It is VERY important that you read the instructions on the medication bottle and give the correct dose. For most medications in small birds this will be around one or two drops (i.e. 0.05 ml to 0.1 ml) once or twice daily. DO NOT mistake 0.05 ml on the syringe for 0.5 ml (etc), read what is written on the bottle and follow instructions.

If you have not given medications before, our staff are happy to demonstrate or talk you through how to dose your individual bird.

Be sure you have all medications and everything you need before you catch/restrain your bird.

If your bird is looking stressed/poorly at any time just ‘put him down’, allow him to recover and come back later for a second attempt. Call the clinic if you are concerned.

If you are right handed and giving liquids to a parrot we recommend you wrap your bird in a small towel with your left hand over your bird’s back while immobilising your bird’s head with your left thumb on one side of the head and your left index finger on the other. Your bird should rest in the palm of your left hand with your remaining fingers used to restrain the wings but not placing any pressure on the chest or body. Roll your bird on his left side a little away from your body and, using your right hand, drop the medication slowly into his mouth.

To avoid medication ‘going down the wrong way’

  • Do not give drops too quickly, allow time for your bird to swallow
  • Do not hold your bird on its back, rather hold him on his side
  • Stop if your bird is struggling excessively and come back later

It is not necessary to pry the beak open. If your bird keeps its beak closed just gently drip the medication on the line between the upper and lower beak and continue to hold your bird on its side, allowing the medication to seep into its mouth by gravity.  Don’t be in a hurry.

The above technique can also be used for canaries, finches and most other small birds.