Even if you take all possible precautions to keep your bird comfortable, unforeseen circumstances can cause your pet to overheat. In extreme cases, your bird could suffer from heat stress which can lead to heat stroke. Your bird can lose consciousness and even die when the temperature exceeds their comfort zone. Here’s what to do if you run into this problem.
Why Would My Bird Overheat?
Wild birds always have some exposure to air movement which can help them cool down. Some scenarios that can cause your pet bird to overheat are given by peteducation.com. They are:
- Power failure in warm weather that halts your air-conditioning.
- Wrapping your bird in a towel for restraint for too long a period of time.
- Having your bird in an enclosed vehicle where the heat is rising.
- Forgetting to close a blind allowing the sun to stream in through the window on your bird’s cage.
- Aviary birds living outside dealing with an uncommonly long spell of hot weather or excessive direct sunlight.
What Are The Signs That My Bird Is Overheated?
Birds do not have sweat glands to help keep them cool, so you won’t see your avian friend sweating. According to petcha.com, these are the signs you should look for if you suspect your bird has overheated.
- Heavy panting by the bird is the most obvious sign that you need to look out for.
- The bird will be holding its wings away from its body.
- Your bird appears anxious or agitated, and perhaps has a blank look on its face.
- Increased panting and loss of equilibrium is the next step and means the condition is getting serious.
- If the situation is not corrected, the bird will fall off its perch and possibly convulse. This can lead to death or permanent brain damage.
Here is a short video that shows a budgie suffering from minor heat stress and is agitating and panting heavily.
What Can I Do To Help My Overheated Bird?
Birds rely on the insulation afforded by their feathers to regulate their temperature. They keep their wings close to the body to stay warm and spread them to keep cool. They also lose heat through their unfeathered body parts, in particular, their legs and feet. Overweight birds are more prone to heat stress, so keep your bird trim and healthy.
If your bird is showing signs of being overheated, you should take corrective action swiftly to avoid the problem getting any worse. You do, however, need to be careful not to cool the bird down too quickly as this can send them into shock or lead to internal organ damage. Some solutions you may want to consider include:
Perfect for cooling down birds that are swelting in the heat. Bird aviary misters are usually used outdoors but the manual handheld ones also gets used inside as well.
Bird Cooling fans
A cooling tower that is set on a low level will provide a soft soothing breeze for your birds – ideal for indoor birds. The one pictured above is available here.
Thermostats and Heat Controllers
Thermostats such as the one listed here are always handy for keeping your an eye on the room temperature of your birds and can be set to turn heaters and coolers on and off.
HEPA Air Filtration Systems
The premium and super high end solution that will not only will control room temperature but will also filter the air and thus prevent bird dander and dust. The main drawback is that they are an expensive solution. The air purifier in the image above is available here.
Other Cooling Steps
Additionally, you may want to consider the following steps, as outlined at birdtricks.com, that will safely reduce your bird’s temperature.
- Move the bird to a cool quiet place in your home, away from sunlight and any sources of stress such as other family pets.
- Mist the bird with room temperature water until its skin is wet. This means soaking the feathers to have the water actually contact the skin.
- Have plenty of room-temperature water available for your bird to drink.
- Immerse the bird’s feet in water at room temperature water.
If these first-aid treatments do not return your bird to its normal state, contact your avian vet for further instructions. Time is of the essence when dealing with this problem, so you need to quickly attempt the first-aid treatments, and get your bird veterinary help if your efforts fail.