Overgrown beak

by Lori

I have a 10 year old African Grey. This past year one side of his beak grew into a long V shape point. I took him to a vet and he sedated him with gas and filed it down but he didn't know what caused it. It's been 6 months and I've noticed it's growing again. What could cause this and is there a way to fix it so it doesn't happen again? Is it safe to put birds to sleep with gas?

Comments for Overgrown beak

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Feb 03, 2008
Overgrown beak and Gas anesthesia for birds
by: The Vet

Gas anesthesia is safe, however, there are always inherent risks associated with anesthesia. Cardiac arrest and respiratory arrest can and do occur. I do not sedate bird for routine procedures such as trimming beaks. Anesthesia is used for most x-rays, surgical procedures, and would be necessary if a beak realignment were possible.

Most cases like these are due to malalignment, leading to one side of the beak growing more. Frequently, especially in adult birds, surgical re-alignment is not an option. I cannot make a diagnosis or recommendation without seeing your bird, however.

Dr B

Feb 02, 2008
Re: Overgrown beak
by: Kathy

I'm currently fostering a 26 year old Red Lored Amazon that came to me 6 months ago with an overgrown beak. It nearly touched his chest, and interfered with his ability to eat.

I took him to a certified avian vet who reshaped his beak using a dremmel tool. She toweled, but did not find it necessary to anesthetize, him.

His new day cage is a 5'w x 5'h x 30"d cage constructed from welded wire. When I move him from his (smaller, private) sleep cage to his day cage (which he now shares with one other 'zon) I step him up onto a concrete pedi-perch located next to his water dish, that he grabs with his beak. His pellet cup is at perch level but the treat dish sits on the cage bottom, so he's guaranteed to climb down and back up at least once a day. He's ignored all wooden chew toys, to date, but there are several in his cage.

All the grabbing and climbing is working - it's keeping his normal beak regrowth under control; he hasn't required a retrim.

64┬░F in Houston TX

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