First aid and emergency care

image of First aid and emergency care
Online Access: £ 25.00 + VAT
BSAVA Library Pass Buy a pass


This chapter provides information on appropriate first aid and emergency care for most wildlife species in the UK. Primary assessment and emergency treatments for shock and dyspnoea are covered. Sections on fluid therapy, nutritional support, emergency medication and the treatment of traumatic injuries and poisoning are also included.

Preview this chapter:
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



Image of 5.1
5.1 A collapsed adult snipe () that has been placed in an incubator with a doughnut-shaped ‘towel nest’ to prevent it from falling to one side and to aid respiration.
Image of 5.6
5.6 Venepuncture sites in birds. (a) Right jugular vein (peregrine falcon (), anaesthetized). (b) Superficial ulnar vein (tawny owl ()). (c) Medial metartarsal vein (pigeon ()).
Image of 5.9
5.9 (a) The glottis lies centrally within the buccal cavity in all bird species and is easily avoided when passing a gavage tube. (b) Gavage is well tolerated by birds, such as this short-eared owl (), and can be performed quickly to reduce stress.
Image of 5.11
5.11 Sites for subcutaneous fluid therapy administration in birds. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and are printed with her permission.
Image of 5.12
5.12 Thermoneutral ranges and activity temperature ranges for British wild animals. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and are printed with her permission.
Image of 5.14
5.14 A circulating warmed air system is an efficient way to provide supplementary warmth. (Reproduced from the )
Image of 5.17
5.17 Wing bandaging technique. (a) Medical tape can be used to hold the primary feathers to the tertiary feathers in a closed wing. This is suitable for fractures of the manus or simple fractures of the radius or ulna alone. (b) Conforming bandage can be used to produce a ‘figure-of-eight’ dressing to support fractures of the radius and ulna. The radius and ulna are held against the humerus, the carpal and elbow joints are held flexed but the shoulder maintains movement. The wing is not strapped to the body and the opposite wing remains free. (c) Conforming bandage can also be used to produce a ‘figure-of-eight’ dressing to support the humerus. In this case the body of the bird is included in the dressing to restrict movement at the shoulder as well as the elbow and carpus. Care should be taken not to make the dressing too tight and so impede normal respiration. (d) The opposite wing remains free. In all cases strapping should be removed and the wing reassessed after 2–3 days in order to help prevent the risk of joint stiffness. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and are printed with her permission.
Image of 5.18
5.18 Altman splint. (a) Two pieces of medical or masking tape are applied either side of the leg and pressed firmly together to form the splint. For effective immobilization, the resulting splint must include as much as possible of the limb above and below the fracture site. (b) Excess tape is cut away from the splint to reduce size and weight. The splint is very well tolerated by most patients. (c) Pieces of tape can be added to the splint around the stifle joint to give added stability. Simple fractures will have formed a callus and immobilized themselves within 2–3 weeks, after which the splint can be removed to allow the bird to regain limb function.
Image of 5.19
5.19 ‘Ball bandage’ of foot used to immobilize the toes of a raptor. (© Kevin Eatwell)
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error