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 Dr. Taus Your Own Question

Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 459
Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
74956788
Type Your Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Taus is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a 2 year Goffin cockatoo. I bought him about 2 weeks

Customer Question

I have a 2 year Goffin cockatoo. I bought him about 2 weeks ago. He has what appears to be a "hot spot" on his chest. He picks at it constantly. At first I thought it was just part of his coloring and now I see that he has a little sore that he is constantly digging at. My other bird is a Senegal and I have no experience with pluckers. He doesn't seem to 'pick' at any other area just the one on his chest. I can't get him into a vet until Tuesday (today is Thursday) I have tried a product called "cease" in an attempt to deter but it doesn't seem to deter him at all. Please advise.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Taus replied 1 year ago.
Hi there,
Feather picking has both medical and psychological causes. Contrary to popular belief, external parasites like mites are pretty rare, but bacterial and fungal infections and other illnesses can trigger feather picking, so it's good that you're considering a trip to the vet when that becomes possible.

Any disruption in routine can trigger feather picking. Since you recently acquired your bird, it may be as simple as a change in home environment that is setting him off. Collars and sprays that are supposed to make feather picking more difficult can be stressful themselves, and they don't treat the cause of the feather picking. If he is not causing himself to bleed, your best course of action may be to just wait until next week when you can get to the vet and rule out a medical problem to address the problem. Other things you can try include:

-Continue giving him lots of interaction. Cockatoos need as much attention as the average 2 year old child. Try leaving a TV on when you aren't home, or move his cage to a high-traffic area of the house. Take stock of his cage furniture and toys, and rotate them if possible.

-Provide 'recreational feeding'-- foods like nuts, string beans, and snow peas-- that require time and effort to eat and help mitigate boredom.

-Mist him 1-2 times a day with water to encourage normal preening rather than picking and feather destruction.

-Understand that in non-mating, sexually intact birds, feather picking on the chest can be a sign of sexual frustration, may be hormonally driven, and may not go away unless he is kept with females in a breeding situation.

Again, if he is not causing himself to bleed, the feather picking is unsightly and a sign of psychological stress, but is not an imminent danger to his health. It also may take some time to mitigate and may reoccur later if he is stressed.

I hope this is helpful. If so, please rate me positively, and don't hesitate to let me know how I can help further.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am Not sure that this is feather picking . He seems to be preening himself on other areas on his body. Its just this one area at the base of his chest that seems to be the problem. There is a small scab / sore beginning. His feathers are discolored around the area so I believe it is bleeding a little bit not actively. He is eating well and is out of his cage about 5 hours a day and have plenty of toys. even when I am scratching him petting him, playing with him whatever he is still incessantly digging at that area.


I feel awful . But he seems content. So would you not use the bitter stuff? It doesn't seem to deter him at all.


No feathers are missing, it just seems to itch like crazy. Does that sound like feather plucking? As I said, he is grooming normally every where else. Do birds get hotspots? .


 

Expert:  Dr. Taus replied 1 year ago.
Birds get skin infections and feather follicle infections that can be similar to hot spots. If the bitter stuff isn't doing any appreciable good, I think I'd just discontinue using it.

Feather plucking/picking is really just an extension of normal grooming behavior into an obsession. Birds run a continuum from not taking care of their feathers, to normal preening, to feather plucking to the point of total baldness. Your vet should rule out a medical cause first, but the chest is a pretty common place to start picking even if the rest of the body is groomed normally.

The fact that he is damaging his skin makes me think that your vet may find a treatable skin infection. A lot of times feather pickers damage or break feathers, but they usually don't get the skin much. As long as it's not bleeding actively, I'd schedule an appointment for next week if possible, or as soon as you are available.

I know it's awful to see them scratching and uncomfortable. Since he's eating and drinking and playing with you, though, I think that you shouldn't beat yourself up too much about not being able to get in sooner :).



Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 459
Experience: Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
Dr. Taus and 5 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Taus replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Macy. How is everything going?

DrTaus
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Heading to the vet today. She has a sore on her chest. No feathers are missing but I just can't watch anymore.. gotta make sure there isn't something that we can do. Thanks for checking back. I appreciate it!


 

Expert:  Dr. Taus replied 1 year ago.
That certainly sounds like more than simple feather plucking. I'm glad you are getting her seen. I hope it clears up quickly!

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

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 Boca Raton, FL
< Last | 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 Boca Raton, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • 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 Los Angeles, CA
  • 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 Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • 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 Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    2630
    UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    2630
    UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1656
    12 years of small animal veterinary medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1451
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PC/pcbobber/photo.64x64.JPG Dr. Bob's Avatar

    Dr. Bob

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1306
    35 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    865
    12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1889
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • /img/icons/shirt.jpg Dr. Jenn's Avatar

    Dr. Jenn

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1225
    Practicing small animal medicine since 2004 , also involved in working with animal rescue groups.