12 Green Cheek Conure Injuries and How to Fix Them

 

1.) Green Cheek Attacked by Pet Cat/Dog: A green cheek injury caused by wild/domesticated animals can result in serious wounds, like parrot pictured. Bacteria in cat saliva (and dog saliva) is poisonous to pet birds. Bacteria in cat nails is second only to cat saliva. When cats scratch green cheek conures, they may can suffer from infection.

Get rid of the cat, the dog, or the bird. Cats and dogs both have predatory instincts – any breed from doberman pinschers to poodles, and cats are even worse.

If you’re thinking about getting a dog or cat while you already have a green cheek, please don’t. Countless green cheek conure deaths could be avoided by remembering cats and dogs are predators, and green cheek conures are prey. Prey and predators don’t mix.

2.) Bird Fell Off Perch

Perch, 1. Me, 0.

Baby birds fall off perches while climbing – babies are clumsy. Adult green cheek conures fall off the perch too, especially when sick.

Adult green cheeks fall off the perch when sick and weak, unable to perch with strength. Your green cheek might not be too sick to perch – green cheek conures also bully each other, and push their mates off the perch.

Quick Fix: First, if they fell off the perch, check your green cheek conures for injury. Baby green cheeks falling off the perch can break blood feathers. Blood feathers are immature feathers filled with a blood vessel, and can result in serious blood loss when broken. Adult green cheeks can break a wing, leg, or other bone by falling – bird bones are hollow, and weak compared to ours.

Practice checking for injuries on your bird’s wings and legs. Open your green cheek conure’s wings, and stretch out their legs. Your green cheek conure will bite, at first. Gradually get your green cheek conure used to checking for injuries, by praising your green cheek after inspecting a wing/leg.

When you’re sure that no wing, leg, or other bones are broken, fix the cause of the perch falling. Separate multiple green cheek conures, and make sure one green cheek isn’t fighting or bullying the other. In single birds, check for signs of sickness, like puffy feathers, weakness, disorientation, being dizzy, or running nostrils. Puffy feathers, runny nares and falling off the perch in conjunction means you should take your green cheek to the vet.

3.) Green Cheek Injuries From Other Birds

Owie Eye Hurts.

While dogs attack the throat during a fight, birds injure each other’s eyes. Eye-sight is the keenest sense in green cheek parrots. If a conure’s eyes get injured, or even their retinas get scratched, it can lead to a permanent blindness or diminished quality of life for the conure bird.

Green cheek conures often fight and injure each other, especially male conures during breeding season. Green cheek conures also land on cages of bigger parrots, getting injured.

One day, my baby green cheek conure landed on the cage of a nesting lovebird pair. If you’ve seen the vicious aggressiveness of lovebirds, you know where this is going. She was only seconds away from losing a toe courtesy of the nesting lovebird hen’s sharp beak.

Don’t let your green cheek conure be injured by other birds. Birds fight, and may harm or injure one another. My baby green cheek didn’t lose a toe that day, but she was seconds away from a missing toe.

In another case, a wagler’s conure (red-fronted conure) snuck out of his cage at night and injured an African Grey parrot. How he got into the African Grey parrot’s cage is unknown, but the vet reported that the African Grey passed of an injury matching a “wagler’s conure sized beak.”

Quick Fix: Keep separate bird species, like love birds and green cheek conures, away from each other. Also, keep new birds quarantined and observe their behavior. Quarantining new birds from your flock can save your green cheek conure from injury, or worse. Separate any aggressive birds from the flock immediately, and carefully observe breeding pairs of green cheek conures , as separation and fighting between mating pairs can occur suddenly without warning.

4.) Green Cheek Swallowed Something “Naughty”

I’m itching to hurt your bird.

Green cheek conures are curious birds. Sometimes, curiosity hurts the conure. Green cheeks can shred and swallow wood and moss in the wild, where no toxic substances will hurt them. At home, green cheeks are hurt by many toxic substances.

Green cheeks hurt themselves swallowing wood, plastic pen caps, plastic milk rings, and more – and these things can get lodged or stuck in their throat. Plastics your green cheek can shred and swallow, like plastic milk rings and pen caps, will be swallowed. It’s just too tempting not to eat them.

Quick Fix: Don’t give your conure plastic toys which are easily broken. Plastic toys on the naughty list include milk rings, pen caps, plastic wrappers and easily shredded plastic. Your green cheek will get a tummyache if they eat plastic. They also might pass away.

What if your green cheek already ingested plastic? Watch their stools for plastic pieces. When conures swallow plastic, it might plug up their intestines. Your green cheek might pass the plastic in their poop, but if their poop is runny and abnormal, run to the vet.

Also, make sure your green cheek conure ate the plastic. Sometimes, birds hide objects. They hide objects under their tongue, throw it out of the cage, or hide under their newspaper. If you’re sure the green cheek swallowed the plastic, keep an eye out for abnormal poop and vet if necessary.

5.) Green Cheek Flew Into Window

Silly bird! Glass is a no-fly zone! But scared green cheek conures follow their instincts when frightened, telling them to get away as fast as possible. Now. This looks clear? Great, guess I’ll fly through it. Bonk.

Quick Fix: Don’t let your green cheek conure hit their head on the window, they could fracture their skull. In addition to fracturing their skull, they could crack their beak or push their beak inward.

So, avoid skull fracturing brain trauma, a bumped head, inward pushed and cracked beaks. Frightened conures fly into windows, so make sure your green cheek conure feels safe (not frightened) at home.

Also, put stickers on clear window glass. Stickers on clear window glass (or vinyl windows) tells your green cheek that the window is a barrier, and they can’t fly through it. You might also save wild birds a fractured skull or hitting their head by making it obvious the clear window a barrier.

6.) Baby Bird Overextended Crop

Baby Cinnamon Green Cheek Conure Over Full Crop

Baby bird feedings must be done carefully, at risk of an overextended crop. What’s an overextended crop? When baby birds get too full, they can get a stretched out or broken crop. The crop might sag for the rest of the green cheek conure’s life. In cases of conures with a broken crop, the broken crop can allow food into the green cheek’s throat, leading to a major respiratory infection. This is why only baby bird feeding experts should feed baby birds, at the risk of thoat damage, broken crop, or respiratory infection.

Quick Fix: Learn how to feed baby green cheeks properly. Use only a bird feeding syringe. Many avoid buying a bird feeding syringe, and instead use a mustard bottle.

No! Please, just no! Feed with a bird feeding syringe, and feel the baby bird’s crop. Feed your green cheek conure baby until the crop feels full, but has just a little give (the crop is on the bird’s chest, just above the chest bone.)

7.) Broken Wing Bones

Signs of a broken wing in conures: droopy wing/wings, bird can’t fly, or holding wings at an angle. Broken wings are caused by flying into windows, pet dog/cat attacks, or getting a wing caught in cage bars. Getting a wing caught is the most common cause of broken wings, and pet cat/dog attacks are next.

Please, get your green cheek conure to the vet in case of a broken wing bone, or your green cheek conure might have their wing amputated. Can a green cheek live without a wing? Yes, they can live without a wing but at a diminished quality of life, like having your leg amputated from your body.

8.) Broken Leg Bones

Get this durn UFO off ME!

Broken leg bones are caused by getting stuck in toys, green cheeks fighting, or even getting stuck in cage bars. Leg injuries in birds, like humans, can be a hairline fracture or a compound fracture. There really is no quick fix for a leg injury – your green cheek conure might need the leg amputated from their body. To prevent complications like a leg amputated get your green cheek conure to the vet on the double!

If the leg is already broken: carefully wrap a bandage/popsicle sticks around the broken leg. This won’t “set” the leg, like a cast, but will keep the broken leg immobile and prevent injury while you rush your birdy to the vet.

8a.) Broken foot: a broken foot or toe in green cheek conures is just as serious an injury as a broken leg. Conures use their feet and claws for perching, climbing, and stability. Broken feet or toes are caused by falling from high places, self made injuries, and injuries from over-aggressive grooming and clipping their nails.

Signs of broken feet include swelling of the feet and toes, toes that look sprained/are held at a funny angle, or a missing toe. When in pain, your green cheek conure may also limp, perch on only one foot, or favor one foot over the other. A broken or sprained foot and ankle requires immediate vet attention and surgical replacement.

9.) Broken Blood Feather Injury

Broken blood feathers are horrifying. They look like this:

And will end in this:

Unless You do this:

Blood feathers are simply regular feathers still in their shaft. These blood feathers carry a blood supply to help the feather grow. After the feather matures and breaks the shaft (paper coating covering the feather) the blood supply dries up. But new blood feathers, especially large feathers like tail and wing feathers, are dangerous if broken. The new “blood” feather acts like a straw, siphoning the blood away from the green cheek’s body, resulting in blood loss and death. If your green cheek conure has a tail feather ripped out, don’t worry. Having a feather (chest, head, wing, or tail) ripped out isn’t as dangerous as a broken blood feather.

Quick Fix: Restrain your green cheek conure in a towel, and pull the feather shaft of the broken blood feather out with tweezers. Your bird will bite and scream, but pulling a blood feather out using tweezers is necessary. After your pull out a blood feather (with tweezers), put flour or quick stop on the feather wound to stop the bleeding. Then, keep a close eye on new blood feathers, especially in baby conures and clumsy birds, to make sure they don’t break.

10.) Bleeding Nail Injuries

I scratch you. Is okay? No? I scratch anyways.

This discussion about scratching between bird and owner is how green cheek conure owners know when to clip their green cheek’s nails. When green cheek conure nails get too long, they have to be cut. But cutting the nail of your conure too far causes bleeding and injury.

Quick Fix: Locate your conure’s quick line, the line that has the blood and nerves. In clear toenails, the quick line is red, while the nail overgrowth is clear. In black toenails, take off just a little nail at a time. If you accidentally cut your green cheek conure’s nails too far, put quick stop or flour on the wound. Packing quick stop or flour on the nail wound stops the bleeding immediately, no vet visit required.

11.) Green Cheek Injuries Involving Exposed Skin/Missing Feathers

Exposed skin peeps out from your green cheek conure’s beautiful green feathers. Worse, the beautiful green feathers are stained with blood. Eek! What causes exposed skin and blood stained/missing feathers in conures? Green cheek conures fighting, a single green cheek plucking, or green cheeks getting stuck in bars or toys all cause exposed skin and missing feathers.

For pluckers, the ripped out feathers may never grow back, leaving exposed skin permanently. For green cheek conures fighting or getting stuck, determine/eliminate the missing feathers cause.

Quick Fix: Determine the cause of the exposed skin/missing feathers, and apply topical cream. If a green cheek conure is plucking, do they have a clean and large cage, toys, and plenty of love? If your conure has a clean cage, toys, and love aplenty, then they might have gotten stuck in a toy and ripped out feathers trying to escape.

Getting stuck in a toy, like toys with yarn loops or exposed metal, can be fatal. If they don’t have toys with yarn loops or exposed metal, are there two conures together? Green cheek conures can get aggressive, have “lover’s spats” and rip out feathers/make each other bleed. Correct the problem, then apply topical cream to the exposed skin.

12.) Cracked/Broken/Missing Beak

Some say a beak itches years after it’s gone.

Cracked, broken or missing beaks happen in green cheek conure life, but aren’t fatal. Traumatic beak injury is caused by pet attacks, getting the beak stuck, or by disease. The less of a missing beak, the more chance a green cheek conure can live. Green cheek conures can live without their beak, if taken to the vet immediately.

Quick Fix: Small beak holes, like a puncture mark from other birds, can be patched up at the vet’s office. Missing beak chunks (bigger than small beak holes) will grow back with proper filing. Again, a green cheek can live without their beak, but they will have trouble eating anything but mashed or moistened foods. Monkey chow is bird food for injured birds. Mashed foods, thin cut vegetables, “monkey chow” and moistened pellets are recommended for green cheek conure injuries involving the beak.

18 thoughts on “12 Green Cheek Conure Injuries and How to Fix Them”

  1. Anonymous

    Hi, this isn't easy to write. Please help. My sweet little green cheek, Fifi, was attacked by a pitbull last week. I'm crying, remembering when we got her out of the dog's mouth, her wing was mangled. She can't even perch now, and the wing smells really bad like it's infected.

    Please help me, I need to eutanize her. I don't have the funds to get her put to sleep. Help me euthanize her quickly, I can't stand her suffering so much! 🙁

  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous 1, came across your comment while surfing…don't do it!! Your Fifi can live! Didn't you read the article, GCC can live without their wing. Take your bird to the vet now before its too late to save her!!!

  3. Ronald McNeal

    If she doesn't have the money to euthanize the bird, she probably doesn't have the money to take it to the vet to save the wing. Maybe she needs to take the bird to a avian vet and surrender it. Just tell the vet you can't afford to take care of the bird and surrender the bird to the vets service. That would be the most humane thing to do.

  4. Anonymous

    I certainly adore green cheeks and seeing some of theese pictures made me absoutely horrified. Please try not to post pictures that are so graphic.

  5. Anonymous

    Really? It's SO important that these photos are shown so people know exactly what to look for in their own birds. Showing graphic photos like these could save your own birds life because you can recognise the signs and get them to a vet quicker. Yes they're not pleasant, but they are necessary. There's no point describing something and not showing any examples.

  6. Anonymous

    Would you please step out of your bubble and face the real world? Good gosh, you are an idiot!

  7. Anonymous

    no need to explain yourself. This is basically common sense! I think that statement above was written from a teenager, no less a child.

  8. Rob Q

    Ok this might sound crazy but that green cheek in picture 12 looks like my baby 'Buddy' and that sheet is the one I use to cover my cages and as for that blue wall. That's my bedroom. lol

  9. Anonymous

    If you can't face looking at a "graphic picture" online. Then how in the blue hell are you prepared for the "reality" in owning an exotic bird/s…? I've been doing this for nearly 30yrs now and have both wild & exotic pet species experience. I have worked with and owned a countless number of species including small to large parrots. And i currently own 6 of my own "fids". An IRN or Indian Ringneck, Green-Cheek Conure, Crimson-Bellied Conure, Senegal Parrot, Meyers Parrot, & Red-Bellied Parrot. So that all said, if you can't handle the responsibility of ONE BIRD try owning 6 like myself. It's a life commitment and something that needs to be thought out VERY VERY carefully. The worst thing is making an "impulsive decision" regarding these highly intelligent animals.

  10. Marisa Hernandez

    Today I noticed my green cheek conure favoring one foot more often. N I examined it but can't see any wounds. No blood, scratches or anything. He stands on both n grips fine. N the foot he favors more is warm. Idk if its due to hiding it under his belly but it happened outta the blue so I am wondering if something is wrong. I definitely will take him to a vet but was wondering if there is anything else I can do to save me from having to take him there n save money? If not then I will take him to the vet as a last resort cuz I dnt want anything bad happen to my baby.

  11. Anonymous

    this article sounds like it was written by a 12 yr old or someone with small intellect and didn't you read her answer – she hasn't any money and the poor little thing needs to be euthanized and wants help to do it, I would give the little bird 8 gravol diluted in hot water and administer it in an eye dropper, she will die peacefully and just keep her cuddled in your neck knowing you love her, that's the kind of answer she was looking for, and I would never surrender an animal to a vet because 9 out of 10 chances the suffering little thing will go to a vet training school, you wouldn't believe the amount of unwanted animals that go there.

  12. Anonymous

    Does any know if a green cheek canute can survive from dead skin around the neck as my bird become ill she has had treatment but the skin is dead

  13. Anonymous

    I have a small green Conure who has a terrible leg injury and my avian vet has told me that she must have her leg amputated next Tuesday as the leg wound near her chest is very bad. I just wonder if it possible to save the leg or can she adapt to a new live with one leg. She's 15 years old and I don't want to lose her. Any advice welcome.

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