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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30391
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My perikeet has a large scabbed are on his right rear area

Customer Question

hi My perikeet has a large scabbed are on his right rear area which he's picking at ,and is missing a few feathers. can I send you a photo ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Yes, I'd very much like to see a photo. You can use the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (not if you're using the chrome browser) or you can use an external app such as or I can be more accurate for you if I can see what you're seeing. Please use a macro lens if possible.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
here the photo of aj
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the photo. It indicates a uropygial gland (previously called the preen gland) disorder. The most common abnormality of the uropygial gland occurs from vitamin A deficiency. This may cause glandular metaplasia and hyperkeratosis. Birds on poor diets are likely to be vitamin A deficient. With hypovitaminosis A, a hyperkeratotic plug may form in the gland, which may be dislodged by gently massaging or milking the gland after moist hot compresses have been applied. Correction of the diet and perhaps an injection of parenteral vitamin A, will usually rectify the problem.
Neoplasia of the uropygial gland may occur. Adenomas, squamous cell carcinomas, papillomas, and adenocarcinomas have all been reported. Neoplasms may have variable appearances, may be unilateral or bilateral, and they may superficially ulcerate. I believe that AJ's gland may, indeed, be cancerous.
Infection may also occur in the uropygial gland. This may be secondary to hypovitaminosis A, immunosuppressive disease, such as that which occurs with Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD), or trauma. Infected glands may abscess.
An avian vet (please see here: can take a look at AJ's uropygial gland and tell you if AJ can be helped in a conservative fashion or, instead, will be lost to cancer of that gland. Please continue our conversation if you wish.