Caring for Pet Birds
How to Take Care of a Pet Bird
Lories and Lorikeets
Finding a Good Breeder
Choosing the Right Pet Bird
Choosing Bird Toys
Determining the Sex of a Bird...Sexing a Bird
Caring for a Pet Bird...Creating The Correct Environment
Handfeeding Baby Birds
Identifying Sick Pet Birds
Selecting a Cage
Teaching Simple Tricks
How to Teach Your Pet Bird to Stop Biting
Stress Can Kill Your Pet Bird
How to Teach Your Pet Bird to Talk
The First Month
Caring for Sick Pet Birds
Although caring for any sick pet can be a bit tricky, caring for sick pet bird is extremely challenging. By the time many bird owners realize their pets are sick, the birds are seriously ill. If your bird is sick, you should contact your avian veterinarian immediately. However, reaching your veterinarian when you realize your bird is sick is not always possible. What do you do to help your bird until you can get him to the vet's office?
The first thing you might want to do for your sick bird is to help him stay warm. A grow light for plants is an ideal heat source. Aim the light so that your bird is able to move away from it if he gets too hot. If your bird is sitting on the bottom of his cage and is unable to sit on his perch, you may want to move him into hospital cage for added warmth and safety.
An aquarium can be an excellent "hospital" cage for birds. Simply put some form of bedding in the bottom, such as a towel or newspaper and place shallow crocks of food and water in one corner. If you line the aquarium with newspaper, it can be a bit slippery for your bird to stand on, so you may want to place a few paper towels on top of the paper.
Ideally, you should have a low perch in the aquarium. A freestanding triangle perch is perfect for this purpose.
If you choose to provide a light for warmth, set it up so that it shines mainly on one side of the cage or aquarium. This way, your bird is not forced to sit under the light if the hospital cage gets too warm.
If you don't have an aquarium handy, you can turn your bird's own cage into a hospital cage. Cover most of the bird cage with a towel to help keep the warmth in and put a perch and feed and water dishes on the cage bottom.
NUTRITION AND HYDRATION
Next, you should be sure your bird does not become weakened by a lack of nutrition and dehydration. Electrolytes can provide some quick energy for an ill bird. See if he will drink a few drops of a sports drink from a spoon. For birds that were handfed, this should not be a problem unless they are too weak to drink. In fact, if you have handfeeding formula, you can mix up a bit of the formula using the sports drink instead of water. This can help make the taste a bit more appealing.
If your bird doesn't seem weak enough to need electrolytes, keep a close eye on the amount of food he eats and offer him a sprig of spray millet for some quick energy.
Of course, if your bird is badly sick, not just feeling a little "down", and needs emergency care, you will want to apply first aid before setting him up in a hospital cage. If he is bleeding, check to see if the blood is coming from a broken feather. While most feathers will not bleed if they are broken, new feathers, called blood feathers, are still growing and will bleed.
You will need to pull the blood feather completely out to stop the bleeding. Don't forget to carefully cover your bird's head with a towel or you may end up bleeding, too. Having a feather pulled out hurts and even the sweetest bird may instinctively lash out and bite you. If your bird is bleeding from a ripped nail or bitten toe, apply styptic powder or flour to the cut to control the bleeding.