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Old 06-08-2019, 11:29 AM
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Exclamation I am in need of help

Hi, my name is Jonah. I have two beautiful Pearly parakeets. The first one we got was a rescue, and had some feather problems. The woman we bought her from stated that here cage mate were plucking her feathers, so when we got her, she was missing some of her tail feathers and some minor feathers in her neck.


Our thought was that she would recover. She had already started regrowing some feathers on her tail. These feathers were lighter in color, more pink then their healthy wine red color. Every time she regrows these "damaged" feathers, they just falls out. She isn't plucking, we have been monitoring her for the past year. We have been to the vet countless times, she has been treated for paracites, and taken bloodtests from, with no result.


The vets where I'm from (Norway) have little to no experience with parrots, So I was hoping you could help with insight.

Thanks in advance
- Jonah
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I am in need of help-nora.jpg   I am in need of help-62054677_634075333725966_7801744338689458176_n.jpg  

Last edited by JonahAMA; 06-08-2019 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:33 AM
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Re: I am in need of help

Did they do a blood panel to test organ function, and did they test for PBFD?


Welcome to the forum, I'm sorry it couldn't be under better circumstances.



Hopefully another member will come along soon with a fabulous link to board certified avian vets, and plain old regular avian vets(complete with international links). I'd share it myself, but don't have them saved like she does.


The off color on the feathers can often be an indicator of issues with the liver.
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Old 06-08-2019, 12:41 PM
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Re: I am in need of help

I'm sorry your Pearly Conure is having these feather issues, as it sounds to me like her previous owner either was incorrect about her cage-mate plucking her and she actually has some type of medical condition or Avian Viral Disease that causes these types of feather-issues, such as PBFD unfortunately, OR her cagemate actually damaged her feather follicles while over-preening her and this is the result...

Are these new, "damaged" feathers only growing-in in the exact same areas that were bald/plucked the day that you picked her up and brought her home and that her prior owner pointed-out to you as being caused by her cage-mate, or are these same types of "damaged-looking" feathers also growing-in on other areas of her body as well? This is a HUGE question because if the damaged-looking feathers are ONLY growing-in in the exact same areas that were bald/plucked-looking on the day you picked her up but are NOT also growing-in elsewhere on her body in spots that were not plucked/bald when you first picked her up, then you can assume that they are due to either her cage-mate or herself plucking them and damaging the feather-follicles in some way...HOWEVER, if these damaged-looking feathers are not only growing-in on the areas that were bald/plucked looking when you first picked her up and that were blamed on her cage-mate, but are also growing-in on places that were not bald/plucked when you first picked her up and are growing-in on places where she is simply molting her feather naturally, then you can assume that she is suffering from some type of medical-issue; that medical issue could be a disease of the feather-follicles in-general, it could be a Nutritional-Deficiency or overall Malnutrition, or it could be a Disease being caused by a Bacterial infection, a Fungal/Yeast Infection, or a Viral Infection or Disease that could be life-threatening, the most detrimental being Parrot Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD), which can be tested for definitively with one, individual Blood-Test that tests specifically for PBFD...

Do you know if the Vet you took her to ran a test for PBFD or any other Avian Viral Disease when they ran Blood-Work? Did they run any Nutritional-Panels, Metabolic-Panels, and Liver and Kidney Panels in the Blood-Work? Or did they just run the standard CBC?...Did they take external, topical Swabs/Cultures of her skin and look at them under their Microscope/Send them out for a Culture/Sensitivity to rule-out a topical Bacterial and/or Fungal/Yeast Infection? These are all questions that you need to find the answers out to, becauuse if the Vet did not run an individual Blood-Test for PBFD, Nutritional/Metabolic Panels, and Liver/Kidney Panels, then this Blood-Work needs to be done ASAP, as does a topical Swab/Culture need to be taken from her skin and they need to do a Gram-Stain on it and look at it under their Microscope in their office right there on the spot to look for a Bacterial and/or more likely a Fungal/Yeast Infection, and then they need to send the topical Culture of her skin out to the lab they use for the sample to be plated and grown-out (Culture & Sensitivity) to see if any "Budding-Yeast" grows on the plate, because a Systemic Yeast Infection is a very common cause of this problem as well...

****If all of these tests have been run and she tests negative for PBFD, a Nutritional Deficiency or Metabolic issue of any kind, or a topical Bacterial/Fungal infection of any kind, then the next step is them taking a Biopsy of a few of the individual Feather-Follicles that these odd feathers are growing-out of, as well as a few Feather-Follicles that normal-looking feathers are growing out of. They should also take a Biopsy of her Preen-Gland as well, and look at a sample of her Preen-Oil from her Preen-Gland under the Microscope for abnormalities...There are a few different conditions/Diseases of the Feather-Follicles and/or the Preen Gland that can also cause this type of issue, some are very benign conditions, and some include different Cancers...

***If you need help finding either a Certified Avian Vet (CAV) or an Avian Specialist Vet that will have experience with this and who will immediately know what diagnostic tests need to be run, instead of just a General or Exotics Vet, there is a really great, World-Wide Search Tool that we commonly paste the link to in Threads all the time...I'll see if I can find it and paste it here for you, or if another member has it and could paste it here for them it would be appreciated...It only gives results that are CAV's or Avian Specialists, and it always seems to give results no matter where in the world you live, from the Middle-East to India to Australia to South America and everywhere else, if there is an Avian Specialist in the country this Search Tool will find it...You really do need to find an Avian Specialist for your Conure to ensure that all diagnostic tests that need to be run are run, because the sooner an Avian Viral Disease is diagnosed and anything that can be done as far as treatment is started, the better the chance that she'll have a really good chance of beating it is...Hopefully this is just a case of damaged Feather-Follicles, however it's very unlikely that every Feather-Follicle that has these feathers growing out of them was damaged by her or her prior cage-mate. That's why it's important to get the proper tests run ASAP...

***Also, do you know how old she is?
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Old 06-09-2019, 10:06 AM
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Re: I am in need of help

Welcome Jonah, thanks for a wonderful introduction and beautiful pics. I hope you find answers and most importantly a cure/treatment for feather issues.

Tried a search for certified avian vets in Norway and found two in Oslo, one in Snaroya. https://www.aav.org/search/custom.asp?id=1803 It is possible a more intense local search will find additional resources.
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:47 PM
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Re: I am in need of help

Thank you all for the wonderful replys, I should probably clarify. She is 4 yeas old, I got her when she was 3.

She had half her tail feathers, and the other half was already plucked. She had some flight capability, but that got gradually worse. After a few months, all her tail feathers were gone. Around this time, is when we got her a cage mate. The two of them went along wonderfully. It was also around this time when we started testing her.

They did a PBFD test, witch came back negative to my understanding. They just told me that nothing came up. Since her cage-mate is healthy and has healthy feathers, I assume she has no viral illness. My next step will be to contact one of those two veterinarians that were recommended. I thank you all for help, and would love for more insight and advice. It brakes my heart to see how trapped she feels.

-Jonah
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:58 PM
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Re: I am in need of help

I am not saying she has PBFD, but I wanted to clarify something (based on what you said about the cage-mate looking healthy)--just as a general FYI:
In terms of birds and viral illness, many birds are carriers and incubation times can range from a month to upwards of 10 years in birds who will develop symptoms, while some birds spread viruses from the time of exposure, throughout their life-time's without ever developing symptoms at all. A seemingly healthy cage-mate says little in terms the absence of potential viruses (especially viruses like PBFD, ABV and PDD). You could have 4 birds in the same house. All it takes is for one carrier bird to infect all of the birds, but one might get sick within a month, another might get sick 9 years later and the other might never show symptoms while intermittently shedding and spreading the virus without any ill effects.
Did they do a CBC and vitamin panel?

Last edited by noodles123; 06-09-2019 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:08 PM
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Re: I am in need of help

The vets did the bare minimum of tests, so what we gave was a blood test, and sendt in a blood-feather. They said nothing came up. Then again, I don't really know if the knew what they were looking for. What I do know is that they sendt it to a lab in Germany for testing. I would assume that they know more than the vets
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:19 PM
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Re: I am in need of help

I wonder why they wanted a blood feather...I am guessing the PBFD test that they ran was a blood panel and not a feather test (hopefully). Did they say anything about a feather biopsy?
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:48 PM
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Re: I am in need of help

They didn't mention anything, they said that they didn't find anything out of the ordinary on the tests. Then again, this as a few months ago, I might not remember everything. My girlfriend seems to agree with me about the response they gave

Last edited by JonahAMA; 06-09-2019 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 06-09-2019, 05:43 PM
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Re: I am in need of help

If I were you, I would ask for a copy of the test results in writing so that you can use them as a reference. They should definitely be in your bird's file. You need to find out what they have done in order to proceed.
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