1. Rehydrate with warm Gatorade as often as the crop empties. Generally, give 10% of body weight at a time if a bird can stand that much. First 24-72 hours, sprinkle little formula in Gatorade so watery. If bird starts perking up, slowly thicken formula over 1-2 weeks, depending on how sick the bird is.
2. Keep in incubator (bin with heating pad underneath).
3. Keep covered and quiet to decrease stress and allow bird to rest.
4. Usually put bird on Baytril in case a bacterial infection is causing the sickness, 2x per day for 14 days.
5. If a zebra dove, mountain dove, or pigeon, especially if eyes are red and swollen, also put on metronidazole in case of Trichomoniasis and nystatin to avoid yeast infection. If eyes are affected see swollen eyes.
If you see a bubble somewhere on the birds' body, usually under the wings or high up under the legs (can be rarely seen in the crop area pushing the head back), it is a burst air sac just under the skin.
1. Use a sterile needle tip (or safety pins right out of the package), work to poke a hole in the bubble. Go in and out to make 2 holes, then squeeze the air out. Do this as often as possible throughout the day, as it will usually fill right back up again with air as the bird breathes. Eventually (one bulbul took 6 days, but it is usually less) the sac will heal and no more bubbles.
2. Put the bird on Baytril as precaution against infection. Discontinue after 5-7 days if air sac has healed.
This is not uncommon in baby birds when they fall out of the nest. I have never seen it in an adult bird.
Starts as small red bumps on soft tissue areas around eyes, ears, mouth, legs, feet and under wings. Can remain mild with just a few bumps, but usually progresses to a more serious condition. This is a virus that must run its course, usually several weeks or months. There is no cure (yet). Treatment is supportive:
1. Baytril to guard against secondary infections.
2. Good nutrition - hand feed young ones, add vitamins (Poly-Vi-Sol direct drops into mouth) if eating seed.
3. Plenty of fresh water.
4. Keep cage clean, especially if feet are affected.
5. As pox lesions turn dark yellow or black and harden, they can be gently pulled off and a drop of betadine put on fresh exposed area to minimize infection.
Pox is contagious to other birds if sharing body fluids (eating, drinking, pooping together), so keep in separate cage or put in with another pox bird.
If pox gets into the mouth it gets harder for the bird to fight it because this is a more serious form, just be aware, there is nothing we can do to stop it.
Minor skin abrasions are okay and usually do not need treatment. However, they may be a sign of a cat or other predator attack, so:
1. Put on Baytril (5 days only if clearing up).
2. If dirty or from a cat, flush with water and 10% hydrogen peroxide and/or betadine once or twice, then should be okay.
Deeper wounds, punctures wounds, infected (black) skin:
1. Pull debris out with tweezers only after bird is stable; be careful as some species will stress easily. You may need to do a little at a time after 2-3 days to stabilize bird.
2. Flush wound with above solution until it starts closing. You may need to pull out debris every few days if not closing.
3. Keep on Baytril until wounds are healed.
Skin split on skull: (Common on young birds who get picked on)
1. Dab aloe (fresh from plant is best) with Q-tip on exposed skull 2x per day. Small holes will close themselves, bigger ones need to be stitched.
2. Keep on Baytril until healed.
A twitchy bird or tremors through the body can be the result of poisoning, virus infection or trauma. Something is affecting the neurological system.
1. If poisoning seems likely, crush one charcoal tablet (Longs sells at pharmacy department) very fine and mix in Gatorade and give like for a dehydrated bird. Do once a day for 3 days.
2. Give supportive care: heat, fluids, Baytril and extra vitamins (Poly-Vi-Sol).
3. Support in towels to keep bird upright and stable.
It usually takes a very long time, as in several months, for a neurological problem to work through the system. There is usually some improvement, but not always full recovery. Some birds have to be handfed much of this time until they finally feel well enough to feed themselves. After the first couple of weeks, give them as much freedom as possible in a safe environment to practice walking, getting balance back and flying if possible.
Give us a call to speak with an experienced rehabber.