Customized Medicine

In order to treat the variety of species at the National Aviary, prescription medicines are customized to each individual bird. Parrots are given banana-flavored antibiotic syrup while the Aviary’s African penguins are treated using an individually-made capsule hidden in their fish.

The bird prescriptions are made by modifying drugs intended for use in dogs, cats, horses, and even human medicines. The National Aviary has developed a novel treatment for penguin pneumonia using human drugs. A penguin is placed in a clear ICU box for a few minutes to breathe a human nebulization medication. This is a very safe, easy, and effective treatment to control serious fungal pneumonia in penguins.