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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Your Budgie's Health


Your Budgie's Health Learn about avian health and vet care. This forum does not substitute for veterinary expertise.

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Old 09-09-2016, 04:40 PM
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Default Really scared about clipping my budgies nails - advice?

So my budgie Dicky has really long nails, im actually shocked how long they have gotten and really feel bad about it. My last 2 budgies nails never needed clipping for some reason and one of them lived to 12 years old, not sure why Dicky has such fast growing nails.

Anyway i read that nail clippers are perfect for it so bought a pair of good quality ones ready to do the job but im really scared and worried I might hurt him.

My plan is to entice him to the side of the cage with treats and while he is distracted i will clip the big nail (the main nail is the only long oneon each foot) while its sticking outside the cage. That should keep stress low as he gets really stressed out being handled.

Does that sound ok, if so any tips on how to do it/judge how much to cut?

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Old 09-09-2016, 05:20 PM
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Do you have some different sized perches to help file down his nails? Natural wood perches or calcium perches will all help keep the nails filed down.

I had a bird with a bent toe and so hers never filed down and I would have to clip it.
She wasn't tame and I would have to catch her carefully when it needed clipping. It's important to remember that if you cut the nail too short, you will cut the quick and poor Dicky will bleed. You want to make sure this doesn't happen. If your boy has pink feet then the nails are a little lighter and you should be able to see the end of the nail that is safe to cut. If he has grey feet, that won't help.

I would suggest you catch him, even though it might be more stressful.
My biggest concern would be that you wouldn't be able to carefully pick the length you are cutting with your current plan and could cause an injury.
Make sure you don't cut too much- less it better than too much.
Have some cornstarch on hand in case you cut the quick as this will stop the bleeding.

Good luck.
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Old 09-10-2016, 01:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therm View Post
Do you have some different sized perches to help file down his nails? Natural wood perches or calcium perches will all help keep the nails filed down.

I had a bird with a bent toe and so hers never filed down and I would have to clip it.
She wasn't tame and I would have to catch her carefully when it needed clipping. It's important to remember that if you cut the nail too short, you will cut the quick and poor Dicky will bleed. You want to make sure this doesn't happen. If your boy has pink feet then the nails are a little lighter and you should be able to see the end of the nail that is safe to cut. If he has grey feet, that won't help.

I would suggest you catch him, even though it might be more stressful.
My biggest concern would be that you wouldn't be able to carefully pick the length you are cutting with your current plan and could cause an injury.
Make sure you don't cut too much- less it better than too much.
Have some cornstarch on hand in case you cut the quick as this will stop the bleeding.

Good luck.
Thanks for the reply, I have 2 natural wooden perches, 2 large plastic/rubber perches, 2 small wooden perches, concrete sort of perch and a weird rough sandpaper style wooden perch. I ordered some sandpaper covers for one of his perches as a little extra to try and keep them trim.

He does have pink feet and the 2 small toes look fine but the big main toe nails are almost black they are are so dark so its rather hard to see. I remember the quick from cutting my old guinea pig's nails but a budgie is much more fiddly.

I have a little "styptic pen" for shaving that stops bleeding, i wonder if that would work if the worst was to happen, it stings but stops blood almost instantly.

And the reason i don't want to grab him is that he has just started getting tame enough to go on my finger, a few months ago i had to clean and wipe his bum and he has hated me since. My plan was to just clip a small amount off the big nails instead of trying to get the nails to their smallest point as almost practice and then maybe in a few weeks do a little more etc

Here he is in all his glory:
Budgie (Dicky) getting cosy by Trumbit, on Flickr
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Old 09-10-2016, 09:12 AM
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Hi please don't use sand paper on his perch this in fact is more harmful , as it can lead to bumble foot and all sorts of foot problems from being too abrasive on the foot pads. If you are fearful maybe you can take your beautiful boy for a wellness check up to an avian vet and get them to trim the nails and show you how to do it.
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Old 09-10-2016, 09:23 AM
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Dicky is a cute boy. How old is he?
I would suggest you remove the mirrored toy from his cage as he is obviously regurgitating to it frequently. Budgies can become obsessed with mirrors leading to aggression and/or over-regurgitation which will lead to health problems.

Sand-paper covers for perches should never be used.
I honestly don't know why bird suppliers sell them.
Any Avian Vet will tell you they are one of the primary causes of bumblefoot and pressure sores.

https://talkbudgies.com/articles-budg...ure-sores.html

It is important you provide natural wood perches of varying diameters to exercise your budgie's feet and legs and help prevent sores.

https://talkbudgies.com/housing-budgi...reat-cage.html

My concern about you trying to clip Dickie's toenail in the manner you indicated is that if he jerks is foot, you may end up accidentally injuring him. Yes, stypic pencil works fine for stopping blood loss from cutting a toenail too short but it would be best not to have that happen.

I would suggest taking him to an Avian Vet for his first toenail trim and have them show you the best way to do it and how to ensure you don't clip too much.
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Old 09-10-2016, 09:57 AM
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Nail trims are easy to do but if you are scared or nervous, get your avian vet to do it. You will be more likely to mess up if nervous and your Dicky will pick up on your nervousness, making him more nervous. If you want to be able to trim his nails, after the first couple times you get the vet to do it, say the third visit, ask them to get you to do it. A lot of times there's a vet tech that holds the budgie for the vet, they can hold Dicky for you. Take him to the avian vet the time after and get her to supervise you holding Dicky yourself and trimming his nails. This will also give you a lot of time the get Dicky used to you holding him as well.

However, remember sometimes it might not be that simple. I can trim my Sweetie's nails should I need to, but Lemon is a different matter. She pulls all her toes into a fist, just like a big parrot, and so I always just get the vet to do her nails. It would be a two person job even if I wanted to do her nails because of her stubbornness.
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:45 PM
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Thanks for all the replies and I read them all, cant really reply to ALL the questions since there are so many but let me answer some quickly:
  • I got the sandpaper perch covers for a single 8cm long perch that Dicky uses very infrequently, its his treat perch, I thought it might do some good but the consensus is they are bad.
  • Dicky is 3 years old.
  • Its really hard for me to get him to an avian vet, the closest one is a good 90minute car journey and I don't really have access to that so a bus trip would be a good 2+ hours and lots of walking.
  • Hes not obsessed with his mirrors, he does do the regurgitation at night before bed for about 30-60minutes but as soon as i whistle or something exciting happens he jumps away. usually its very quit at night.
  • He has a variety of perches, 2 natural twig things, 3 wooden, 2 rubber/plastic and a weird wooden pulp chew perch. All of which are different sizes.

Hope that answers some questions, as for the nails I went ahead and clipped them. I only clipped about 1-1.5mm but its a start and better for him, I followed all the instructions i read and cut them in the correct orientation, i did cut them using a different method though.

He likes to cuddle my cheek so while he was doing that and snoozing i just clipped them quickly and he didn't even notice. I was very conservative and they are probably still over long but i thought a small clip was better then none so I took the thin ends off, maybe 1/4th of the nail.

He seems happy about it and it taught me a lot about what to expect so next time it should be much easier.
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