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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28426
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have just been given a baby cockatiel who has been

Customer Question

Hello, I have just been given a baby cockatiel who has been attacked by it's parents in the nest. It's bottom beak is growing unevenly on the left side.. It is uneven by alproximately 3 to 4 milimetres. Can I file the beak or trim it so that it's beak will stop groing sideways ???
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the baby?
Customer: The babies bottom mandible is groing faster on the birds left side by about 3 milimetres more than the right side. Apparently the parents of the cockatiel has attacked it while in the nest, it's wings have been pecked at also and is wounded, but coming better. Any info about this would be helpfull and I am gratefull. Thank you
JA: Is the baby bleeding a lot?
Customer: No there is no blood
JA: What is the baby's name and age?
Customer: The babies name is Lucky (already named) and is about 6 weeks old, still has its baby cheep and feathers
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Lucky?
Customer: No except that it he/she is a total cuty and gets along verry well with my other 8 months old male bird who preens it
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

Elizabeth, I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. To answer your question directly, yes, you can file/trim such a beak but you may not be able stop it growing unevenly if there is either a congenital lateral deviation of the maxilla (wry/scissor beak) or mandibular prognathism or acquired conditions such as lateral deviations of the maxilla. Conservative treatment may be effective in very young chicks. Applying gentle digital pressure for 10 minutes 2-3 times daily may straighten a deviated maxilla or lift the maxilla up and forward in prognathic chicks. Cases that don't respond to this treatment, or older birds with calcified beaks, will need more aggressive therapy tailored to the specific abnormality as dictated by an avian vet and might include beak trimming involving grinding and even trans-sinus pinning.

Can you upload a photo(s) of Lucky's face to our conversation? You can use the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (if you can see that icon) or you can use an external app such as