1st Edition

Emergency Care for Birds A Guide for Veterinary Professionals

By Rob van Zon Copyright 2024
    260 Pages 151 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    260 Pages 151 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Due to their often small size and unique physical characteristics, birds can deteriorate rapidly in the event of illness and injury. Timely intervention in the event of clinical signs is therefore essential for an optimal prognosis. Authored by avian veterinarian Rob van Zon, this concise, practical guide will help veterinary professionals to provide first aid and emergency care for birds, as well as to instruct clients on providing basic first aid when they are unable to get to the clinic.

    This full-color book, packed with photographs and anatomy drawings, includes instructions for veterinary professionals on stabilizing sick avian patients and management of many specific emergency situations at the veterinary clinic. This includes guidance for those presented with a moribund, critically ill patient i.e., recognizing and treating hypothermia, hypoxia, hypovolemia and hypoglycemia. The book also lists of alarming signs of disease and toxic plants, and includes clinical procedures, an emergency drug formulary, and bandaging techniques. Finally, it offers guidance to veterinarians giving advice to bird owners for first aid at home.

    Part 1: Acute clinical signs of disease

    Chapter 1: Clinical signs of disease

    Chapter 2: Signs of disease requiring immediate attention by a veterinary professional

    Part 2: Birds as emergency patients at the veterinary clinic

    Chapter 3: Observation, physical examination and diagnostic tests

    Chapter 4: General stabilization of sick birds

    Chapter 5: Heat

    Chapter 6: Fluid therapy

    Chapter 7: Nutritional support

    Chapter 8: Oxygen

    Chapter 9: Analgesia and anesthesia

    Part 3: Quick guide for stabilizing birds in case of severe dyspnea, debilitation and shock

    Part 4: Specific emergency situations

    Chapter 10: Leg band constriction

    Chapter 11: Bleeding pin feather

    Chapter 12: Hyperthermia

    Chapter 13: Bleeding nail or beak tip

    Chapter 14: Perforating (bite) trauma of the beak

    Chapter 15: Lacerations and cuts

    Chapter 16: Bite wound or deep wound caused by claws

    Chapter 17: Self-mutilation

    Chapter 18: Burn injuries

    Chapter 19: Contact with rodent or insect glue

    Chapter 20: Oiled birds

    Chapter 21: Intoxications

    Chapter 22: Concussion

    Chapter 23: Cloacal prolapse

    Chapter 24: Vomiting

    Chapter 25: Crop stasis

    Chapter 26: Seizures

    Chapter 27: Egg binding / Dystocia

    Chapter 28: Dyspnea

    Chapter 29: Falling, abnormal stances and abnormal movements

    Chapter 30: Paralysis

    Chapter 31: Abnormal eye or closed eyelids (inability or unwillingness to open the eye)

    Chapter 32: Abnormal position of limbs. Fractures and luxations

    Chapter 33: Maxillary hyperextension/palatine bone luxation

    Chapter 34: Abnormal droppings

    Chapter 35: Damaged air sac


    Appendix 1 Technique: Handling of birds

    Appendix 2 Technique: Subcutaneous, intravenous and intrasosseous infusion, and venipuncture

    Appendix 3 X-rays

    Appendix 4 Microscopic examination of feces

    Appendix 5 Technique: Placement of crop tube and crop lavage

    Appendix 6 Technique: Placement of air sac tube

    Appendix 7 Technique: Imploding eggs

    Appendix 8 Technique: Applying (splint) bandages

    Appendix 9 Technique: Ingluviotomy

    Appendix 10 Table of (possibly) poisonous plants

    Appendix 11 Psittacosis

    Appendix 12 Disorders of calcium metabolism

    Appendix 13 First aid kit at home

    Appendix 14 Extra ‘avian’ veterinary materials

    Appendix 15 Formulary

    Appendix 16 Biochemistry reference intervals

    Appendix 17 Anatomy


    Having been interested in birds throughout his whole youth, Rob van Zon started studying veterinary medicine at the University of Utrecht to turn his passion into his job. After graduating in 2005, Rob worked as avian veterinarian in veterinary practices in Amsterdam and Utrecht and in avian wildlife centers in the Netherlands. In addition to treating thousands of birds in his own clinics, Rob tries to help as many birds as possible indirectly by teaching other veterinarians, students and bird owners.