Goose with overgrown bill serrations and very bad breath

cheesy

Chirping
May 23, 2015
25
43
77
Dear all,

One of our greylags has a problem where the sides of his bill does not seem to wear away and continues to grow. The tip does grow too much also along with his toe nails which suggests an excess of keratin but the sides of the bill is the main problem. I've removed the excess from his bill before and had to do it again yesterday but noticed the build inside his bill to the extent that his tongue had a much narrower channel to move in. This one was brought to us having been found in the wild with damage to his head 8 months ago. His cornea split and so he's blind in the eye you can see in this photo. The other eye is perfect - he's been clipped to keep him safe. We run a waterfowl sanctuary so the environment is free from land based predators.

All of the overgrown bits come away with a little agitation by fingers and small tools which thankfully the goose trusts me and allows fingers to work inside his mouth for moments at a time. There is clearly decay going on as some bits are black and it smells. One of the pictures shows some of the pieces I've pulled away - and the image of his mouth open was after I had removed some but you get the idea.

Does anyone out there know what might be causing this and perhaps what medication might help him. I've read it can happen from mite infestation, but he's clean (he did have Northern Fowl Mites maybe 4 months ago but I promptly fixed that.) Liver disease and diet is also a suggestion. He eats lots of mixed grains and the marine float food that is reconstituted pieces containing oils and vitamins etc. Being a goose however it's unusual that he doesn't eat much grass. His bill does come together sufficiently at the end to allow a snipping action so not eating much grass seems by choice.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. He is otherwise healthy.

Graham
 

Attachments

Miss Lydia

Drakes are Awesome
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
104,031
103,059
1,842
Mountains of Western N.C.
I haven't ever seen anything like this either. @Pyxis is a vet tech though so hopefully she may have seen something similar or knows how to help. I'd put ACV into his drinking water just to maybe normalize the bacteria growing in his mouth. I use 1 Tab to 1 gal of water. He's very lucky to have you care for him, He may have gotten to the place where eating would be difficult if you didn't work on his teeth[for lack of a better word]
 

cheesy

Chirping
May 23, 2015
25
43
77
It's an odd one for sure. I have plenty here and thankfully they all keep their teeth (i think that's fine and sounds better than referring to them as serrations. I should look for the anatomical term really) nice and clean. He's easy to pickup given he's blind on one side so can try a course of antibiotics and see if that improves but will wait a while in case others spot the problem and have experience of it.

It took the rest of the day to get the smell of his breath from my mind. Stinky goose!

Thanks regarding the ACV suggestion. I'll have a read.
 

DiYMama540

Free Ranging
Premium member
Jun 25, 2019
2,759
14,816
702
SW VA
My Coop
My Coop
I've had this poor goose on my mind all day!
Does he have access to plenty of things to chew on? I catch my pair chewing wood a lot, and they love to play and chew on rocks in their water buckets. They even have a couple baby teethers/rattles they play with in their pool.
I'm assuming all this chewing behavior serves some sort of purpose, possibly to keep their teeth under control.
 
Last edited:

cheesy

Chirping
May 23, 2015
25
43
77
Hello - and thank you for your kind thoughts towards our friend.

He has access to whatever he might wish to dismantle such is the behaviour of geese as we know. I often wonder if they're frustrated engineers and just don't have the physical ability to build, just destroy!

They all have access to lots of water in large ponds, plenty of grass, stones, bushes, trees etc all safely within 5.5 acres of their electrified compound where they can roam freely within.

This goose doesn't spend so much time in the water as the others (wild and resident) tend to and doesn't mix with the others, but I know the people that brought him in from the wild once injured and he wouldn't mix then either. He does wash, just doesn't swim for fun. I occasionally see him snipping grass, but only occasionally when we know geese nibble often.

He's often towards the front of the queue for dinner when I put out the feeders and eats plenty and appears optimistically when I'm close to the grain stores. I'll mix up amoxicillin for him shortly and will see how he is after a few days of that assuming it must be bacteria. I'll mix up some ACV in water as Miss Lydia suggests but I don't leave out bowls for them so will try washing it across his mouth and pop a small amount in via crop tube whilst applying the antibiotic.

He's a special boy (as they all are - shhhh) but it's a shame he's managed to acquire a lesser known oddity. I'll welcome any suggestions - and will keep you informed of his progress.

Graham x
 

Pyxis

Hatchi Wan Kenobi
Premium member
7 Years
Mar 27, 2012
18,874
38,869
1,102
Vermont
My Coop
My Coop
So this is just a thought, but I'm wondering if it might be trichomoniasis. Usually in geese you wouldn't see this, but it's all I can really think of with this type of buildup in the mouth and bad smell. Might be worth treating with Metronidazole, and seeing what happens.

I'm just really not sure what otherwise would cause this. Any chance you could get him to vet to have it checked out?
 

cheesy

Chirping
May 23, 2015
25
43
77
Hello. Thanks for your input. Trichomoniasis (Google...) suggests it's a human STD. I do love my geese, but.....

Seriously though - I'll have a read along with the suggested meds. I don't have a problem going to the professionals and do when I'm unable to treat with the reasonable selection of prescription products I have available to me.

The pictures makes it look like the body has continued to grow whereas the superfluous pieces do come away which implies as @DiYMama540 commented that he isn't chewing things sufficiently to prevent the build up. The smell could simply be that food etc is rotting underneath the build up. He's on my close attention list again and will look into and try things as folk suggest.

The first time I saw it on I expected to have to file it all down but only the end of the bill required that - the sides as commented, pulls away without great effort.
 
Top Bottom