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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16230
Experience:  As a veterinary surgeon, I have spent a lot of time with bird cases and I'm happy to help you.
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My parakeet has a fingernail size lump on her shoulder it

Customer Question

My parakeet has a fingernail size lump on her shoulder it doesn't seem to hurt her but it can't be good. The lump is bare of feathers.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian & I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Now I share your concern here about this lump. The dilemma with lumps in our birds is that we can have a range of issues cause them (ie abscesses, cysts, xanthomas, ingown feathers, nasty cancers, etc.) And if we are not proactive, we can see them cause real trouble. This can be due to abscesses being left to linger, rupture, or spread infection. But it can also be an issue when we have masses (beign and cancerous) that are allowed to grow until they are not longer something we can safely remove. As well, even cysts can cause issue once they fill and then split the skin (leading to rupture and secondary infection). And I have to note, being a prey species, many birds will pretend like these don't cause issue when they are actually uncomfortable for them,

With this all in mind, the best way to approach an abnormal lump like this is to have your vet evaluate the lump via fine needle aspiration (FNA). This is where the vet uses a needle to harvest cells from the lump. If they remove pus, then this tells us that there is infection present and antibiotics can be dispensed. If clear or slightly blood stained fluid is removed, then a cyst would be suspect and those can be removed or drained as need be. Otherwise, if the above are not found, then the cells they harvest can be stained and the identity of the nature of the lump can be determined and whether it is something that is concerning or needs more serious treatment.

Overall, we always have to tread with care when we see any size lump in our birds. Its great that you have picked this up while it is still small and the next step here would be to be proactive, get it checked, and have it treated or removed as needed to avoid it causing any future issue for her.

Just in case you do need an avian vet and do not have one already, you can check where you can find one at near you at:

AAV (http://www.aav.org/search/), Avian web (http://www.beautyofbirds.com/recommendedvets.htm), Lafeber database (http://lafeber.com/pet-birds/find-an-avian-vet/) or Birdsnway (http://www.birdsnways.com/birds/vets.htm).

All the best and happy holidays,

Dr. B.

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