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New Experiences – Reflections on a Parrot’s Beak Surgery

We recently had the very handsome African Grey parrot, Timmy Legge in for an examination. Timmy was the unfortunate victim of a split beak. The bottom part of his beak had cracked and begun to grow in different directions. Healing incorrectly.

To repair a broken beak is no simple task. Unfortunately (and thankfully), beak repairs are not a daily occurrence here at Sunrise Animal Hospital! As it is an uncommon surgery, we don’t exactly have a beak repair kit ready for situations such as these. Thankfully, we had a few days before Timmy’s scheduled surgery so we were able to brainstorm and bring together his surgery equipment and materials. We even had to make his intubation tube as we didn’t have any small enough for his little throat!

Birds are very delicate creatures and during surgery, require very careful (even more-so than usual) monitoring. For Timmy’s surgery, we had two people monitoring him constantly. One person was dedicated to checking his heart rate and breathing during surgery, and the other person ready to breathe for him when necessary.

To repair Timmy’s beak we needed to pre-cut special surgical steel. He had two bone plates implanted in his beak.

We even had to cut the regular bone plate screws to suit his beak size as the screws were too long!

After carefully securing the bone plates to his beak, we had to find a comfortable and safe way of encasing his beak while it grows out. While the bone plates are used as a brace to ensure the beak is able to grow out properly without re-injuring or warping itself. The epoxy putty encases the recovering beak and keeps everything in place. Our plan as his beak grows is to replace the epoxy putty with dental acrylic. Unfortunately the acrylic wasn’t readily available in time for his surgery.

After applying the putty to his beak, we had to carefully trim down the excess epoxy putty and smooth the edges so he wouldn’t have any issues eating.

Once the surgery was complete and the anesthetic was turned off, Timmy awoke quickly from his surgery. Dr. D gave him a once over then he was back his in crate and eating blueberries within the hour!

Written by Sunrise Animal Hospital

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