Nail and beak trimming
Nail trimming is a painless procedure to shorten or blunten the nails as they continually grow.
Very overgrown nails easily become hooked in clothing, carpets, cage bars or even toys with the potential to damage or even cause limb fractures as the bird struggles to get itself free.
Regular monitoring of your birds nails will alert you to these potential problems.
The other main reason for trimming nails is owner comfort. Birds nails are designed to sharpen themselves as they grow. From the birds perspective sharp nails means they are better able to hold on, but from the owners perspective this can be quite uncomfortable especially with heavier birds and lorikeets.
Dr Brett prefers grinding down the tips of the nails with a grinder rather than clipping. Dr Brett finds grinding gives a better finish and the less likely-hood of getting them down to the quick which will cause bleeding and discomfort.
Some owners manage this as a regular process using an emery board/nail file long term but does take a while to train your bird to let you allow this being done.
Beak trimming is an unusual necessity as the avian beak is designed to wear itself down with use and maintain its shape.
Trimming is only needed when something causes damage to the growth or to the wear. This can be caused most usually by physical injury , nutritional deficiencies, and parasitic infections eg scaly face mites in budgies. Less commonly by other infections – bacterial fungal/viral , neoplasia.
Some birds find the handling for beak , nail and wing trims stress-full especially if they have not been towel trained at home. Many avian vets will use a very short gas anesthetic to reduce the stress component. These anesthetics are very short and very safe in a healthy bird.
If your bird is showing any signs of beak problems make an appointment with Dr Brett for further advice.