Drooling & canker in birds
April 24th, 2015
Ideally you should get all wounded wildlife to your nearest vet or sanctuary ASAP. We know sometimes this just is not possible, this article is designed to save a life in the short term until help is available! Our first aid advice is designed to utilise readily available household items to help you out of a bad situation. It is not intended to replace veterinary or sanctuary advice, which should be sought as soon as you can.
This advice is not practical for inexperienced handlers with dangerous species such as larger birds of prey. You should enlist the skills of an experienced sanctuary or vet. Always make sure you are safe and that the bird or animal is held in safe manner for both you and it.
Birds do not salivate in the same way as a mammal. It is not normal for any kind of fluid to be running from a birds beak, they will need attention from a vet ASAP. The most common cause of what looks like drooling in wild birds is a condition called canker.
This needs experienced veterinary treatment as soon as possible, the condition causes lesions in the throat, windpipe and inside the beak and can infect the sinuses too. It is commonly found in pigeons, garden birds and birds of prey. The condition itself is not life threatening, but it stops the bird from swallowing or breathing and the bird eventually starves or suffocates to death. It usually is surrounded by a severe infection of the soft tissues, which again, can kill the bird.
Normally, by the time a bird is sick enough with canker for you to catch, it is in a bad way and will need treatment ASAP. The only effective treatment for this is veterinary medication, alongside professional tube feeding of the bird.
This is what you are looking for:
If you find a bird with canker in your area, you should take the bird for treatment and then take down all your bird feeders and baths, empty them out (make sure old food goes in the bin, not on the ground) and you should scrub them in hot soapy water and then submerge them in boiling water and allow to dry before putting fresh food and water out. Encourage all you r bird feeding neighbors to do the same!
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