Written by Rebecca L. Gounaris, DVM of Pleasantville Animal Hospital of Fallston
RoRo the rooster visited us today to have his spurs trimmed down! Roosters have spurs on their feet that are used as a natural weapon to protect themselves and their flock. The spur is mass of underlying bone surrounded by a sheath of keratin, which is very similar to the anatomy of a rhinoceros horn!
Roro having a physical examination.
These spurs can grow very long and very sharp, and while useful in the wild, these spurs can be dangerous in backyard flocks, potentially harming other hens, the owners, and even the rooster himself if they curl and start to grow into the foot.
Before (left photo) and after (right photo) Roro's spurs were trimmed.
While permanent spur removal is possible, it can be very painful and bloody to the rooster, as there is live tissue in the center of the spur, so we generally do not recommend this procedure if it can be avoided. For RoRo, we dremmeled the spur down as far as we could to make it not only shorter but also blunter to prevent injury without causing pain and discomfort.
Roro after his spurs were trimmed.
Since RoRo is a feisty rooster, we also sedated him prior to the procedure to reduce restraint and make sure it was not a traumatic experience for him (you can see how sleepy he is!). All in all, RoRo did great and now his owners feel more comfortable handling him! We think he is one of the most handsome roosters we have ever seen.
Pleasantville Animal Hospital of Fallston, located in Fallston, Maryland, is a family-owned, full-service hospital that provides veterinary services for dogs, cats and birds. Their expertise in the field now spans over three family generations, and they are very proud of this unique heritage. The hospital has an in-house laboratory, allowing for rapid diagnostic testing for critical care patients, digital radiography (xrays), surgical suite, and an on-site pharmacy. Dr. Scott Gounaris has been practicing veterinary medicine for 35 years and founded Pleasantville Animal Hospital in 2002. His daughter, Dr. Rebecca Gounaris, now works alongside him, and they approach each case as a team.
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About Dr. Rebecca Gounaris
Dr. Rebecca L. Gounaris is a small animal and backyard poultry veterinarian at Pleasantville Animal Hospital of Fallston in Fallston, MD. She is a 2016 graduate of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to her lifetime love for cats and dogs, she has a deep passion for birds and participated in externships at several exotic veterinary clinics during her senior year. She worked for many years at Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research in Newark, DE, where she formed the foundation of her career caring for birds in need. Dr. Rebecca acquired her first flock of chickens in 2019 and has completely fallen in love with backyard poultry. She now has close to 30 chickens (yes, they all have names) that live on her wooded property in PA, where she lives with her husband, Brandon, and baby boy, Ezra. One of her greatest ambitions is normalizing medical care for backyard poultry.
About Dr. Scott Gounaris
Dr. Scott Gounaris graduated from the University of Florida Veterinary School in 1982. His lifetime love for animals drove him to choose veterinary medicine as he wanted to help animals that could not help themselves. Dr. Scott Gounaris enjoys the teamwork that we and the pet owners employ to work together for the welfare of their pets. The greatest reward for him is a positive outcome for his patient and their owners. With over 40 years of experience in the veterinary field, Dr. Scott Gounaris has seen it all. Prior to opening Pleasantville Animal Hospital of Fallston, he worked for his father, who was also a veterinarian. Now the father of a recent veterinary school graduate, a current veterinary school student, and a college undergraduate, he has shared his love of the profession with the next generation of Gounaris doctors.