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Old 10-23-2011, 07:22 PM
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Black on wings/feathers

Just a concern about black on my parrot Jack's wings. I have been told in the past from the vet that its due to Jack banging his wings around the house when he flies , which he does do sometimes but Im now questioning this after getting our 2nd parrot, I have a vet appointment for both boys tomorrow.
Any feedback much appreciated, wondering if I am missing something in their diet ?
The new Parrot , I have noticed has a tiny tiny bit of black tips on some wing feathers , but when I got him about 3 weeks ago, Im sure he didnt have it back then.
Which has me now questioning the vets original verdict of Jack banging his wings.
The first photo is of our new parrot, he had no black at all which worried me about Jack , but I have noticed now very very thin lines of black starting to show on our new parrot.
1st photo is our new parrot ( I havent really said his name mainly because we are still disputing whether to change his name or not - his name was Fluffly then we changed it to Billy but nobody likes the new name, so we are now thinking Marley - poor thing wont know who he is lol ), Jack is the 2nd photo.
Feedback please on what this could be ???
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Black on wings/feathers-flufflysback.jpg   Black on wings/feathers-jacksback.jpg  
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:18 PM
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Re: Black on wings/feathers

Robyn they look like stress lines to me. Could be many reasons.

I can understand your new bird getting stressed but Jack I have no idea what could be stressing him at all.

What Causes Bars Or Stress Lines On My Parrot’s Feathers?
Feather grows requires a constant blood level of nutrients. If a baby parrot is off feed for even a half day during the time its feathers are forming - you will see a "stress bar (fault bar or fault line) on the feathers that were most actively growing at the time. Improper temperature and other stressors can also lead to this problem.
This is a little line across the feather - as if it had been scored, marked or cut with a scissors at that point. The area of the stress bar is weak, translucent and easily torn. When multiple bars form, each bar represents a period of stress. It is quite difficult to hand raise baby parrots without a few stress bars forming. In subsequent natural molts, normal feathers will replace them. But when they occur in mature birds, they are warning bars. An avian veterinarian needs to be consulted to determine the underlying cause.

info
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:31 PM
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Re: Black on wings/feathers

Ok, thanks for that. I have no idea what would be stressing Jack, we have had him since he was 14 weeks old and there doesnt seem to be anything that would make him stress or unhappy. This is very very puzzling.
Will be talking to the vet tomorrow.
Thanks
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:23 PM
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Re: Black on wings/feathers

I have done a bit of reading on it, says can be lack of nutrients or something in their diet. So hopefully the vet can pinpoint what he is missing.
Fluffys previous owner told me to get Orthicon which he put in his water, I think its a mineral supplement ?
I havent done this yet will check with vet.
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:07 AM
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Re: Black on wings/feathers

Hi Robyn,

I recently took Puffin to the vet for his annual checkup and to get his claws clipped and his beak checked as for the last year he has had a split a the tip and we have been keeping an eye on it and she actually clipped it this time to see if it returns or if he injured it. The vet also commented on the dark tinge on Puffins feathers and said it could be over grooming or he could have a disease of the feathers so we took precautionary measures and had a blood test done which thankfully came back clear.

Having said that we will be looking for a new avian vet because when she clipped his claws she made him bleed and I was very unimpressed as we pay extra to go to an avian vet and she makes an error like that, not on IMO.
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:59 AM
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Re: Black on wings/feathers

Gee I wouldnt be impressed either with making him bleed. We dont have too many avian vets to choose from close to me, so hopefully she will be good. I have taken Jack before, but unsure if Im seeing the same vet tomorrow, as I think there maybe 2 there. I dont want to be told again that its because Jack bangs his wings. Will be asking for a blood test this time.
Im taking both in, they dont know yet that our new parrot has been passed onto us from one of their customers. I know our new parrot has been to the same vet, that is initially where I met his owner lol. So it was fate in the end , that the birdy sitting next to me was one day also going to be mine.
Anyway hopefully , all will be good. Would like to see Jack get some nice pretty green feathers back. This concerned me after getting our 2nd parrot and I thought, surely they are not from banging around the place.
Will see tomorrow...
Hope you find the perfect vet for your birdy :-)
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Old 10-26-2011, 12:56 AM
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Re: Black on wings/feathers

Ok have seen the vet.
Jack is sick and the vet did some tests , he has a mild case of bird flu, a repiratory infection. The black on his feathers is what has caused this.
I saw a differnet vet to the I saw last time who reckoned it was from flying around banging his wings.
This vet took one look at him and knew straight away something wasnt right. Our other parrot also got tested and is fine.
Jack is having treatment over 6 weeks , a needle and something syringed down his throat over the next 6 weeks.
Both are getting water that is treated with psittavet.
The vet seems pretty confident that Jack will be ok but said he had been sick a while.
It is hard to tell when they are sick because they are known for hiding their sickness.
He seems quite fine and acts all chirpy and very chatty, so if it wasnt for checking on those black feathers after comparing them to our other parrot, I would never have known.
Vet has gone through what I feed them and their diet is fine. He sees no problem with what I feed them.
The only thing I can think of , how he got it, was being outside in his cage. He would get surrounded by quite a few wild birds that I had to keep chasing away. Vet said this is the most possible likely cause. There is nothing else I can think of.
Other than that , he seems quite fine. Vet doesnt seem too concerned about 2nd parrot getting it as they are not really together that much .
Got very upset to find he had been sick a while. I would never have known if I didnt compare feathers from my other parrot.
That other vet long ago should have had a better look at him.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:36 AM
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Re: Black on wings/feathers

I am so pleased you got to the bottom of things. I wish now i was a little more pushy with my opinions that something was wrong with Jack. I knew there was something up. But if i open my mouth to much some people get a bit touchy.

Don't go beating yourself up about how he got this infection, it is also possible he has had it from when you first got him. They can carry a low grade infection for years & it just needs a bit of an upset for it to flare up. Because you feed him well his immune system has been able to fight it off to a certain degree.

Robyn when both birds come off their Psittavet get some Vetafarm Probotics. Ask your Vet when next your there.
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:16 AM
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Re: Black on wings/feathers

I'm glad your new vet is better and figured it out! It might be worth a call to the old vet to tell them what he/she missed (I would anyways, in case it helps them avoid this problem with future patients).

I agree with that Pedro said. Low grade infections can be carried in the body with little to no ill effects for years and years (humans and other animals too). It's good you caught it though, and are getting taken care of.

Is Psittavet an antibiotic? If it's actually a flu, it's a virus, and antibiotics won't do anything for it, since they target only bacteria. Has the vet done a "culture and sensitivity" test to find out if the medication your birds are on is effective against this particular organism?

And I also agree with making sure that your bird gets on probiotics after the treatment (they can't hurt, only help, even if Psittavet isn't an antibiotic; strengthening the healthy bacteria helps the immune system).

Don't feel bad! Your birds are okay. It's hard enough to figure out a low grade infection in one's own body, let alone a bird's!
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:54 PM
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Re: Black on wings/feathers

Remy I think you will find Jack is being treated for Psittacosis (Chlamyda) Which isn't a virus. It is however usually called parrot fever. The organism has characteristics of both bacteria & viruses.

Psittavet is the antibiotic of choice for treating this disease.
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