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Bald spot on head of my parakeet. Not sure what the problem…

Customer Question
Bald spot on head...

Bald spot on head of my parakeet. Not sure what the problem is and how to cure it

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is your parakeet's name and age?

Emerald. Not sure age we got him last September

Veterinarian's Assistant: How old is Emerald?

Not sure

Submitted: 21 days ago.Category: Pet
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Answered in 22 minutes by:
5/2/2018
Pet Specialist: Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist replied 21 days ago
Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11,836
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with over 40 years of experience keeping birds. I’m reviewing your question now and will be right back.
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Pet Specialist: Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist replied 21 days ago
I’m sorry to hear of Emerald’s problem. I’m working on some information for you now and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience.
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Pet Specialist: Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist replied 21 days ago

Thank you for waiting.

There are several reasons that birds lose their feathers on their heads,and it often spreads to the neck and back. Three of the most common are mites, nutrient deficiencies and insufficient light.

It's a good idea to add some fresh foods to the diet to make sure adequate nutrients are provided. Eggs are especially useful when birds are losing feathers. Try giving Emerald some mashed boiled egg with the completely crushed shell.You can add a few pieces of finely chopped green vegetables such as cucumber and cabbage. Many people still feed a diet consisting mostly of seeds, but recent research has shown that an all-seed diet is not good for birds. Pellets, supplemented with various fresh and healthy “people foods,” along with a few seeds make up a healthier diet. Birds that are fed mostly seeds tend to develop fatty liver disease, tumors, and other health conditions. However, if Emerald is used to eating mostly seeds, you’ll have to convert him to pellets gradually. The following two sites are where you can get reliable information on feeding and care. The second one has a section on converting from seeds to pellets, and applies to other birds as well as cockatiels.

http://www.4animalcare.org/birds

http://www.cockatiels.org/ownersandenthusiasts/converting-seed-junkie-to-pellets.htm

Birds need full-spectrum lighting (like the sun) every day in order to produce vitamin D in their bodies. Sunlight coming through a window doesn't work because the glass filters out some of the important rays. Without enough vitamin D, birds can't utilize calcium properly, and feather loss on the head or neck is one of the first signs. Pet stores sell UVB lights in the reptile section. Some pet stores even sell full spectrum lights just for birds. Here is an online source:

http://www.featherbrite.com/featherbrite-15w-full-spectrum-bu15.html

If you live in a warm southern climate, you can set the cage outside in the sun for an hour or so, but watch carefully to be sure he doesn't get overheated and that no predators bother him.

If an improved diet and lighting don't help, you'll have to do a little detective work. Mites, lice, and other parasites can cause feather loss on the head. If you examine a bird very carefully, you may be able to see these tiny bugs. Skin infections can also be to blame. If Emerald is rubbing his head on perches, cage bars, or anything else, that's a sign of itching. That could mean there's either an infection or a parasite. There are also internal parasites, such as worms or protozoans, that can cause feather loss. A few diseases do, too. If you suspect any of these things, you'll need to contact an avian vet. This link will help you find a vet:

http://www.avianweb.com/recommendedvets.htm

All this information may be overwhelming. You might want to start with improving the diet and providing the full-spectrum lighting. If that doesn’t help, make an appointment with an avian vet. Of course, if you can see tiny pests, don't wait to schedule a vet visit.

If you have more questions, just let me know. I'm glad to help. I hope Emerald will soon grow new feathers.

Anna

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service only after you have all the information you need. Thank you!

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Category: Pet
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Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.

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