First Aid For Your Sick Parrot
Birds are very fragile creatures. You need to monitor their health carefully in order to be aware of whether or not you have a sick parrot.
Like many animals in the wild, parrots will hide their illness until they are unable to do so. This is a survival mechanism. They want to appear healthy so as not to look like “easy pickings” to predators.
They may even be kicked out of their flock by the other members if they appear sick. This might seem cruel but it is crucial to the survival of the flock. A sick parrot will attract predators and may also infect others.
It is critical to notify your veterinarian immediately if you notice any changes in your parrot’s demeanor or daily habits. Since birds are so good at hiding their infirmities it can almost be too late by the time you realize something is wrong.
Between the time you notice health changes and when you are able to get in to see your vet there are a few actions you can take to help your sick parrot.
1. Bleeding While this is more of a first aid issue, bleeding can quickly become an overall health issue.
The first step with bleeding is to determine it’s source. In most cases your bird will be bleeding from it’s nails, feathers or beak.
If it is bleeding from a blood feather you will need to first, wrap your bird in a clean cloth or towel, then pluck the feather out by it’s base. You will most likeliy not to be able to stop bleeding from a feather without taking these steps.
Finally, get your parrot to a veterinarian as quickly as possible.
If your parrot just has a broken nail you should be able to stop the bleeding with a styptic pencil, flour or cornstarch.
If a bleeding beak is the problem then don’t use the styptic pencil, but do use cornstarch or flour. Dip the beak if you can, if not, then apply the flour or cornstarch with your fingers. If the bleeding hasn’t stoped by 7-8 mins. then take your bird to the vet right away.
2. Keep Your Parrot Warm This is the single most important ting to remember if you have a sick parrot.
Parrots are tropical birds to begin with and warmth is critical when they are sick. A sick parrot is unable to keep itself warm.
Make sure your cage is in a draft-free area and if you can’t get your parrot’s room temperature up to 80 degrees you should put a heat lamp nearby. Be careful not to place it where your bird can burn himself on it or get ahold of the cord.
3. Hydration It is of the utmost impportance to make sure that your sick parrot stays well hydrated. If your bird is not drinking you can give water eith a dropper.
You can also try a Pedialyte solution, but you still need to make sure that fresh water is also available.
Remember when feeding with a dropper that you should not use force and you need to take care not to give too much at one time.
4. Hospital Cages If your bird is having trouble perching you may need to place it in a “hospital cage”.
Aquariums make good hospital cages since the surrounding glass helps them retain warmth. You can line the cage with soft bedding, make sure there is food and water availabe and place a heat lamp on one side.
By keeping the heat lamp to one side you afford your parrot the chance to move away from it should he become too warm.
You should also place a perch in the hospital cage too…you will know your bird is feeling better when he starts perching again.
Following the above guidelines will enable you to create a comfortable and healing environment for your sick parrot.