3 Treatment Tips for a Bleeding Bird
A very common and scary avian emergency is a bleeding bird. Anytime that a bird is bleeding, it is cause for concern and you'll need to make fairly fast decisions.
About 10 % of your birds body weight is blood. So a 100 gm. Cockatiel may have 10 cc of blood. It's easier to envision how much blood your bird has if you look at a syringe. So, if you see a couple of cc of blood on your bird or splatters around the cage, floor, cage paper or walls, take action quickly.
FIRST: STAY CALM!
Remember, that your bird easily feeds off of your emotional state. If it is already experiencing a medical problem and it see's you in a panic, your bird's blood pressure will increase and it will go into "fight or flight" mode, thereby increasing the blood loss. Take a few deep breaths and remember this article.
SECOND: STOP & THINK
A healthy bird has great clotting abilities and can experience losses of up to about 50% of its blood with supportive veterinary care. That's not to say that you want to just apply a "band-aid" approach with a bleeding bird, but use this information to keep calm. A bit of blood on this pictured Green Amazon can be treated easily, while you'd want to get veterinary care for more significant blood loss.
After calming down, it is important to find the source of the bleeding. Is the bleeding from an internal injury or an external one? Internal bleeding comes from a body orifice like the mouth, ears, nares or vent, while external bleeding comes from the skin.
THIRD: DETERMINE THE CAUSE & LOCATION OF THE BLEEDING:
- Determine the exact location of the bleeding.
- Determine the extent of the injury.
- Can the bleeding be stopped with no first aid measures or application of Super Clot and 1-2 minutes of pressure?
- INTERNAL INJURIES REQUIRE IMMEDIATE VETERINARY CARE: Get your bird to the vet immediately if the bleeding is from an orifice such as the nares, mouth, ears, eyes or in the droppings.
- ANIMAL BITES: INCLUDING BIRD: Always seek Avian Vet Care ASAP due to deadly infection issue.
- EXTERNAL INJURIES: Broken blood feathers, small lesions...
If the bleeding is external, minor, and not from an animal bite, place your bird in a clean hospital cage to minimize movement and make observation easier.
- Observe your bird for 5 minutes.
- If bleeding doesn't stop within 5 minutes, administer Bird First Aid: Bird first aid in this case means applying Bird Safe Styptic Gel at the site of the bleeding and applying pressure for 1-2 minutes.
- Once the bleeding has stopped continue to observe your bird in the hospital cage for at least 1-2 hours to be sure the bleeding doesn't reoccur.
- Keep your bird warm and allow it quiet rest.
WHEN TO GET IMMEDIATE VET TREATMENT
- If the bleeding reoccurs, take your bird in to your avian veterinarian immediately.
- Is your bird listless or panting? Yes? Call the vet and get your bird in ASAP. Never the less, your calm reaction and a safe, confined space may reduce stress immediately.
- The injury is due to an animal bite. Animal bites can result in deadly infections within 24 hours and may involve serious internal injuries that are not apparent to you.
- Diane Burroughs, LCSW