How To Prepare For (And Prevent) An Avian Pet Emergency

If you own a pet bird, it is necessary to make preparations ahead of time in the event of an emergency. This means locating a veterinarian that is experienced in the care and treatment of domestic birds, as well as one that offers 24-hour emergency vet clinic operation. You also need to know how to react in an emergency involving your feathered friend. In addition, you should be aware of how to prevent an emergency that may affect your pet parrot or bird. Here is what all bird owners need to know:

Prepare for Any Emergency That May Threaten Your Pet Bird

Owning a pet bird is quite different than dog or cat ownership, as birds have unique needs and are susceptible to illnesses and injury than other pets are not. As a responsible bird owner, your first course of defense is to prepare for an emergency that may threaten the the well-being or life of your avian friend. Here's how to do so:

  • Find an Emergency Bird Vet: Before an emergency arises, it is important to locate a reputable and experienced avian veterinarian or vet clinic, such as Gwynedd Veterinary Hospital, that treats exotic species. Do not assume that any veterinarian will treat your bird in an emergency, as some vets are not qualified to do so. If you are uncertain of how to find an avian vet in your area, contact your bird breeder or bird store from which you obtained your pet.

    Before deciding on an avian vet, you might want to interview a few choices over the phone. Ask about emergency clinic hours and types of diagnostic equipment that is utilized. Be sure the veterinarian treats the particular species of bird or parrot that you own.

  • Keep an Avian First Aid Kit on Hand: You should also keep an emergency first aid kit on hand, designed for a pet emergency. Assemble one now and keep it easily accessible. Your kit should include some type of cauterizing agent to stop the loss of blood in the event of trauma.

    If a bird breaks a blood feather for instance, it may bleed profusely if not stopped quickly. Cornstarch or flour may work in en emergency and this may be applied with a cotton swab to stop the blood loss. Keep these first aid items in your emergency kit. Your emergency first aid kit should also contain a towel (for securely restraining your bird) and needle-nosed pliers should you need to remove a broken blood feather.

Prevent an Emergency From Occurring

Fortunately, many bird emergencies can be prevented if you recognize the potential dangers to your pet and create a bird-safe environment for your feathered friend. Here are a few safety rules to follow if you own a pet bird:

  • Keep Your Bird's Wings Clipped: This will prevent your bird from flying into a dangerous area (such as a hot kitchen stove or bathroom toilet) or crashing into a transparent glass window and fracturing its skull. Once your pet grows its flight feathers back after a molt, be sure to have your vet clip them again.

  • Place Electrical Cords Out of Reach: It's not a secret that most hook-bills love to chew. It's how birds keep their beaks trim and how they investigate new surroundings. Although you may supply your pet with bird-safe chew toys, natural curiosity may get your pet into trouble. An electrical wire or cord may be tempting for a curious beak, so keep these out of your pet's reach to prevent electrical burns or electrocution.

  • Avoid Teflon Toxicity: Polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE toxicosis may land your pet bird in the emergency hospital. This condition is caused by fumes from overheated nonstick cookware and appliances. Because the avian respiratory system is delicate and sensitive to toxins, don't risk it by placing your bird in danger. Do not overheat nonstick surfaces, or better yet, replace these household items with other choices such as stainless steel.

Preparing for and preventing avian emergencies may help you enjoy a long and happy life with your feathered friend. If you have further questions about emergency bird care, contact your local breeder or avian vet.