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  1. #1
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    My cockatiel keeps breaking his blood feathers on one wing, is it normal?

    Just now my cockatiel broke his blood feather again. He's in the emergency room right now. It's the second time this month. For some reason he always seems to hurt that wing. Just 2 weeks ago, we pulled out one, now another one. $200 dollars each time is putting a strain on our budget.

    I tried to pull it out just now but the feather that broke was one of the outer primaries and all the feathers there just seem to clump together. I couldn't find the follicle nor even put the hemostat in there. Can you give me some tips on how you remove blood feathers, as detailed as possible? I know that blood feather should be easy to remove and since my cockatiel keeps breaking them, I think I should learn to take care of it myself. But I'm just really afraid, because sometimes I don't know how much blood he has lost while I'm looking for the follicle. The vet told me that if he loses too much blood he'll die so I should take him in as soon as possible. How do you estimate how much blood is too much?

    Also, do you think I should get him checked out? Maybe there's a problem with right wing? We don't have avian vets around here except for emergency clinics.
    Sorry for asking so many questions, but I feel so useless as a pet owner. All the broken blood feather and emergency room visits really put a stress on our birds too so I want to help them get it done quicker. Thank you for any of your advices.

  2. #2
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    Re: My cockatiel keeps breaking his blood feathers on one wing, is it normal?

    Ask the vet at the emergency clinic if they can show you how to pull the feather? Most vets will glady show you how to do it without hurting the bird. Also, you don't need a _certified_ avian vet, if there isn't one nearby to have them checked out - join a bird club, or any other way to meet fellow parrot owners in the area and ask them what vet they use. I use an exotics vet that treats birds, but isn't certified... because there is no certified vet within 100 miles.

    As for breaking the blood feathers - how is he breaking them? Is it night frights, just flying? Some birds are clumsy, but it isn't really normal for so many blood feathers to break off in a short period of time. A little information on how he is doing it would help us know what advice to give you.

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    Re: My cockatiel keeps breaking his blood feathers on one wing, is it normal?

    I'm not really sure. He doesn't fly around a lot and when he does we keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't fly into anything. But once in a while, after landing he'll screech and start to preen his right wing aggressively like he's in pain. I always check to make sure he didn't break any feathers. But the pain will continue even though there's no bleeding, and after a few days, he'll break a blood feather. And it's weird that it's always on that wing.

  4. #4
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    Re: My cockatiel keeps breaking his blood feathers on one wing, is it normal?

    Did the vets when you took him in for the blood feather take a look at the wing, or just pull the feather? Sounds like maybe he has another loose/broken or maybe even deformed feather poking him, which would irritate him to the point of picking at it until the blood feather breaks. I would get it checked out, pain from landing is not normal.

    What I did to find my vet was search around for ones that say they treat birds. Then I took a question sheet and asked them some questions to make sure they knew about birds, how many birds they treat, etc. Then the one I liked got a vote of approval from parrot owners in the area. So, I took my bird there for something basic... a wing/nail/beak trim to see how they handled him. I know it's kind of like in those movies where you quiz the prospective boyfriend for his prospects, but it's so hard to find a good vet for our fids! Our vet office didn't mind being tested, when I took him in they gave me the standard how-to-care for bird speech and I nodded and expanded on it to include the other things I do for him, that they didn't mention. They seemed to approve, so it was a mutual testing.

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    Re: My cockatiel keeps breaking his blood feathers on one wing, is it normal?

    He just got back from the vet. Apparently he has a whole row of blood feathers without any mature feathers to protect them. We can't trim his wings either because blood feathers are still growing. I'm worried that he's going to break more feathers. Should I cage him until all the feathers mature?
    And also, I found a high rating vet 13 miles from where I live :] It's a little far, but I'll visit him to see how he is. Thank you for all the tips.

  6. #6
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    Re: My cockatiel keeps breaking his blood feathers on one wing, is it normal?

    Eek, a lot of blood feathers to have all at once! My tiel had two wing bloods at one time and we had to be careful with him with even that. I would limit his outside time and see if that helps, but don't keep him inside the cage all the time, as that might agitate him and cause him to do flappies etc against the bars, which would break blood feathers as well. Might also want to get a night light for his room if he doesn't have one already, so he doesn't have a night fright with that wing.

    Also, since he has so many blood feather issues, pick up a bottle of kwik stop from the pet store - if he breaks a feather, put that powder on the end and hold it with a bandage and a little pressure, it should stop the bleeding. When my tiel had his wing bloods in, he cracked one but it didn't break, so I didn't have it pulled, I just let it heal up on its own (after stopping the bleed with powder and a bandage) and watched him closely to make sure he didn't make it bleed again. If it really is broken though, it needs pulled for sure. To hold him and apply the kwik stop, you can use a towel and stretch his wing out from underneath it, that is what I did with my tiel.

    Poor baby, having so many blood feathers in at once.

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