Avian First Aid: Natural Remedies for Parrots

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Its secrets have yet to be revealed in the avian medical community as well.

Aloe Vera for Parrots

Welcome to the Avian First Aid segment! We will be featuring some of HARI’s suggested components of an avian first aid kit arsenal-with a first look at Aloe Vera and its uses with our avian companions. Parrot Life Magazine, Vol. 2 (PDF) features the article in full along with helpful charts on using Aloe Vera with Avian Conditions.

Underutilized here in North America there are convincing reports, trials and research that confirm its potential for use as a safe and non-toxic remedy. In my entourage, people are aware of the topical gel’s therapeutic effect on burns, yet very few are familiar with the tonic drink and gel as a natural remedy for many other ailments. Its secrets have yet to be revealed in the avian medical community as well. Over-the-counter, non-toxic and inexpensive, it’s readily available, especially if you keep a plant at home and at the cottage in case of emergency!

Charlene Moluccan Cockatoo

The history of Aloe Vera for centuries used by civilizations throughout the world is fascinating.

The oldest documented usage of this plant dates back to 1550 BC in the Egyptian Book of Remedies. It was an Egyptian tradition to offer this plant at a funeral ceremony to accompany the Pharaoh to his last rest in the Valley of the Kings. A reference in the Bible claims that this plant was cultivated by God to give men a means of healing themselves.  “Aloe Vera Myth or Medicine?” provides some additional information pertaining to its properties, research, and different usage by humans and animals alike. This miraculous plant should definitely be part of every avian first aid kit.

Some claim it has fabled medicinal properties. Yet according to Dr. Peter Atherton, “Evidence of its therapeutic power dating back to 70-90 AD; Kings and Queens, Pharaohs, Indian, Chinese, Greeks Romans alike have used this miraculous plant for therapeutic armory.” Dr. Peter Atherton’s recent book THE ESSENTIAL ALOE VERA can be purchased from Mill Enterprises. I recommend its uses as a complementary or alternative medicine especially when other known therapies have failed to be effective, or a natural remedy with no known toxic effects are preferred to use.

Aloe Vera Recommended Avian Dosages

  • Aloe Vera Gel can be offered in a small cup. Many birds readily enjoy this.
  • Oral dosage: have your avian veterinarian evaluate this dosage with you based on your pet’s weight
  • Topical Spray: 1 part pure Aloe Vera Juice to 3 parts water. Rinse with water in a few hours later.
  • Wounds and bits: apply open section of mature plant and wrap as a band aid under bandage
  • Nasal flush: 1 ml pure gel in 10 ml lactated ringer’s solution.

Caution: Despite its extremely safe usage it is advisable to discuss and advise your avian veterinarian, nonetheless!

Myth, reality and its undeniable therapeutic powers to relieve numerous health conditions are amongst its virtues. However, do not consider this a miraculous therapeutic agent for all illnesses that have not been medically evaluated. Should diarrhea, apparent discomfort or adverse reaction occur, discontinue its use immediately. Aloe Vera is not a permanent cure for arthritis, inflammation and immune system deficiency. Symptoms suppressed by this treatment will often return once the oral gel is no longer given.

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