How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Vet Your Own Question

Vet
Vet, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 77
Experience:  I have spent many years in mixed practice, dealing with all the major species.
76153631
Type Your Vet Question Here...
Vet is online now

my african grey is plucking his feathers he is 12 years old

Customer Question

my african grey is plucking his feathers he is 12 years old and has not done this before
he has now doing it continuosly can you suggest an answer please
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Dan replied 2 years ago.
Hello!
Thank you for your question, I'm Dr. Dan and I'll try to help you.
What is in the best interest of your feathery friend is you need to find a bird savvy vet to take your bird to. Make sure you ask if this vet has dealt with feather loss before. The reason you need the vet and I can't help you very much online is because there are literally a hundred reasons feather loss can begin. Some are medical conditions, some are hormonal conditions, some are nutritional conditions and some are behavioral conditions. A vet is needed to take a detailed history and examine your bird to even begin to find a place to start. I can tell you these cases take a lot of time, patience and understanding on your part. There is almost never a quick shot, pill or fix to take care of this. If you want to try things on your own first, a good place to start is by purchasing the following things Birds for Dummies© written by Brian Speer, DVM, and the DVD called Captive Foraging© by Scott Echols, DVM. Here are a couple of other free resources to give you an idea about feather damaging. http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com/featherpic.pdf These items may get you a start but are much more effective if guided by a vet. I hope this helps, best wishes.
Dr. Dan
Expert:  Vet replied 2 years ago.
I certainly agree that feather plucking is a complex subject with no easy fixes. From a practical perspective, as long as your bird has a good body weight and appetite and is being fed with good quality food, the most likely causes are: parasites both internal and external, which can be diagnosed and eliminated by your vet, irritants such as plaster dust from building works or a new fabric cleaner, and stress. That last one is a big one. Just as we bite our nails when anxious, parrots can feather pluck. Think back carefully to when the problem started: what changed? New arrivals in the house? Noise outside? A change in routine? A surprisingly common cause I have found is sleep deprivation. The cage is usually sited in the family room, where there is activity and light until late. Birds tend to wake with the dawn light, so their sleep time is drastically reduced as we force them to adapt to our rhythms. Have a good think about this and get back to us if you come up with anything relevant. Often when the stressor is identified and corrected, the feather plucking remains but fades slowly over many months, only to flare up at odd times. The important thing is to manage the problem and minimise triggers to minimise flare-ups. Please keep us posted. All the very best Vet Andrew

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found ""JustAnswer"" on my Google search -- you are now in my ""Favorites"" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George
< Previous | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found ""JustAnswer"" on my Google search -- you are now in my ""Favorites"" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr Scott Nimmo

    Dr Scott Nimmo

    Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon.

    Satisfied Customers:

    133
    BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/VetAnswers/2013-4-5_8257_prof10.64x64.jpg Dr Scott Nimmo's Avatar

    Dr Scott Nimmo

    Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon.

    Satisfied Customers:

    133
    BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    2570
    2003 Graduate
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1840
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    865
    15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrRalston/2011-10-18_1611_Vet.64x64.JPG DrRalston's Avatar

    DrRalston

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    169
    Over twelve years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetdeb/Debbie Headshot 500.64x64.jpg Dr. Deb's Avatar

    Dr. Deb

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    96
    I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PE/petdoctor09/2011-12-14_51529_Picture1.64x64.jpg petdoctor09's Avatar

    petdoctor09

    Board Certified Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    72
    Veterinarian, General Practitioner