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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 27384
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My cockatiel pulled out all of his tail feathers and is

Customer Question

My cockatiel pulled out all of his tail feathers and is itching a lot and it looks like he's got dandruff! What can I gii
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Using the wrong medication for fleas can be dangerous. You should definitely talk to the Veterinarian. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: His name is Buddy! And he's about a year old!
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Buddy?
Customer: No! He's a happy bird! I'm just freaking out on all the dandruff looking stuff that's coming off his body!
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Buddy. Malnutrition is the most common cause of the excessive scaling you're seeing. The associated pruritis (itchiness) is consistent with such a dermatitis and the pruritis may be compounded by Buddy molting at this time which could also be contributory to his pulling out his tail feathers. What has Buddy's diet consisted of, please? Seeds should compose less than 20% of his diet. A diet of mainly seed and nuts has excessive fat, carbohydrates, and phosphorus; marginal protein; adequate vitamin E, and are deficient in amino acids, calcium, available phosphorus, sodium, manganese, zinc, iron, vitamins A, D3 (necessary for efficient absorption of calcium), K, and B12, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, choline, and available niacin. Ideally, a balanced pelleted diet such as can be found here: www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com or here: www.lafeber.com/pet-birds should be fed as well as hard boiled egg yolk, pancakes and cornbread, the tops of fresh greens, dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, fresh fruits such as apples, pears, melon, kiwi, and berries, vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, beets, asparagus, cabbage, sweet potato, and squash, and even tiny pieces of meat.

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