HANDLING BIRD EMERGENCIES

The best way to cope with avian emergencies is to prevent them from happening.

Regular health exams identify early problems and al- low them to be corrected before they develop into an emergency. Provide a nutritional, balanced diet for your bird and it will go a long way toward preventing many health problems. Ensure a safe, clean, toxin free environment with good light and air. Proper supervi- sion and wing trimming will control accidental injuries from things like ceiling fans and crashing into glass, landing on hot cooking surfaces and foods, and attacks from other household pets.

But despite all our good care, emergencies happen. With this in mind, make sure you have the emergency number for your avian veterinarian in an easy to find place.

General rules for emergency management:

  • Stay calm and access the problem before proceeding.
  • Be prepared. Have the phone number for emer gency veterinary care in an easy to locate place. Put together an avian first aid kit containing items that will help in an emergency. Ask your avian vet to show you how to manage simple emergencies. Refresh and replenish the first aid kit on a regular basis.
  • DO NO HARM. When in doubt, call your Avian Veterinarian for guidance.
  • Do Not Hesitate. Go immediately and directly to your avian vet should your bird be bleeding from or have received a wound, have difficulty breathing, have suffered a blow or crushing injury, have been attacked by another animal, been burned or shocked, have in- haled toxins, or be exhibiting gen- eral symptoms of illness; such as not perching normally, coughing, vomiting, not eating, diarrhea, lameness and swelling.
  • Call your avian vet and give them details of the emergency. Control any bleeding with direct pressure and wrap you bird in a towel to keep them from flapping as you travel to the vet. Birds that are not bleeding or thrashing should be place in a warm, dark container or carrier for the trip to the vet.