Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Sick bird? Late at night? These tips may help save his life
You are, if you want your bird to have a better chance of surviving until his avian vet can see him. What are the signs that your bird might be sick? Subtle clues are fluffed feathers, inactivity, talking or vocalizing less than usual, or sitting on the bottom of the cage. If your bird is shivering, sniffling, seems off balance, or is having trouble breathing, he needs help. Fast.
Emergency clinics may say that they don't specialize in birds, but even if they are reluctant to care for your bird, there are two things you can ask them to do that will help, says bird doc Scott Weldy of Serrano Animal and Bird Hospital in Lake Forest, California:
"The two things you can never screw up on a bird is you can give him oxygen and and a quiet place, and you can give him subcutaneous fluids. Those two things never hurt them, and even if they don't give them aggressively enough, it still helps. They don't have to feed them, they don't have to give them antibiotics, they don't have to pull blood, but if the bird is so sick that he needs to be seen by a veterinarian, putting him in a place with some oxygen, a quiet covered cage, birds will just shut down and sit there and survive. They'll do a whole lot better there than they will at home with the people pacing and worrying about them."
You can also ask the hospital to contact your bird's regular veterinarian at home. There's a good chance that the ER clinic will have his or her contact information.
"In our area, all of the emergency clinics can call any one of us, and you can have them call us," Weldy says. "They have our home numbers."