Can I help my sick bird?

Often people take their bird to the vet and get a prescribed treatment, but the poor bird is suffering: Tail bobbing, struggling to breathe, maybe even making sounds when he breathes. Or he sits quietly on the perch fluffed up and hunched over, not moving.

“What can I do to help my sick bird”?

They’re dying to help ease his suffering.

Recently I wrote this answer to the above question, so I thought I’d share it here. It was about a canary, but I would give the same answer for a finch, canary, budgie, or cockatiel that was sick.

The best thing of course is to give the medicine as prescribed and keep the bird’s stress levels down.

Isolate him away from other birds in a small cage. In fact, if he is a single bird, put him in a small cage anyway to conserve energy that he might waste trying to fly around in the bigger cage.

Keep the canary in a safe location away from pets, away from windows where he might see predators, away from drafts via doors or windows. Consider covering the cage with a towel or sheet on 3 sides if the household is very busy. Stick to the usual food and water regimen.

If you have Guardian Angel( not an affilliate link), Vitalize, or Thrive (affiliate links) (supplements for sick birds) these are safe to use with your antibiotic. They’re just a support, like electrolytes. They definitely have saved a couple of mine, because they give them enough energy to eat a little. In a pinch you can use pedialyte from the grocery (the baby aisle) and dilute it.

I find that I have to re-mix the Guardian Angel a couple of times daily. It seems to lose potency over time. For a canary or finch I put a tiny pinch in a very small bowl of water. I use these little open bowls in the hospital cages even though I normally use this style of drinker. That’s because I want to make it as easy as possible for them to drink water – dehydration could be deadly.

For birds that are diagnosed with a respiratory infection, steam might be helpful. You can try it and see.

To apply steam.  put the small cage in a small bathroom on the counter. Run the shower nearby on all-hot water until steam builds up. Keep the bird in there from 10 to 30 minutes (don’t leave him there all the time, as the constant moisture might be detrimental). If this causes an improvement, do it up to 3 times daily. If it doesn’t seem to help after a couple of tries, don’t continue to do it.

Remember to keep stress levels down.

Be sure to check out this article: Caution: This recipe can kill your birds

Related: When you want to do more for your sick bird.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click them, and purchase something, I may earn a small commission. I give my commissions to a parrot rescue organization. So – thank you!