Create a home hospital cage
The hospital cage or makeshift incubator is one of the most important items you will need in case of an emergency. You will need:
- Cage, crate or aquarium
- Food and water containers
- Heating pad or heat tapes (DO NOT use a lamp as this can burn the skin and dry mucus membranes all while disrupting your bird's normal day/night rhythm)
The hospital cage can also serve as the carrier to transport your bird to the veterinarian, if need be.
- Place your bird in the hospital cage, providing supplemental heat (target 85° F or 29° C)
- Provide easy access to food and water
- Provide normal ambient light during the day to stimulate eating and drinking.
- Keep your bird calm and quiet. Do not handle unless necessary.
- Monitor your bird for changes in condition.
Specific advice for specific emergencies:
Seek veterinary attention immediately, even if your bird looks normal after an attack or the physical contact appeared light. Puncture wounds can be subtle, and bites can also cause crushing and internal injury.
Determine the source of the bleeding. If bleeding is minimal, place your bird in hospital cage and observe to see if the bleeding stops on its own. Schedule a veterinary appointment for any additional medical treatment that may be necessary.
If the bleeding does not stop after 5 minutes, first aid should be initiated. Manually restrain your pet, using safe techniques demonstrated by your veterinarian.
- Minor skin wounds: Apply firm, gentle, continuous pressure for at least 1-2 minutes.
- Broken blood feather: Apply styptic gel/powder and direct pressure for 1-2 minutes. DO NOT pull the blood feather. This is a painful procedure only performed by veterinarians with proper equipment, pain medication and in most cases anesthesia.
- Bleeding beak/nail: Wipe away the blood, provide general supportive care (see above) and monitor for 1 hour (see below)
After bleeding has stopped observe your bird for approximately 1 hour to be sure bleeding does not recur. Schedule a veterinary appointment for any additional medical treatment that may be necessary.
If you cannot stop the bleeding, if bleeding recurs or if your bird is weak and listless contact your avian veterinarian immediately.
Head Trauma usually occurs from flying into a wall, mirror, window or ceiling fan. Affected birds can demonstrate depression, loss of balance, weakness, seizures or even loss of consciousness.
Even if your bird seems fine at first, potentially fatal problems can develop later so take head trauma very seriously. Transfer your pet to the hospital cage, remove perches and pad the cage bottom with a large towel.
Contact your avian veterinarian immediately and in the meanwhile:
DO NOT provide supplemental heat (which can cause more swelling in the brain and therefore worsen neurological problems).
DO dim the lights or cover most of the cage.
DO keep your bird quiet and calm.