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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 30275
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Our bird is a parakeet. we purchased about 1.5 months ago

Customer Question

our bird is a parakeet. we purchased about 1.5 months ago from pet store. he can't fly and just yesterday we noticed BLOOD under both wings.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the bird?
Customer: our bird is a parakeet. we purchased about 1.5 months ago from pet store. he can't fly and just yesterday we noticed BLOOD under both wings.
JA: Where does the bird seem to hurt?
Customer: he doesn't "seem" hurt at all. he is moving around fine but when he lifts his wings to try to fly, there is blood underneath in between the feathers
JA: OK. No obvious pain. What is the bird's name?
Customer: Sprite :) my 11 year old is here with me. it's his pet :)
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the bird?
Customer: just that his wings seems short and he can not fly yet, which we think is unusual. he shares a cage with another parakeet that CAN fly at the same age
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Bird
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
i have a picture and can skype if you need to see him.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
i'm waiting! !
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
is anyone working on this yet?
very worried!
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
it said my wait would be 8 minutes and that's almost 4 hours ago!!!
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
i really need someone to respond. i'm going to bed.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Thank you for the photo. I see (coagulated?) blood which in most cases is the result of a "blood feather" (a newly emerged pin feather) that has been fractured through the feather shaft containing blood. This is treated by finding that feather(s) and plucking it from the skin. Transient bleeding might occur but stops promptly. Bleaching the are with 3% hydrogen peroxide can be helpful in finding the culprit. Here's more about this for you: http://www.tailfeathersnetwork.com/birdinformation/bloodfeathers.php/ Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Do you think we should take this bird to the vet? This is on both sides. Should I investigate to see if it is what you think first? Or is this something that needs to be handled immediately because of the blood and the size of the bird?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

Your investigating for broken feathers and removing them should suffice but if you're uncomfortable doing so, yes, an avian vet (www.aav.org) is best. Previously fractured pin feathers can bleed once again if disturbed. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
also, the blood is now dried. do the feathers HAVE To be removed? what if it isn't blood feathers? any other ideas?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

No, but removing them removes the possibility of their bleeding once again. The only other reason for bleeding under both wings is trauma from a fall with wings outspread. This would be apparent as badly abraded skin as revealed after bleaching away the blood.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
if there was trauma from fall, will the bloody areas heal themselves? we won't be able to perform the feather removal and i'm just trying to see if it's necessary to spend $200+ US to go and see a vet. if it was trauma, will it heal itself? since he can't fly, that's a possibility that he jumped off of something too high when he was out.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

Yes, and because these birds have such a high metabolic rate, healing is quite rapid. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.