How to Treat a Broken Blood Feather

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    • 1). Assess the situation. Any of the following indicate that treatment is necessary: the bleeding has not completely stopped; the feather is protruding at an odd angle; there is evidence that more than a drop or two of blood was lost. Otherwise, it is probably safe to simply keep a close eye on the bird for a few hours. A feather that is actively bleeding or bent will need to be removed, and if there has been significant blood loss then the bird needs to visit the veterinarian right away.

    • 2). Restrain the bird. In most cases, a towel will make this easier, but very small birds can be restrained bare-handed. When restraining a bird, hold the wings gently against the bird's body to prevent injury. Do not apply any pressure to the bird's chest, as this can interfere with breathing.

    • 3). Control the blood loss. Apply Quick-stop, cornstarch or flour and press on the bleeding tip. Although it is tempting to simply place the bird back into its cage once the bleeding has stopped, this is rarely a good idea. The broken feather is very likely to start bleeding again. If it does, you will have to catch and restrain the bird again, which will almost certainly cause even more blood loss.

    • 4). Decide whether you will remove feather yourself or take the bird to the vet. If you are experienced with handling birds, you may want to avoid causing the bird additional stress by taking it to the vet. Also, if you are unable to stop the bleeding, you must remove the feather immediately as birds can succumb to blood loss very easily. If the bleeding has stopped and you do not want to attempt to remove the feather, place the bird in a darkened carrier and go to the vet's office for further treatment.

    • 5). Remove the broken blood feather. To do this, grasp the broken blood feather with needle-nose pliers, and pull firmly and steadily in the direction that the feather grows. If the feather is on a wing, you should do this with the wing held against the bird's body, not extended, to avoid further injury.

    • 6). If bleeding occurs from the spot where the feather was removed apply pressure and if necessary, cornstarch or flour. Do not apply Quick-stop to the bird's skin, as it can cause burns.

    • 7). Once the bleeding has completely stopped, place the bird inside its cage. If possible, a towel should be on the cage before you put the bird inside. The darkened cage will calm the bird and reduce the chance that it will begin to bleed again.

    • 8). Observe the bird. Watch closely for at least an hour to be certain that the bleeding has stopped and the wound will not re-open. Also watch for signs that the bird has suffered significant blood loss, such as shivering and sitting on the cage floor. If your bird exhibits these signs, call your vet right away.

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