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Old 01-20-2019, 11:23 AM
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PBFD Free (now what?)

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I have an 11-year-old Umbrella Cockatoo. I am her 4th home and I know little about her past.

She came to me with a liver condition which has since been corrected due to changes in diet + lactulose and milk thistle medication (she no longer takes these and her levels remain stable).
Anyway, she over-preens her chest a bit (but not severely--no sweaters needed) and this behavior has decreased over time. She has had crop cultures etc performed and all is well. She isn't super-bald, but when her crop is full, you can see a grey patch..or, it is also visible when she stretches out without puffing her feathers.

Her blood work is normal, gram stains are normal, weight is good, feather quality has improved, BUT, she recently started to grow an irregular looking feather under her right wing--- rather than receding, the blood seemed to extend farther down the shaft over time---ending right before the keratin ends and extending about 2 inches...if not more from the origin of growth).

I had her tested for PBFD (as a result of this feather) and the results were negative. She also tested negative for polyoma etc years ago.
That having been said, she does seem to shed crest feathers more than I would expect (and she isn't plucking them either). When shed, they grow back fine and they look strong. Nutritionally, I think she is okay, but she isn't a huge fan of her pellets. Consequently, I do sprinkle some Nekton-S supplement powder on her morning oatmeal in order to compensate for her pellet avoidance (she chews on them and grinds them up, but eats very little). I also add Bene-bac powder to her food daily. She doesn't eat human food/junk food BUT if I have to give her medicine that cannot be mixed with oatmeal, I will put a few drops on a teeny-tiny fragment of a baked chip because I know for a fact that she will eat it all.

Could this weird feather be the result of an injury?
What are your thoughts?
In order for you to visualize the weird feather's current state, picture this: if you were to remove the feather and hold it vertically, you would see that the blood on one side of the shaft (1/2 of the vertical shaft) appears to have receded, but the other side of the shaft still looks pink. Normally, when she grows feathers, all of the blood recedes gradually (but consistently along the entire shaft). The blood also doesn't normally extend further over time before receding (which has been the case with her weird wing feather).


Thoughts?

Last edited by noodles123; 01-20-2019 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:39 AM
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Re: PBFD Free (now what?)

Hmmm... hard to say. Quick thinking and action on your part to have her tested for PBFD. You know as well as I that tests for PBFD are infamous for false negatives (and even false positives), but I really don't see a need for you to drive yourself crazy over this considering that the only cause for concern at the moment is one abnormal feather. That one feather could've been affected by any number of things right at the moment of its formation, including momentary stress or even a damaged follicle.

Wait, I just remembered you mentioned shedding more crest feathers than you would consider normal. Does this leave her crest depleted?

Also, if she doesn't eat pellets what does she eat aside from oatmeal? Or in her oatmeal if it is a constant staple of her meals?
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:55 AM
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Re: PBFD Free (now what?)

She gets a mix of Volkmam seed + Zupreem pellets (fruit)--no peanuts, no sunflowers, no corn, no junk (but she would starve without the seed). I give her daily fruit/veg and a bit of oatmeal at breakfast and dinner (not enough to fill her up),in order to mix in a bit of Nekton-S vitamin powder (yes, I am cautious with this due to overdose potential in any supplement) and probiotics...I also do this so that she doesn't eat as many seeds.

Her crest was totally full for the last few months (you couldn't see any gaps--it was like a wall when up) but now it has a few gaps in it, as she has lost 4 crest feathers within the past 3 weeks. There are no bald spots when you look at her head (except the normal one that all U2s have under their crest), but when he crest is up, there are recent gaps. New feathers are growing in but they are still small.


I know PDFD tests can be negative, but if it were that, then I am pretty sure that she would have gotten a positive, given the fact that testing was based on visual symptoms etc (plus, they did a blood panel with more than one test in it- they didn't just test a feather or something).

Last edited by noodles123; 01-20-2019 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:00 PM
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Re: PBFD Free (now what?)

You could switch to Sille's 'magick oatmeal' (the keratin coated kind) for a bit if you think it is a nutritional issue. I know you are on top of her menu, but still
(It worked miracles here with Sunny - so I am a fan- and since you feed her oatmeal anyway ...)

I have no idea what could have caused a feather to grow in wonky, a small nick to the side, a mite at the wrong place at the wrong time... it could be anything.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:22 PM
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Re: PBFD Free (now what?)

I had the same problem with my rescue male umbrella cockatoo Cooper, he also had liver issues as well that been long corrected and when had him completely tested and is now 100% on all blood test, even had him tested for PBFD and negative, but he still chew his feathers, he will even chew on my female umbrella cockatoo feathers as well. I glad someone started a thread about this.

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Old 01-20-2019, 03:07 PM
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Re: PBFD Free (now what?)

How do her wings and tail look? I ask because I wouldn't stress yourself too much about PBFD if her wings and tail, other than the one abnormal feather, are for the most part full. PBFD tends to hit the flights and tail feathers first, causing them to not grow or to grow abnormally first. Also, with cockies, PBFD tends to cause a lot of beak and foot abnormalities, more so that with other species.

It is very possible that with just the one abnormal feather, that it was damaged before the vein started to recede, which made it so it wasn't able to do so properly. I have had that issue with my grey, who will chew his flights as they grow in, and if he bends the shaft, they will sometimes end up falling out looking like a PBFD-type feather because the kink in the feather shaft doesn't allow the blood to recede.
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:23 PM
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Re: PBFD Free (now what?)

Quote: Originally Posted by OutlawedSpirit View Post
How do her wings and tail look? I ask because I wouldn't stress yourself too much about PBFD if her wings and tail, other than the one abnormal feather, are for the most part full. PBFD tends to hit the flights and tail feathers first, causing them to not grow or to grow abnormally first. Also, with cockies, PBFD tends to cause a lot of beak and foot abnormalities, more so that with other species.

It is very possible that with just the one abnormal feather, that it was damaged before the vein started to recede, which made it so it wasn't able to do so properly. I have had that issue with my grey, who will chew his flights as they grow in, and if he bends the shaft, they will sometimes end up falling out looking like a PBFD-type feather because the kink in the feather shaft doesn't allow the blood to recede.
Her beak looks a little rough at times (one mandible (bottom) is often longer than the other (bottom)- likely due to one-sided chewing preferences). I am very careful about keeping up with it, and when I first got her, one of the major clues about her liver issue was the rate of her beak growth. That having been said, repeat blood-work indicates that the liver is back to normal, yet the beak continues to grow quickly longer on one said than the other (with regard to lower 2 mandibles)...She has always had a bit of a scissor beak going on---very mild and probably due to issues early on. The vet said that as long as I remain as diligent as I have been in terms of keeping it trimmed, that it shouldn't cause issues. She came to me that way. She has a variety of toys (wood, plastic, pumice, grass etc) and she is pretty well-adjusted otherwise.

Her feathers have a few gaps in the wings and tail, but they don't always---a few came out from both places during a recent transition.

Again, she looks a bit ragged, but not nearly as bad as many cockatoos, so I don't know...It is just weird.

Last edited by noodles123; 01-20-2019 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:28 PM
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Re: PBFD Free (now what?)

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by OutlawedSpirit View Post
How do her wings and tail look? I ask because I wouldn't stress yourself too much about PBFD if her wings and tail, other than the one abnormal feather, are for the most part full. PBFD tends to hit the flights and tail feathers first, causing them to not grow or to grow abnormally first. Also, with cockies, PBFD tends to cause a lot of beak and foot abnormalities, more so that with other species.

It is very possible that with just the one abnormal feather, that it was damaged before the vein started to recede, which made it so it wasn't able to do so properly. I have had that issue with my grey, who will chew his flights as they grow in, and if he bends the shaft, they will sometimes end up falling out looking like a PBFD-type feather because the kink in the feather shaft doesn't allow the blood to recede.

Her beak looks a little rough at times (one mandible (bottom) is often longer than the other- likely due to one-sides chewing preferences). I am very careful about keeping up with it, and when I first got her, one of the major clues about her liver issue was the beak. That having been said, repeat blood-work indicates that the liver is back to normal, yet the beak continues to grown quickly on one side of her lower mandible...She has a bit of a scissor beak going on---very mild and probably due to issues early on. The vet said that as long as I remain as diligent as I have been in terms of keeping it trimmed, that it shouldn't cause issues.



Her feathers have a few gaps in the wings and tail, but they don't always---a few came out from both places during a recent transition.


Again, she looks a bit ragged, but not nearly as bad as many cockatoos, so I don't know...It is just weird.
Do you have closeup pictures showing beak and ad-normal feathers. It does sound odd the way the beak is growing?
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:39 PM
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Re: PBFD Free (now what?)

Quote: Originally Posted by ParrotGenie View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by OutlawedSpirit View Post
How do her wings and tail look? I ask because I wouldn't stress yourself too much about PBFD if her wings and tail, other than the one abnormal feather, are for the most part full. PBFD tends to hit the flights and tail feathers first, causing them to not grow or to grow abnormally first. Also, with cockies, PBFD tends to cause a lot of beak and foot abnormalities, more so that with other species.

It is very possible that with just the one abnormal feather, that it was damaged before the vein started to recede, which made it so it wasn't able to do so properly. I have had that issue with my grey, who will chew his flights as they grow in, and if he bends the shaft, they will sometimes end up falling out looking like a PBFD-type feather because the kink in the feather shaft doesn't allow the blood to recede.

Her beak looks a little rough at times (one mandible (bottom) is often longer than the other- likely due to one-sides chewing preferences). I am very careful about keeping up with it, and when I first got her, one of the major clues about her liver issue was the beak. That having been said, repeat blood-work indicates that the liver is back to normal, yet the beak continues to grown quickly on one side of her lower mandible...She has a bit of a scissor beak going on---very mild and probably due to issues early on. The vet said that as long as I remain as diligent as I have been in terms of keeping it trimmed, that it shouldn't cause issues.



Her feathers have a few gaps in the wings and tail, but they don't always---a few came out from both places during a recent transition.


Again, she looks a bit ragged, but not nearly as bad as many cockatoos, so I don't know...It is just weird.
Do you have closeup pictures showing beak and ad-normal feathers. It does sound odd the way the beak is growing?



I do but it is almost impossible to capture the beak in a way that shows the issue...
I do have some early pictures of the feather.

I will try to post. Vet said feather looked worse in pictures than in real-life though....
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:46 PM
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Re: PBFD Free (now what?)

Here is a close-up of her beak- again--impossible to really see what I am talking about, but it isn't quite centered and one of the lower mandibles tends to grow longer than the other.
You can also see her bald spot in the 1st picture.

The feather picture is from when I first took her to the vet and the vet said it looked worse in the picture than in real life. It also has improved altogether since then.
Attached Thumbnails
PBFD Free (now what?)-beak-bald-spot-noodles.jpg   PBFD Free (now what?)-noodles-feather-under-wing-2.jpg  

Last edited by noodles123; 01-20-2019 at 03:48 PM.
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