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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian with a heavy emphasis on avian medicine
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 2808
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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I have out vaseline on my bird to stop him from feather

Customer Question

i have out vaseline on my bird to stop him from feather plucking. i want to remove the vaseline now, how can i do it?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about your bird and vaseline removal. I'm so sorry you're in this situation, but glad you're looking for the information you need. You may join the conversation by typing in what you want to say then clicking REPLY. That way we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided.
To start with, you'll need to bath your ringneck with a diluted solution of Dawn dishsoap. Fill the kitchen sink partway with warm, soapy water. Work the suds into the Vaseline. With a great deal of patience and soaking and rubbing, you'll be able to get the Vaseline out. It may take multiple baths over several days to get it all out. Be sure to rinse the suds thoroughly before finishing. You'll also want to be sure you can put your ringneck in a warm, sunny place so she can dry without getting chilled. Towel dry her first. Some birds will tolerate gentle use of a blow-dryer on low.
The second thing I want to mention is that I'm afraid you've been given some bad advice. Feather picking is a very common and very frustrating problem with no single cause and oftentimes no solution. Putting Vaseline on your bird, however, is not something recommended by any avian veterinarian to solve this problem. Putting Vaseline on a bird is only likely to make more problems.
I'm so sorry this has happened, but I'm hopeful you'll be able to reverse any damage that has been done with a series of baths in Dawn dishsoap.
Please rest assured I am here to help.
Please remember I am here for you and am happy to discuss this with you until you are satisfied with the information I've provided.
You may return to this page at any time to review the information and/or post more. I will be notified of your response via email and will do my best to help.
If you are satisfied with the information I've provided so far, I'll kindly ask you to rate my response on your way out of the chat, as this is the only way I am compensated for my time and effort.
If you are not, please let me know how else I may be of assistance.
Thank you for using our website.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Dr Jo,

Thanks for your message.

I have been to several Doctors for my bird's health. She also has some noise while breathing as through her nostrals are blocked like we do in Flu. She is not exaclty plucking her feathers but she ends up chewing them when they grow. Is there way I can stop her from doing thing?

Much appreciate your advice


Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your response. Noise while breathing (like nasal congestion) is a serious sign in birds. It can be caused by a variety of different things...
-a bacterial sinus infection
-a fungal sinus infection
-a viral infection
-the presence of a foreign body or irritant in the nasal passages (Vaseline included)
-the presence of a tumor in the nasal passages
Because birds are masters at hiding signs of illness and often don't show any symptoms at all until the problem is quite advanced, it's best to have any symptoms at all checked out by an experienced and qualified avian veterinarian as soon as possible. That way they can do the necessary testing to determine the source of the problem and prescribe the necessary treatment.
The syndrome you describe of chewing up the feathers as they grow in sounds like what we call OVERPREENING. This can occur because of a variety of medical and nutritional problems, or simple be the result of behavior.
Again, the key to success in preventing it is to find out WHY she is doing it. It may even be the case, for example, that she is doing this because she has a sinus infection. If that's the case, eliminating the sinus infection is likely to eliminate her tendency to overpreen.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
There is a great deal of really helpful information on this webpage about steps you can take to minimize overpreening if it's strictly a behavioral issue.
Please check it out. I'm sure you'll find it very helpful.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
As I said, there is a lot of information on that webpage. It's a really good resource. If you have any questions after reading through it, please let me know and I'll be happy to help.
Please remember that you can return to this thread at any time to post more and I'll be notified via email. You may do that even after accepting my answer and rating my response so that I receive credit for helping you.
Thanks again!
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Just checking in to ask how things are going with your ringneck. I know you've got a difficult problem to solve and I'm happy to help any way I can.
Thank you.