On 23rd June we were at Kempton Park Racecourse for the 2014 Think Parrots Show. As well as exhibiting our fantastic range of high-quality products suitable for parrots, our director Peter Scott (MRCVS) gave a talk on ‘First Aid for Birds and Advances in Avian Medicine.’ The tips and explanations of veterinary procedures are useful for any bird owner so we have included a condensed version below for reference.
- Birds hide the initial signs of problems. Bear in mind this often means the issue has either been getting progressively worse or is ongoing – so act fast! - Limited first aid is available
- Follow the ABC rule, stabilize the bird and get it to a vet quickly.
- ABC: Airways are clear, Breathing is possible as air sacs are inflating, Care provided through warmth, fluids, physical injury support and vet visit.
- Birds cannot afford to lose much blood as their blood volume is low. To stop bleeding on leg/wing apply pressure and a cohesive bandage. Nails and beaks can be stopped in an emergency by using a styptic.
- If bleeding is from a broken blood feather, restrain the bird and firmly pull the feather before applying pressure. Don’t use styptics on these injuries.
- If the bird is egg bound
- Showing signs of depression means a vet must be contacted immediately. If the bird is still bright, consider warmth and high humidity for a few hours, as well as ensuring calcium is available in the drinking water or give Zolcal D directly for a strong boost. If the situation does not improve after 24hrs, see a vet. Ensure you explain exactly how you tried to remedy the situation and when it was found.
Remember that avian medicine is advancing at a faster rate than ever before as our understanding of the issues improves. ALWAYS seek veterinary attention with a sick or injured bird as you can rarely assess the true extent of injury without their expertise.
Finally, make sure you have adequate pet insurance and an ‘after-care’ plan for when incidents happen. Knowing how to provide essential support through tube feeding, correct warmth provision (28-30 degrees centigrade), preventing dehydration and allowing rest is critical, if uncertain please speak to your vet for advice.