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Conure: ripped off lower beak

Sandy Eli

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Alexandra
Hi, I wonder if anyone could help me.
My young conure Cherokee has a serious trauma. The beak is broken. The upper part will possibly grow, the lower will not (the jaw is injured as well). My vet has desinfected the wound and currently the bird is being looked after in the clinic. I am looking for information about whether it will be able to eat soft food. I feel I am being gently pushed towards the decision of euthanizing it, but I’d like to give him a chance. He’s very plucky, he defends his territory and tries to lick Nutribird.
Has anyone looked after a bird with such a serious injury? He’ll be unable to climb, play and eat the food he’s used to. I am hesitating between keeping him and putting him down.
The prosthetic beak (we’ve thought about this as well) is not a way out, as the best vet surgeon in the city says no one usually traces these wonderful stories to the sad end, when the seams get infected because of the food particles etc. Apart from the fact that if the jaw is broken it’s very hard to attach it...
 

Zara

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I wonder if he would be able to eat mashed veggies and soaked pellets?
 

Anna&Aruan

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I wonder if he would be able to eat mashed veggies and soaked pellets?
I was thinking the same, maybe he would be able to eat soft food, just like baby birds, cooked oats, mashed veggies, soaked pellets and maybe some baby formula as well.

About not being able to climb, i would recommend you taking a look at the video that i will link at the end of the post, its about how to make a cage for a bird who cannot climb (and if im not mistaken even to fly).
If he will not be able to play, i would recommend alowing him to fly inside of your house, maybe flight training him, playing is important to keep a birds mind busy and healthy, but if he isnt able to do so, flying is as good as playing and will make good for both hes mental and physical health

It may be possible for him to live a good live, but it will require strenght from your part, you will need to change some things and pay attention to him, but most important is you will need to make the right decision, if he is having a good life theres no reason to put him down, however, if he will live a miserable life i think that euthanasia would be the best option, and you will be the one to pay attention to it. It is hard to make this choice, i myself had to think about it last year, as my dog became unable to walk, he was living in pain, we went through surgery but unfortunetly he didnt make it, but we knew that it was best than him living an bad life, its a hard choice but it is necessary for us as owners who love our feathered or furry friends to make this decision.
Anyways i do think that your feathered baby will be able to live a beautiful life, if you are willing to give it to him. I'm sending you all the good vibes and thoughts, i'm sure your bird will be well, and if you need some help in the process of being used to his new life we will be there for you.
 

Sandy Eli

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Thanks a lot!
I’m going to pick him tomorrow. Yes, I’ll try to make his diet as versatile as possible. He proved himself very adaptable, I hope he’ll make it.
As for flying, you see, that’s how he got injured. I left him for just a minute - he got caught in a door, just sat on top and his beak got caught:(
I trained him to do tricks and he could shake hands, wave, dance and fetch rings. I’ll have to invent some beak-free tricks for him now:( poor Chery.
 

Mintforest

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I have a pineapple conure that’s had a serious beak overgrowth from medication used to treat his infection. It happened during his weaning time which prevented him from learning how to crack and eat solid food like pellets. Before the deformity was sorted out he was on soft cooked food which he is continuing to have now while re-learning to eat pellets, it doesn’t help him put on much weight but does fill him up and keep him happy. Hope this list would help

stuff that can be cooked soft:

pellets soften quite easily if soaked/cooked

Grains - millets, rice, quinoa, wheat, oats, couscous, barley etc. I would cook a mix of 3-4 types in each meal, if you cook them for longer they do turn out quite soft and are easily ingested.

Beans - red green black beans, lentils, chickpeas etc. Heard they are quite high in protein so my Kiwi only gets these once a week. He goes crazy for lentils and chickpeas though

Veges - broccoli, leafy vegs, carrots, corn and pumpkins can all be steamed/cooked. Sweet potatoes can be steamed and mashed.

Fruits are also easy to mash and a good treat

not sure whether Cherokee would be able to eat on his own but all the above can be fed with a spoon

I’ve found the garlic press to be a great tool when mashing small amounts of food, since one conure meal is really too small for any blender.

Hope these helps. It’s difficult to tend to a sick bird but we’re the only chance they’ve got. All the best for Cherokee!
 

Blueberry

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I’ve seen a lot of birds with no beaks who lead healthy lives. I think if he fighting to live to help him. Have you sought a second opinion? Honestly I’d want a vet who is on the same page as me and my pet. I’ve unfortunately had experience with misdiagnosis that I was recommend to euthanized because my pet had no treatment and was suffering. I couldn’t do this because she has such a zest for life and incredibly kind and sweet and I just couldn’t do that to her. Went to multiple vets after and found out the first vet completely misdiagnosed her .

I would base my decision off of your bird. It sounds like your bird is a very happy birdy who lead a fulfilling life before his accident. I think there are measures you can take to help your bird to continue to live a filling and happy life - I have birds who are special needs. One of my birds has a fast growing upper beak- he needs it trimmed (I use a glass nail file Because it’s gentle). When I first got him his beak was extremely long and and he was slowly starving to death. The place I took him to told me about how he actively takes care of birds with missing lower or upper beaks- beak infections and so on. (When he talked about birds fungus and bacteria - it freaked me out And pushed me to be very sanitary in caring for Luvie’s beak and asked him to re sanitize his equipment before he trimmed Luvie’s beak- i am Luvie’s advocate and no matter how uncomfortable it made me I am his care giver.) I am telling you this because Luvie hasn’t had a beak infection (knock on wood ) with me. If you’d like to speak with who went to get Luvie’s beak trimmed please let me know and I’ll share his info with you. Thank you for giving your bird a chance!
 

Sandy Eli

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Thanks everyone.
Cherokee is back home. He has 4 meals a day (he gets hungry very soon, as the food is very soft and dietary for him). Nutribird - baby cereals (no milk, no sugar) - baby fruit smoothie + cereals - biscuit+nutribird.
He hasn’t developed an infection, and the wound heals well.
I’ll try to coax him into the healthier diet, making food rougher and more nutritious.
The photo is taken the day I took him home. He probably was in pain and stressed, now he doesn’t ruffles up so much.
 

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Sandy Eli

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I’ve found the garlic press to be a great tool when mashing small amounts of food, since one conure meal is really too small for any blender.

perfect! I racked my brains what to do with the several spoons of leftovers:)
 

MR. Mango

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you can also try making chop and giving him pellets through making birdie bread!
 

Sandy Eli

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I am so glad he’s getting used to his deformity. He can climb the cage walls all right, helping himself along with what’s left of his beak, and he definitely tries to use his feet exploring the world. I wish it had never happened to my poor baby, but he’s proved himself incredibly tough, resilient, adaptable. I think conures are just wonderful. It was such a pleasure to teach him tricks. Now I need to try and find some where no beak is involved:(
Here’s the photo of him trying to get his medicine.
 

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Mockinbirdiva

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I can't see in either of his photos what is left of his lower beak and it looks like he has at least half of his upper beak. I have high hopes his upper beak will grow back to it's normal length in 8 months or more. He's a great little trooper!
 
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