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Dr. G.
Dr. G., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 1248
Experience:  Bird and exotic animal veterinarian for over 16 years.
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i just found my cockatiel with a hole in one side of the face

Customer Question

i just found my cockatiel with a hole in one side of the face were the orgen part of them is found. also it does not have feathers were the hole is found. what it is?? and what can i do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for your question. Since this area is underneath the orange area, it is ear. Birds don't have external ears, just an external meatus. Check the other side and you will see the same thing.

The feather 'loss' could be normal (molting). If this is the case, you will see her have new spiky little feathers emerging soon. These can be itchy so you may see her itching and scratching some.

If she doesn't start to produce new feathers soon, she may have the feather loss due to an ear infection (this is not that common in birds). If this is the case, she will continue to scratch and you may see some wetness or discharge on the area. If you see this, she will need to see a vet to confirm the diagnosis and start treatment. She possibly could have hit her ear area on something and trauma caused some problems also. Again, if nothing improves - she needs a vet visit.

Please let me know if you have any more questions/concerns. Thanks,

Dr. G
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thanks for your answer you had made our night better. what can i do so she does not scrach and hurt herself it the ear
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 7 years ago.

I've shown many people their birds exams during physical exams and they had no idea they were there.

If there are the new feathers coming in (the pin feathers), these are itchy and if she will let you, you can very gently 'preen' these for her. This is just rubbing them in your fingers and this will remove the outer keratin sheath to reveal the new feathers.

If there aren't new feathers there and you don't see any coming through the skin, then she needs a vet visit to make sure her ear itself doesn't have a problem. If you don't know of an avian vet you can search (resources) or let me know where you live and I may be able to help with a referral.

There aren't any over the counter products I would recommend you use.

Thanks, let me know if you have more questions.

Dr. G