Home » Pet Care » Sick Pet Bird Care

Sick Pet Bird Care

The article is aimed specifically at pet bird owners and is intended to be used as a basic guide to properly care for a sick or injured bird. Always follow your veterinarian’s advice and do not use this item to avoid a practical veterinary exam. The key idea in this article is to reduce the stress of your recovering bird.

1. HEAT: Sick birds will sit with their fluffy feathers to keep them warm. The effort to conserve heat places an additional burden on the already weakened bird. Your veterinarian will determine if your bird should be hospitalized, but if home care is acceptable, I recommend setting up a tent to keep your bird warm. The natural temperature of a bird is much higher than ours, from 103F to 106F. Therefore, what makes us hot often can be cold for them and this is especially true in sick birds. A simple way to provide heat is to cover half of the cage with a blanket and place a heat lamp on the other side as a heat . Generally, we keep our sick birds at ambient temperatures ranging from 85 to 95F. This will vary greatly depending on each bird, so it is important to monitor your pet to make sure you are providing the correct temperature and of course seek advice from your veterinarian. A bird that is too hot will have very slender feathers, tightly pressed against the body, will slightly maintain its wings (shoulders) away from its body and may gasp. If you see any of these signs, your bird is far too hot and the room temperature should be reduced accordingly. For night heat, I recommend using a red light. Sick birds, like sick people, need rest and if they are kept in bright lights all night, they will be deprived of sleep. In addition, during the day it is important to provide light to encourage them to eat and to monitor them. Therefore, the entire cage should never be covered during the day. I do not recommend heating pads because it is very difficult to regulate the temperature. If a bird is not perched and sitting directly on the cushion, it can easily become overheated or burned. And in my experience, baby birds reared on a heating pad become dehydrated quickly and are again prone to burns.

2. STRESS: Weakened birds should be kept in a stress-free situation. Often what seems normal to us can cause stress in our feathered friends. I suggest looking closely at your bird’s environment with a critical eye to determine what may be the stressors. Some common birds include, the bird in the center of the traffic without the possibility of rest, cigarette smoke or aerosols in the birds’ environment, lack of darkness / sleep at night, other pets, small children, too much visual stimuli (cage directly in front of a window), competition from cage mates, too much manipulation, poor nutrition and extreme temperatures (like birds kept in kitchens). I recommend that sick birds be left in their cages and allowed to recover calmly. Think of it as a daybed for your pet! Excessive handling can stress the bird and will require the bird to use additional calories. If the bird is housed with other birds, it is usually best to transport it in a single cage. Some birds may become overly stressed when separated from the colony, so you should seek advice from your veterinarian to cage your sick pet. However, generally removing the bird from the group will reduce the stress of the competition for nutrition and allow for easy care and better follow-up. Of course, if an infectious disease is suspected, the animal should be placed in an isolation cage and at least in a separate room – preferably a separate house with no other birds.

3. NUTRITION: If your doctor has made dietary recommendations, now is not the time to implement the change. Changes in the type of diet will cause enormous stress to your bird and should be started when the bird has recovered. Always discuss how and when to make dietary changes with your pet’s doctor. As a general rule, I recommend offering all of the bird’s favorite foods during the illness, as many sick birds become anorexic and can be lost due to starvation. If your bird is normally a seed sower but is not currently eating, try placing millet sprays in the cage, which most birds appreciate. The important thing to remember is that it took months to years for the bird to become malnourished and this cannot be corrected in a day or a week. Slow changes are essential for the sick bird. If you cannot get your pet to eat, he must be hospitalized for force-feeding and additional care. Birds have a high metabolic rate and can quickly starve to death. So a pet bird that stops eating should always be considered seriously ill, there is certainly a deadly potential. Finally, if your bird is a baby raised by hand and does not eat because of the disease, you can often bring it back to manual feeding (syringe feeding) during the recovery period. A good hand-rearing formula should be used. The formula should be mixed with hot water as directed on the bag and offered to the bird. Do not force the bird to eat. Pet owners should never force-feed their birds. A bird can easily suck in (inhale food) and develop pneumonia and force-feeding causes enormous stress for your bird. The return to manual feeding is only useful for birds who willingly accept to feed from the syringe. In addition, if you are breastfeeding by hand, the formula should be reheated properly (follow the advice on the formula bag and that of your veterinarian) to avoid food burns from too hot a formula and the stasis of harvesting formula fed at too cold a temperature.

4. MEDICATION: Routes: 1. Injectable, 2. In water or food, 3. Topical, 4. Oral I prefer not to take medication in the water or food of the animal. Drugs administered this way often cause a change in taste and can potentially cause the bird to reduce its food and water consumption. Also, when medication is placed in food or water, it is very difficult to determine the amount of medication ingested by the animal. So, in my opinion, the best routes are injectable and oral. Topical medications are often not helpful to the animal and will cause oily feathers.

Before bringing your bird home, the doctor or technician should show you how to properly care for your bird. In short, the patient should be kept upright and the syringe containing the drug should be gently inserted from the left side of the mouth and tilted to the right side. Most birds try to bite the syringe, which makes it easy to put it into the oral cavity. Slowly depress the syringe plunger to dispense the medication through the bottom of the spout. If the animal struggles during medication, stop for a few moments, then try again. You should tell your veterinarian if you cannot treat your pet. The drug can be mixed with a flavoring agent (FlavorX), which will help reduce some resistance. Sometimes, depending on the reason for treatment, your doctor may be able to give a long-acting injection in place of an oral medication, but this has limited uses and is therefore not available for all animals. .

5. FOLLOW-UP EXAMINATIONS: As soon as the disease was detected in your animal, he was taken to the veterinarian for a physical examination and diagnosis, including laboratory tests. Unfortunately, many people will see that their pet is improving and do not realize that a follow-up examination is necessary. I always suggest rechecking the patient at varying intervals depending on the state of debilitation. The follow-up examination allows your doctor to assess the patient’s response to treatment and the owner’s compliance with the instructions. Many times during the treatment of an exotic animal, the treatment should be changed somewhat to ensure the best response. These rechecks are also used as a way to reinforce the changes necessary to keep the bird healthy. Additionally, laboratory values ​​can be rechecked to make sure the patient is really recovering and not just feeling well enough to start hiding any weaknesses again. I cannot stress enough the importance of this monitoring, it is extremely important for the health of your bird.

Most importantly, follow the advice of your veterinarian and ask questions to make sure you understand what you need to restore your pet’s health.

by Jill Patt

Related Posts