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Old 04-29-2017, 10:03 AM
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Senegal Ripped? His Toenail Out!!!

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When it rains it pours people, let me tell you. As unfortunate as I was this past week, I'm also the luckiest and most grateful person in the entire world this morning. I'm exhausted 😵.

I mentioned this in a post a while ago but haven't talked about much because I wanted to know that everything was going to be okay first. My 3 and a half year old Australian Cattle Dog, Lola, became pregnant about 2 months ago (total accident and totally my fault, long story but she is very allergic to all types of anesthesia, she almost died during her spay surgery when she was 8 months old; we've tried everything including a spinal with sedation, but it seems any time she is sedated at all she stops breathing; that's another story). So last night around 11:30 I went to sleep, Lola was already out and was not panting, pacing, or restless at all, so I didn't at all think last night would be the night. Well she woke me up at 2:34 in the morning with puppy #1 already delivered on my living room carpet . After a long, long, long night my Lola girl gave birth to 8 healthy, happy, hungry little puppies! 8 of them! The ultrasound showed 6, so after the 6th puppy came out I was so happy she was done because she was exhausted. Well about 10 minutes later puppy #7 came into the world, followed by #8 about 20 minutes after that. Thank God she's now done, Lola is tired but healthy, she already ate her breakfast and is now sleeping while her 8 little ones are having their breakfast. So everything on this front is excellent.

After Lola woke me up with the first puppy being delivered on my living room carpet I took her and the puppy down to my basement/ground level (split-level house) where I have had the birthing area for her all set up and ready for the puppies. BTW, in case anyone asks, 6 of the puppies already have wonderful, pre-screened homes that were all personally approved by me. Since I thought she was only having 6 I need to find homes for the other 2, which shouldn't be a problem. Anyway, I was downstairs all night last night with Lola while she was in labor, and I had the door to upstairs closed so that my Shar Pei wouldn't come down, so I must have not heard the sounds of my Senegal parrot screaming in agony. I'm thinking that he woke up last night at 2:30 when Lola woke me and everyone else up after delivering her first puppy, and at some point after I went downstairs whatever it was that happened must have happened, because when I put him to bed last night he was fine, and I was awake until 11:30 and sitting right next to his cage all night watching TV.

I decided to let the birds sleep a little later this morning than usual because they were up all night with all the commotion. I came upstairs around 8:30 and ran to get coffee and a breakfast sandwich, I was starving. I came back, walked over to Kane's cage to feed him his breakfast, and all I could see was blood. Everywhere. His cage is white so the blood stood out brilliantly. It was everywhere, the bulk of it on his swing but a lot of it was the entire way down the front of the cage bars, settling on the bottom. It was all dry. I freaked out and was frantically calling for Kane, my first thought was that he had to be dead after losing that amount of blood. I think I was so exhausted and panicking so much I didn't see Kane sitting on his food dish eating pellets, right in front of my face. I reached in to have him step-up and that's when I saw that he somehow ripped the entire nail completely out of one of his left toes, the one that points backwards. He had a huge blood clot over where the nail used to be, and nothing but a swollen nub under it. I can't believe he didn't bleed to death. I'm so very lucky, losing one bird this week has been horrible, losing my Kane bird would kill me.

I have him standing in a solution of warm water and Hibiclens right now, I'm trying to clean the blood off so I can see exactly what the damage is, right now I really can't tell. I called the 24 hour animal hospital that 10 minutes from me to see if their avian vet was on-call today but of course he's off all weekend. They let me speak to the vet they have there that is "seeing birds and reptiles", you know how that goes, and I explained to her what happened. She told me I could bring him in immediately and she'd see him, but when I asked her what she would be able to do for him she said she would take an x-ray to make sure the toe isn't broken (if it is they won't do anything there anyway), clean out the wound with Betadine, dress the wound with a topical antibiotic cream, put him on an oral antibiotic, and also on a pain med and an antiinflammatory. Then I'd need to take him next week to his certified avian vet.

I already called my CAV and left a message for them, and I'll call them first thing Monday morning, there won't be a problem getting him in to see him on Monday. I already have both the Metacam and the oral and injectable antibiotics on hand, I already had given him a dose of Metacam because his toe was so swollen and it looks so sore, and after talking to the vet from the hospital I've also given him his first dose of oral Cephalexin.

Kane seems okay, he was eating before I even knew he was injured and before I gave him the pain meds. He was crawling all over his cage and playing with his plastic foraging ball that is filled with treats, and he's been calling me as usual, wolf-whistling and head bobbing, being his typical self. He seems to be enjoying soaking his foot in the Hibiclens solution, I thought he'd be screaming but he seems relaxed. After its cleaned out I'm going to fry it thoroughly and then apply a topical mix of Terramycin and 5% Lidocaine.

I'm going to take a photo of his toe and foot as soon as I get it all cleaned up so you guys can take a look at it and tell me what you think, honestly I haven't really seen the wound myself because of the amount of dry blood on it, but the nail is definitely completely gone. If anyone has any experience with their bird actually pulling an entire toenail out please let me know how it went. I have no experience with this at all.

I'm thinking that since I have prescription pain meds and both oral and topical prescription antibiotics on hand, there's no reason to stress him out by taking him to see the exotics vet at the animal hospital, as I've already done everything they could do. I don't know what else they could help with besides taking an x-ray, but my CAV can do all of that on Monday. If he was in horrible pain and needed something stronger than Metacam, like Stadol or something, or if it wouldn't stop bleeding, etc. I would have already taken him in because it seems according to the vet I spoke to the only thing they can help with is providing prescription medications, which I already have (though I have to strong pain meds used in avian medicine, like Stadol, but I don't think he needs it). What do you guys think?

Sorry this was so long, after all of this I still have no idea how he even did this. All I know is I'm lucky he's still with me, and after this past week I just needed people to talk to. You guys are great, I'm so thankful to be a part of this forum. I'll take a photo and post it as soon as I get it all cleaned up. Thanks guys.


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Old 04-29-2017, 10:08 AM
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Re: Senegal Ripped? His Toenail Out!!!

Oh geez. Congrats on the puppies, and poor Kane! Glad he seems to be doing so well. I'll keep him in my thoughts.


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Old 04-29-2017, 11:40 AM
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Re: Senegal Ripped? His Toenail Out!!!

Yes, Congratulations on the puppies!

With your Senegal, the big concern is just how deep the separation point occurred! Was it limited to the nail and its root or also part of the bone. The good news is that determining this is fairly straight forward. Once you get the area cleaned-up determine the length of the claw segment using the other leg's claw. They are nearly the same, whether the left leg or right leg. This will quickly allow you to determine just how much has been lose. The biggest concern is exposed bone! If you have an exposed bone, treat it like an open wound that requires stitches; clean, supported, and antibiotics. If you have a skin flap, roll it over the root or bone and follow the above. As is standard, you want to keep everything there alive and as health as possible to allow you CAV to have as much available as possible.

Nail broke at just above or at the top of root, the appearance is very difficult to clearly know unless there is part of the nail still there. The base of the nail and the top of the root is commonly just under the skin, understanding this transition requires more experience than I have.

Note: Be very careful not to re-opening the blood supply - so have the ability to quickly stop bleeding if it reopens.

Last edited by SailBoat; 04-29-2017 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:38 PM
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Re: Senegal Ripped? His Toenail Out!!!

Just to update this post, Kane is OK, but his injury was much, much worse than I initially thought that it was, and I wanted to put this up as a warning to other bird owners, or perhaps a reminder to us all that you absolutely cannot become complacent in supervising your birds when they're out of their cages, even if you've had them for years, they are well trained, and if they have never once had an accident or gotten themselves into trouble before. Stuff happens. Period.

After I first came home and noticed that Kane had blood all over his cage, and then saw that he had somehow ripped the toenail off of the toe that points backwards on his left foot, I posted on here immediately because as much experience as I have with birds and bird health/medicine in general, I had never had a bird of my own or seen a bird at the rescue who ripped a toenail completely out, and I wanted some advice. After I posted here I soaked his foot in a solution of warm, sterile saline and Hibiclens, which didn't seem to phase him at all. I thought the warm saline or the Hibiclens would sting badly and I was expecting him to scream, but he just stood there in the solution while I gently wiped away the huge clot of dry blood that had (fortunately) formed over what I thought was the end of his toe/nail bed...What I saw when the blood cleared and I could finally see his toe scared me to death. The entire end of his toe was chewed off! It was pretty obvious from the way the end of his toe was mangled, skin hanging with uneven edges and the exposed bone (which was actually much smaller than I thought it would be, I had never seen an exposed bird foot or leg bone before, only open wing wounds with exposed bone) that he had done this himself for some reason. I was horrified and scared to death. I've treated numerous animals, birds, and reptiles (as well as people) that have been seriously injured, but when it's your own loved one it's just different. Of course my avian vet wasn't in, it happened on Sunday, and the avian vet at the 24 hour animal hospital was not on call this weekend, so I had to wait until the next day. I called the hospital anyway, told them what the injury had turned out to be, and told them what I had done to treat it. They agreed that they could do nothing more to help him than I had already done, except for a culture, but I had already given him an injection of a broad-spectrum antibiotic commonly used for wound infections and also given him Metacam for inflammation and pain. He seemed fine, though he was angry about the bandage/homemade cast I put over his entire toe and anchored around ankle and leg to keep it on him. He ate his dinner, preened a little, did his nightly chatter, and after another oral dose of Metacam mixed in some fruit punch flavored Pedialyte, he went to bed.

While it's not directly my fault that this happened, it absolutely is my fault in an indirect way. My female Australian Cattle Dog, Lola, had delivered 8 puppies over Friday night into Saturday morning, I'd been awake with her and the puppies from around 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning until I saw Kane's injury on Sunday afternoon. And I had also gone through losing my pet baby duck, Slash, to a cat attack that week, and had to deal with the neighbors, police, and animal control all week. I was tired and just grumpy. And being preoccupied with the puppies all day Saturday and into Sunday I had forgotten to put Kane back into his cage when I ran out Sunday morning.

My birds are always out of their cages whenever I'm home, the only exception to that are my 7 budgies who have a very large flight cage in my living room, and get 3-4 hours out with me every afternoon/evening. Otherwise they stay in their flight cage because not only do I worry about one of them flying to one of the bigger bird's cages and getting hurt, but also because their flight cage is massive and they get to fly around and play all day long with ample room. That being said, whenever I leave the house, even for a 10 minute drive to the convenience store to pick up coffee, I put all of the birds in their cages. And I did this Sunday morning before leaving to run a few errands...Except I had forgotten to put Kane back in his cage. His cage is the largest of all the individual bird's cages, and it's in my dining room (which is open to my living room and maybe 20-30 feet from my other bird's cages in the living room). So somehow I forgot to put him in his cage. I was only gone for an hour tops, I don't think it was even that long, but it was long enough.

Judging by the mass amount of dry blood that was dripped all the way down the left side of his cage, at the very front of the left side, and that pooled on the floor below this area, my guess is that Kane got his foot stuck in his cage bars while climbing on the outside of it. His cage is a large dome-top cage, and it seems that he got his foot stuck between the cage bars where the dome top meets the top front of the cage. The space between the bars at that point where the two pieces meet actually narrows the further down they go. My guess is that he was climbing on the dometop, slid down the bars on the side of the dometop in order to get to the flat side bars (I say this because I've seen him slide down both sides of the rounded dome top bars before), and unfortunately he slid down with his foot inside the space that narrows...

He got stuck, I wasn't home to help him, and he chewed the end of his own toe off to free himself.

This is warning to people about not only leaving your birds out of their cages unsupervised, but also a warning about dome top cages. Kane loves his cage, as do I. I actually have 2 of them, Kane's, which is white, and my Quaker Parrot's, which is nickel. They are both the same cage, made by YML, and I was thrilled when I found them on sale. Historically I've always purchased cages made by either Prevue Hendryx or Hagen/Vision, and all of my other current cages, including the budgies large flight cage, are one of theses two brands. I absolutely love the Hagen/Vision cages with the clear, plastic bottoms that just pop off, I have 3 of the L02 model, which is the large size that is double tall, for my Green Cheek Conure, my cockatiel, and one I'm not using right now but was my Quaker Parrot's cage until I went shopping for a larger cage right before I brought home my Senegal parrot. The retail on these YML dome top cages was $250 and I got 2 open box floor models for $90 a piece. That's why I bought 2 of them, I thought at that price my Quaker parrot could get a little larger cage too, not that he needed one, the large/double tall Vision cage is large enough for even the Senegal, but I just wanted to try a larger, different cage. My bad.

I don't think this is a YML brand problem, I think it's a dome top cage problem. The cage itself got top reviews on every site I found it on, from Amazon to eBay to PetSmart to Chewy. Yesterday I spent a good amount of time looking at other dome top cages that looked very similar to mine but that were made by other manufacturers, and from looking at a lot of them they all go together the same way as mine, with a narrowing bar space between where the dome top meets the top front piece on both sides. So if your bird happens to be climbing on the outside of their cage and just happens to be on the arched dome top piece, has their foot in that particular bar space where the top meets the front, and they slide down the top, they can very easily get their foot stuck. I'm absolutely horrified that Kane chewed off the end of his own toe. My CAV agreed with me when he saw him, and after I emailed him photos of the cage and what I was talking about along with the blood evidence, he totally agreed that it's a very bad design and is dangerous.

I'm going to add photos of what I'm talking about when I get home, I put them on my laptop when I emailed them to my CAV, and I want everyone to know what I'm talking about as a warning. Kane will be fine, but he'll be missing half a toe for the rest of his life, and that's in addition to the fact that he chewed off his own toe...I don't want anyone to feel as guilty as I do right now, I've had a horrible couple of weeks, my dad also had a minor heart attack last week, and though we aren't close at all it's still upsetting and just another stressor....Oh, and the runt of my dog's litter died yesterday as well. The vet said that she thought she was very small, even for a runt, as did I, and to not be surprised if my dog stopped feeding her or smothered her on purpose in order to save food for the other 7 puppies. Well, that's what she did. I've never had a litter of puppies before, and apparently 8 puppies is quite a few. The other 7 are doing awesomely well, all are big, strong, fat, and happy. So that's something good, I can't wait until their eyes open!

Anyway, just a heads up to everyone, about both the dome top cages and why you should not leave your bird out of it's cage if you're not home. I've seen people write about leaving their bird out of it's cage all day long, every day, even when they are at work, and they've asked why not just let them live outside of their cage full-time...Well, here's why.



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Old 05-03-2017, 05:23 PM
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Re: Senegal Ripped? His Toenail Out!!!

I hate those cages, if you are talking about the kind that open up like a pac-man. The travel cage at my sister's for when she's birdsitting is one of those. At first we thought how great, you can open it up with a nice perch holding the top open, fun for all! But once in closing it, one of the sides got away from me and smacked down. It didn't hit the parrot, thankfully, but it would have done damage. And I recall reading a post here, someone's dome top fell on their parrot's foot and hurt it.

I have left Gus out twice this week, because he is so stressed. He just sits on top of his cage hunkered down, but there's always a chance...on my way home today I thought I will write this person and ask if they really leave the birds out, are they in a separate room, because it worries me so. Gus was locked in his cage for years so he doesn't like to spend time in it now, but I don't want him getting into trouble unsupervised.

I wonder though - do you think the toe could also catch in that narrow space from the inside? Did the crime scene provide any clues? Piece of toe still caught on a weld or anything? Who would have expected it?
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Old 05-03-2017, 05:33 PM
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Re: Senegal Ripped? His Toenail Out!!!

Those dome tops can hang your baby! Mine are tyewraped shut!
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