Let's Celebrate Pet Birds!
T.J. Lafeber D.V.M.

Emergency Treatment


Emergency Treatment

(Temporary Care Until the Bird Can be Seen by a Veterinarian)

If ever the bird sits with its feathers ruffled, eyes partially closed, droopy appearance, or if there are signs of diarrhea or respiratory problems, the bird should be treated immediately. Also, any bird which has been injured, sustained a broken leg or wing, bitten by a cat, dog or other animal, burned or chilled, should likewise be started on emergency care.

Every part of the following treatment is important!

A temporary incubator can be made by placing a heating pad along side the cage and then the entire cage is wrapped with plastic and a cage cover. An infrared light or 150 watt light bulb could be used as an alternate heat source. The temperature should be maintained at 80-85'.

Should the cage temperature become too hot, the bird will start breathing rapidly, hold his wings out from the sides of his body, and the feathers will be held so close or tight to the body that he will appear peculiarly skinny.

A bird that stops eating dies. Therefore, every effort must be made to encourage the bird to eat. Cups of food should be placed adjacent to where the bird is perched, or food scattered on the bottom of the cage if the bird is off his perch. The veterinarian will immediately force feed a bird by passing a stomach tube.

Sick birds need rest, and thus, should be in a darkened room or covered to insure 12 to 16 hours of sleep. A two-hour nap in the morning or afternoon is advisable.

Start counting droppings. The number or volume of droppings will be of great concern to the veterinarian. Better yet, save the droppings for the veterinarian to view.


a. Don't give whiskey.
b. Don't use laxatives.
c. Don't use oil.
d. Don't stop food.

Telephone Your Veterinarian
Veterinarians hold the health of their patients, and the best interests of their owners as primary considerations.

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