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Old 11-03-2020, 03:45 AM
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Feather loss - Any explanations?

Feather loss - Any explanations?-left-leg.jpg

Feather loss - Any explanations?-left-wing.jpg

Feather loss - Any explanations?-right-wing.jpg

Feather loss - Any explanations?-vent.jpg

Feather loss - Any explanations?-happy-birds.jpgHi,

My beautiful Peanut has lately been picking her feathers under her wings, legs and and vent. She's always preening and seems irritated and I want her to feel better I thought she was just moulting because she had lots of pins, but I examined the cage floor and she seems to be pulling out some of the pins too.

We went to the vet with an avian certificate about a month ago and got a vitamin A shot and told to try more vegetables and more baths. I followed this advice but no improvement.

We're going back on Monday (in 6 days) but she looked sad today. They're going to take some bloods and X-rays to see if there's a hidden medical problem, otherwise she'll get a cone of shame But I want her to feel better now!!

I took photos to compare Peanut (grey colour ) to Zappy (yellow colour ).

She's 2yo, fed seeds, veg, pellets, etc. Shares a large cage with another cockatiel of same age and sex but from different clutch. They both adore me, and are neutral towards each other. They also get some safe native foliage (I'm in australia) to nibble on, as well as a rotation of toys, swings, etc.

Last edited by Zappy; 11-03-2020 at 04:00 AM. Reason: Forgot to add photos
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Old 11-03-2020, 08:57 AM
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Re: Feather loss - Any explanations?

Your on several natural issues that maybe effecting the loss of feathers.
- You are entering Summer and that can effect the loss of feathers as you Parrot adjusts to increase temperature.
- Laying season, your teil may be effected by hormonal season of 'her' preparing to lay eggs.
- Plucking in the areas you state would be a normal prep for egg laying -- even if she does not lay eggs this year.
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Old 11-03-2020, 09:19 AM
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Re: Feather loss - Any explanations?

This can be breeding. But it can also happen exactly like this with an infection, like yeast. I would get a fecal culture and a fecal gram stain. For me this us more classic for an infection or problem with kidney than with behavioral plucking.
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Old 11-03-2020, 09:27 AM
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Re: Feather loss - Any explanations?

The following is copied from a post by EllenD on this issue.

" Often when they pick around their vent constantly/chronically it's due to either a Gastrointestinal infection, either bacterial or fungal, OR as one of our other members found out this past year, a Kidney/Urinary Tract infection...That was the other member's bird's only symptom, itching her vent and plucking around it every now and then...So if your bird is doing it often, you need to get him to a Certified Avian Vet and have a Fecal culture done, as well as an X-Ray...And you may have to force the issue on the x-ray with the vet, but the only reason that the other member's CAV caught the horrible Kidney Infection their bird had was because they did an x-ray and found that the infection was so advanced (because the only symptom was picking at her vent and nothing else) that the bird's kidney was so enlarged and swollen that it had been putting pressure on her spine and caused some degeneration...If the Vet only does a Fecal or even routine blood-work and not an x-ray too, they may find bacteria and/or fungi in the Fecal (common) and may see elevated White Blood Cells, indicating an infection, so they would naturally assume that the bird has a GI Infection and that's why they are plucking/itching around their vent, and they would never know that the bird has a Kidney Infection, so that's why the X-Ray is so important with this symptom, as a kidney infection in a bird is very easy to miss, as the blood-work will probably show normal kidney-function unless the kidney infection is extremely progressed..."
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:11 PM
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2 hand reared female cockatiels: Zappy (cinnamon pearl), and Peanut (whiteface cinnamon pied) also have 3 zebra finches who keep the tiels entertained while I'm out.
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Re: Feather loss - Any explanations?

Thank you for your thoughtful responses!

They are very informative and extremely appreciated!

Actually, this may be very important: one of my zebra finches had a (suspected) yeast infection about 6 months ago. He became very sick (feather loss, weight loss, and unwell) and recovered with antibiotics, quarantining and a heat pad. His best friend finch sat next to him in the adjacent cage the whole time and sang him songs, bless their little hearts.

If my cockatiel has caught an infection from one of my finches, that would suggest it's contagious, and therefore I might need all 5 birds checked out. They don't share food bowls, but their cages are nearby, so infected feathers and seed husks could travel and contaminate :/

Anyway, I will try to disinfect both cages and contents and will update when the results come in. If I can get a copy of the Xray, I'll try to upload it too.
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Old 11-11-2020, 10:07 PM
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2 hand reared female cockatiels: Zappy (cinnamon pearl), and Peanut (whiteface cinnamon pied) also have 3 zebra finches who keep the tiels entertained while I'm out.
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Location: Australia
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Re: Feather loss - Any explanations?

We went to the vet and got X-rays and bloods taken and Peanut is fine.

The X-rays showed that she had no internal abnormalities, and could be carrying a bit of excess weight.
The bloods showed that there was no infections, diseases or imbalances, but a little low on calcium and protein, which we will address through diet.

So the diagnosis is early hormonal behaviour. The vet said that plucking around the legs and vent is commonly done to allow heat from the body directly incubate eggs. Plucking under the wings is less common, and could be due to mild discomfort from the ovary/oviduct as it undergoes hormonal changes.

We discussed a plan of action if anything was to get worse:
- If Peanut starts laying eggs, I should let her have the clutch and she should eventually reject it since it won't be fertilized.
- If she keeps laying eggs, there is an option of a subdermal hormone treatment which would return her hormones to normal.
- If she starts losing weight, return for review.
- If Zappy is hassling her, we can house them in separate cages.
- If she starts to pluck a lot more feathers and/or begins to break the skin, we will address more specific behaviours

Thanks again for your support!
I got copies of the X-rays to share



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