Once you decide to raise a bird as a pet there are many factors you will need to consider before actually getting the bird. Most people take good care to provide a safe, clean environment, right diet and a goodly supply of fresh water and toys. However, there is one very crucial factor that more often than not tends to be overlooked until a real emergency crops up – the avian first aid kit. Bet you missed that one!
The following information will provide a broad overview on how to put a first aid kit together. The basics in a first aid kit include but are not limited to:
- Neck brace (gray foam circle) – to prevent the bird from chewing and mutilating feathers and flesh
- Splints – used to stabilize fractured wings or legs during transportation
- Cotton swabs – for cleaning wounds
- Alcohol swabs – for cleaning unbroken skin
- Sterile gauze pads and tape
- Vet wrap
- Benadryl pink kapseals
- Pepto Bismol
- Neosporin ointment
- Sterile saline solution
- Rubber gloves
- Nail file – metal
- Tweezers – to remove splinters, feathers or ticks
- Surgical blade
- Tuberculin syringes – 1cc – to administer medication or liquids and flushing wounds
- Curved tip syringes – 12cc
- Clean towels – soft ones
- Latex flexible tubing – for insertion into the crop for feeding or flushing purposes
- Stockingnette – prevents the bird from thrashing around
The equipment in your first aid kit (airtight container) will help you to stabilize your pet before you can transport it to the vet’s clinic. Do not make the mistake of thinking it will take the place of veterinary care; it will not. Always contact your vet for the particular emergency on hand and then follow instructions.
When transporting the bird to the vet after you have stabilized it, put it in a carrier box covered with a towel. Make sure there is some form of warmth like a hot water bottle or use a heating pad. You need to keep the bird warm, reduce visual stimuli and make sure it is secure before you begin transportation to the vet.
You may want to take your first aid kit along to your vet’s office to make sure you have everything you need. You can also get good advice on how to use the different items in your kit.