impacted tail feather

Thank you so much for your answer to my previous question about mesquite pods. Since there is no avian vet in my state or anywhere within many, many hundreds of kilometers I need your advice once again. About 15 years ago my Molluccan cockatoo kept breaking his tail feathers, I subsequently got him a larger cage.......I know how dangerous broken "blood feathers" are and I made a call to an avian vet in the US. He told me that the only sure way to stop the blood was to pull the feather out, IT WAS A NIGHTMARE but all OK now. The problem is that he no longer has tail feathers, they never really grew back. What he does have is a good sized sort of "bony lump" on one side of his "non-tail" and one feather that "tries" to emerge every few months. The "bony" spot isn't hot or soft or even really worrisome but this other feather that "tries" certainly is a concern. He tries to sort of "preen" it but, eventually, it starts to sort of ooze and I have to pluck it out. It is pretty awful for both of us but afterwards he is just fine again. Is there anything that I can do to stop this from happening? When I do pull it I find that it is, in fact, a sort of mal-formed folded feather.

Harris and I surely will appreciate ANY help!!!

Comments for impacted tail feather

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Jul 22, 2011
Cockatoo with impacted tail feather
by: The Avian Vet

First, I never recommend pulling a blood feather. This is painful and will lead to problem follicles like you are experiencing. The best way to handle a broken blood feather is to use direct pressure until the bleeding stops and use a styptic gel or to assist with clotting.

Second, your bird should be tested for PBFD. Finally this is a common problem in moluccans. You should locate an avian veterinarian to do the PBFD test and give your bird an exam. Left untreated this will become a very serious problem and likely lead to severe self mutilation.

This is also related to poor nutrition. Does your bird eat a pellet diet? If not, then you need to switch him to Harrison's. This will help with any nutritional problems that may be contributing.

Dr B
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