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Denver ER Doc
Denver ER Doc, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1478
Experience:  Small Animal Medicine and Surgery Internship, Veterinary Acupuncture trained, Wildlife and Exotics
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my lovebird is pulling feathers. he is 7 to 10 years old, has

Customer Question

my lovebird is pulling feathers. he is 7 to 10 years old, has been moved twice since March 31 st, he is eating well and poop looks normal, he is sitting erect, What should I look for? He was doing this 2 weeks before I brought him to my home the end if July. He can escape from his cage and he sits on top of it or gets into the parakeet's cage and keeps her company. They both came to my house at the same time.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Denver ER Doc replied 6 years ago.
Hi there, sorry to hear your bird is having trouble.

There are a whole list of things that cause feather-pulling, including parasites, disease, boredom, and stress. In your case, the likely culprit is stress, but this is difficult to prove without ruling out some of the other possibilities.

Starting from scratch, the workup to try to find a cause starts with a good physical examination as well as examination of the bird's history. Beyond that, a veterinarian might do a skin scraping to rule out parasites and may do some bloodwork to rule out systemic disease.

That can all get pretty expensive, however, so in some cases, when stress is high on the list, treatment may be attempted first.

Many birds who are thought to be stressed or depressed will be placed on mood elevating drugs temporarily to see if that fixes the problem. If it does, many birds can be slowly weaned down to the lowest effective dose or weaned off entirely once they are used to their surroundings.

That's sort of the quick, basic version. Happy to provide more information if you have any more specific questions.

Dr. Paul

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