Pecking Issue post Trauma

Hi There, I have a blue and gold macaw who was injured by a car in October last year. He has since developed a pecking habit on his back and has had to be treated for the resulting septic sores. He has been incubated and treated with painkillers and been on antibiotics three times. Yesterday my vet removed ingrown feathers from the area under anaesthetic.

His back looks great now - but he is already pecking again and refused the antiinflammatory dose this morning that the vet gave me (he threw the food away that had the dose on). The vet advises sometimes these birds develop habits after trauma that can't be broken and also informs me a cone is not an option.

He is otherwise exeptionally active and healthy. He is not caged. Please help I am at my wits end - he has been x rayed and there seems to be no permanent damage from the initial accident - he lost all his tail feathers but they have grown back.

Many thanks

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Feb 24, 2013
Bird with Phantom pains?
by: The Avian Vet

I do not believe that this is habitual and there is a medical basis for this feather damaging. Frequently we see "phantom" nerve pains, chronic response to nerve injury, chronic in-grown feathers, and internal damage that results in this type of presentation. I think that further investigation into this specific area is warranted as well as trying special medications used to treat "phantom" pains.

Dr B

Feb 22, 2013
Pecking Issue
by: Linda

Thank you both for your very useful suggestions. I will stop the anti inflammatories immediately.

Feb 21, 2013
Pecking Issue post Trauma
by: Sandra D Singh

Hi There, I'm very sorry to hear about your bird. A bird that went through any kind of trauma need LOTS of loving; hugs, kisses and more love. Why did the doctor said that the cone was not an option?
Anyhow, I had taken care of a bird that was in a similar condition and he had gotten well in one and a half months. His owner had an office job and had no one to take care of the bird during the day. As I worked from home, I was asked if I could help to care for him during the day and I was only too happy to obliged. The bird needed lots of love, interaction one on one, and caring to get well.
I used to talk to him very softly, sing for him and we listened to music and I danced with him. I would've him on my lap while caressing his back, and rocking in a hammock. I really treated him very nicely and with plenty of love. I wanted him to get well very soon because he was in a very bad condition. He used to look like a halfway plucked chicken. His owner couldn't have thanked me more when her bird got well; he was cured.

I wished that I lived near to you, I would've taken care of your bird FREE OF CHARGE. I worked all my life for myself and from my home,I'm a Fashion Designer and Seamstress. Take care of your dear bird and try some of what I had done. I'll be praying for your bird and you. God bless you both.

Sandra D Singh, Toronto.

Feb 20, 2013
Pecking Issue post Trauma
by: Linda

The avian vet will answer this when he has time, and I thought I'd jump in here for now. First of all, I cannot possibly understand how your bird was injured by a car in the first place? You said you do not cage him, and that is a fatal error with birds of any species. All birds have to have a cage for sleeping and eating as it is their safe place. If you have not had his wings clipped, this is why he was hurt by the car. You cannot take any bird out of the house unless they are in a travel cage because even ones who have wings clipped can put themselves in danger outside the house or inside the house.

Next is the fact that the anti-inflammatories are probably upsetting his stomach very badly, so you need to talk with avian vet about stopping those. Also, why is the collar not a good idea because this is the only way to stop the self mutilation until back has time to heal?

You need to get your bird a cage and set up the feeding and watering dishes so he is able to eat with the collar on. If you do not cage your bird, your options are limited because a collared bird is in danger all the time he is out of the cage.

So, my advice is to get your bird a good sized cage for his size and begin getting him used to his cage. Part of the problem here is you've allowed the bird way too much freedom when all he really needs are limts set just like with a child. Parrots have roughly the emotional/mental development of 4-5 year old children, and you would not allow them to run all over the place and get hit by a car, so why are you doing this to your bird?

Get the cage and get it setup. Ask the avian vet to put a collar on him so he can stop hurting himself and get him off the antiinflammatories because past a certain point, they begin to upset the digestion. This is why he's refusing food laced with it. His stomach is becoming upset from all the meds, and this is just another problem to deal with.

While at the Avian Vet's have his wings clipped. Just have the 4-6 Prmary Flight feathers clipped, and these are the long ones at the ends of each wing. Do not allow them to trim any higher as this causes chronic pain and your bird already has enough pain to deal with.

All birds need a safe cage roomy enough to be able to fully spread their wings out to the side and flap without hitting anything. Birds need a safe place to sleep and eat, and a cage that is large enough is quite humane and your bird will begin to feel safe again.Put him in a travel cage anytime he's going outside house. Get him a collar to keep him off his wound long enough for it to heal.

Also chronic use of antibiotics causes secondary fungal infections which may be what the itch is on his back. Have him tested for fungus overgrowth next time you are to the avian vet's to make sure this is not the case. Up to you, so make a decision that is for the bird's best and highest well being.


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