Bite Wounds: Dog, Cat or Ferret
If your bird is attacked by a dog, cat, or ferret, you need to seek help from a veterinarian as soon as possible.  These animals can carry bacteria that could be deadly to a bird if proper medication is not administered within 12 hours of the attack.  A cat's claws may also be contaminated with this bacteria, so even if you do not see blood on your bird, it is best to get treatment if you think the cat's claws may have punctured the bird's skin even slightly.  Do not wait to see if the bird acts sick, it will usually be too late to help it if the infection has spread into the bloodstream and caused symptoms like puffy feathers, closed eyes, or sitting on the cage floor.

Bite Wounds: Other Birds
A small bite wound inflicted by another bird will usually not cause any problem with infection.  Larger wounds with the skin torn open or bleeding may require treatment to prevent infection, and possibly even surgery.  A common cause of injury is when one bird gets on top of another bird's cage, thereby violating the territory of the cage occupant.  Many birds lose a toenail or an entire toe after being bitten while standing or climbing on some other bird's cage.  For tips on how to control bleeding, see the "Bleeding" page.

Cuts From Clean Surfaces:
Caged birds are like young children.   They will find ways to hurt themselves no matter how careful you might be in trying to protect them.  Check every toy, swing and dish that is used in the cage for sharp edges, open links on chains, and loose wires that could catch on the bird's beak or leg band.  Minor wounds with little bleeding may not require medical attention.  One of the most common injuries in this category would be a small cut between the nostrils caused by the bird flying into a wall or window.  These cuts do not generally need treatment unless there are other symptoms such as excessive sleepiness, loss of balance, or refusing to eat.   If there are several drops of blood from an injury, or if the skin appears to be torn, call your avian veterinarian for advice.

Burns and Frostbite:
Pet birds are frequently injured when allowed to fly freely in the house, with the kitchen being a particularly hazardous place.  Burns from landing on hot burners or pans should be treated immediately with cool, not icy, water, and emergency veterinary care.  Frostbite on a bird that was found outside should be treated with warm, not hot, water, and veterinary care as soon as possible.
Updated On: 10/15/2007
How to help an injured bird at home
and when to call your veterinarian.
Burge Bird Services
Julie Burge, DVM
13833 S. 71 Hwy
Grandview, MO  64030
(816) 356-4700