Tools of the trade: Angled nail clippers

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Nail-clippersReview by Kim Hastie, Burwood Bird & Animal Hospital, Burwood, VIC

They are human nail clippers but they work brilliantly at cutting bird toenails.

What’s good about it There’s an angle on the cutting edge that aligns perfectly when trimming the toenails of birds. You still need to be careful not to cut the root of the nail but they work quickly and efficiently. Sometimes the nail of a bird can get quite frayed and then we have to tidy them up with a file but these keep the nails nice and neat. The other good news is that they only cost a few dollars each and there are always a couple of pairs in the consult rooms where we use them. The blades stay sharp but it’s not uncommon for the mechanism to give way. However, because they’re so cheap, you just toss it away and grab a new one. I’ve used cuticle scissors to trim bird nails but these clippers with the angled blade work better. There’s probably a specific bird nail clipper available from a veterinary supply house but with these only costing a dollar or two, they can’t be beaten.

What’s not so good They are quite small and can be a little bit fiddly to hold. If you were a large male veterinarian with big hands then you would struggle to hold them. On the other hand, the fact that they are so small can be a plus when dealing with birds.

Where did you get it We purchase them online but they’re available pretty much everywhere—chemists, department stores, supermarkets, etc.

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