I hope that you never have to actually give your bird CPR, but taking a few minutes to read this blog will help prepare you if you ever do need to.
Calmly evaluate the situation. Physically look at your bird’s chest to see if they are breathing and check for a heartbeat. You can do so by putting your ear against their chest or by using your fingers. If your bird has stopped breathing but does have a heartbeat, you will only need to do the breathing portion of CPR and not actual chest compressions.
Open your bird’s mouth and look to see if there is anything in their throat that is obstructing their airway. You may need to move or position your bird’s tongue in a way that allows you to easily see down the bird’s trachea (airway).
Step 3, If your bird does have a heartbeat:
Supporting the head, hold your bird on their back, and if the bird is small place your mouth over the bird’s beak and nostrils. If the bird is larger, simply cover their nostrils with your hand and place your mouth over their beak. Carefully breath into your bird’s beak. If the bird is smaller you want to use smaller breaths, no matter the size though you want to make sure that you are delivering breaths with enough force and air to make the bird’s chest rise and fall. You want to deliver 5 short breaths back to back into your bird’s beak and than look to see if the bird has started breathing on their own. If not, continue with two breaths at a time before pausing and checking to see if they are breathing again.
Be sure to check to see if the heart has stopped beating. If it has you want to begin CPR.
Step 3, If your bird does NOT have a heartbeat:
If your bird is small, you want to place one finger over the bird’s sternum, if it is a larger bird use three fingers. You want to compress in a heart-like rhythm, (a brisk rhythm). You should start by giving 5 breaths (reference the above step), and then 10 compressions and than after that continue with 2 breaths followed by 10 compressions, repeating if necessary. Be sure to frequently evaluate your bird’s condition to see if they are breathing on their own or showing signs of life. Continue CPR until the bird is either breathing on their own, or while someone is driving you to a vet.
Again, we hope the time never comes that you need to use this information but it is better to know what to do than be prepared.
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