CPR On Birds
You may be both surprised and even shocked to learn that you can perform CPR on birds.
CPR performed on a bird that has suffered some sort of shock or trauma can actually be effective in saving its life. CPR on birds does not work on sick birds whose hearts stop beating as a result of them being sick.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR can help save your bird’s life only when it is performed in the right circumstances. CPR is standard regardless of whether it is performed on humans or birds. You just have to consider 3 factors before you start which include:
- signs of breathing
- clear airway
- a pulse.
If you find your pet bird lying unconscious in its cage, check for the 3 factors mentioned above first.
Is your bird’s breast moving at all in an up and down motion? Is the abdomen moving in an up and down motion? Open the beak and check the airway cavity, be careful and don’t go getting a finger bitten off! If you find that the bird has a heartbeat but is not breathing, you can begin rescue breathing by blowing breaths into it.
Doing CPR On Your Pet Bird
You will need to hold your bird’s head firmly with one hand and on a small bird place your lips over its beak and the nostrils simultaneously.
For larger birds, fasten your lips onto the bird’s beak making sure to cover its nostrils with your finger. You have to take a break and blow into the bird’s beak five times quickly. The force of each breath you blow into the bird’s beak will depend on the size of the bird. Check to see if the breast is rising; if it is not you could try checking the airway again and then repeating the process. All through you need to monitor that the bird’s heart is still beating.
Take a breath and blow into the bird’s beak five times quickly. The force of each breath you blow into the bird’s beak will depend on the size of the bird. Check to see if the breast is rising; if it is not you could try checking the airway again and then repeating the process. All through you need to monitor that the bird’s heart is still beating.
Check to see if the breast is rising. If it isn’t, check the airway again and then try repeating the process.
Throughout, you will need to check that the bird’s heart is still beating.
When there does not seem to be a problem with the airway, but there is no breathing or a heartbeat, you should begin CPR.
As you continue blowing breaths into the bird, start chest compressions. You will need to do 40-60 compressions each minute because a bird’s heart rate is very rapid in comparison to humans or dogs.
Here’s what you need to do for CPR on birds:
- 5 puffs of breath
- 10 chest compressions
- check the breathing and heartbeat
- 2 puffs of breath
- 10 compressions
- 2 more puffs of breath
- 10 compressions.
The above process should be done for a full minute, at the end of which if the bird still has no heartbeat or is not breathing, get it to the vet immediately. Should the bird begin breathing, transfer it to a warm, quiet place and call your vet for further instructions.
It is recommended that you contact your vet for information on avian CPR courses, before the need arises for you to try doing CPR on your bird yourself.