How to Prepare a Bird First Aid Kit
Whether you're new to birds or a veteran "parront" you should review basic avian first aid techniques and re-stock your bird first aid kit at least once a year. Just like anyone working with people needs to update their CPR certification and other first aid credentials, your bird is counting on you to know what to do in the event of an emergency!
This article is about making a bird first aid kit. I've been a pet bird owner and lover for years, but in preparation for new blog posts and an upcoming E-book, I've learned that bird health care research gets more and more refined every year and "best practice" does indeed change. New and more efficient bird first aid products are produced and medications, ointments and solutions reach their expiration date so re-thinking your bird first aid kit is adviced. Pick your bird's hatch day or the day you got him or her to readdress your own bird first aid skills and reassess your Bird First Aid Kit.
Top 6 "MUST HAVE" Bird First Aid Supplies
- Plastic Bin to Store Emergency Supplies in Plus Create a Designated Location for Pet First Aid Supplies
- Home Hospital Cage - Have it set up and ready at all times.
- Gram Scale and Chart to Monitor Weight.
- Heating Pad Without Auto Shut-off to provide consisten warmth for a sick or injured bird.
- Clean Towel to Restrain Bird for Examination and First Aid Administration.
- Bird First Aid Kit.
DON'T FORGET YOU! Include a bottle of waterless hand cleaner and Band Aids. After all, there is a high probability that your frightened bird may bite you.
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS:
Your Avian Vet:
- Day #:
- Emergency #:
National Animal Poison Control Center(s):
- 1-800-548-2423 ($30 fee per case)
- 1-900-680-0000 - $20.00 for first 5 min; $2.95 per additional minute
Stocking Your Bird First Aid Kit
MUST HAVE Styptic Gel with Applicator Tip: We recommend Super Clot Gel. It comes in an easy to squeeze tub that allows you to administer the perfect amount to the wound. DO NOT apply Styptic Gel or Powder to open wounds. It burns and delays healing. Plus, closing an open wound may promote infection. There is some evidence that powder based styptic powders may be toxic if ingested.
Betadine: Bird safe formula for scrubbing your hands before treating your bird and cleaning out wounds.
Cotton Balls: Use cotton balls to wet feathers to so that you can move them away from lesion for cleaning purposes.
Electrovites: Avian specific electrolyte recovery for ill or dehydrated birds
Eye Wash: Flush out dirty wounds and get debris out of eyes with warm saline solution or eye wash.
Gauze: Use gauze pads for for cleaning wounds and wiping away blood.
Hand-feeding Formula & Feeding Syringe: Two popular brands include Formula One and Kaytee Hand-feeding Formula
Hydrating Formula: Two popular brands include Cool Bird or Electrovites.
Hydrogen Peroxide: Clean blood off of feathers; DON'T put on wounds as it delays healing.
Latex Gloves: Gloves pull double duty. They help prevent the spread of infection & protect your hands.
Magnifying Glass: Allows you to examine the wound more carefully, Get an illuminated one
Metal Nail File: Smoothing down a chipped beak tips or broken nails.
Notepad & Pen: Record what you did to communicate it with your Veterinarian
Pen-light: Allows you to examine the wound.
Q-Tip Style Cotton Tip Applicators: Use these to clean a small wound and apply topical ointments and gels. Don't forget to store them in a baggy so that they stay sterile.
Rubbing Alcohol: for quick hand cleaning NOT for use on birds
Scissors: Cut bandage material and snip broken feathers with a small set of scissors.
Soother Spray: Promotes healing of superficial wounds.
Soother Ointment: Provides pain relief, reduces inflammation and a bird safe, nontoxic, water-based alternative to Neosporin or other oil based ointments.
Tweezers: Pull debris from lacerations and wounds.
- Diane Burroughs, LCSW