by Jamie Galindo
Having a First Aid Kit at the ready and knowing how you will respond if your baby needs to get to the Vet (weekend or weekday) creates a confident and calmer moment when things go wrong ... and they can go very wrong very fast.
Stress is a factor in any emergency and keeping your calm in a crisis will benefit an injured or sick parrot.
Your First Aid Kit should contain the following:
Yunnan Bayio Powder (it is a natural herb that stops bleeding. Don't use kwik stop it is caustic and toxic, if you have nothing else then use corn starch or flour to stop bleeding)
Antiseptic wash (warm salt water)
Sterile gauze bandages (precut to appropriate sizes for your parrot)
Sterile gauze pads for applying washes
Wound adhesive (Vet) tape
Clean towel or two, sized appropriately for your bird
Caution: Do not wrap a bird tightly in a towel as it can restrict their ability to breathe. Ask your Vet to teach you how to properly towel your bird in an emergency.
Freeze Dried Food Rations
Finally, a simple air tight plastic box with lid to hold these items.
A First Aid kit is a standby toolkit to bring your bird into a stable condition for extreme emergencies, so you can transport safely to your Avian Vet. It is also a standby for quick fixes to problems such as broken blood feathers, broken feathers, small wounds from hard play or wrestling with another bird, minor scrapes and scratches, or surface toe and foot injuries.
When in doubt SEE YOUR VET!!
Ask him/her what types of injuries they see most and how should you be prepared for them. Bring in your First Aid kit and ask the doctor to explain proper usage and application of the items. A five-minute conversation will bring powerful knowledge to a bad day.
Have your Avian Vet's phone number and Emergency Phone Numbers at the ready (on a card in the First Aid Kit is a great backup to your cell phone).
Most of the emergencies we hear about are during the weekend when the Vet is closed so know where the nearest Avian Emergency hospital is and have THAT number in your emergency kit too. Have the address either programmed in your phone or in your GPS or have the route printed out and in your kit.
Have a carrier at the ready. It should be lined with towels with a cover for warmth in the winter months. A strategy for a one-car family should be in place ... is there someone who you can call? How will you get to the emergency Vet? Share your plan with every one in the house. Share your plan with your parrot sitter, and if your baby is visiting with friends or family while you are away, make sure the First Aid Kit and Emergency Plan goes with with them to their temporary home.
A system is a plan with tools ... it is that simple and it could make the difference between life and death.