Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in a bird? While we all have heard about CPR for humans, and some of you might have taken a pet dog or cat CPR course, many bird owners are surprised that CPR can be performed on pet birds.
CPR is much more likely to be effective if the bird has suffered from acute trauma, and conversely, it is unlikely to have a positive outcome if the bird is very debilitated and has been ill for a long period of time and the body finally gives out.
The basics of CPR are the same, whether dealing with a human, dog or bird. The three things to evaluate before initiating CPR are: breathing, airway and pulse.
CPR: Stop, Look, Listen
If you find a bird unconscious, check for those three factors. Look for the breast rising and falling, and see if the abdomen is rising and falling. Open the beak, and examine the oral cavity; if necessary, clear with a finger or cotton-tipped applicator, taking care to not have a finger bitten. Listen to the chest on either side of the keel bone for heartbeat, or use a stethoscope.
As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.