FIRST AID

Note: ALL the answers in this section are what to do right then and there. Should the situation be serious, get to the vet, who will perform "Second aid" First aid is just to hold the bird over 'till the vet visit. IT IS NOT A CURE.

Q. Can I buy complete bird first aid kits?
A.
Yes, you can!

Exotic Bird Care
Bird Aid
7514 Charmant Drive
San Diego, CA, 92122
1-619-793-2473
$14.95 plus $2.00 s/h
CA residents add 7.75% tax
Petiatric Supply Co.
First Aid Kit
3030 Mascot
Wichita, KS, 67204-4406
Phone: 316-831-9500
Fax: 316-831-9400
Email: info@petiatric.com
VSI Pet Care Products
First Aid For Pets
Call 1-800-831-7245
E-Mail: vsipurch@aol.com
Q. I would like to put together my own kit. What should be in it?
A.
First get a toolbox to put everything in. Then you should get:

Q. What shouldn't I do to the bird?
A.
Never use oils or lotions which contain oils on your bird. They gunk up the feathers, and ruin their insulating properties. This means a chilled bird. Never wait out a cat bite--those require immediate veterinary attention--a bird can die within two days because a cat's mouth is so filthy and full of bacteria. Don't bother with over-the-counter medication. It really doesn't work, and in some cases, may upset the delicate bacterial balance in the bird's body, or even worsen the situation. Never try to treat a fracture at home.

Q. My bird is healthy. I don't need to go to a vet, do I?
A.
Schedule a "well-bird" checkup. Prevention is the best medicine. Even though the bird might appear outwardly healthy, it may have a low-grade infection or something not so readily apparent. Your bird's health and your peace of mind will be worth it.

Q. My bird's leg is being rubbed raw by the leg band. Can I take it off?
A.
No. Don't attempt this, especially if the leg is broken or swollen. The vet will be able to remove the band, and deal with whatever injury maybe lurking under the banded area.

Q. How do I pull a broken blood feather?
A.
This is probably the most common mishap. The remedy is simple--yank! It's most easily done with two people. One to restrain the bird and the other to pull the feather. Use pliers, or a hemostat. Tweezers won't work on primaries. Make certain that the wing bones are firmly supported or you can break the wing. Clamp onto the feather and give a sharp tug in the direction of the feather. The feather will come out. Next, apply gentle, direct pressure to the follicle where the feather was to stop the bleeding. Dab some styptic powder on it, as it will help stop the bleeding as well. Let the bird rest. Ask your vet or breeder to demonstrate exactly how to pull a blood feather if you're apprehensive about doing it.

Q. My bird has broken its wing, what now?
A.
Get thee to a vet! But take precautions to immobilize the wing. Using butcher, drafting, or masking tape (which isn't too sticky) tape the wing gently to the body.

Q. My bird can't lay her eggs. What can I do to help?
A.
Put her in a hospital cage, and keep her warm. Sometimes this is all it takes. Never try to expel the egg yourself, it may break, and then the bird may get an infection. Call the vet, just in case. When the egg is stuck, the bird cannot relieve itself, and toxins build up.

Q. What can I do for a burn?
A.
Rinse with lots and lots of cool water. A burn is a very serious injury because they are so prone to infection.

Q. My sick bird isn't eating!
A.
Even eating treat foods is better than not eating at all. Try a hand-feeding formula if all else fails.

Q. My bird is wheezing, what could this mean?
A.
The bird may have inhaled a seed hull or a bit of pellet. This is very serious. Also, the bird may have air-sac mites (Gouldian Finches are prone to these) or an infection. All these require vet care.

Q. I feel like this is all my fault, why did this happen?
A.
Even with the best of intent and cautions, mishaps occur. That's exactly why they're called accidents.


Comments or Suggestions should go to the current maintainers of the FAQ files:

Kathryn A. Smith
Damian Bates

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This FAQ is by no means meant to replace the many wonderful and informative books, breeders, magazines, and veterinarians that are out there.

Last Revised: Friday, 18-Jul-2008 19:44:03 MDT ( Damian )