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Patricia, Parrot Consultant
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 1759
Experience:  Published author, free lance bird behaviorist, adviser to the parrots at Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
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My cockatiel is biting under his wing, and he is bleeding ...

Customer Question

My cockatiel is biting under his wing, and he is bleeding very badly, we have sprayed him with mites medicine and gave him a bath and it doesnt seem to be working. He sits at the bottom of the cage most of the time. Now he is bleeding perfusively. from under his wing, he has bitten where under his wing is, and now he cant fly. Can i please have an answer.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Patricia replied 8 years ago.

Hi Tasha. The first thing you need to do right away is give him a good bath to get that mite "crap" off of him. That can be very dangerous, even for a bird in perfect health. As soon as you feel you have it off him, gently pat him as dry as you can get him, and put some corn starch, (second choice flour) on the spots that are bleeding. If that gets it stopped, that's good and do not mess with it, lest you start the bleeding again. Leave it alone until you can get to the vet with him. He is very ill and he needs to get in right away. Sitting on the cage floor is one of the more serious symptoms of a really sick bird. The blood loss is extremely dangerous for him and if the corn starch or flour does not stop it right away, he needs to go in as an emergency. Because I'm currently fighting this with one of my Tiels, I am 99.9% sure what you are dealing with. Unless this picking and bleeding started after you put the mite stuff on him, then he is very likely suffering from Giardia. Here is some more detailed information on this for you. Click here: NCS - Giardia in Cockatiels Click here: NCS - Giardia Infections As you will see from the articles, it makes them very itchy and uncomfortable and they will dig and pick at the area, (almost always under one or both wings) until they are bleeding. You will also see it requires a fecal test to be run, it's tricky to diagnose and it may take more than one test. That's because it can give a false negative. You are going to need a vet that is either a Certified Avian vet or one that has a lot of experience working with birds. Do not be bashful in quizzing them about their level of expertise. If they truly know birds, they will not mind you asking. But unfortunately, there are too many dog/cat vets out there who will not be up front with you and admit they don't really know birds; they will take your money, trying this, trying that, and it's your bird and your budget that suffer. This is a problem that can only be taken care of by a full strength antibiotic, prescribed specifically for your bird, based on body weight and other concerns. Do not waste your money on anything from a pet store either. If they had anything that would work, you would not be able to buy it without a prescription and you would definitely not foul his drinking water with it. In fact, stay away from all the over the counter junk in pet stores. It's either worthless, dangerous or both. But you cannot put this off. That bleeding has to get stopped and he has to get on the proper medication asap. The meds most often prescribed for birds are Baytril, Cipro or Flagyl. But, if this does test out to be Giardia, Baytil will not touch it. Until you can get him in, keep him warm, quiet and as stress free as possible. As soon as you get the bleeding stopped of course. The closer we can keep an ill bird to 85F, the better. I hope this helps and I hope you can quickly get the little guy to the help he needs. But, if you have more questions or if you need anything else at all, just let me know. Patricia

Click here: Parrots - Avian Vets Recommended - Judy Leach's Parrots - macaws, cockatoos, and african greys

Click here: Find your local Avian Veterinarian

Click here: Avian Veterinarians Recommended by Bird Breeders and Owners

Click here: Avian Vet List

Click here: BirdsnWays - Avian Veterinarians - Vets - Vet Services for Pet Parrots & Exotic Birds

This one looks like an advertisement for Harrison pellets but they are only

Expert:  Patricia replied 8 years ago.

That last link to vets got cut off. Sorry, here it is.

This one looks like an advertisement for Harrison pellets but they are only sold by vets so it's another good list to check. Click here: Harrison's Bird Foods is a family of certified organic pet bird diets that were formulated to make your bird as he

Expert:  Patricia replied 8 years ago.
Tasha. I'm worried about your bird, especially if he is still bleeding and picking at the area. Is there anything else I can do for you or him? Patricia

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