First Aid Kit for Birds

List of items that should be included in a first aid kit for pet birds. Short explanation of what each item is for.

You have assembled all of the items your veterinarian has suggested as a First Aid Kit for your bird. The question is though, what is all of this stuff for anyway?

Pad of paper and pencil. It's important to keep notes if you observe any unusual behavior or symptoms of any kind in your bird. Birds are great actors when sick, that's how they survive in the wild. They can be sick long before they show it and by the time they show being ill, it can be too late. So keep notes with dates and any changes your bird is displaying. The best advice is if your birds is displaying unusual behavior or showing any signs of possible illness; take them to the veterinarian immediately. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Addresses and phone numbers of your veterinarian and the closest animal emergency hospital. Keep these handy in case of an emergency. If your bird needs emergency care, call ahead and let them know what the problem is, this way they can be prepared when you arrive. In case of any questions concerning your bird's health always have your avian veterinarian's phone number handy.

Appropriate-sized towels for your bird are for restraining your bird or to provide padding. Even the friendliest and most playful parrot can become defensive if frightened, hurt, or unsure of what is happening. Also, the towels can be used as padding for your bird if needed.

Travel Cage. If you need to take your bird to the veterinarian you need something to transport in. Most parrot cages are not going to fit in your vehicle. A Travel Cage is a necessity from day one. You're going to have to take your bird to the veterinarian for check-ups and need a transportation cage.

Styptic powder, silver nitrate stick or cornstarch to stop bleeding. I prefer cornstarch for nails. When trimming the nails, sometimes they bleed and by packing cornstarch into the cut nail to stop the bleeding it works quite well. Only use the styptic powder or silver nitrate on the beak and nails.

Heating pad, hot water bottle, heat lamp or other heat source. This is to keep your bird warm. When birds are sick they need to be kept at a temperature between 80-85 degrees. A Thermometer is needed to keep watch on the temperature of the environment.

Basic bandage materials such as gauze squares, masking tape and gauze rolls. Used for wounds, bleeding, etc. Blunt-tipped scissors. These are for cutting bandages etc.

Needle-nosed pliers or hemostats are for pulling broken blood feathers. If the vet has shown you how to do this the bleeding stops after the feather shaft is removed. If you haven't been shown then pack the shaft with flour or styptic powder. Apply minimal pressure using a gauze pad and transport immediately to your vet.

Blunt-end tweezers are used to pick out any foreign objects that might be in a wound etc.

Cotton swabs or Q-tips are used to apply medication and clean wounds.

Saline solution or wetting solution for contact lenses can be used to clean wounds.

Eye dropper for administering medication or feeding.

Syringes are used to irrigate wounds or feed sick birds.

Your veterinarian may recommend other items which they will explain or show the use. Any wounds should be looked at by your veterinarian. Only small or superficial abrasions should be cleaned at home. Remember, if in doubt, see your veterinarian.