Burns in the Avian Patient

Key Points

  • Unfortunately burns are relatively common in avian emergency medicine.
  • Provide all burn patients with fluid therapy, gentle, aseptic wound management, preemptive analgesia, and systemic bactericidal antibiotics.
  • Apply cold water compresses to burns that have occurred recently.
  • Monitor burn patients closely for evidence of dehydration or reduced renal function.
  • Crop burns commonly occur in young birds fed formula that is too hot.

Burns are common in avian medicine. Many burns result from contact with hot liquids such as scalding water or cooking oil. Electrical burns arise from chewing on electrical wires and burns may also occur when pre-weaning birds are fed hot formula. Burns resulting from entrapment in burning buildings or inside containers, such as chick incubators with burning bedding, are not as common but are much more difficult to treat due to the complication of smoke inhalation . . .

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Jenkins JR. Avian emergency and critical care. Proc Annu Conf Am Board Vet Practitioners. 2005.

Jenkins JR. Avian critical care and emergency medicine. Altman RB, Clubb SL, Dorrestein GM, Quesenberry K (eds). Avian Medicine and Surgery. W.B. Saunders Company; Philadelphia, PA. 1997. Pp. 839-845.