Supplemental Heat for the Avian Patient

Key Points

  • Maintain incubators at approximately 80-90°F (26-32°C).
  • Warm fluids before administering them to avian patients.
  • Apply sterile saline to avian patients instead of alcohol whenever possible.

Small birds face an enormous task in maintaining their body temperature, especially in a cold environment, but fortunately plumage provides an effective barrier to heat loss. Down feathers trap air and allow little convective movement of heat to occur. Fluffing feathers increases insulation and . . .

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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.

King, AS, McLelland J. Birds: Their Structure and Function. Baillière Tindall. 1983.