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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 03-29-2019, 05:55 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

Thanks guys, I think I am just feeling down about it. I see new feathers growing in all over. She is a sweet little girl so I am going to keep trying for awhile.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 03-29-2019, 06:22 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

Darn it Crash I was looking forward to that little package in the mail! She is safer with you, my crazy lorikeet probably would have freaked Newt out anyway ...
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Old 03-29-2019, 07:44 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

A DVM is an exotics vet-- not a CAV (They aren't all bad, but many seriously lack the skills needed to deal with birds, even though they do--some with speak with great confidence because in their minds, they know what they are doing...they often do not). That having been said, if you know a lot, you can sometimes determine the bad vs. the good.
I may have missed this, but did you get your bird tested for PBFD and PDD/ABV? These require blood tests.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 03-29-2019, 09:01 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
A DVM is an exotics vet-- not a CAV (They aren't all bad, but many seriously lack the skills needed to deal with birds, even though they do--some with speak with great confidence because in their minds, they know what they are doing...they often do not). That having been said, if you know a lot, you can sometimes determine the bad vs. the good.
I may have missed this, but did you get your bird tested for PBFD and PDD/ABV? These require blood tests.
Hi Noodles, lots of bloodwork done, including the ones you mentioned above plus liver, CBC, all the majors. They also did a Tri-Chrome to test for Giardia which came back negative. I think I've spent about as much as the bird cost to adopt,in tests and Dr fee's. She acts like she feels awfully good when she is with me but I know that doesn't mean anything. I am open to mentioning more tests. My Avian vet is Dr. Talia Gattenuo.

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Old 03-29-2019, 09:46 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

Birds can be funny about things...I mean, it takes VERY little to stress them out. In theory, just the transition between "flocks" could be enough to cause this (but then again, you said it took awhile for this to occur). Time is helpful, but then sometimes things become habits...and it is hard to deal with, as the OCD tendencies are strong and follicles can become permanently damaged.
I notice you mentioned Nekkon--- Did you mean Nekton S? If so, please be sure that your vet uses her weight/nutrient need to determine the proper dose. My 1lb umbrella cockatoo needs 1/4 to 1/5 scoop of Nekton s per day (and that is because she only plays with her Zupreem pellets). Just be cautious...I ended up spending $200 on blood tests because I found out I had been giving my bird too much for a few weeks...She was okay, but you can overdose a bird on vitamin D (among others....)

Hormones can also cause self injurious behaviors (including plucking). Stick to petting on the head only, and make sure that your bird isn't getting access for any shadowy places (in clothes, blankets, pillow caves, piles of paper, bedding, low shelves, under furniture etc). Just being able to put their heads into a darker location can trigger all sorts of unwanted hormone spikes...No cuddles and no shadows. 12-14 hours of sleep each night...

Last edited by noodles123; 03-29-2019 at 09:56 PM.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 03-29-2019, 09:55 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
I notice you mentioned Nekkon--- Did you mean Nekton S? If so, please be sure that your vet uses her weight/nutrient need to determine the proper dose. My 1lb umbrella cockatoo needs 1/4 to 1/5 scoop of Nekton s per day (and that is because she only plays with her Zupreem pellets). Just be cautious...I ended up spending $200 on blood tests because I found out I had been giving my bird too much for a few weeks...She was okay, but you can overdose a bird on vitamin D (among others....)
I just sprinkle a little Nekton-Bio on her food. Since I've been doing that I've noticed lots of new pin feathers. I only do it every other day...It's expensive so I don't even come close to a full scoop or anything.
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Old 03-29-2019, 09:59 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

A sprinkle is seriously all you need-- PS: some studies show that TV increases OCD/ADHD behaviors in birds. You might try radio instead. Theories abound as to why, but most associate the impact with the types of light emitted and the flickering effect. Puberty in general can be stressful for a bird, so I am not sure when Caiques mature, but if that happens around one year, then that could be part of the issue. Again, no shadowy places where her head can fit, plenty of sleep, pet only on the head and limit excessive food or warm/mushy food...

Edit- most sites say 2-3 years= breeding time--longer for some varieties... but I imagine yours could be gearing up. Just make sure he/she is getting plenty of activity and interaction (not cuddles though!!!)

Last edited by noodles123; 03-29-2019 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 04-05-2019, 10:10 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

Quick update...this bird crazy...

She's doing fine, I got her a collar from Birdsupplies.com and it has been on a week. She has new feathers poking out from everywhere. Little pin feathers.

She's doing a number on her new toys though now. Guessing that since she can't access her feathers it has redirected to chewing her toys. Probably a good thing. Once I am home, I take off her collar and she is all over me wanting to play. Pretty sure at this point her issue is not physical.

Right now she looks like a moth eaten mess still but I am hoping to have a better report in a few months. Trying to figure this out! Think the Nikton supplement really helps with feather-growth though.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 04-07-2019, 02:40 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

Here's the thing that you're forgetting about her behavior, and it most-likely has nothing at all to do with you not being home all day long, she'd still be plucking/barbering (those first photos of her showed a TON of barbering of the ends of her feathers everywhere, it's very evident on the feathers going around the back of her neck, on her legs, and around her vent area)...She most-likely started plucking/barbering due to a real, physical health issue, such as a bacterial or fungal infection that has long since gone away, or due to boredom simply because she didn't understand what toys were for (this is due to her breeder not putting toys inside of her Weaning-Cage when she was first moved from the Brooder to the Weaning-Cage, and is quite a common problem, if they aren't given toys/foraging activities to do in their Weaning-Cage or at any time while with their breeder, when they go to their new home and they have toys and foraging activities they don't have a clue what they're for, which causes boredom), or even just due to her first molting being exceptionally bad, whatever the original cause was it started her first barbering and then progressed to actual "plucking"...And then the original cause was cured/removed/ended, but she kept on barbering and plucking...

***And the reason she keeps doing it is because she is literally addicted to plucking. It's very common (unfortunately), and I'd bet it happens in at least 70% of all captive/pet parrots who start plucking due to an original health-issue that caused itchiness or due to their first molt being very bad. Every time a bird pulls a feather out of themselves it releases the exact same neurotransmitters in the brain that are released when a person takes an opiate pain-killer or uses another drug such as cocaine, meth, etc., or uses nicotine, etc. And if they keep doing it because they like it, some of them get hooked, some don't. It's exactly the same scenario as to why someone who smokes keeps smoking even though they know it's killing them, because they want those endorphins/neurotransmitters to be released and to produce that feeling again...So once the physical health issue is remedied, the plucking continues...

And here's the thing about a bird who is plucking due to being addicted to plucking and not because there is a physical health problem any longer...They actually do stop at times, sometimes for quite a while, sometimes for only a day, a week, a month, etc., and then they very much to in-fact "relapse", usually because they again have an itch due to a new molt (tis the season right now for molting, my house looks like a feather-pillow factory was blown-up right now), and the minute they again pluck out a feather they again feel that rush of endorphins and then BAM!!!, they are suddenly full-on plucking again. And this time it might only last for a few days, a few weeks, etc. Or it might continue on again for a long period of time...But the point is that it is due to a very real addiction to the act of plucking itself. And just like someone who is a drug addict and who has been "clean" for a long time and who is in a car accident or has to have surgery and is given opiate pain-meds in the hospital or by a doctor for a legitimate reason, just taking one of those pain pills starts them actively using again...Just like every molting-season the birds who are past pluckers may or may not get through their molt without starting to pluck themselves again...But that first "itch" from a new molt followed by just one little "pluck" can start things in-motion again...

And this is why I asked about your Vet being a CAV or an Avian Specialist Vet (as already mentioned, a DVM just means "Doctor of Veterinary Medicine", or that they graduated from Vet School, and being a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians doesn't mean anything either, that's just something they pay a yearly fee to be a member of; the problem in the US is that "Exotics" Vets are nothing more than General Vets, or Vets who only see/treat dogs and cats, but they are willing to see pretty much ANY type of pet/animal...That's all it means in the US, you can call yourself an "Exotics" Vet if you want to, but all it means here is that you graduated from Vet School and you are willing to see all types of animals, but you have no extra education or training in any specific animal)...And when you're dealing with a parrot who has a Behavioral-Health problem such as Feather-Destructive Disorders, you need an Avian Vet Specialist, or at the very least an Exotics Vet who has a lot of experience treating Avian Behavioral Diseases...

The treatment that I've had the most success with as far as treating a bird who has a Feather-Destructive Behavior and who seems to have it come back during molting-season, meaning that there are distinct "Triggers" that cause them to relapse and start plucking/barbering themselves again, is to put them on an anti-anxiety drug while they are actively-plucking, and over the span of 2-3 months tapering them down in the dose until they are tapered-off of it completely...And then the next year during the same time period that they started exhibiting the behavior the year prior (right before molting season starts), we put them back on the anti-anxiety drug automatically, but a much lower dose than what we start them on when they are actively-plucking...So basically we just put them on a very low-dose of the anti-anxiety medication BEFORE they start molting again and BEFORE the plucking starts again, and just keep them on a very low, daily dose of the medication until their molt is done, and then taper them off of that low dose over a couple of weeks, and that usually works to prevent the plucking from ever starting up again...I 've had the most success with putting the bird on Haldol; some people choose Valium, but I don't like using Valium only because #1 it's very addictive itself, and even more so #2 it makes them sleepy and lethargic, even at low doses...The Haldol doesn't really seem to effect them much at all except to keep them from plucking...
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Old 04-07-2019, 02:51 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

Oh, one more thing...Please don't re-home your Caique...I understand your frustration, I really do, and I also really appreciate that you only want what is best for your bird, and that you're willing to put her well-being before yourself and your feelings. That's big-time, and I thank you for it...But your bird would be plucking just like she is/has been with any other owner and in any other home, even if that person didn't work and was able to be home with her 24/7, it wouldn't matter one bit, she would just be plucking herself while being entertained by the person who's home all the time....Trust me, she's much better-off with you, you obvious love her and put her needs first, and you're also obviously willing to spend money on her medical care, and that puts you in the extremely rare category of "Responsible Parrot Owners who put their birds first before themselves", and let me tell you, we are a RARE BUNCH OF PEOPLE...Most of us who exist in the world are actually on this forum, lol...

Seriously, this isn't your fault and it's not due to anything you did. It's extremely common, and it just happens. I've seen Cockatoos who have plucked themselves completely bare-bald, with not one single feather anywhere on their body except for their heads/faces (only because they can't pluck those!), and who's owners were retired, home 24/7, who took the bird everywhere they went whenever they left the house to do anything, and who hadn't been separated from their owners for more than 5 minutes while they went to the bathroom in years...And they are bare-ass bald! And I certainly wouldn't recommend that they re-home their Cockatoos to someone else, because that would probably result in their Cockatoos quickly dying from heart-attacks, strokes, etc. the first time they were left at home alone in their cages for 20 minutes...It's just something that happens, and you're doing everything that can be done about it...The good news is that she seems like a very happy little clown, and that is all that matters really...Don't get down on yourself or blame yourself, and don't sell yourself short either, because you really do seem to be a wonderful parrot owner who loves their bird...
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