Millennium Post

A tale of feathery woes

Help can be our first instinct upon seeing an injured bird, but it’s necessary to ensure that we do more good than harm

A tale of feathery woes

How do I stabilise an injured or ill bird until further assistance is available?

For minor cuts, beak chips or broken toenails that are bleeding, gently apply pressure to small cuts with a piece of gauze/cotton to stop the bleeding. Be careful not to hold your bird by the chest or compress his chest as this can cause suffocation. In some cases, you may need to apply pressure for up to 10 minutes to stop bleeding. After the bleeding has stopped, clean the area with water and then apply styptic powder. You can also use cornstarch, baking soda or flour if you don't have styptic powder.

If the bird has a small, superficial, and non-bleeding wound (not caused by an animal) clean it with betadine. Remove any dirt or feathers. Then apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment. It should heal within a couple of days.

Birds may have broken young feathers (also known as blood feathers as they still have blood shafts). To stop the bleeding from these feathers, apply pressure with a sterile gauze pad to stop the bleeding. After the bleeding stops, contact your veterinarian right away to see if it's necessary to have the feathers removed.

If the bird has a broken wing, wrap the bird lightly with a cloth and immediately visit the veterinarian.

My dog stinks after a bath. What should I do?

Certain dog breeds, notably retrievers and hounds, have sebum oil on their coats that can, when combined with water and bacteria, emit a particularly foul smell.

If your dog has sebum oil on their coat, completely drying them off as soon as possible with a blow dryer after they get wet will reduce the smell emitted from this dermal combination.

Dogs with parasites, bacterial skin infections or yeast infections can be particularly bad-smelling when wet. These infections can get into folds of the skin and creases, where they multiply and cause skin problems that are both irritating for your dog, and smelly for everyone else. Addressing parasites, bacteria, and yeast conditions with the appropriate medications will relieve your dog's discomfort and yours.

Other medical conditions, such as endocrine and metabolic disorders, as well as gastrointestinal disorders, can also cause your dog to be smellier than usual. Taking your dog to the veterinarian regularly to address medical conditions and receiving appropriate treatment will keep them healthy and your nose happy.

Groom your dog daily to brush off excess hair and debris. Make sure any discharge from eyes, ears, etc and excrement and urine is wiped off.

Do not just towel dry your dog when wet; towels do not remove the bacteria and may just spread it around. Blow-dry your dog, which helps remove the bacteria right down the dog's hair shaft and down to their skin.

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