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Dr. Pam Gordy explains the importance of teaching your bird to accept help.
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John: Hello, bird friends, it's John here. It's time for episode two of Avian First Aid. In this segment Dr. Gordy is going to cover of being prepared for when your bird does have an accident. The topics will include - how important it is that your bird accept handling? Tips about your emergency phone numbers and first aid kit. Getting help from someone as an assistant; and finally your veterinary relationship. Enjoy.
Episode 2: Being Prepared
Dr. Pam Gordy: So the first thing with any sort of first aid is to be prepared before the emergency arises. Preparation with respect to your bird would be teaching your bird to accept handling. Handling meaning - towelling, step up, step down, being touched on the feet and on the wings, because when that emergency happens a bird that is less stressed will be way better able to handle blood loss, being handled by veterinarian, temperature changes and even the transport.
So preparing your bird to accept stressful situations ahead of time is quite useful. You can even go to some far as teaching your bird to drink fruit juices out of a syringe. Then if you need to medicate them, they already used to it and they are trying to like it, there are many medications you could mix with fruit juice and then it's very simple.
The last state you would be actually a moderate. The zoos are now hiring animal behaviorists to teach the animals to accept blood taking and handling for bending and tracking because they found that it's significantly reduces the mortality if they reduce the stress and I think the scenario of it's going to -- it will seek a lot of intention in the next while. There is presenter that day who had taught some people who were in that wildlife refuge in Mexico when they were taking blood every week for a study and these were not attempted on birds and she showed a series of videos. She taught them to lay on their back further certain kind of nut, but a camera type -- they just loved.
At the end they would put their wing out and the veterinarian could take blood and she would be giving them a nut and there was no strain. They were being held. They were laying on that table. That was incredible to me then that's possible and I think we need to just think a little bit and we can improve what we do a lot more in those ways.
The next preparation you should have is you should have your phone numbers of your veterinarians, the emergency veterinarian and an assistant who can help you. Usually it's been a crisis situation, you may need someone to drive, if you are going to veterinarian or help you hold, if you are doing managing or administrative medication, so it's nice to have someone and it may not be your spouse, so that might result in fighting. It may be someone else who is comfortable handling birds and that you would trust and may be even more than one person, because you don't know when these situations arise, so it would have to be someone available on a short notice.
The next thing is - it is nice to have relationship with your veterinarian prior to the emergency happening. It really helps me if I have seen the bird before if I have a weight on it and I know roughly the bird's temperament, because the advice that I might give you if you call me and say, my bird is doing such and such, it's going to very depending on if I think you are able to do certain things with your bird, because of it's temperament also if I have a weight on the file then I can tell you over the phone, how much of certain medications to give. It's very difficult for me to assess weight. Cockatiels can vary from 75 grams to 125 as well as other species, so just because you know what species your bird is, doesn't mean that I can accurately give you any estimation of what to do at home? Or it's less accurate.
If I have the weight on file, I know what the bird's previous problems are, if any? May be we have blood works so we have a baseline. That's all even useful in the situation where we have an emergency then you should have sort of things that you might need organised. Your first aid kit, your towel, may be a carrier, a hospital cage. If you have all those things prepared ahead, then when the emergency happens, you are not running around trying to find things and it's probably good if you have a designated carrier where you keep them, so that it's not you open the shelf one week, and somewhere else other week, because then you -- when you are in an emergency, you are going to be stressed as well as your bird and it's nice to know exactly where everything is and often you could keep it together. What I do with my emergency things is I store it inside my carrier kit with a towel so that if I need something, it's all right there.
John: So now that we all know, there shouldn't really be any excuse for not being prepared, is there? It's not if your bird is going to have an accident, it's when your bird is going to have an accident. So, the next step would be to assess the situation, if I have just exactly what happened, what was the accident? And things like that. So, be prepared and there is no excuse.
I have produced some videos about "Avian First Aid".
Dr. Pam Gordy is a well known Avian vet in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She looks after all my birds.
Our local bird rescue association sponsored a first ai