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After physical exam and diagnosis by one of our doctors, many sick birds can be treated by their owners at home. While some birds require hospitalization, in certain instances, successful recovery is possible with proper treatment and care at home. This handout will provide you with some tips to help your bird's recovery.
Give All Medications As Directed
In order for your bird to have a good chance of recovery, you must administer the medications as directed. Many owners are unable to properly administer medications to their pets. Still others stop treatments before the medications are finished, thinking the bird has recovered just because he is "doing better". If you do not give the medications as directed, your bird may not recover and may actually relapse, necessitating a more prolonged second round of therapy. If you are uncomfortable administering medications to your bird, please call our office immediately for assistance. (949) 770-9015.
Keep the Bird Warm and Free From Drafts
Most pets recover faster when kept at the upper end of their normal environmental temperature, room teperture should be set at 75-80 degrees F (22-25 degrees C). Increased body temperature stimulates appetite, improves digestion, and stimulates the body's defenses to fight infections. A 100 watt light bulb (soft pink preferred) directed near to one side of the cage during the day provides a temperature gradient that allows your bird to optimize thermal needs. At night, place half the cage on a heating pad set to "low" or "medium" and wrap the entire cage in several layers of towels to retain the heat. Be sure to check your bird after an hour to make sure it's comfortable. Most heating pads come with an automatic shut off. A pet store thermometer placed near the upper portion of the cage is a better way to monitor the temperature, monitor the temperature often.
Supply Normal Amounts of Light and Darkness
Unless otherwise directed, most birds become accustomed to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness each day. Leaving the light on 24 hours a day will probably add to your bird's stress during recovery.
Make Sure the Bird Eats and Drinks
Sick pets burn off calories and dehydrate easily. This makes the disease even more serious and protracted. If your bird is not eating and drinking as he should, notify your doctor immediately.
Sick birds are already under excessive stress. While it's tempting to want to play with your bird, minimal handling is best while the bird is recuperating. Avoid sudden diet and environmental changes while your bird is ill.
Separate Sick Birds
A bird that is ill should be isolated from other pets. This is also not the time to bring a new pet into the household.
Notify Your Personal Physician If You Become Ill
While not often the case, some bird diseases can be transmitted to owners. Your veterinarian should tell you if your bird has become ill with one of these diseases. If so, notify your physician in case he recommends the need for you to take medications as well.
Notify Your Veterinarian If the Bird's Condition Worsens
If treatment is not going as expected, your veterinarian needs to know this. No one can guarantee a cure. Your doctor may need to change medications or even hospitalize your bird if his condition deteriorates.