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Feather Problems

Feather Problems in Birds: Treatment at Our Phoenix Veterinarian

Medical and behavioral problems can cause feather loss in exotic birds. Sometimes a bird is feather-picking out of an environmental frustration and sometimes a bird loses its feathers without picking due to illness. Understanding the difference and properly diagnosing the animal is a challenge that takes a trained specialist in bird care. At North Central Animal Hospital, we have that expertise through our owner, Dr. Hillary Frank, who holds the rare distinction of certification as a Diplomate by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP), specializing in Avian Practice. For feather problems in birds, treatment at our Phoenix veterinarian is comprehensive and compassionate.

young girl next to her pet bird

Behavioral Treatment for Bird Feather-Picking at Our Vet in Phoenix

If you have noticed your exotic bird is picking or plucking its feathers, take inventory of its environment and daily activities. Behavioral treatment for bird feather-picking at our vet in Phoenix starts with taking your pet's health history. Improper diet is one of the most common causes of feather-picking. We can recommend a diet rich in variety with high-quality pellets and colorful fruits and vegetables. A bird that is not stimulated may also pick at its feathers out of boredom or frustration. Lack of quality sleep (10 to 12 hours nightly) and infrequent bathing are also contributing factors. At your appointment, we will ask questions and carefully listen to best understand your pet's unique situation and then suggest changes for a happier, healthy bird.

Veterinary Care for Feather Loss from Illness

When feather problems are not caused by behavioral feather-picking, a disease may be the cause. A series of diagnostic tests will determine the proper veterinary care for feather loss from illness. At our state-of-the-art avian vet, we take blood work, skin biopsies, fecal tests, gram strains and cultures, radiographs (X-rays) and perform endoscopic examinations. We may start with a CBC (complete blood count) or biochemical profile of the animal and perform additional testing as needed. These tests help us determine if the cause is viral, such as beak and feather disease, bacterial, such as staphylococcal dermatitis, internal, such as liver and kidney diseases, or parasitical, such Giardia. Depending on the cause, treatment may include antibiotic, antiviral or anti-parasitic drugs. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for beak and feather disease; however, the disease can be prevented through proper hygiene and bird colony care.

Bird Appointments From Our Phoenix Vet

Annual examinations and regular grooming appointments are vital to a pet bird's health. Early diagnosis of illness is essential because in most cases, a bird will not show symptoms until the problem is far progressed. Call the exotic experts today for a bird appointment at our Phoenix vet, North Central Animal Hospital: (602) 395-9773.

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