my cockatoo just got part of his nail broken off. He lost about 10 drops of blood. (Bleeding has stopped.) Now I notice that 1-3 mm of cuticle is exposed at the tip and he is favoring that foot. Suggestions?
Type of Animal: cockatoo
Age: 8 yrs
Name of Bird: Marley
Thank you for your question. I am a licensed veterinarian and hope I can be of service. If my answer is helpful please click the Green ACCEPT.
I am sorry to hear about Marley. When you are for 21 to 3 mm of cuticle exposed I you referring to the quick which is in the center of the nail (i.e the blood supply)?
1-3 mm only yes, I am a nurse
In order for a nail to bleed the click needs to be exposed which is the blood/nerve supply. The other thing that can happen is the nail can break off at the point in which it enters under the skin of the foot. Either of these is very painful and that is why he's favoring that foot.
sorry the click above should be a quick.
Is the nail broken at the base or just so the quick is exposed?
tip for sure, and the base may be injured too, but it's not bleeding. Dog bit him as he was on side of cage.
As a nurse you know the primary thing to be concerned with is blood loss. If the bleeding has stopped that is good. You can always start again if the blood clot is disrupted. If it's just the tip of the nail that broke off in the quick is exposed than this just needs time to heal. If the nail is broken off closer to her inserts under the skin then this may require a veterinarian. As as a nurse, you know that without being able to see Marley, it is difficult for me to tell you whether this is something you can just treat at home.
The fact that the dog bit Marley is of great concern because the bacteria in a dog's mouth can be deadly to a bird. The nail and surrounding areas need to be disinfected with a bird safe disinfectant like dilute Nolvasan, topical antibiotic applied and possible oral antibiotic or injectable antibiotic. I would highly recommend consulting with an avian veterinarian. Where are you located?
Right, my question is should I clip off the exposed quick, styptic it, and attempt a dressing. I already washed it off.
In addition, you want to make sure that there's been no damage to the base of the nail and or the proximal bones in the foot. This would require a veterinary exam.
Again without seeing the nail it is difficult for me to know if you should clip off the exposed quick or or leave it alone. Exposed quicks are extremely painful. In addition washing it off is not satisfactory in terms of bacteria from a dog's mouth. Because you caught right away you may be able to get away with topical antibiotics. You will need some sort of pain medication for birds which you can only get from a local veterinarian. Ideally cutting the quick should be done under sedation. applying a bandage and a bird is a tricky thing because they will often chew it off so avian vets have become clever in devising " chew proof" bandages. ideally if we can treat without a bandage that is best. So again understanding that you have good medical knowledge, the best thing for Marley would be to see a local avian vet. To find the local avian vet in your area go to www.aav.org and
click on the binoculars.
You should be able to get in to see someone today. Please pardon the typos in this live Q&A, I am using a headset to dictate.
No problem, I figured as much. Thanks.
I wish I could give you a quick thing to do at home but given that there is a significant amount of quick exposed per your description, Marley was bitten by a dog, and how painful this can be to do at home - he does need to be seen by a vet. If you watch what the vet does then at least you will be armed with more info should this happen again.
Do you have any further questions?
No, you know, I'm pretty lucky that this is my first avian emergency in 8 years. My vet moved out of state, and I have yet to find a new one. (no time like NOW) :) Thank you for your help.
I would make sure to buy quickstop or similar brand to have in the house. You can get this at most pet stores and some veterinary offices. These syptic powders often have a 'cain in them to help with pain.
I hope Marley feels better soon.
Right, have that, but now know I need to move his cage!
Usually, the cockatoo is the dominant one over a dog. However, if they are in their cage with their feet on the side of the cage exposed - they don't have much of a chance.
Too true. Signing off. Again, Thanks!
I have practiced Avian Medicine for 7+ years .