A sick bird is a vulnerable patient! If a bird continues to struggle to eat, they will quickly deteriorate, even if they are still eating something, this is often too little to sustain them.
All admitted birds are weighed and checked every morning. If necessary, the bird is fed a number of times a day, this is a special nutrient-rich porridge. The diet is given directly in the crop with a tube or crop probe. In this way, a bird who is not eating will still get the energy needed.
For many diseases it is necessary that the bird gets medication every day. This can be given in the mouth or with injections. We can only do injections here. Medication in the mouth can also be done by you as an owner, if the bird allows this.
If your bird is refusing medication it is better that they are admitted to our bird hospital, this will cause the least distress for you and your bird.
In the bird hospital we have patient accommodation with extra heating, this is especially important for small birds or those that are very sick or underweight. Many birds have a high body temperature of around 40 degrees, when they are ill it will be extra difficult for them to keep the body temperature regulated. Birds who are struggling to lay eggs must also be kept warm as will often help them lay.
In birds that pull out their own feathers, and for which no cause is found, it is possible to burn the edges of the beak so that they can no longer grab the feathers. This is a perfectly painless procedure similar to cutting your nails.
If this has happened, they must be admitted for a few days - it may feel uncomfortable in the first few days and the birds may therefore have difficulty eating. If this is the case, we will feed them extra porridge for the first few days. It may be that the problem may return once the beak has grown, sometimes it is necessary to repeat the burn several times before the behavior stops.
We may perform an endoscopy with a 'picker' ro determine whether the bird has a fungal infection, if necessary, this can be treated at the same time.
Visiting the bird hospital
If your bird is admitted to the bird hospital, it is of course possible to visit them. Ask at reception for when suits you best.
We typically put the birds in our own cages as it is important that we can work easily and efficiently. Our cages are sometimes smaller than what the bird is accustomed to at home, but it is important that we can quickly grab a bird, that the stick is removable, and that the feed and water containers are removable. The materials are disinfected with specialised equipment. In a larger cage, there can be a lot of stress due to the need to catch them multiple several times a day. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us!
When bringing in or visiting your bird you may want to bring something nice for them to eat. You know your bird best and if they are struggling to eat, some extra love and their favourite snack helps a lot. It's useful to note their preferences on the patient card, so that we know more about the character of the bird is and what they like to eat.
For an update on how your bird is doing, you can call on working days between 12:00 and 13:00 and ask for Dr Oranje. We will try to assist you as quickly as possible however, sometimes we are very busy so may need to call you back, in this scenario, we ask for your understanding. If there are important changes, we will of course also contact you.