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The start of a year is always a good time to sort of take stock and see if there’s anything I could be doing better. One such thing this year is that we’ve been pretty blasé about being prepared for any parakeet mishaps or illnesses. So far so good, there have been no major injuries or health conditions, but I know that any pet is really just a ticking time bomb.
For my peace of mind, I want to put together a budgie first aid kit with some basic necessities, so we will be prepared for minor emergencies. (Obligatory warning: I am not a vet and I am not suggesting anyone skip seeing a vet – nor am I giving medical advice.) Here are some of the items that I’ll start with
- Vision Bird Cage Model S01 – Small – This could be used either to transport both budgies to the vet (versus our tiny one-man cage) or it could be used as a quarantine/hospital cage if one budgie takes ill and needs to be separated and closely monitored.
- Sunbeam 732-500 King Size Heating Pad with UltraHeatTechnology – it’s recommended to keep a sick budgie nice and toasty warm, you can drape the heating pad over the top of the travel cage and then cover the cage on three sides for a nice cozy space. You always want to leave one side uncovered so if the budgie gets too warm they can move to cooler air.
- Miracle Care Kwik Stop Styptic Powder, 0.5 Oz – This powder aids in clotting for minor cuts. If you clip your budgie’s nails too short and hit the quick (blood supply) you will want to have styptic powder – or in a pinch Argo 100% Pure Corn Starch, 16 Oz – to help stop the bleeding. It does not take much for a budgie to bleed to death so this is an absolute must have. As far as clipping nails goes, a small breed dog clipper is the most recommended for budgie nails.
- Neosporin First Aid Antibiotic Ointment, 0.5-Ounce – Has to be the kind without pain relief. This can be used on minor scrapes and cuts as well to aid healing.
- Stanley 84-096 5-Inch Needle Nose Plier or Purely Me Precision Flat Tip Tweezer – Used to pull blood feathers. Blood feather is really just another term for pin feathers that come in during molting. They have a more substantial blood supply to aid in growing and if they are broken they will bleed, which can again be very dangerous for such a small bird. I’m not sure this is one I would try to deal with myself, but you can restrain the bird and pull the blood feather out at the shaft, with a bit of pressure applied the bleeding should stop and a new feather will grow in eventually. Yikes! Sounds like frontier medicine, although I’m sure it’s the same thing the vet will do.
- Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, 32 Ounce – 1 Pack – Some folks dose their budgie’s water with Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar year round to help control the growth of bad bacteria in the parakeet’s digestive tract. It can also get rid of viral, bacterial and fungal infections, as well as respiratory infections and parasites! Essentially this stuff sounds like a miracle product. I don’t intend to give it on the daily, but I want to have it on hand in case I see any symptoms develop, it seems like this would be something safe to start with while we are waiting to get in at the vets. Please google how much to give and draw your own conclusions. I saw different amounts ranging from a few drops in the water bowl to teaspoons, and since I haven’t personally tried it yet I don’t want to give poor advice. After reading up on organic apple cider vinegar I may start taking it daily, apparently the benefits to humans are also life-changing!
- Mckesson Performance plus Gauze Sponge Cover Dressing Sterile, 4 X 4 Inches, 25 packs of 2, Nexcare Durapore Cloth First Aid Tape 1 Inches X 10 Yards Rolled, 0.08 Pound for bandaging. Although seriously, if you are not a pro-level bird owner and you’re getting into bandaging wounds please see a vet.
Of course you can skip all the guesswork and just purchase a First Aid Kit for Birds, but I think I’d prefer to build mine piece by piece so I familiarize myself with each item, instead of having an emergency and opening the box for the first time in a panic.
If I’m missing something that is an essential 1st round item please let me know in the comments below!