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Broken beak tip, vet immediately or wait and see?

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Broken beak tip, vet immediately or wait and see?

Postby entrancedbymyGCC » Wed May 04, 2011 3:27 pm

Scotty has broken the very tip of his upper beak, maybe 1/4" or a little less. The tip end of that prominent Cape hook. It looks almost as if it was sloughing off naturally, but it is attached by a fairly firm remaining thread with a tiny indication it may have bled slightly, and he's fairly uncomfortable. Much quieter than usual and not eating well, not interested in nuts. We think it happened this morning while we were still home, he woke up his usual raucous self, and then he wasn't. No evidence of how he did it. No obvious blood in the cage.

Husband and I are divided on taking him to the vet -- he thinks we can wait a day and see if it comes off naturally, and that stressing him out with the vet might just make him unhappier. I'm more inclined to go and see if he can be made more comfortable. We both got so worried that we came home at lunch to check on him -- he's pretty much the same as he was earlier. Mostly normal but subdued and not interested in eating.

I have a call in to the vet, but she hasn't returned my call yet. WWYD?
Scooter :gcc:
Death Valley Scotty :cape:
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entrancedbymyGCC
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Re: Broken beak tip, vet immediately or wait and see?

Postby Michael » Wed May 04, 2011 3:40 pm

1) If there is bleeding or imminent problems, go to vet immediately
2) If things look like they aren't as urgent, still check for additional damage. Could be he just broke the beak tip against a toy or something and that's all it is. On the other hand could be he fell down in cage, cracked a rib or leg bone along with beak. Look for limping, wing drooping, and other abnormal behavior. If you are confident it's nothing but beak tip and he's not bleeding or immensely suffering, vet visit can wait. If you have any reason to suspect additional damage, vet asap.
3) Talk to Maria from purring parrot. Look her up in the member directory and PM her. She had the same thing happen to her Cape Jupiter and took him to vet. She may have posted the story here, you can try both the forum search as well as the search on my blog cause that uses google to search the site and it sometimes turns up results more accurately.
4) Monitor for major behavioral issues for next 3 days. Even if he does not eat a single thing, he'll probably last at least 3 days. So 24 hours without eating anything is room for concern. 48 is immediate concern and vet. 72 and you may have a much bigger problem.
5) If you don't think this is as bad is it is bad have the time to take the bird to the vet for the hell of it. Do it for yourself cause it will help you sleep at night. But if money is tight, I think you can wait a day but it's your call.
6) Post photos and we can see if there's anything else to mention.
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Michael
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Re: Broken beak tip, vet immediately or wait and see?

Postby entrancedbymyGCC » Wed May 04, 2011 3:55 pm

Thanks Michael. He really seems in all other respects OK, but he doesn't want to use the beak for climbing and when I put him near his dish, he roots around very cautiously and won't pick anything up, wouldn't take a shelled almond, won't touch pasta we offered. It looks like this -- not really all that alarming, really:

Image
Scooter :gcc:
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Re: Broken beak tip, vet immediately or wait and see?

Postby kaylayuh » Wed May 04, 2011 3:57 pm

:shock: I'd be freaking out, so kudos to you for remaining calm. You should probably stop beating up your bird, though. ;)

I'd say if there's no other sign of physical damage and it's not likely he's broken anything else, then you could wait a day and see if the tip falls off on it's own. I would probably go just because it sounds like it's bothering him, and I'd rather have him uncomfortable and stressed for one whole day rather than uncomfortable and stressed for two.

Though from the picture, it looks like it was sloughing off naturally and he may have helped the process on a little too far by trying to grab or climb something.
"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
- Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
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Re: Broken beak tip, vet immediately or wait and see?

Postby entrancedbymyGCC » Wed May 04, 2011 4:03 pm

I think that's exactly right, it's like cutting a fingernail just a bit too close. I'm mostly concerned he won't drink, other than that it doesn't really seem life threatening... but I'm not sure how that beak is supposed to look when it's shedding anyway!

Michael, I did look up what Maria posted -- very useful -- and sent a PM. I just hate to see him feeling bad! I guess he's not really likely to go toes up from this, but I am feeling very stressed, and money is tight right now. But not so tight we can't get him treated if that's what's needed.
Scooter :gcc:
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Re: Broken beak tip, vet immediately or wait and see?

Postby kaylayuh » Wed May 04, 2011 4:20 pm

entrancedbymyGCC wrote:I think that's exactly right, it's like cutting a fingernail just a bit too close. I'm mostly concerned he won't drink, other than that it doesn't really seem life threatening... but I'm not sure how that beak is supposed to look when it's shedding anyway!


I would maybe call the vet and see what they have to say, but I'm kind of wondering if you could take a pair of tweezers and cuticle scissors and kind of just snip the tip of it to even it out. I imagine part of the discomfort is the fact that it's still hanging there all willy nilly.

I don't know what a shedding beak looks like either. I wonder how much of us actually do. You would think we should since we all live with them! His beak looks rather daunting, but I hope he feels better!
"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
- Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
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Re: Broken beak tip, vet immediately or wait and see?

Postby entrancedbymyGCC » Wed May 04, 2011 4:27 pm

Well the vet called back and left me a message, she's totally booked up for the rest of the day anyway and not in again until Monday. Gave us some referrals to other places. We're now leaning towards watching it for a while and then maybe toweling him and nipping it off and seeing how he does with that.
Scooter :gcc:
Death Valley Scotty :cape:
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entrancedbymyGCC
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(Un)Cape Parrot
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Re: Broken beak tip, vet immediately or wait and see?

Postby Michael » Wed May 04, 2011 4:28 pm

That seriously looks like nothing.
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Re: Broken beak tip, vet immediately or wait and see?

Postby kaylayuh » Wed May 04, 2011 5:00 pm

I did a little bit of googling and it looks like you may be okay just trimming the broken portion and watching him for the next few days. Since the tip of the beak doesn't feel pain, it would seem as though he managed to help it peel a bit further up than it should have. Unless there's something in the beak (part of a toy, food), I would snip it and just watch. If there is something in there, he's not eating, or he seems particularly distressed, I'd get him to the vet.
"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
- Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
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kaylayuh
Amazon
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Types of Birds Owned: 2 Budgies
1 Green Cheek Conure
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Re: Broken beak tip, vet immediately or wait and see?

Postby entrancedbymyGCC » Wed May 04, 2011 6:36 pm

The vet decided she could work him in if I didn't mind not having a leisurely conversation with her, so I did drag him over. They just took him in back and then the tech came and talked to me, but that was fine. The connected bit was still vascular, so when it got cut, it did bleed some -- I'm thinking it is just as well we had it done rather than trying to do it ourselves. He's had a shot of Metacam and has some oral Metacam to start tomorrow and also some Silvadene cream.

I guess I'm glad we went, he's MUCH more comfortable and started eating as soon as we got home. I think if it had come cleanly off, it would have been no big deal, but with it hanging like that he was just a pretty miserable bird, kept looking at his food and digging at it, then backing away. The bill was less than $200 including the meds. Painful, but I'm feeling it was worth it to see him eating again. And it was less than half what I just paid for a colic visit from my equine vet.

Any tips on getting the oral meds in? Anyone ever use Silvadene on a beak? It's apparently OK if they ingest a little but it makes me kind of nervous.
Scooter :gcc:
Death Valley Scotty :cape:
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entrancedbymyGCC
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 2106
Location: Southern California aka LALA land
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Green Cheek Conure
(Un)Cape Parrot
Flight: No

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