Daily cleaning of griffins should be attended to by their riders, following the basic procedures using sand, soap, brushes, and sponges. A griffinhealer can provide general care guidelines and attend to the rarer cases involving griffin health, but for the most part this is up to the rider.
Although a rare incident, it has not been unknown for very confused fledglings to mistake dragoncare for proper griffincare and attempt to oil a lifemate. More likely this may be the result of a prank, or even just careless play among fledglings. This is actually a fairly serious condition for griffins, since oily feathers no longer function to regulate the griffin’s body temperature or provide flight capability. In addition, the griffin may ingest oil trying to clean itself. Oil should be cleaned off with soapy water by hand immediately and thoroughly. The griffin should then be allowed to dry itself in a warm spot.
If for some reason a griffin needs to be kept grounded, wing clipping provides a painless method. Wing clipping is painless and temporary, because flight feathers will grow back after each molting season. The purpose of this is to prevent the griffin from having ‘lift’ capabilities in its wings, but still allowing it to glide. Only primary flight feathers should be clipped on both wings; the first four or five primaries should each be clipped at the rachis (shaft) below where the feathered portion starts. If blood feathers (actively growing feathers with a purple or black streak of blood) are encountered, clipping should be delayed a few weeks.
In the case that important flight feathers such as the primaries have been lost, or just an excessive amount of feathers due to injury/illness, imping is a technique that can restore temporary physical and mental well-being to a griffin. The imping feathers can be obtained from another griffin after molting season, and serve as temporary replacements as the new feathers grow in.
The traditional method is to use an imping needle, a three-quarters inch needle with a double taper and triangular shaped crosswise, which serves as the thin support between the broken feather and imping feather. The needle is dipped in vinegar and inserted into the broken feather, where it rusts and and binds the parts together. An alternative method is to use quick-drying cement glue, which is especially useful when there are many feathers to imp. The procedure is best done at night, when the griffin is resting and will give the feathers a chance to set.
Griffin Injuries (Common)
Broken Blood Feather:
Bleeding from broken blood feathers can be brought under control with the something as simple as flour and gentle pressure applied to the feather. If bleeding persists the feather may have to be removed. This is done by gripping the base of the feather and pulling out with steady, even pressure in the direction of the feather growth. Direct pressure should be applied to the open follicle for several minutes after feather removal. Clotting agents, styptic sticks or surgical glue obtained from the infirmary are also useful in these cases.
Broken Nail or Beak:
A claw injury can be treated by packing the injured talon with flour, or using a bar of soap and rubbing it across the talon. More serious bleeding can be stopped with the use of styptic/cautery sticks. The same goes for a minor injury to the beak; flour packed in the beak tip, and direct pressure applied to the area should stop the bleeding. Griffinriders and healers should be particularly careful to examine the beak for minute cracks, since these will cause continued bleeding and/or discomfort to the griffin.
Griffin Injuries (Serious)
A damaged or broken wing can be a devastating injury for a griffin. A broken wing will often droop much lower than the other, will be twisted, dragging on the ground, or have some other obvious indicator of serious injury.
Some broken wings may just require setting the wing in normal resting position and wrapping it up with non-adhesive bandages/tape. The end feathers of the wing will need to be taped as well, along with the wing joint. The final wrap should go under the good wing and over the injured wing, usually in front of the griffin’s front legs.
In cases of broken bones sticking out through flesh, it is important that a healer attend to the wing immediately to immobilize it and begin surgical repairs such as bone setting and pinning, since wing bones calcify quickly and will otherwise heal incorrectly. If the wing joint at the shoulder/elbow is seriously injured, chances are remote that the griffin will be able to fly again. See surgical methods/anatomy for more detailed information.