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Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
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Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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We have a golden Maccaw, age ? Weve had him for about 8 years

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We have a golden Maccaw, age ? We've had him for about 8 years having been passed down to us from my husbands uncle who had him about 12 years .
The only 2 people who can handle him are our bird groomer and my husband. The bird groomer was here 5 weeks ago and noticed a small lump on his face right at the line where the feathers stop and skin begins. She told us to keep an eye on it and said it possibly was a pinfeather or something more serious. Since then, it appears that the lump has flattened out and grown a bit.
Four years ago we moved to this town. It's very small and does not even have a decent human hospital.I have no idea who to take our maccaw to. We live in Tehachapi CA.
Do we need to take him to the vet. ? Can you tell me if this is common for Maccaws ?
Do you have any idea if there is an avian vet close to us?
Thank You for any help you can give us.
Peggy Portanova
Hi there,

I'm always a bit concerned about lumps in the skin that are getting larger. It may be a problem with a feather follicle (a pinfeather, like your groomer suggested, or a feather cyst, which grows as it fills with keratin from the skin cells inside it). However, it could also be a small abscess or something more serious (birds do get skin tumors, but they are rare).

If you can see it getting bigger, I'd recommend having it checked out, just to make sure it's not infectious and that it is not something that is going to affect his overall health. If it is something that needs to be removed, it should be addressed while it is small, because it is close to his eye and a bigger lesion is harder to remove and repair without damaging other tissues. If it's just a cyst, you can rest assured that it won't harm your bird.

I'm from Wisconsin, so I don't have a lot of connections in California. There are, however, avian veterinarians in Bakersfield. This is one I found on a brief search (although I don't have personal experience with them).

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