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Tips To Cool Down Your Parrot

Know how to help your pet bird cool down in an emergency if temperatures get too hot in your home

By Rebecca Sweat

quaker parrot, birds in warm temperatures
Your bird can easily become heat-stressed. Be prepared to deal with hot temperature emergencies in your home.
Courtesy Phyllis Ness, Indiana

Sometimes, though, despite best planning the worst happens, like your air conditioner gives up the ghost on a 100-degree Fahrenheit day. Your parrot can quickly become heat-stressed or suffer a full-fledged heat stroke. What should you do?

If your bird is simply panting and is a little heat stressed, cool — not cold — water from a misting bottle helps bring your bird’s temperature down. If the bird is in the sun, get it into a shaded area or bring it inside your house in an air conditioned room or hold it in front of a fan. Offer it a small amount of water or electrolyte solution, or let it step in a shallow dish of cool water.

“If your bird stops panting, seems more relaxed, and responds normally to your voice, it is doing fine,” said North Carolina avian veterinarian, Gregory Burkett, DVM. Once your bird seems improved, he advises you have it examined by a veterinarian to make sure there was no permanent brain or organ damage.

If your bird is having a heat stroke and is actually convulsing, avian veterinarian Gregory Harrison, DVM, recommends you shower the bird with cool soapy water. Use either mild dish detergent or liquid hand soap in the water. Either way, the soap functions as a wetting agent and helps get water under the feathers and to the body. Be sure the water is not excessively cold or icy. If you use water that is too cold, “your bird would go right through normal and into a hypothermia situation,” Dr. Harrison cautioned.

Hopefully, your bird will come around in a few minutes, but if 15 to 20 minutes goes by and it isn’t, Dr. Harrison suggests you pack your bird in cool towels with some ice packs around its feet and beak and take it to the emergency clinic. The staff there may be able to give your bird some phenobarbital or acepromezine to control the convulsions.


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Tips To Cool Down Your Parrot

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Reader Comments
I also did not know about soap, great to know, especially with this weeks heat wave coming on....
Gabby, San Diego, CA
Posted: 6/30/2013 9:22:52 PM
Misting is part of our bird routine. I wasn't aware o the benefit of using soap, but will keep it in mind now. Thank you for the timely reminder!
Carol, Silver Sprng, MD
Posted: 6/29/2013 7:47:30 PM
good info
n, n, TN
Posted: 6/21/2013 7:28:17 AM
Excellent article! I didn't know about using soap....Dawn in my house :-) The power goes out a lot around here. If I feel it's too warm for my babies I put them in their travel cages and drive around in the air conditioned car. If the power stays off too long we go to a hotel for the night/s. I would much rather be safe than sorry about my babies health!
Susan, Greenville, SC
Posted: 6/16/2013 1:46:30 AM
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