Parakeet Losing Feathers

Parakeet Losing Feathers

by Lisa Bright
(Valencia, CA)

Parakeet is losing feathers on his head.He is about 6 or 7 yrs old and very healthy, but he is losing feathers on the top of his head.

Any thoughts as to the cause?

Vet Suggestion Parakeet Losing Hair on Head

Hello Lisa,

Veterinarians tend to breakdown the causes of feather loss in parakeets into two main categories – medical or behavioral.Common medical causes include parasites and infections, some of which (e.g., psittacine beak and feather disease) can be very serious or even fatal.

Therefore, veterinarians first focus on ruling out the medical reasons why a bird might be losing feathers, first with a complete history and physical exam often followed by some diagnostic tests, which might include a microscopic exam of skin cells and feathers, blood work, or skin/feather biopsies.

Once the common medical causes of feather loss have been ruled out, the focus can turn to possible behavioral reasons.Most of the time, birds pull out their own feathers or otherwise traumatize them because of boredom or other forms of stress. Changing the birds environment and management will usually improve the situation, but in severe cases anti-anxiety medications may also be prescribed.

If you do not already work with a veterinarian who has experience with birds, take a look at the Association of Avian Veterinarian’s website to find one near you.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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