Sun conure hurt claw?

by Al
(Miami, Fl)

I took my 1 year old conure to the groomer yesterday to have his wings clipped and nails trimmed. They took him to the back to do what needed to be done. When I brought him home, I noticed that he went and perched himself on top of his cozy hut and retracted his left claw into his feathers as if he were in a little bit of pain. He seems to be okay as he is eating and drinking but he seems to favor that one claw. When I take him out and perch him on my shoulder (an everyday occurrence), it's as if he can't grip the way he used to. He slips/slides right off my shoulder. To get out of his cage, if you put your finger in front of him, he will use either claw to get on and doesn't seem to be in any distress to do that. Could they have cut his nails too short causing him to act uncomfortable or could they have sprained his leg during the procedure? And if so, will he eventually work it out on his own and be okay? Or is a trip to the vet in his near future?

Comments for Sun conure hurt claw?

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Oct 27, 2010
Conure with hurt foot
by: The Avian Vet

Both of your differentials could be true. They could have clipped the nails too short and caused pain; they could have caused a slight injury to the leg from handling and restraint. If the problem does not resolve within 48-72 hours, then you should seek veterinary care. The reason he is slipping from you shoulder is that he cannot grip with trimmed nails. The tips of the nails dig into your clothing when they are sharp, but have no traction when dull.

He may also be falling because of his wing clip. Birds use their wings for balance as well as flight and if he is over clipped or clipped incorrectly then he may have balance issues. The proper way to clip wings is to clip the first four outer, longer primary feathers on both sides. Any more than four and your bird is over clipped.

I recommend to my clients that they provide a pedicure perch for their bird and they will never need to trim nails. The pedicure perch should be the highest perch in the cage so your bird will sleep on it. This will keep the nails dull, yet functional and your bird will not slip off of your shoulder. If he sleeps in a tent or on a wooden perch the nails will need trimming regularly, maybe as often as every 6-8 weeks.

The best perch to use is the Polly's Pastel Pedicure Perches. These are oval and tapered and work better than any other pedicure perch. The size for your bird is Small, or Medium. Bigger is better.

Dr B

Oct 23, 2010
Sun conure hurt claw?
by: Linda

Allow me to addres the groomer first. Never allow anyone like this to take your bird "to the back" because you need to be able to see what they are doing. If at an Avian Vet's office, sometimes they have to draw blood and will normally take bird to another place more convenient for them to do this. A groomer is a different story, and since they are only groomers, can hurt bird doing nail clips because birds usually ball their feet into tight little fists and people doing the clipping have to get foot open.

In this case, keep an eye on him and see if this gets better or worse. Sometimes, if they have cut too far up on the nail, it will be tender for a while. If, however, they wrenched his leg or foot trying to get it open, then this is a problem with leg. If it was broken, he would not be able to stand on it at all, and if that is what you are seeing then he needs to go to Avian Vet for an xray and splinting and casting of the leg. If he can still stand on your finger, this sounds like they cut the nails too short, and when the end of one or more of the nails touches the perch, it hurts and causes bird to let go.

I would definately call the groomer, let them know that bird is hurt in some way from the nail clipping, and inform them that if it gets worse, you'll have to take bird to Avian Vet and this should be at their expense. As I said earlier, never allow a groomer to be left alone with your bird because the horror stories are many, and the results are dead birds.

A for instance is a case where woman left Cockatoo with groomer for a bath and nail clipping. Instead of bathing bird first, they clipped the nails up into the quick, and they bled. Then, they put bird into warm water for bath and bird bled completely out as a result. This lady never should have left her bird with them, but trusted they knew what they were doing. Maybe they do with dogs, but most don't see that many birds and so should be watched.

Keep an eye on your little one for a while longer as it will take a few days or so before you can really tell extent of any damage. Do call the groomer about what happened and say you think nails were cut too short and do they remember whether they did or not. I hope your sweet little bird is better in just a while.

My own story is last time I took my Amazons in for nail and beak clipping, Avian vet clipped Stella's beak back too far. It did not even look like a real beak though I was in the room when he did it. She was very careful eating for about a week after that, and if necessary, I'll be right up in their faces next time. Her beak has a tendency to grow too fast and too long, so I guess he was trying to do the right thing. My advice is to never leave bird alone with ANYONE unless you've had to leave them for some kind of surgery, and keep an eye on what they do as well. Better to be safe than sorry...

Thanks for writing,

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