it was balanced, but for whatever reason, that particular bird needed different requirements. This is why it is very important not to say a particular species needs more of a nutrient than other species. Yes, maybe you hear of several of the same species with calcium deficiencies, for example, but that’s not enough to determine that every bird of that species has the same need for more calcium. It’s always best to have the bloodwork and annual exam done, to know what is normal for your bird. In the case she discussed, routine bloodwork saved the bird. Without it, the bird’s issue would have progressed beyond the point of helping it, before the bird exhibited any signs of the disease.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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