Wing problem

by Peter Marquez
(Ormond Beach, FL)

raw under bird wing

raw under bird wing

raw under bird wing

Hello I have an 11 year old african gray we moved from Connecticut to Florida 6yrs ago. Ever since we've been here our bird gets ingrown feathers or cysts, thats what other vets have told us. For about 4 years he had several per day. I would look through his feathers and found them and removed them. They would only be on his wings.

Because of the cysts he would get a lot of puss and it irritated the skin on his body and eventually the skin became extremely raw. It would scab, but never fully heal. The puss would get on his other feathers and irritate his other feathers.

I brought him to a vet in Jacksonville and another in Daytona.I spent a lot of money on vet bills and medications. The cysts don't happen as often now, actually maybe one every 5 months and under one wing it is completely healed and feathers have grown back. However under the other wing he still has puss scabbing but we don't find any cysts and the skin is still irritated.

The vets did blood tests and everything was fine. One vet wanted to operate on him to look at the inside of the wing, but I was advised by another vet that I shouldnt have that done. Also at that point I became unemployed so an operation was not an option for me. The vet gave me a topical cream but that is not helping. He eats well. He does not pick his feathers. He is a happy bird. He talks and plays. He poops regularly. Our issue is the constant puss and irriation underneath that second wing. Do you have any ideas?

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Jul 06, 2015
African Grey with chronic axillary moist/dry dermatitis
by: 2Maines

We have a rescued 14 y/o male (dna proven)Congo African Grey with chronic axillary moist/dry dermatitis since 2008. It looks like the picture except our Grey's is moist, very red & bleeds off & on, especially when he flaps his wings. We adopted him in 2006 when he was 5. We have tried just about everything!!! Diet, humidity checks, lighting (too much/little- "it's perfect" per vet),environmental, behavioral, medical, other bird (stress? they were trial separated for 1 month & problem remained), family member? trial based that one too, too much/little attention & seasonal changes. We have tried *a lot* of sprays, creams, every test under the sun, medications, holistic (aloe, calming aids, avix soother cream/spray, Vetricyn, sulfadiazine 1%, any allergies to toys, fabrics, topicals, meds (prescribed by avian vet) hormones?, 'give area a break & see what happens' approach & probably other things that I cannot think of right now. It has been an extremely expensive & frustrating condition to deal with. We have almost rehomed him several times & backed out every time because we emotionally couldn't stand the thought of parting with him. We were thinking we were doing something wrong & maybe he may be better with someone else who could change him around. He is very happy, vocal (not a screamer), eats well & is an awesome bird despite everything he has been going through. Cold laser sx has been suggested but may not work according to vet, plus the expensive price tag for such a therapy is something we cannot afford at this time. He is not a feather plucker. It has been proven. he wears an upside down e-collar & has no way of getting to the area. He gets bathed 2-3x/wk with the collar off & exercised to allow circulation in the area. If the collar is taken off completely, he will bother the area due the area being extremely itchy (compounded Benadryl not helping much, he still twitches his wings off/on). It is only isolated under the R wing web. I thought there may have been an issue with an organ on that side of his body but his x-rays, & fecal results were excellent. Only thing on his CBC was eosinophils (sp?) present in a minor amount. We've had numerous fecals done to rule out Giardia, etc. Done skin scrapings & those were normal. I wish there was such a thing as allergy testing for these birds like dogs & cats do. He is on an organic diet, has a highly secured outside aviary (built in 2006 & vet thought of that & trial based being inside an entire spring/summer to see if area would heal but didn't). He is offered small amounts of a few fruits & enjoys vegetables (from our gardens-no pesticides). We even had our other bird tested for a lot of things just in case. Am I missing something that somebody could shed light/hope for us? Thanks!

Jun 28, 2015
Wing problem
by: Anonymous

Hi did it go away? What did you to to heal it? My 15 years old Amazon parrot has something looking like that under his wing but it much smaller, it looks like a split in the skin, it doesn't bleed instead it just has a sort of wet look. I Want to treat it before it get larger. Pleas help!

Oct 03, 2011
Bird with wing problem
by: The Avian Vet

It is important that the area remain dry. Although not a substitute for proper veterinary care, there is an OTC cream that might help. It is called Soother Plus by Healx. You need a veterinarian that can guide you through this wound management.

Dr B

Sep 26, 2011
wing problem
by: Peter

Hello DR B.

When I took the bird to the vet they did alot of test for infections and said the bird is very healthy. the vet gave me silver sulfadine 1% cream
I had to stop seeing the vet because of the lost of work and every vist was over a thousand dollars and after the fourth vist and still not getting better I felt I was being taken for a ride I have clean the area and he is eating good very active very talkative so I don't understand whats wrong. is there something over the counter I can use. I notice that when I keep his wing open the area get very dry and I keep playing with him to move his wing around and it seam like it's getting better. Thank you very much for replying to my blog I 'm just lost in the area and it's just killing me that I have this problem.

once again thank you.


Sep 24, 2011
Cysts under wing
by: The Avian Vet

The pictures indicate a condition called axillary dermatitis. It is not related to feather cysts. It is caused by infections, moisture, and abrasions to the skin caused by skin rubbing due to missing feathers. This is a complicated and difficult problem to treat. Surgery is often a treatment option, but not to explore the cause, but to repair the lacerations and remove dead debris and infection.

Treatment mostly consists of wound management and prevention. I do not know what topical you are using, but if it is not helping, then it is hurting by keeping the area to moist. In my opinion, you need to go and see a specialist who is experienced with this kind of wound. Search on this site for one ?

Dr B

Sep 23, 2011
Wing problem
by: Tracie

I am so sorry! This must have come through when our Internet was out and I missed seeing that this one did not make it to Dr B. He will answer this within a few days.

Since the person that posted this did not inquire why it didn't get answered, hopefully they found an avian vet that helped them.

Sep 22, 2011
by: Anonymous

can somebody help this person

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