Every professional avian breeder should have access to a first aid kit to deal with any potential emergency, such as an injury or illness that may occur in the aviary.
In this article, I will list and discuss the essential drugs and supplements used for the treatment and support of sick or injured pet birds.
One of the most important drugs that should be available in your first aid kit is antiseptics, such as ethyl alcohol. Ethyl alcohol is used for cleaning and disinfecting wounds that may result from trauma or fights between birds or animal attacks. Another recommended antiseptic is a povidone-iodine solution used commonly to treat deep wounds. Povidone-Iodine Solution is more effective than ethyl alcohol; it is effective against many pathogens including fungi, protozoa, viruses, and bacteria.
Various antibiotics are available on the market for the treatment of potential diseases. Your veterinarian may prescribe them after diagnosis. But it is a good idea to keep some types of antibiotics handy in case you had to deal with a sick bird when your vet is out of reach or only accessible by phone.
Enrofloxacin is a very common antibiotic used in animals to treat a wide range of bacterial infections such as E-coli, Mycoplasma, and Salmonella. This drug is only active against bacteria, so it is not active against other pathogens such as viruses, fungi, protozoa, and worms.
I also recommend that you purchase anticoccidial drugs. Coccidiosis is a common protozoan disease that can infect all caged birds, and it widely spreads in hot and humid conditions. It settles in the intestine, and it causes enteritis.
All medications should be bought from a veterinarian, and he or she should be consulted before using them on sick birds. This practice is followed by professional avian breeders but the novice usually turns to the wrong people for advice.
My advice is if your bird is sick, take it to the vet, and in the case of an outbreak, call the vet immediately and have him come on-site, and if a bird dies, take it to your vet clinic for necropsy as it can help reveal the cause of death or outbreak in your flock.
Nutritional supplements should be provided to the bird in every phase of its life. A standard multivitamin should suffice and can be given all year round to your birds. But note that birds should obtain a greater amount of minerals and vitamins during the breeding season and molt. Therefore, providing a nutritional supplement is a must during these times.
I recommend using multivitamin 3 weeks prior to the breeding season and needless to say during it as well. Follow the vet or bottle instructions. There are so many supplements on the shelves; you can ask your vet for the best ones to use and when and how often to use them.
The professional avian breeder should also keep calcium and vitamin D supplement in case he or she had to deal with egg binding. Egg binding is a common problem that can face all caged birds during the breeding season where the hen cannot push the egg out of the oviduct to the outside world. lack of calcium or vitamin D or both is usually the cause of this problem. So, if this problem happens to your bird, you should give it this supplement in drinking water as well as trying to apply a few drops orally. But it is always better to consult your vet when facing this type of problem.
The last supplement that can be added to the list is probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms which exert a beneficial effect on the host’s health. They live in a peaceful manner in the gastrointestinal tract, and they help in digestion and absorption of nutrients such as minerals and vitamins among other functions.
Bonus – additional drugs
I suggest adding paraffin oil to the list of drugs and supplements. This type of oil is smell-less, tasteless, and colorless, and it is used when birds suffer from constipation or intestinal blockage or egg binding. The oil is applied orally and the dosage is one or two or more drops depending on the bird size. You should consult your doctor before using it.