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How to care for Injured Birds 

Emergency Kit   I  Heat   I   Humidity   I   Nutrition   I   Fluids    I   Rest, Noise and Disturbances  |   Most Important

If you own a bird please be sure and have a First Aid Kit ready to use in case of emergency and bring your bird to a veterinary no matter how small you may think the injury is.

These measures alone will not cure your bird and are not a substitute for veterinary care. Immediate emergency care for most birds will need the following when injured.

Emergency Kit - This emergency kit can be activated within minutes of an accident or illness. Bring your bird to a veterinary no matter how small you may think the injury is. These measures alone will not cure your bird and are not a substitute for veterinary care. Immediate emergency care for most birds will need the following when injured:

The Following Emergency is a list of all items needed for Emergency care of your bird. You will still need to call your vet for further instructions.

  • Veterinarian phone numbers & Poison control hotline number
  • Two thick towels
  • Aquarium large enough for your bird/parrot to rest comfortably
  • Thermometer to monitor aquarium temperature
  • Heating pad
  • Aloe Vera gel (multiple uses including pain relief for bird bites)
  • Betadine or Chlorhexidine (for disinfecting hands and wounds)
  • Charcoal capsules (to absorb toxins -- only on advice of poison control)
  • Citra-Solv (to remove sticky adhesives from feathers)
  • Corn starch (for broken nails and feathers--Quik Stop causes soft tissue damage)
  • Distilled water (for mixing formula, cleaning, etc.)
  • Feeding syringe, cup & spoon (for emergency feeding of sick birds)
  • Formula (must be kept in freezer for emergency use)
  • Gauze swabs & bandages
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract (disinfectant anti-microbial)
  • Infalyte or Pedialyte (for rehydrating sick bird)
  • Magnifying glass
  • Masking tape 1/2 inch (for stabilizing broken wings, etc. on vet advice)
  • Naturade Aloe Detoxifying formula (emergency treatment of unknown illnesses)
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail file
  • Needle nose pliers or hemostat (to remove broken blood feathers, etc.)
  • Small scissors
  • Small, bright pen light
  • Sterile saline solution (for flushing eyes and cleaning wounds)
  • Tweezers
  • Wire cutters (for entanglement in cage or other wire)

This emergency kit preparation can be activated within minutes of an accident or illness.

  • List of Veterinary
  • Emergency Room and Poison Control phone numbers with address. This can be placed in a small zip lock bag to keep inside the aquarium in a small basket.
  • Lined aquarium with a thick clean towel. Ready for use.
  • Place all supplies (except for formula) in a see trough container and place basket inside the aquarium.
  • Place tools in a second see thru container.
  • Place heating pad on top and cover aquarium, supplies, and tools of the second towel.

When you have an injured or sick bird, use top towel to wrap bird in, remove the baskets of supplies from the aquarium. Place the heating pad under it and plug it in. Place bird inside aquarium then call your Vet and Bring your bird to a veterinary no matter how small you may think the injury is.

These measures alone will not cure your bird and are not a substitute for veterinary care. Immediate emergency care for most birds will need the following when injured: 

Heat - To support the body temperature, the proper temperature is at least 85-90 degrees. If the bird begins to pant, lower heat down one notch at a time but not lower than 80. Once the bird begins to recover decrease temperature gradually, a few degree at a time but no lower than room temperature.

Humidity - Indication of respiratory concern should be checked by any of the following: wheezy, raspy, bubbly, or clicking noises in the breathing; discharge from nostrils; breathing heavily or with difficulty, beak held open to breathe but not panting. It is imperative to provide adequate humidity in cases of respiratory involvement in the illness. Humidity eases the breathing and helps the bird keep the air passages clear and moist. A vaporizer or a humidifier will work. You may also place the bird in the bathroom and periodically running hot water in the shower to bring vapor in the room. (Do not bring in and out of bathroom and keep wrapped in a towel to gradually adjust to other room temperature if your use of humidity is the shower.) If you have no respiratory concern or the bird is physically injured but not ill, humidity is not as important.

Fluids - To assure your bird is not dehydrated as most sick bird will due to not drink as much on its own while its temperature may be elevated, and its digestion may be disrupted. Oral fluids are very helpful. You may give fluids from your finger, a spoon, or by syringe. In extreme cases a veterinarian may administer fluids under the skin, Do not use Gatorade, it's too high in salt and some fluids may cause a reverse reaction. It is imperative to contact your veterinary as what you should use and which fluid, temperature and quantity may be best to use for the type of bird have and before administering fluids such as: Infalyte brand infant electrolyte solution, apple or grape juice, D5W (medical glucose/saline solution), bottled water with a little sugar or honey.

Nutrition - Inadequate nutrition will severely impact the bird's ability to recover from the illness. To ensure food energy is continually available. A sick bird should only eat foods that are high in carbohydrates and easy to digest. If your bird doesn't eat on its own while ill, you need to hand feed it, or force feed it if necessary. Healthy birds can starve to death in 48 - 72 hours faster when ill.

Food samples: hand-feeding formula, infant rice cereal, baby food, ground-up pellets fixed with fruit juice, molasses, honey, Instant Ounces brand emergency food for birds, cream of wheat, papaya juice or nectar, all 100% fruit juice (except orange).

Rest, Noise and Disturbances - Limit noise and all activities. Move the bird to a quiet part of the house while keeping your ill or injured bird quiet and inactive. Semidarkness, no toys and nothing to climb or play on will encourage rest and sleep much needed as is for children while ill.

Most Important - Bring your bird to a veterinary no matter how small you may think the injury is.

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