Grooming

healthy macaw

A healthy blue-and-gold macaw.

We offer nail trims for all exotic pets and full grooming for birds.

We recommend that all pet birds have their wings properly trimmed, unless they are in a home with a predatory animal (cat, for example) and may find themselves needing to fly away from danger. Trimming the wings is helpful when training a new or fractious bird, because it often reduces the “attitude” the bird may display. A bird in a high place feels he is the master of all he surveys, up to and including his owner.

Nail trimming is mostly for the owner’s comfort, as it is difficult to handle a bird, rabbit, or iguana with razor-sharp nails, but long nails can also become tangled in fabrics and potentially injure the animal.

overgrown nails

This is an African gray parrot that came to us for difficulty walking. The nails were so long that one spiraled around and penetrated through the toe itself (arrow). We provided pain relief, trimmed the nails back, and prescribed antibiotics to prevent further infection.

Birds generally maintain their own beaks, but if the beak is excessively sharp, we can trim it a bit. Some birds, especially those with a history of nutritional deficiency, may experience beak overgrowth or malformation. In this case, a corrective beak trim would be necessary, and repeated trims along with changes in nutrition are often necessary to resolve such a situation.

macaw beak

This Blue and Gold Macaw came in “just for a beak trim”! Just trimming the beak is not going to resolve this bird’s many issues of concern. As you can see his beak is very overgrown but his plumage is also unkempt and his feathers are dull. You may notice his posture is poor and his wings are drooping. After showing the owner what a normal macaw should look like (see picture above) he realized the severity of his bird’s condition and permitted us to perform the necessary diagnostics to address his bird’s health issues in an immediate manner.
This bird suffered from heart disease, liver disease, osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis and a fungal beak infection just to mention a few, and his owner had no idea. These conditions can be life threatening if not handled properly.

tiel wing trauma

You cannot trust your bird’s grooming to just anyone. This is a baby cockatiel whose wings were trimmed too short.

tiel wing trauma4

Every time she tried to fly to her owners she kept falling and breaking her feathers; it became so painful that she started mutilating her wings. We had to perform feather extractions under general anesthesia and keep her on analgesics until her feathers finally grew back.

cockatoo wings

Young cockatoo with a leg fracture because too many feathers were trimmed. Talk about starting out on the wrong foot…

grey wt1

This young African Grey parrot was given a very poor wing trim at a very early age before he could learn what flying or preening himself was all about; sadly he might be scarred for life.

grey wt2
AGP keel trauma-poor wt

This is another young African Grey who had too many feathers trimmed. Every time she tried to fly to her owner she would crash on the ground and split her breast muscle open. We had to keep her on analgesics, antibiotics and manage the wound until it fully healed and her feathers grew back so she could glide again.

Sometimes our buns need a little help with their grooming.

Talk about a bad “hare” day! Rabbits are normally very clean and well-groomed animals, and it is extremely stressful for them to be unable to groom themselves properly. Just imagine not being able to do one of your most important daily routines to take care of yourself. Daily brushing helps a lot but once the fur develops mats it becomes a much larger issue.

 

 

 

 

Rabbits are unhappy when they are ungroomed.

Rabbit skin is very thin and easily cuts and bruises, and they also get very stressed when handled for grooming. We offer “medical grooming” to relieve this condition. After a thorough examination and consultation to ensure dietary or other contributing factors are corrected, your bunny will stay with us or will be scheduled to be dropped off another morning for medical grooming.

 

 

 

 

Serious mats require serious shaving, but we must be extra careful due to rabbits’ fragile skin and delicate nature.

He will be given a mild sedative and a valium-like medication that helps with fear and anxiety. One of our technicians will be monitoring him as he gets groomed under sedation. When the grooming is complete, your rabbit will receive another medication to reverse the effects of the sedatives and will be ready to go home. Fees are based on duration of the grooming session.