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Keep a close eye on your parakeets health. A healthy parakeet has bright clear eyes, a shiny non-flaky or crusty cere and beak, strong shiny bright feathers, will chatter and fly about happily. If your parakeet is huddled and fluffed up on the floor of their cage - get them to an avian vet immediately. Parakeets are prey animals and will conceal any sign of illness for as long as possible so they will not be cast from their flock or picked out by predators as weak. If they are showing signs of illness - you know it's very bad.
Be sure to weigh your parakeet regularly as weight loss is the easiest way to know your parakeet is sick.
When you bring a new parakeet into the home and you already have birds, be sure to put the new bird in quarantine for a minimum of 30 days to be sure they are not carrying any illnesses that could be passed on to your current birds. Keep them in a different room and always wash your hands after handling them.
If your parakeet has been caught by another animal (such as a cat or a dog) get them to an avian vet asap.
Emergency: If your parakeet has:
- ingested/inhaled poison
- fallen into water (toilet, etc)
- electric shock (biting electrical cords, etc)
- stepped on
- door closed on
- hit by ceiling fan
- flew into window
- bitten/clawed by another pet
Parakeet Signs of Illness
- poop change, runny/lack of droppings
- decrease talking/activity
- picking/plucking at feathers (not regular preening)
- feathers dirty/stuck together/ratty
- discharge from eyes/nose/beak
- abnormal breathing
- dull/swollen/runny/cloudy eyes
- falling off perch
- hunched over
- lumps/bumps/sores or swelling
- weight loss
- not eating
- weak/fluffed up
- tail bobbing
- runny/inflamed cere
- vomiting (not the regurgitation they do as part of bonding)
In an EmergencyKey: Stay calm.
Gently restrain bird with a small towel or washcloth.
If bleeding, gently apply pressure to wound with serile gauze square.
In case of broken/fractured bones - place bird in stockinette to keep wings still.
Place bird in small hospital cage with heating pad or hot water bottle under half of the cage. Cover cage with warm blanket.
When transporting bird to the avian vet, make sure the hospital cage is secure and covered for warmth and darkness.
How to Remove a Broken Blood FeatherStay calm. Gently restrain the bird with a small towel, taking care not to restrict breathing by constraining around the chest. With a hemostat or tweezers, firmly grasp the broken bleeding feather at the base and pull in one swift motion in the direction of feather growth. After the feather has been removed, apply moderate pressure with a serile gauze pad to stop bleeding for one minute then apply flour or corn starch.
Parakeet Emergency First Aid Kit
Parakeet First Aid Kit
Always keep an emergency first aid kit with your your parakeet. This should include the following items:
- styptic powder/flour/corn starch to stop bleeding (Quik Stop causes soft tissue damage) for broken feathers and nails
- heating pad/infrared lamp
- bandage/roll of gauze/gauze squares
- hospital cage
- avian vet number/hours
- towel/washcloth if you have to towel them
- bird nail clippers
- hydrogen peroxide
- neosporin (creme not the oil-based)
- charcoal capsules (to absorb toxins - only on advice of poison control)
- grapefruit seed extract (anti-microbial disinfectant)
- sterile saline solution (for cleaning wounds and flushing eyes)
- pedialyte (for rehydration)
- betadine disinfectant
- aloe vera gel
- wire cutters
- masking tape
- cotton swabs
- Order Bird First-Aid Supplies
In case of poisoning: call National Animal Poison Control Center Hotlines 1-800-548-2423 - $30 per case 1-900-680-0000 - $20 first 5 minutes, plus $2.95 per additional minute AND see your avian vet.
Avian Vets International Directory.
Several times a year, parakeets will moult. This means that they will loose their old feathers and new feathers will grow in. When the new feathers begin to grow in, they look like pointy little porcupine-like needles. The feathers are coated in a waxy sheath. When the feathers are ready to come out of the waxy sheath, you may see your birds preening one another or see them rubbing their heads on things to remove the wax. Some, but definitely not all, parakeets will let you help them with their pinfeathers. When they are ready, if you very gently roll them between your thumb and forefinger, the wax will flake off. If they are not ready, this will hurt your bird and they will scream and let you know.