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Feather Plucking Under Wing Pits


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My budgie Sammy is about 3 years old and is a prolific talker and very sociable. In the last few months he has started plucking feathers under one wing pit. He has picked it so much that it bleeds. He has had a trip to the vet and received antibiotics and anti-inflammatory which calmed it down but didnt stop him from plucking. The vet suggested mirrors in his cage and more toys which we did but he still wouldnt stop biting at his wing pits. On the next trip to the vet he suggested he was doing it because of boredom and told us to get another budgie. Again we have another budgie (young bird called Johnny) and Sammy is not interested in the new bird whatsoever. They are in separate cages and have put them together for short periods of time but Sammy runs away from Johnny.

 

Please help, my poor Sammy has constant blood on his face from where he was scratching under his pits - what can I do? Any advice would be gratefully received.

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Did the vet check for any signs of lice or mites on him? Or perhaps an in-grown feather follicle? It sounds more like something is irritating that specific spot, to cause the plucking.

 

I would romove the mirrors. A mirror can actually be a cause of a behavioral problem, not the cure.

 

I find it odd that he isn't interested in the other budgie. In my experience, a budgie will be very stongly drawn to the presence of another budgie. They recognize their own kind. And if one has been kept singly for a long time, they are even more interested, maybe too much, in meeting the other bird. So I wonder if Sammy is sick with something.

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Thanks Finnie. The vet checked him for mites (he has had this once before) and it didnt seem to stop the plucking. I am going to make another appt with the vet for tomorrow and see what he says. I have noticed a huge difference in behaviour between the two birds (johnny is far more active) and sammy just prefers to sit or nibble on his toys. He is eating and talking lots. I think maybe you are right and that Sammy is sick with something. I have bathed him with warm water this morning (he was none too impressed with this).

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Yay had news from the vet that my boy is healthy and its definately a behavioural issue on the plucking. He goes to another bird specialist vet tomorrow to have an upside down elizabethan collar fitted for two weeks and then we will need to use the bitter spray to try and break the cycle of him plucking again. OMG the stress of it all. Thanks for your advice Finnie. The vet also said not to worry about Sammy not liking Johnny, that its normal and some birds are just like that (just like people i guess...LOL). I feel so relieved.

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Just an update - Sammy has had his collar fitted and he is not very impressed with it. Have had to lower all his perches to ground level otherwise he falls off and tips himself up (balance is slightly better today). Sammy had a blood feather come out in April and I had him to our vet when it happened and they gave him antibiotics and sent us home. When the new vet examined him yesterday he said that the blood feather had either not come out properly or it had grown back funny and was annoying him and he has tried to eat his wing off over a period of 6 or so weeks (wish the first vet had picked that up seeing as I had 3 separate visits to them). Anyway the collar is on for 2 months and he has removed the annoying blood feather and put him on a course of antibiotics. Fingers crossed that once the collar comes off the plucking cycle is broken.

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Could you post a picture of the collar? I'd be very interested to see it.

Thanks

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Somewhere on our forum we have a topic for making one of those collars

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Sammycollar010.jpg

 

Sammycollar009.jpg

 

Here he is with his collar. As you can see he cant really fly with it on so everything is lowered to grown level. He has quite good balance with it now. We go back at the end of the month to have his wing checked and they will decide then whether they leave it on for another month after that.

 

Cheers

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