feathers around beak turning dark

by Lori

Three weeks ago I came home to find a pile of feathers in the bottom of my cockatiels cage. She continued to chew her feathers for the next several days so I made a vet app and ordered pluck no more.

The vet decided she probably had an infection and put her on metronidazole with out running any test. She has been on it 8 days and the feathers around her beak are turning dark. She has mostly quit chewing her feathers but I'm not sure if its the antibiotic or the pluck no more I'm putting in her water.

I made another appointment with a new vet but I don't know if he will be any better. Could the antibiotics have caused her feathers to turn dark or maybe its from the pluck no more. Do you have any suggestions of what this could be so that maybe I could ask the vet to run some test? I'm willing to pay for test but they don't seem to know what to do.

Comments for feathers around beak turning dark

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Jan 24, 2009
Feathers turning dark
by: The Vet

The pluck no more did not cause the feather color change. It may or may not have caused your bird to stop plucking. The metronidazole was a good choice on this case, but some diagnostics should have been done first. I recommend starting with blood work and a fecal screening with a float, a direct and a Gram?s stain. You should search for a board certified avian veterinarian (www.abvp.com) and get a second opinion. Random treatments without diagnostics is not going to be the best approach in the long run.

The dark feathers around the beak may just be staining from the administration of the oral medication.

Although Pluck-No-More is a good product and effective for 30% or more of the birds on it, it may not be the best treatment for you bird. A sudden feather plucking episode is generally the result of disease not a behavior problem, so the Pluck No more may not be the answer. You should continue using it, but also get another opinion from a Dr. that will and can do the testing.

Side note: Pluck No More works best in a water bottle. Water bottles are more sanitary than bowls. Bowls need to be changed and washed every 3 hours to maintain bacteria-free water. A water bottle can be changed once every 24 hours with no worries. And if you are using pluck no more you can change it every third day to conserve the expensive Pluck No More and your bird will not develop infections from the water bottle.

A good avian veterinarian will help you resolve this problem of plucking, not only with medications but help you determine the cause by doing diagnostics and taking a good history to see if something in the home is contributing to the problem.

Dr B

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