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Monday, September 14, 2009
Time For Grooming?

By Linda Costello
Explore the diaries of daily life with large birds.

Cupid enjoys a pedicure
Moluccan cockatoo Cupid's toe nail popped off when it was being clipped.

Renee allows her nails to be trimmed
Here's a picture my husband took when I was doing my scarlet macaw, Renee's toes. This was the first time I used it with her. I had her wrapped in a towel. which she didn't like. So I unwrapped her and she stayed there on her back and let me finish the job. What a good girl, huh?

A Peticure could be the answer!

Have you ever tried to use the Peti Paws or Peticure, a new tool for grooming pets’ toenails?

I have a Peticure — same products; only different names. I really like mine.

I have done five of my macaws’ nails, the greys, the Amazon and even my conure. I like it better than the regular dremel, because it has a plastic protective shield over the sanding bit so the bird can't get hurt by trying to grab it with its foot or beak.

One of my macaws doesn't like it, so I still use the people-type toenail clippers on her.

I especially like this new grooming tool since the incident when one of Moluccan cockatoo Cupid’s toenails split when using regular nail clippers. It cracked and split, and the whole toenail came off. This happened while she was being trimmed by a vet.
The vet put Cupid back into his carrier after the grooming session so I didn't notice the missing toenail until we got home.

I was startled to see blood stains when I opened the carrier and the toe was still bleeding.

A quick call to the vet; he told me to put Liquid Band-Aid (made for humans) on it to stop the bleeding. But, of course, Cupid would eventually pick at it and it would start bleeding again. I applied the Liquid Band-Aid as needed.

After this, Cupid began to act fearful of me. Thinking back on it now, I realize that the Liquid Band-Aid must have stung each time I applied it causing Cupid to associate me with the pain he was feeling.

I felt really guilty when I realized what I had done, but by then the damage was done. Winning Cupid's trust back since then has been an ongoing struggle!

It didn't help much when, a few years later, Cupid was being groomed by a vet tech and the same thing happened. The new vet said that we will always have to be careful when trimming that particular toe nail using a file or dremel, since there has been damage to the nail bed and this will likely happen again if clippers are used on it.

Cupid's toe was wrapped up with a cast-like bandage for a while to let the growth of the new nail get started. It eventually re-grew but I now do his toenails at home when he will let me.

He used to have complete trust in me but now it's as if a light bulb sometimes goes off in his head and he remembers the painful incident. When he's not cooperative I have the vet groom his nails. Since we are now aware of the problem I only very carefully dremel or gently file that toe! See Cupid's Grooming Incident here:

Hope you will share your grooming stories (good and bad since we can all learn from each other's experiences) in the comment section below.

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Time For Grooming?

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Reader Comments
Aw that vet should have told u what he did in the first place what a jerk :/ But good thing u realized and i hope ur bird trust u again :) And good for u that ugroom thier nails i would never do that im too nervous lol.
Jose, Atlantic City, NJ
Posted: 9/27/2009 4:12:51 AM
Hi Linda,

I love my Peticure. It does a great job without scaring my pets half to death. I am always very careful to avoid grinding into the blood vein in their nails. They are terrified of toe nail clippers but none of them mind the Peticure.

Thank you again for a very infomative article.

Elba, Bloomingdale, OH
Posted: 9/23/2009 1:08:42 PM
Thanks for the grooming tip, Linda. I've seen those peticures and was wondering if they would work with birds. Like other "parronts" we have to groom at home because there is no real way to get three birds to a good vet/groomer due to distance. Grooming is still stressful for me so appreciate the experiences and thoughts shared here.
Paula, Rochester, IL
Posted: 9/20/2009 5:19:02 PM
Hi Linda,
It is very helpful for me and Tosun cos I always carry him to the vet where he never ever feels comfortable.
I believe everything would be as good as it was with Cupid. So just wait for him to trust you again. Believe me he will love you even more:)
Meriç, Ankara
Posted: 9/16/2009 1:01:08 AM
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