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my bird needs her beak trimmed, i need advice

spot

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Hello! I’ve seen posts on this site in the past about many cockatiel related questions I had before, which seemed to help me out. But, I can’t find anything related to this so I am reaching out for advice. My situation is that I have a cockatiel who I’ve had for little over 3 years now. I understand the whole “adpot not shop” but I recieved her as a surprise gift for christmas those years ago and I had no say in the matter. We assume it is a female based off physical characteristics, but I’ve never had the bird DNA tested. Her name is Spot and I have no idea how old she is. My problem is that I’ve noticed her beak is getting extremely long. She’s been having trouble eating, such as me giving her a sunflower seed and she wasn’t even able to crack it open. I’ve been observing her for a while now and she just doesn’t seem to be grinding down her beak as much as she did before. I plan on making changes to encourage her grind her beak more asap but it is for sure overgrown. I called a vet in my city and they said an exam would be around $80 for her and a beak trim about another $40. The thing is that I forgot to mention that Spot is not well tamed. She is able to sit on my hands and shoulders but when I walk around she gets spooked easily by objects she doesn’t know. The only thing I can get her onto is my living room couch without her freaking out. She is also not good with strangers, she will hide in the corner of her cage when I have visitors and usually results in me moving her into a different room. I understand when beak trimming or anything like wing/nail trimming, they usually towel the bird to hold them still to do the procedure. But I’m terrified that due to them having to use a dermal to grind down her beak while they hold her down will stress her out too much and she might pass. It’s already a lot of stress just from her getting her nails done every few weeks. I am aware of anaesthesia but I cannot afford that much since I just payed my college tuition and my father expects me to pay the full bill. I’m willing to pay but I would like the less costly option preferably. I will do anything best for my Spot and I can’t imagine losing her. Do you think she would be ok with just the toweling or would I have to put her sleep in order for them to do it? She also needs her nails trimmed as well. I just need a second opinion.
 

Feather

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Could you post a photo?
Personally, I would get the opinion of my vet and defer to their judgement regarding anesthesia.

What is her diet like? Beaks normally don't overgrow to such an extent without some underlying health issues. These can be nutritional deficiencies, viral or bacterial ailments, liver disease, etc.

Getting the beak trimmed will need to happen regardless, but may only be a band-aid solution. You should start saving now for a bigger vet bill to get to the root cause of the problem.
 

Pat H

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Welcome to the Avenue! There are MANY helpful people here, so keep checking back...
 

Zara

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Welcome to the Avenue :)

Personally, I would get the opinion of my vet and defer to their judgement regarding anesthesia.
I agree.

The thing is that I forgot to mention that Spot is not well tamed.
Last year I had to take one of my lovebirds to the vet. That bird it quite skittish around people, doesn´t like strangers at all! But I had no choice, he needed the vet and also, avian vets are trained to handle birds causing as little stress as possible. My boy was really good, didn´t bite or fight or panic, the vet even commented on how good a patient he was. Though I´m sure he was having a terrible time.

It’s already a lot of stress just from her getting her nails done every few weeks.
Nail trimming every few weeks seems excessive. Have you tried using a pedi perch to help minimize nail trims? Might be worth looking into.

I recieved her as a surprise gift for christmas those years ago
my father expects me to pay the full bill.
Who gifted you the bird? If it was your father, I would sit down and have a conversation about it. Not fair to gift you a bird then you get lumbered with the bill when you have your education to pay for.

Bird bills can get expensive. Have a look and see if there´s any payment programmes or credit to help.
If you really get stuck for funds, maybe sell some old clothes/shoes you don´t use anymore.
 

Pat H

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@Zara-- you do mean those cement perches, right [when you say pedi perches-- I assume short for pedicure...]... and NOT those awful sandpaper ones that cover the perches... right?
I have one of those cement perches in every cage--- he might need a consult to purchase the right size for the bird.
 

MommyBird

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look up "sweet feet and beak safety pumice perch" on Amazon. The pumice is only placed on sides of the perch that will contact the nails and not tender skin.
Nail trims every few weeks is excessive. My bird that has 2 toenails that grow oddly in a circle goes every three months. There are serious health conditions that cause excessive beak and nail growth. Get her checked out. By an avian vet.

Does she have toys that she chews and shreds? get some balsa toys to get her started chewing, vendors here on Avian Avenue sell many balsa toys.
Be aware the the beak has many nerve endings in it. Having the beak trimmed is a painful operation and the pain lasts for some time after the vet is done and if the beak is very long it must be done in several stages. She will have trouble with eating afterwards and needs soft foods. She should also get an anti-inflamatory for pain like metacam, and you'll need to dose her with an oral syringe twice daily. Oh, and this should only be done by an avian vet.

so I recommend first get blood work done to check for health problems that can cause this.
second if these are not found, do the perches and toys to cure more naturally before resorting to having them trimmed by a vet.
 
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macawpower58

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If she's having trouble eating, you will have to bite the bullet and get her to a vet.
Ask the vet if you can make a few payments.
Once trimmed, make sure she chews wood.
Try different sized toys to see which she likes chipping/chewing on best.
This will keep it from becoming overgrown again.
There are a few diseases that can also cause overgrowth, but hopefully it's just lack of use causing it now.
Gifted or not, she is your bird and your responsibility.
Definitely ask Dad for help, especially if you're a minor.
Detail his car, cut the grass? Maybe he has a job he'd like done that could be payment for his help.
 
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