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Discussion Starter #1
Now that we have his failing liver and recurring infections (AND the arthritis) mostly under control, my geriatric cockatiel is presenting with a new and mysterious affliction. The masses (lumps? clumps?) are on his back, where his wing is usually over the area. They're hard and white like chalk and do seem attached to his body. I don't know if they're painful; he acts like he's being murdered whenever I manhandle him, so it's hard to tell if this is worse than usual. We'll see the vet in the morning, but does anyone have any idea what this is?

My grumpy boy is at least 21. His name is Pretty Boy, or Peebles. Or Sweetheart Bird. Or Noodles. I call him a lot of things. I had a proper freakout when I first noticed the problem and am trying to stay calm now.
 

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I don't really know, but my guess would be some kind of abnormality involving the down feathers. Maybe they're not growing out normally, or are getting clumped up somehow after they grow out. If this is near the uropygial gland (preen gland) it might be something to do with that, but the location doesn't look quite right for that from what I can see in the picture.

Hopefully it's not too big of a problem and your vet will be able to fix it. Good luck!
 

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It looks like he's just not preening his powder down feathers as much as he should be so the powder is clumping up instead of shedding. Maybe because of arthritis? Does he bathe regularly?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
He gets spritzed with water a few times a week, but he's not much for splashing, and it's been cold lately so he hasn't been spritzed as much. We're seeing the vet later today; I'll report back! Thanks for weighing in--better to hear that it looks like keratin buildup than, like, a tumor.
 

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I definitely don't think it's a tumor. If anything, I think it might be some abnormal feather growth from the liver problems that may just be slow to catch up to that healing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
ingrown feathers

The prognosis is ingrown feathers, although we saw a different vet than we usually do. She said she could pull them, but since he wasn't plucking the area she'd rather not put him through the stress. She took more professional pictures for his file and left notes for his usual vet for after the holiday weekend, but I feel pretty reassured that it's not fatal. I guess I feel a little silly. He's worth it, though.

He lost a feather while we were maneuvering him for glamor shots, and it was a bit matted with powdery down. I'll feel better once we call the usual vet on Tuesday.

Thanks, friends!
 

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Poor Guy. Glad it's not something like a tumor :) Thanks for keeping us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The regular vet saw the photos and thinks they're cysts that need to be drained. Too bad the visit fee for the first vet is nonrefundable . . .
 

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It's my understanding that ingrown feathers and feather cysts are different words for the same thing. Skilled assistance is usually needed to solve the problem.
 
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