Apparently, there was a law passed stating that when your bird needs medical attention, your vet must be closed. Probably for the weekend.
Sure, there are all night emergency vet clinics available, but chances are there won’t be an avian vet. Bad enough that you have to bring your beloved parrot to a complete stranger in the worst of times, but he or she might not know an egg-binding from a fur ball. Still, accidents can and do happen. It is a very wise idea to have a parrot first aid/evacuation kit always on hand to treat the minor problems, or to stave off the major ones while you are on your way to get help.
Know what each item in your kit is for and how to use them, know when your vet must be called. This is a list of contents you should have in your first aid kit, followed by things necessary for emergency evacuation:
From a broken blood feather to a broken leg, your first aid kit can help save your parrots life.
IN YOUR FIRST AID KIT:
- Styptic powder
- Baking soda
- Antiseptic wipes
- Eye/skin wash
- Gauze or telfa pads
- Gauze rolls
- Vet wrap
- Cotton swabs and balls
- Medical tape (not waterproof)
- Masking tape
- Betadyne or iodine solution
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Hand feeding formula (will keep fresh in freezer for about 6 months) and syringes
- Popsicle sticks for splinting
- Latex gloves
- Forceps or hemostat (locking)
- Pedialyte (electrolyte solution for children)
- Magnifying glass
- Heating pad or lamp
- Clean towel(s)
- Vet and Poison Control phone #s (I also keep these on my fridge)
- Bird’s medical records
FOR EMERGENCY EVACUATION:
Whether it be an approaching hurricane or a fire in your home, careful planning is the key to a swift, successful evacuation. Have these items and lists in an area where they can be easily found should your power be out.
- First aid kit
- A travel cage for each bird – (if you house small birds together, it would be okay to put two together in a travel cage as long as you watch them. A trying situation could cause even the best of buddies to fight.)
- Covers for each cage – (this allows them privacy and cuts down on their stress.)
- Pillow cases – (these will work if you need an emergency means of transport.)
- 7 day supply of non-perishable food and fresh water
- At least one set of extra dishes per travel cage
- Clean towels
- Any medications and means to administer them (don’t forget about your own!)
- Battery powered radio and/or police scanner
- List of pet-friendly hotels
- Check to see if the refuge/shelter you will be using will accept your pets. Here’s a link to United Animal Nations.
- List of contacts: your vet, your personal physician, emergency contacts and family
It’s a good feeling to know that if the unthinkable happens, you’re ready!
Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.