can you give a bird cpr

This is one of those posts that I hope you never have a need for, but I encourage you to read it thoroughly so you know what to do in the event of an incident that requires this particular skill. When your bird has stopped breathing, you will not have the time it will take to locate and read this, or any other, set of instructions.

People are always surprised to learn that CPR (CardioPulmonary Resuscitation) can be done on animals. When you think about it, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Animals breathe and have a heartbeat and can have accidents that could cause either or both to stop – just like humans. The principals behind the techniques used to resuscitate them are the same.

Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.

While specific regulations are still being developed, birds are currently rescued with some modifications, much like humans. Abou-Madi notes that one modification is when to begin chest compressions because birds may be harmed by them. Since the heart is protected by the large keel bone in most birds, stimulating the organ can be challenging. Bird medics try to avoid pumping if at all possible because doing so increases the risk of breaking the attached ribs.

Naturally, CPR varies based on the bird’s size. Scale becomes crucial because an average compression would be equivalent to punching a hummingbird in the gut. You might use four fingers on an eagle, but you would only use one on a hummingbird. The breathing tube is similarly sized to fit. Only the plastic sheath of a catheter, which is only a few millimeters wide, is used for intubating smaller birds.

If the measures work, the patient starts getting twitchy. “We start by observing any movement of the chest. We listen to the heart and feel for a pulse, says Abou-Madi. If everything goes according to plan, the bird will begin to regain consciousness. The muscles will begin to tremble, and the eyes will begin to move. ” It’s miraculous, Abou-Madi says. “Observing the release of the birds we have resurrected—from finches to eagles—is my favorite memory.” ”.

Resuscitation on its own is typically a surefire solution if a bird isn’t breathing but is still pulsed; however, this isn’t a mouth-to-mouth situation. Because birds can transmit diseases to humans, medical professionals employ “intubation” rather than breathing directly into a bird’s beak. According to Abou-Madi, “putting a tube inside the trachea so that we can assist and breathe for [the bird].” The animal’s lungs expand with the air until it can breathe again on its own.

Birds that experience severe infections, poisoning, or hemorrhages may experience cardiac arrest. Alternatively, it might be a less complicated issue—accidentally breathing in a seed could cause it to stop. Many birds bearing these symptoms come through the center’s doors. “We’ll examine the bird as a whole, open its mouth, remove any obstacles, and look for a pulse before moving forward,” Abou-Madi explains.

The fact that animals can receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) always surprises people. When you consider it, it should not be shocking. Similar to people, animals can have mishaps that could result in the cessation of their heartbeat or breathing. The methods used to revive them are based on the same principles.

Since 1987, Patty Jourgensen, a specialist in avian health, behavior, and nutrition, has been assisting and tending to rescue birds.

Although I sincerely hope you never need it, you should read this post in its entirety so you will know what to do in the unlikely event that you come across a situation requiring this specific skill. You won’t have the time to find and read this set of instructions or any other once your bird has stopped breathing.


Is it possible to do CPR on a bird?

CPR works best when the bird has suffered an acute trauma, but its not nearly as successful with birds that have deteriorated due to a long illness. Begin by looking at the bird’s chest to check whether the breast and abdomen are moving.

Can you give a pigeon CPR?

CPR can be performed on birds but is likely to be effective only if the bird has suffered from acute trauma. If the bird has been ill for a long period of time, it is unlikely to have a positive outcome. It is performed in a similar way to CPR for humans: evaluate breathing, airway and pulse.

How do you check a bird’s pulse?

Check for a heartbeat by listening on either side of the keel bone – a stethoscope will make this task easier. If the bird has stopped breathing, but you can still hear its heartbeat, begin rescue breathing. Supporting the bird’s head in your one hand, and its body in the other, tilt it slightly away from you.