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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Help! Broken tip of beak today

I know begging for help is a very poor way to introduce yourself
on a new list, but here I am anyway. My dear Merlin (CAG) snapped
the very tip off the end of her beak. Her beak has stopped bleeding,
and I've managed to hand feed some sweet potato, egg yolk, and water.

My question is if anyone else has gone through this and how long did
it take for the beak sensitivity to reside so she will climb and eat again?

Thanks for any thoughts you might have to offer.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 04:22 PM



 
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I'm so sorry to hear this! Poor baby I really hope your baby gets better. I really don't know what to suggest other than going to see your avian vet, or any kind of vet as long as they could help! I've never had a bird break their beak, but I imagine it would hurt. How did he manage that?

Welcome to the forum anyways! Hope you enjoy it here and I really hope somebody helps your Merlin!

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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My birds live in my home office, where I work for 10+ hours a day.
Last night, as I'd put them to bed, turned out the lights, and slipped
out the door, one of the cats slipped in and frightened everybody.
I can only imagine that she snapped it off climbing at speed in the
cage and in the dark. It's only perhaps 2 mm, but it must be
so very sore. She won't eat on her own or climb, just sits on the
floor of the cage or paces. She is quite vocal today, so that's good.

Oh, closest avian vet is 3 hours away, so I'm really hoping not to have
to add to her stress by dragging her down the highway.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 04:45 PM


 
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you may have to eventually as the beak broke, it will grow back and possibly overgrow



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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 04:46 PM


 
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I had a cockatoo with a lop sided beak which had to be clipped. One time the vet went too high.
He put a powder antiseptic on.
I think it was three days before normal use.
I'd get a vet to look and apply cayenne pepper for its antiseptic properties.
Feed some soft food or shelled seed.
Keep us posted.
Fingers crossed for Merlin.

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ah, thank you Katew. That's the information I was hoping to find.
Two to 3 days makes sense, rather like waiting for the pain to
subside from breaking a nail too short. The cayenne pepper is
also a great tip. I shall do that directly.

She will take from my fingers (so long as it gets past the tip of the
beak) sweet potato, cream of wheat cereal (her favorite) and some
egg yolk. I'm also steeping some Zupreem pellets in boiling water to
see if they soften up enough to be edible. Can anyone think of any
other foods to use? Ooh, I've a can of green beans I can fork into
a puree that she might like too.

*sigh* Every day is an adventure isn't it?

Thank you, everyone for your replies. I'm so stressed by her being hurt that I need the support as much as my poor bird!
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 05:13 PM


 
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Welcome to the forum!

I think a trip to your avian vet is the best thing to do.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 05:33 PM
 
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Keep a close eye on it - don't use styptic powder unless absolutely necessary. I don't think it warrants a vet visit as long as it was a clean horizontal break at the tip of the beak. If it cracked up vertically, running up the beak, then you will need to be very careful of it and it might need a vet visit, because then it can continue to crack up the beak and cause issues. The most important thing is to stop the bleeding, which you seem to have done which is great The best thing for broken beaks, to stop the bleeding, are the silver nitrate sticks - it will cauterize it chemically while being completely bird safe and not causing lingering deep damage like the styptic



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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
Keep a close eye on it - don't use styptic powder unless absolutely necessary. I don't think it warrants a vet visit as long as it was a clean horizontal break at the tip of the beak. If it cracked up vertically, running up the beak, then you will need to be very careful of it and it might need a vet visit, because then it can continue to crack up the beak and cause issues. The most important thing is to stop the bleeding, which you seem to have done which is great The best thing for broken beaks, to stop the bleeding, are the silver nitrate sticks - it will cauterize it chemically while being completely bird safe and not causing lingering deep damage like the styptic
Thank you, Jenny. The bleeding stopped almost immediately. The problem was that she'd bump it and dislodge the clot so it would start again. The bleeding has been stopped for most of the day now, so I'm not overly worried about that. We did end up with flour all over the angry bird! I've used styptic pencils on myself, and also on a whim one day at the bird store stuck a bleeding bite into the Quik Stop powder and nearly screamed it was so painful. I'd rather avoid those products unless it's really seriously bleeding. Thank you for the suggestion of the silver nitrate sticks. I will look into getting some of those immediate, the theory being if you have them you'll never need them

I have found that if you pour boiling water over the Zupreem Fruitblend pellets like you're making a bran mash, they form a very nice mash for birdies. Once we got the hang of slipping it in the side of the open beak and well beyond the tip, she was very happy to eat. It also has water in the mash, which has to be good. So I'm not worried that she is going to starve or become dehydrated while this works itself out, which is very reassuring.

She's had a good lunch and is now singing happily to her favorite video (Riverdance) so I think -- at least for now -- the scary part is over. The thought of losing my very dear friend of over 20 years is just too awful to contemplate,
and it's been dominating my thoughts for most of the day. Now I think I'm going to take a deep breath and go back
to the work I was supposed to be doing all day.

Thank you all soooo much for responding to a scared stranger. You've made this day much easier with your replies and advice.

Last edited by thepennywhistle; 01-26-2012 at 05:50 PM.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 06:04 PM
 
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I can't help much except to wish the best
Keep us updated, anything to make a friend's life less stressful

Missing you always


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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thumbs up Update and happiness and HUGE thanks!

Hi all,

Just giving a quick update on Merlin and her broken beak. It has been an ongoing problem, unfortunately. She'd improve, start to move about her cage, then knock it and it would start to bleed again. This happened several times, and each time I would think it was the last time and we'd fixed it. So disheartening, and she'd started screaming at me every time I reached into her cage, which is so unlike her.

Saturday morning she was showing signs of distress and again, there was blood on my fingers when I tried to give her a bite of oatmeal. She cried and then stood on the floor of her cage and just screamed at me over and over, like a braying donkey. I was horrified and decided it was past time to see the vet.

I headed for the phone, but the avian vet couldn't see us. Vet was also 2 hours away, which was concerning in and of itself. I then wasted a few minutes trying to find a drug store and/or a vet that had silver nitrate we could lay hands on, which was a waste of time. I then fell back on what KateW said about the cayenne pepper. Amazingly, I think this is the only spice I have in the house. I grabbed that out of the fridge, took off my sweatshirt and headed back into the office, ready for the worst, and trying to act confident and fly casual.

Merlin was not pleased. There was much screaming, and some very serious biting, which was so sad as Merlin NEVER bites, so this just showed how scared she was and how badly she felt. Even when I had to give her multiple injections daily for liver failure she was never this frantic. But I managed to wrap her up -- and that proved to be the easy part. Putting the cayenne pepper on the biting, dodging beak tip was another matter. She bit me more times and more effectively than I managed to get any of the pepper on her. But this was the last step before the styptic pencil or possible death, and I couldn't not get it done.

We took a moment to catch our breath, her wrapped up in my sweatshirt in one arm, and the cap of bottle of cayenne pepper in my other hand. I set that down to tip out more of the spice into the bottle cap, thinking that maybe if I used more on my finger, I'd have a better chance of getting some of it on target. As I picked up the bottle, Merlin lunged forward and bit the bottle as hard as she could. In the process, she rammed that bleeding beak tip deep into the cayenne pepper, grinding it against the inner wall of the jar. When she let go, we were both surprised. She'd done the job better than I ever could have.

I unwrapped her and set her back in her cage, whereupon she treated me to every foul word and threat in the African Grey's language and a few in mine. She then backed into the far corner of her cage, feathers bristling and head down and beak out like a snowplow. It hurts the feelings, you know, being told you're a booger -- and knowing she means it down to her last tail feather.

But she wasn't bleeding.

I was sure I had ruined our close relationship of over 22 years. It just broke my heart to have to manhandle her that way, and listening to her screaming was awful. But when I looked back in a couple of minutes, she still wasn't bleeding. In 15 minutes, she was standing on a perch for the first time in 2 days and said "hello" instead of AAAAHHHHHRRR!. In 30 minutes she was holding a glob of cold, stiff oatmeal in one foot and picking at it with enthusiam. Within an hour after the cayenne pepper treatment she was fine.

Today she's still not on hard food yet, and I'm still handfeeding soft food with what fingers I have left to me, but she's not bleeding at all anymore. She is moving about her cage and climbing freely. She is talking again, (with kinder words) and eating again. Best of all, she doesn't seem to be holding this against me at all!

Thank you so much, KateW for the tip, and everyone else for the support. You really helped my bird and me so much!



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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 04:50 PM
 
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I'm so happy to know that Merlin is doing good Keep us updated, hopefully everything will go uphill from now on

Missing you always


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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 05:17 PM


 
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Glad to hear she's doing better, but wow what a time you had.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 06:06 PM



 
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That's wonderful! I'm so glad she is back on track

- Alexandrine parakeets Holly, George, Koda & - Crimson rosella Kasumi Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 06:28 PM
 
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I really hope all turns out well. Also, welcome to the forum.




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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 09:56 PM


 
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WOW! You two really had a time of it! Glad she's doing better!

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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 11:50 AM


 
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How is she doing now... all healed I hope!!
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 12:50 PM


 
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It made me giggle when I red she bit into the bottle.
It so nice being able to help.
I hope Merlin is still improving.
Everyone's made me consider getting a cag one day!

x2x3

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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katew View Post
It made me giggle when I read she bit into the bottle.
It so nice being able to help.
I hope Merlin is still improving.
Everyone's made me consider getting a cag one day!
Things have finally settled down here. Health-wise, she's fine. Mentally, not so much. Well, she is now, but I finally figured out what was going on. She was just hateful toward me after treating her beak. Feathers fluffed out like some evil hedgehog, screaming, biting, and then going back to begging for reassurance and cuddles. When I tried to offer comfort, she bit like a snapping turtle! We had a tremendous argument over possession of my fingertip one morning (very bloody), and after asking me for a kiss, she bit the end of my nose. It was getting progressively worse, and I look very strange.

My friend, who knows both of us well, asked me if I was still wearing the sweatshirt I'd restrained her with. It's a blue sweatshirt, more holes than shirt, which is why it is worn consistently in with the birds. And I was. I went in to see her wearing a gray sweatshirt, and she just dove into my arms, begging over and over up? UP? My bird is back, just as sweet and trusting as she was before. I tried a different blue shirt, but nope, Vicious Bird was back instantly. I tossed the blue shirt out the door, and Loving Cuddle Bird came back.

I feel mean and stupid for not having figured it out earlier, but I have my baby bird back, gentle and healthy and loving and special as always. I'm just not allowed to wear blue anymore.

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And never regret anything that made you smile

Last edited by thepennywhistle; 02-07-2012 at 11:16 PM.
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 07:17 PM



 
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Birds are so sensitive! I am glad she's better though

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