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. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28967
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Type Your Bird Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Michael Salkin is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a 29 year old conure that has developed a large scab

Customer Question

I have a 29 year old conure that has developed a large scab near her oil gland that will not heal. She worries it constantly and bleeds on an off. Is it safe to put an antibiotic ointment for humans on it? It has been there for over a month and will not heal on it's own. There are no avian vets within 30 miles.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I understand your concern. When the uropygial (preen) gland appears as you've described it's either impacted and infected or, more commonly, there's a cancer associated with it - particularly at Birdie's advanced age. Ointments should be avoided if only because Birdie will ingest whatever you apply and birds don't tolerate such drugs well. Potentiated iodine (Betadyne, e.g.) is safe but you're going to need to make the drive to an avian-oriented vet (please see here: to clarify what's going on with the gland. The best scenario would be that an impacted gland were debrided and flushed with an antimicrobial solution; the worst scenario would be a cancer that had already metastasized - unfortunately, a common event in our birds.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Birdie. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin