Very long toe nail

by M

I have just been passed an amazon and one of its toe nails is curled around against its toe. Does the blood supply run throughout a nail when it gets to this length? If so is it small amounts often? If so this wories me it may get stuck on the cage while i am not their or cause rubbing and irritate the toe!

Am i safe to clip to the same length as the others and have blood stopper handy in case? I clip nails on a regular basis due to my job Birds in particular, i am not novice - I just havent done anything this length on a bird before. Thankyou M

Comments for Very long toe nail

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Nov 10, 2009
Long nail on Amazon
by: The Vet

The blood goes almost to the tip of the nail. They will get caught on the cage and need to be clipped soon.

You also asked: "Am i safe to clip to the same length as the others and have blood stopper handy in case? I clip nails on a regular basis due to my job Birds in particular, i am not novice - I just havent done anything this length on a bird before."

No, it would not be safe to do this. You need to take this bird in to an avian veterinarian. If you attempt this on your own, you will need someone to restrain the bird so you can clip. Take off about 1/4 of the nail, then use a Dremel to file off the rest. Have some Super Clot gel on hand, the yellow blood stop powder does not work as well.

Dr B

Nov 09, 2009
Clipping toenails
by: Kelly

I'm not an expert on birds, but waiting 3-4 weeks seems very excessive when wanting to reduce the length of a nail. With dogs, cats, and horses (I am a licensed vet tech, but do not work with avians) you trim the toe up to EVERY WEEK. With birds, dogs, and cats, due to the shape of the nail, it is important to take both some leganth off the end, and also trim the top, arched part of the nail for optimal quick recession. This thick upper portion is where the strength of the nail is, and taking small amounts of this off each week will encourage the quick to shrink. BUT... please be carefull, especially if you are not familier/comfortable with trimming an animals nails. It can go wrong very fast! I successfully use this techniquie on agility dogs, 8 quaker parrots, 4 cockatiels, and a blue and gold macaw. :) Good luck- if you have any doubts, leave it to your vet! Whatever price they charge is better then over clipping a nail and not being able to stop the bleeding...

Nov 09, 2009
Very long toe nail
by: Linda

You will need to cut this one down gradually. If you go ahead and cut it to the length of the others, there is a chance bird will bleed out, so take off the tip, mark it on calendar and take a little more in 3-4 weeks. Leave the other nails alone unless they are also longer. Basically, we need to keep the sharp, long points off their nails to ensure the nail does not get caught up in something.DO NOT USE ANY OF THE SAND OR CONCRETE OR PUMICE PERCHES AS THEY DRY OUT THE FEET TO THE POINT OF LOSING TOES. I KNOW AS MY MALE AMAZON HAS LOST TWO TOES BEFORE I REALIZED IT WAS BECAUSE OF A PUMICE PERCH HE FAVORED.

I have an Amazon who has a deformed toe and nail and she has the one that grows faster than the others. I take mine to vet to have their nails trimmed because they are a wild caught pair and I've gotten too old and slow to do it fast enough to keep them from being stressed too much. Both are older birds, and they get very upset about nail clipping, so I take them into vet every 4-6 months.

For your bird's nail, do it gradually, and it may bleed the first time and maybe more until the quick has been pushed back enough. As the nail grows, so does the quick, and in this bird, it may very well be all the way to the end, so have some styptic powder or the pads handy as it will most likely bleed. Just take off the tip part at first, and if you do it in another 3-4 weeks, you can take a little more each time. The quick will start to recede in a while where you can get it cleaned up and uncurled. Yes, overgrown nails are dangerous for the birds as they can get hung in all kinds of things including toys, behind feed and water dishes, etc.

If you want to, you may also wish to take this bird to an Avian Vet for a checkup and possibly some bloodwork. There could be a physical problem causing this one nail to grow like this. If you just acquired this bird, a trip to an Avian Vet would be wonderful and will rule out physical illnesses and/or other problems. If you do take him into the vet, go ahead and discuss this nail with them and allow them to show you how you need to work this one back gradually.

Thanks for taking good care of your birds as they have no one else except us to be their advocates and friends. God Bless you and your family,

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