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Happy Kritters Aviary | Bakersfield, CA
Phone: (661) 663-0739 or (805) 458 6230

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First Aid

Disclaimer: The intent of this site is to provide general information. It does not reflect in any way that we are veterinarians nor do we claim to be. If your bird becomes ill or injured, please contact your vet immediately for further instructions!

The following conditions may require immediate veterinary attention. It is important that you assess the situation and do what you can to keep your bird as comfortable as possible until you can reach your vet. If you find that you must administer any first aid or medication, it is very important for owners to know how to properly restrain your bird so as to prevent any further injuries or shock. An avian vet, experienced professional animal caretaker, or aviculturist will be able to demonstrate the proper technique using a large towel.

Please -- unless you've done this before, do not try it without knowing the proper way of handling your bird. If you do, you could unknowingly and unintentionally cause further harm to your bird. This procedure requires much patience, gentleness, and understanding.

All of the information on this page was obtained from C & C Indian Ringnecks.

These are serious injuries. Apply copious amounts of cool water and see a veterinarian immediately!

This occurs when a bird flies into a wall or window. Provide warmth, keep from further injury and make sure food is available. If the condition doesn't improve within two to three hours, see a vet without delay.

Foreign Objects in the Crop
Prevention is the key. If a foreign object has been swallowed, withhold food and water because surgery may be required.

Protrusion From Vent (bird's bottom)
Wash with lukewarm water and apply KY Jelly. Try to gently push the protrusion back into place. See a vet.

This looks like a wet raspberry on the bird's vent. See a vet right away.

Egg Binding
This occurs when the female cannot expell her egg. Keep her warm in a brooder or hospital cage at 85-90 degrees and 40% humidity. If the bird doesn't improve in one hour try the following: smear on some salad oil underneath the bird's tail, or dunk just the underpart of the bird's body in alternating cold and warm baths. Be careful that the eggshell is never broken inside the bird's body.

Egg binding generally accurs among birds that are either too young for breeding, or are breeding too intensively. Birds that are housed in cages and aviaries where room for flying is too small can also suffer from this, as can those that are regularly exposed to temperature variations.

Eye Injuries
Wash out with eyewash, and put the bird in a dark area. Ask an avian vet what steps to take.

If a wing is fractured, bind the wing to the body with tape. Use butcher wrapping tape, not adhesive tape. See avian vet.

Apply direct pressure for bleeding. Protect the wound from further contamination. Do not apply non-prescribed medication. See a vet.

Hyperthermia (overheating)
Spray cool water on the feet and body and apply rubbing alcohol to the feet. See a vet.

First Aid Kit

Be prepared for emergencies. Assemble a portable first aid kit for your bird. The following is a list of recommended items.

 Vet Phone Number
 Emergency Vet Number
 Eyewash Solution
 Gauze Sponges
 KY Jelly
 Latex Gloves
 Rubbing Alcohol
 Scissors (rounded edge)
 Feeding Tubes (8F/10F)
 Pen Light
 Large towel for restraint
 Corn Starch
 Ziplock bags for saving specimens
 Betadine Solution to put on open wounds
 3M "Tegaderm/Nexcare" transparent dressing
 Paper and pen to record important information

Helpful Everyday Items

Although serious illnesses or accidents almost always require the advice and care of an avian vet, it will be easier to cope with emergencies if these additional items are available:

Heat Source
Infrared lamp (60-100 WATT bulb), a heating pad.

Hospital Cage
or storage container (special cage).

Environment Thermometer
Buy one that's easy to read so the temperature can be monitored in the cage.

Kaopectate or Pepto-Bismol
For loose droppings and regurgitation. Soothes and coats digestive tract. Dosage is 2-3 drops every four hours. Administer with a plastic dropper, no glass.

Karo syrup
For dehydration and for quick energy. Add 4 drops to 1 quart of water. Administer 8 to 10 drops slowly in the mouth every 20 to 30 minutes with a plastic dropper.

Maalox or DiGel
For crop disorders. Soothes the inflammation and eliminates gas. Dosage: 3-5 drops every four hours.

Milk of Magnesia
For constipation. Dose is 3-5 drops in the mouth with a plastic dropper twice daily for two days. Don't use if the bird has kidney problems or heart disease. Consult a vet before administering.

Mineral Oil
For constipation, crop impactation, and egg binding. Dosage: 2 drops orally for two days with a plastic dropper. Be careful when administering oil because it can cause pneumonia if it enters the breathing tubes and lungs.

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