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Thread: Poor cockatiel has blood spots on his wings, picks same spot, not feather plucking

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    Poor cockatiel has blood spots on his wings, picks same spot, not feather plucking

    Hi everyone, thanks so much for looking.

    My poor cockatiel has been making squawking sounds and picking at the same spot on his wing. He turns around to his left and goes into the feathers on the top of his wing, sort of the equivalent of our shoulder blade, starts picking at it.

    I was wondering what he was up to so I put some water on the area and pushed the feathers back to find dried blood spots around the area!!!

    There’s no feather plucking except for the occasional loose feather like normal molting. No visible bald spots when the feathers aren’t wet and pushed back either.

    Can someone please help to identify what is going on? Should I be really concerned? Please help..

    He’s 14 years old this year, a very happy bird, no behavioural issues, comes out to fly around a few times a day. He eats mainly pellets with dried fruit, some sunflower seeds, occasional bread and wheat snacks, lettuce and sometimes fruit.








    Last edited by metakrystal; 03-14-2019 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Add photos

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    Re: Poor cockatiel has blood spots on his wings, picks same spot, not feather pluckin

    I hope you have a good avian vet in the area - I think you should get him there to get this checked out

    As I'm looking at the pics it looks like it may be feather follicle related but I am not sure

    Try to get him an appointment asap

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    Re: Poor cockatiel has blood spots on his wings, picks same spot, not feather pluckin

    Just here to update everyone or help someone with a similar issue:

    Good news! Mont, my cockatiel, is okay! :yahoo:

    The vet said that he may have incurred a small trauma at that part of his wing, through a night fright or something like that. Mont may initially have been trying to fix the feathers himself, but every time it healed over and got itchy, he may have picked a scab off and restarted the cycle. The vet cleaned off all the blood spots and scabs, so they got pretty flat, which he said would help Mont stop picking at it. The vet was happy with the condition of his skin (no infection, parasites etc.).

    I will have to observe him and try to stop him if he's picking at the area. Other than that, the vet said that it should heal up in about a week!

    If he does continue mutilating himself, the next step would be to fashion a collar and/or give him some anti-anxiety medication. But the vet was very reluctant and unhappy about these options, and didn't quite want to put Mont through any of that if there were other ways to help him heal.

    As for the photos, the vet said those sticks are what new feathers growing out normally look like. So for anyone who sees them, those are NOT ingrown feathers, they are perfectly healthy new feather stems. There are also no follicle issues or cysts. The skin is flat and healthy, no open wounds and those scabs on the skin are initially from flight/fright trauma, then from continuous mutilation of the scabs.

    Thank you for your support!

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    Re: Poor cockatiel has blood spots on his wings, picks same spot, not feather pluckin

    Thank goodness he is OK and you took him to the vet to know for sure he was going to be OK. It sure looks nasty but honestly my first reaction was a possible broken feather shaft in there causing him grief. My daughters bird had one and it look very similar to your birds injury.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Poor cockatiel has blood spots on his wings, picks same spot, not feather pluckin

    So it's been a week now and he should have healed. The old scabs have all dried up, but he's continued to pick at himself, and now there's a fresh wound. That big shaft growing out looks like it's really irritating him.

    I just feel in my gut that it should be removed! To me, it doesn't look like a typical new feather. It's SO big, to me it looks like something has gone wrong with it growing out. It's also protruding out his feathers somewhat so when petting him you can feel a big bump on his wing.

    It's longer now than a week ago, but I can't stop poor Mont from picking at himself in the meanwhile. I'm thinking of bringing him back to the vet again but those trips are traumatising for him and don't want to go only for the vet to say we need to leave it be.

    Some pics of the new wound and the MUCH bigger feather stump:


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    Re: Poor cockatiel has blood spots on his wings, picks same spot, not feather pluckin

    Quote Originally Posted by boomer girl View Post
    Thank goodness he is OK and you took him to the vet to know for sure he was going to be OK. It sure looks nasty but honestly my first reaction was a possible broken feather shaft in there causing him grief. My daughters bird had one and it look very similar to your birds injury.
    What did she/you do then? Mont just does not seem happy and he's not the type of birdy to self-mutilate as he's been happy for 14 years and also not hormonal or anything like that...

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    Re: Poor cockatiel has blood spots on his wings, picks same spot, not feather pluckin

    That sure looks like a nasty wound. I suggest you call the vet. Perhaps you can send that picture to them from your phone or other device. There is always danger of wounds like this one causing infection. And that is very dangerous. Having a bird with a wound is, in my view, one of the biggest challenges to heal, because they are always picking on it.

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    Re: Poor cockatiel has blood spots on his wings, picks same spot, not feather pluckin

    When Tikki had a nasty sore like your birds it was caused by a broken feather shaft left in his wing. The vet pulled the shaft out and it got better quickly. I would think if this was a feather shaft your vet should have seen it. I would take your bird back to have the vet take another look at it and if they do not see any broken feathers in there you might just need to collar him until this wound heals up. It looks painful to me and I worry because it is a open wound. I know there is something called F10 that vets use to clean things up on birds and I think our vet uses it to give the birds and other animals medicated bathes with. That is what Tikki got after they pulled the feather out and also another time when he was plucking his feathers all the sudden and he never messed with his feathers again.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Poor cockatiel has blood spots on his wings, picks same spot, not feather pluckin

    Pulling feathers is attracting some controversy over here: specifically because even done by someone who knows what they're doing - pulling feathers can actually damage follicles and make things worse... i.e. cysts, weakened/deformed shafts etc etc

    Where in the world are you Meta - maybe we can recommend a good vet - as it sounds like you might not be happy with your current one.

    Would Mont tolerate wearing a collar? They're pretty easy to make... I've got a mutilator here - so I've perfected them over the years. Basically in very short... I use concertina tube I get from my vet (it's about 3/4 inch diameter), and used for oxygen tubes etc. I cut to length and make it narrower (Though as you have a teil and have a lovebird you probs wouldn't need to narrow it any). Then I wrap it in vet tape to make sure it's padded, and basically put it on him. On Sammy it's about an inch tall - the idea is to stretch the neck a bit. Not to be uncomfy, but too restrict flexibility and stop stretching to wings (or in our case tail) feathers. With any luck, might only be needed a few days.

    I'm sure your vet team will be able to offer advice on collars etc


    Thanks Lee for the adorable sig!

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