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Stabilizing A Sick Bird and When To See A Vet: What You Need To Know

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Stabilizing A Sick Bird

Bird's hide illness, injuries, and pain until they just can't hide it anymore.  In their mind, its a matter of survival. 

That's why if you suspect that your bird is sick, it is likely that your bird is VERY sick and you need to act fast to get your bird stabilized.  This guide will help you take important first steps and guide you of when and how quickly to get your bird to the vet.

DO THIS NOW:

  1. Get your CLEAN, PREPARED HOSPITAL CAGE OUT.
  2. WARMTH: Turn on a bird safe heat source like a Snuggle Up Cage Warmer and begin warming the cage.
  3. Lower perches, make sure that food and water is easily accessible, line the bottom with a clean, soft, fluffy towel to soften any falls.
  4. Place your bird in the hospital cage and check on it frequently.
  5. MINIMIZE STRESS: Cover the hospital cage both to retain warmth, encourage much needed sleep and reduce noise and stress from household commotion. DON'T HANDLE YOUR BIRD ANY MORE THAN IS NECESSARY
  6. DETERMINE HOW FAST TO GET VET CARE: See the chart below to determine if the incident warrants immediate veterinarian care or whether you can buy a little time with general supportive care and observation.

GET EMERGENCY VET CARE NOW:

  • BLEEDING, EXTERNAL that won't stop
  • BLEEDING, INTERNAL - in vomit & or diarrhea
  • ANY BURN
  • BODILY COLLAPSE or loss of balance
  • POISON - Chemicals & plants.  (Please retain sample of item for your vet)
  • ANY ANIMAL ATTACK can cause deadly bacterial infections that kill fast
  • SERIOUS INJURY such as puncture wound to eye, chest or abdomen, open laceration, or fracture
  • SEVERE BREATHING PROBLEMS  - gaspy, noisy or rattling sounds, distressed breathing or tail bobbing with each breath.
  • STRAINING to pass droppings
  • UNCONTROLLABLE ITCHING

GET YOUR BIRD TO THE VET TODAY:

  • NOT EATING especially when combined with other signs of distress such as labored breathing and diarrhea
  • LABORED BREATHING which looks like shallow, rapid breaths, with or without a cough.
  • EGG BOUND - abdominal distention accompanied by indications of pain, straining and depression
  • EYE ISSUES- eyes partially or completely closed, cloudy, blueish or opaque color in eyes, that indicate infection.
  • SWALLOWED FOREIGN OBJECT - as this may pose life-threatening issues with elimination.
  • HYPOTHERMIA or low body temperature
  • GENERAL INJURIES especially animal bites including other bird bites should receive immediate treatment.
  • SEVERE DIARRHEA that includes frequent, runny poop, indications of abdominal pain and straining to eliminate.
  • SWELLING that feels hard, warm and is painful or has a discharge.

GIVE YOUR BIRD GENERAL SUPPORTIVE CARE FOR 24 HOURS; IF YOU DON'T SEE SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT CALL FOR AN APPOINTMENT

  • Loss of appetite 
  • Diarrhea with no sign of blood and no indication of pain or straining.
  • Itching - moderate scratching that isn't tearing skin
  • Thirst that looks like excessive drinking.
  • Vomiting - 1-2 episodes (other than sexual flirtations) with no other medical involvement such as diarrhea, lethargy, perching on cage floor. 
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