Darker Toenail

by Joe

Why is my Cockatiel's toenail Darker than the others? Just Wondering if this is bad.

Comments for Darker Toenail

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 19, 2010
Conure toe nail
by: Dusky Dusky

My dusky shares a bird room with his mate a cockatiel. They were boarded for 2 months as we were installing sound proof windows to keep our neighbor happy (residential home 40 feet away and still complaining).

When the flock came home one of dusky?s left toes was swollen. I took him to the vet and all seemed OK as we put him on some A-biotic. Then a few weeks later his rear right outer toe got black and eventually lost his toe. This was after I took him to 2 different avian vets and spent $600 on 8 visits and A-biotic with pain medication. I was surprised that they couldn't save it. Now 3 weeks later dusky is down a toe nail but is as playful as ever.

This morning I noticed that one of his other toe nails is peeling and a white portion is being displayed. I have made another vet appointment but I'm baffled that this is happening to my little buddy. Does anyone have any insight on dusky's condition?

Aug 11, 2009
Toenail turning dark
by: The Vet

If this is a change from the nail?s normal color, then you need to have it looked at by an avian veterinarian.

Dr B

Aug 10, 2009
by: Linda

Well, it is impossible to tell you why one is darker since we can't see it or the bird. If the nail bed or foot appears to be swollen or tender (bird does not want to put weight on it) there could have been an injury to foot and that toenail specifically.

Keep an eye on it, and if you see any swelling, or signs that bird is favoring that foot, you will need to get bird to an Avian vet immediately to see what is wrong. It sounds like he could have got the nail caught in something and almost pulled it off. If this ever happens, bird may bleed out before you can get to vet, so check out bird's cage and toys for anywhere he may can get a toenail caught between one thing and another. Look for gaps big enough for a toenail to get caught.

Also, if you are not clipping toenails, take him to vet and have this done. It needs to be done at least every few months to keep the nails from getting so long they become a danger to the bird.If his nails are overgrown now, then you'll need to take him in once a month to get nails back to the right length. Keeping their nails clipped is a very important aspect of having a bird. Also, DO NOT USE THE SAND, CONCRETE OR PUMICE perches as these dry feet out excessively and can cause loss of toes. My Amazon male lost two toes because of a pumice perch he loved so much, he sat on it a lot. It took the loss of two of his toes before we figured out what was causing this. The hen's toes were the same way, and we had to have surgery on one of them to remove the damaged tissue. Luckily she did not lose any toes. So don't use the rough, sandy, concrete perches for any reason. Use natural safe wood perches made from branches and clean them up and scrub off any moss or other dirty places with hot water. Leave the bark on as birds like to peel this off sometimes and the bark will help to keep the points off nails.You can also find these branches ready to put in cage in pet stores and on the internet. Make sure they are sized for your Cockatiel.

It sounds like nail is bruised, so go over cage, toys, perches inside and outside the cage. Do not leave bird out of cage unless you or another person are in the room with him as this can be disastrous. Birds left unattended outside their cages can get badly hurt and possibly bleed out before you even know they are hurt.

If toenail keeps being bruised looking go ahead and make an appointment with Avian vet as the toe can be infected which will spread all over his body in a short time. Hope this helps and thanks for writing.


Click here to add your own comments