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Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3596
Experience:  25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
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My Chihuahua ripped my parakeets tail out. Will he live without

Customer Question

My Chihuahua ripped my parakeets tail out. Will he live without a tail? Will it grow back? His rear end is raw. What do I do for him?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 1 year ago.
Is the bird able to perch, eat, poop? Is the posture normal? The feathers may or may not grow back depending on the extent of the damage. Dog bites are crushing injuries, and if the tail bones or pelvis were injured, the recovery could be very serios. If the feathers were removed alon with the tail itself (skin, muscle and bone) then no they will not grow back. If only the feathers were removed they will grow in in 2-4 weeks. Very important that you monitor the bird very carefully, as internal injuries are the norm in dog bites. I have known more birds killed by chihuahuas than any other breed. If his rear end is raw, then he has severe damage at minimum to the skin. He needs to see a bird-experienced vet to evaluate the damage, prescribe topical wound care, antibiotics and pain control. You can clean the area very carefully with saline or artificial tears, but do not put anything on it. If you want to upload a photo, that would be fine; I will still tell you to see a vet in person. If you feel comfortable with it, examine the bird thoroughly, using gentle restraint via washcloth or hand towel: do not restrict the chest or hold around the body. Check the eyes, nostrils, mouth and beak if possible, having a good look in there for mucus, redness, masses or anything else unusual. Palpate the tummy for pain, fluid, lumps or anything else (eggs, if female or unknown). Check all the joints for swelling, pain, and mobility. The feathers should be parted to view the skin, muscles and skeleton below; this can be done using a q-tip with isopropyl alcohol or KY gel. Look for bruising, lacerations, injured feathers. Your job is to keep the bird warm, safe, quiet, and confined; and to provide adequate hydration and calories.Move the bird to a box or carrier with soft towels in the bottom, no perch, and food and water in low bowls that can be reached easily. Put the whole thing on a heating pad on low or medium. Check it frequently, no overheating allowed! Keep the unit partially covered, warm and quiet. White paper towels or white cloth towels will show the true color of the droppings. Small animal/reptile boxes are great for this purpose.The bird, bowls and unit must be kept very clean. Here are some helpful links: Use the white paper towels to evaluate the droppings especially for: blood, black feces, white material that changes to green or yellow, whole seed or food, excessive fluid.Pet/feed store medications and home remedies are harmful, ineffective, immuno-suppressive, and make them much worse and may interfere with the veterinarian's diagnosis and treatment. Do not use them. Homeopathy and natureopathic techniques do not work in avians and can actually be very dangerous.I know it is expensive, but you may not have many home options, because the first thing you need a vet for is to find out what is going on. Treatment is only as good as the diagnosis. If you call around, you may find a vet to work within your means.I really must stress that you need a bird-experienced person, and not just a vet who advertises that they care for birds. You need to take your bird to see an avian-experienced veterinarian ASAP for complete examination, diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Check click on "find a vet" members of AAV in your area.

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