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Discussion Starter #1
I have a question about one of the tiels that I rescued...Rambo has grown back in a lot of his missing feathers from when we took him in. I think everyone on here knows his story, but to make a long story short. He was found out in the wild and was missing his crown feathers, one side of his cheek was badly picked where you could see the ear hole, the top of his head had a gash and a hole in it. I have tried to get him healthier and with lots of TLC he was starting to really look nice. His feathers were starting to look healthier and I was so happy.
Last night I noticed he had a lot of feathers in his cage...not to mention I watched as he scratched and chewed and literally ripped feathers out.:eek:
I was thinking that it might be mites...not sure though. I just gave him a bath and noticed that he became soaked very quickly...my other normal gray did not, the water just kept rolling off of his back.
I am worried, what should I do about this...I do not want him to get sick.
I also noticed yesterday that a couple of his poops were kind of reddish looking instead of the normal brownish/greenish color. Any help would be greatly appreciated. He is also really NIPPY with me today...more than usual...almost like he is not feeling well or something.
 

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Can you give more info. Like specifically where he is pulling out feathers? For example if under the wings, along the inside of the legs, on the shoulders...this could be giaridia, or an allergic reaction to symthetic vitamins in the food/pellets. If on the rump above the tail this could be an indication of impaired kidney function or an infection.

If mites you would see them on him depending on the type of mite. With red mites you would see tiny black specks moving along the skin hear the crest, under the wing pit and where the feathers meet the ankle...because these areas are rich in blood sources, and red mites feed from blood. If feather mites or lice, the main result from them is sometimes feather damage and the bird acting restless and constaintly preening the length of the flight and tail feathers. The 2nd row in this album shows what to look for: http://s525.photobucket.com/albums/cc331/Mousebirds-and-more/Other%20birds/Health%20Issues/

What has he been eating a 1/2 to 1 hour prior to the odd looking poop? Sometimes what they eat can change the color of the poop. If it is not food related, and has a reddish look...if it looks like rust this can be internal bleeding high up in the GI tract, and if reddish and more like fresh blood this is lower in the GI track. The best way to check if it is blood is to smear some on a white piece of paper and hold it up to the light to see the actual colors. Also is the urine clear colored or colored?
 

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I just gave him a bath and noticed that he became soaked very quickly...my other normal gray did not, the water just kept rolling off of his back.
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You might want to check the preen gland. Shown below is one on a baby...the little nub of flesh. On an adult it should be a little biggest than this and the same color. It it is blocked or impacted it will be swollen and have a yellowish look to it. Sometimes gentle sqeezing will help to empty the build up of dried oils in a blocked/impacted preen gland.

The preen gland is what the bird uses to distribute oils throught its bosy feathers to help repel water and mainatain some of their body heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you srtiels...after looking at the pics...I would say that he has feather lice. He has those type of lines in his tail feathers. uggg! I thought it was just the color of his feathers.
I thought he may have mites so I sprayed him with mite spray after he had his bath and he was fully dry. What can I do about the lice? I just took him out of his cage to get a really good look at his tail...one of his tail feathers was hanging down so I barely pulled at it and it came right out. There was no blood, but he has a couple more that are looking really badly. You can tell he is over preening himself.
He is biting around his chest area and his lower back area ALOT. He is also molting on top of all of this...he has several new feathers coming in on the back of his head. I will take a picture of him so you can see what I am talking about.
As for the droppings, he has only been eating seeds and avicakes...he will not touch any vegetables. His dropping are the greenish/brown color again now. It was only the one time that it was (rusty red)looking. There were two droppings where he was perched...I know it was his, because my other tiels were not around him.
I am getting really concerned about him...please help me if you can.
 

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OK...if you suspect he does have mites or lice, there is a good chance that they will also get on the other birds. Most commercial sprays work by making the mites get off the bird. When off the host bird they die very quickly. But if the quickly relocate to another bird then that bird becomes the host.

You can either go to a vet, which he/she will most likely give you something like Ivermectin to treat with. Until you get to a vet, if you have some Sevin Dust 5% a cottonball can be dipped into the dust and used as a small powderpuff to blot on the underside of the wings, and the underside of the tail.

Watch the new pinfeathers coming in...if it is a red mite problem a mite will nip at the tip or the base and use this like a staw to draw blood...which you will see a slight bleeding at the base or tip of the pinfeathers. If it is a red mite problem, many times a secondary problem is tapeworms. If feather or lice, this is more of a cosemtic problem and an irratant to cause the bird to be restless.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you so much for the advice srtiels...
I am going to go and get some of the sevin dust now. I should treat all of my birds, right. I only put it under the wings and the tail...not on top? Is this so they do not eat any of it? I am going to take both cages completely apart and soak them in HOT water, can I use a little bit of bleach or should I just stick to the vinegar? Poor Rambo looks so miserable right now:(
Will the sevin dust get rid of the problem...do I need to repeat more than once?
 

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You can pat it on their body...just have your hand over the face so that it does not get in the eyes.

One time I had almost 600 tiels with the feather mites. My vet had me use Frontline spray on them. I had to put it in a purse sized mister and just did a quick squirt under each wing and tail and within 1 hour they were gone.

What I did was pull several flight feathers from several birds. I had a magnifier glass to look at the center vein of the feather to see if there were mites. I misted some with Frontline, and dusted some with Sevin Dust 5% to time how long each worked. BOTH treatments worked fine.

At the time I also did experiments to see the effectivemness of Scalex and the cage protector, and learned that they are not as effective because the mites/lice may get off the birds, but the eggs stay on them and hatch out and you have the same problem again. Wheras with the Frontline and Sevin dust, one treatment did the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was going to ask you about Scalex, because that is what I used on two of them this morning...and to be honest I have not seen much improvement, if any at all.
One treatment with the sevin dust should work...I am running to get some from the store after dinner. I did not make it earlier...had other stuff I had to do. Will they stop this never ending biting and itching and carrying on...I mean does it stop pretty quickly?
WOW...600 tiels at the same time having it...I am freaking out with 4 of mine...do I need to completely wash the cages? They were just fully cleaned a couple of days ago. I mean do I need to wait until the treatment has been successful, or do I need to do it a few times in the process? Thank you for all of your help:)
 

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You can just rinse down your cage with warm soapy water. OK...you can make your own spray for around the room, near the cage, and under the cage tray liner. Take 1 heaping tablespoon of Sevin dust and dissolve it in 1 quart of water. Pour into a mister to spray room, and surrounding areas.

It will take a day for them to act less itchy. What you will see is alot of preening within a day of the flight feathers and tail feathers to get rid of any dead bugs. By this time thtiels would have shaken off the excess dust so that it will not bother them when preening.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
All birds are treated...I am itching like crazy now...can humans be affected by these things? It is probably in the mind.
Rambo started chewing almost right away:(
They can not be poisened by this stuff, right?
I know you said it would be shaken off by the time they started chewing, but with Rambo it was right away. I will let you know tomorrow how they are doing:)
have a good night.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Okay...thank you again...the knowledge you have about tiels is amazing. How long have you been a breeder. You are such an asset to this forum:)
Of course so is everyone else...we all help in some way or another. Even if it is moral support and not knowledge.
By the way, my husband is freaking out...he is itching like crazy right now...I told him not to worry because srtiels said it is all in our head:D
He thinks I am addicted to this forum...I think he is right.
 

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TeilMom...LOL...you'll have to tell your husband to hop in the shower and the itching feeling will go away :)

Thanks for the complements. I've been breeding since the early 1990's. I had several hundred tiels at one time, and with that many it was like a city with so many things going on all the time,...so my tiels taught me alot.

The very first vet I went to was a dog and cat vet, with a clinic close to where I lived. He had some pet birds so he was studying Avian Medicine Books to learn more about them. I went to him in a panic because I had a baby that had a slow crop and was just barely digesting. He took the baby over to the sink and turned it upside down and emptied the crop out. He had told me to mix plain yogurt in it's formula and it would be fine in a few days...which it was. Before I left he told me to invest some $$ in Avian medicine books. I have the hardcover book that is in the link (Avian Medicine Online) at the top of the health section. He was old and retiring so I had to eventually find another vet. I went thru several at first, and learned to work with ONLY the vets that would take the time to discuss the birds problems, and willing to teach me how to do things so that I did not have to run back for every little problem. I consider those vet visits and the expence a 'paid education' Overtime I started taking pix's and saving them for future references. For me it is easier to look at a pix to see what is going on or use pix to show what I am talking about.

As to this forum...it is a GREAT forum, with so many WONDERFUL people contributing their experiences. And we each learn from each other :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
wow, that is awesome:) That was a lot to take on...what got you interested in breeding birds? It was nice of some of the avian vets taking you in under their wing to help you out like that...I know that vets here are only out for the almighty dollar...I used to work for one. Do you know we do not have an avian vet around my area. There is one about 50 miles North of us. I am sure there are a couple south of us in West Palm or Jupiter, but I try to not go in that direction, if I can avoid it. I have called around at all the local vets and they can see birds, but they are not specialized in them. There is one vet who sees small animals, not sure if he is avian vet too...but I tried to get a job there a while back and they did not hire me, so I am reluctant to go there. I was not certified YET.:p
Anyway, the shower did help and he was not as itchy anymore.:wacko: I am up this early, because I had a bad dream that my tiels died from that sevin dust stuff and I freaked out and jumped out of bed...:eek:I was so relieved to see them still sitting on their perches when I checked on them. Hope I did not scare them when I did that, they did not seem to mind...:rolleyes:I do not think they even noticed me. :zzz:

Oh yeah, as far as the preen gland goes...is that located at the top and the base of the tail? How in the world can I check to see that, when he will barely let us hold him in a towel? I checked as best I could, but I do not see anything.
 

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LOL...I know the feeling of worrying about the Sevin Dust :) I was the same way at first. Back then many people suggested to put the dust in a paper bag...toss in the bird, and shake it up in the bag of dust! I just couldn't do that. And learned that dusting the flights and tail were just as good.

Yes...the preen gland is located at the top, at the base of the tail. If blocked or not working right the feathers there may even have a greasy look.

Someone gave us a pair of grey tiels in '93. I knew nothing about them and they started to lay. My first venture was a cardboard box with newspaper as bedding. I would up with all hatching, but 2 babies with spraddle leg due to improper bedding. At the time I was a single parent with 2 young girls, and self-emploted doing dollhouse furniture. I got burnt out doing the dollhouse furniture, and thought it would be nice to breed cockatiels...so I jumped right in.

As to vets, even if you don't have a true certified avian vet if they are willing to research and learn that is good. Even better if the lab they work with will also process avian specimans and cultures it can be benefical.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Goodness girl...You have quite a story there, ever thought of writing a book? I am serious!
It is funny that you mentioned along time ago how they suggested you put the dust and bird in bag and shake it up...because when I looked up what to do (this is before I heard from you) I was reading how you put your bird in a bag and close it and KEEP the bird in there for 24 hours and I was like WHAT??!!??? Then I reread it and it was talking about a stuffed bird or something. lol
Anyway, I wanted to say thanks AGAIN for your help...my tiels have been much happier today and do not seem near as restless:)
Rambo is preening a lot but he is also relaxing too, which yesterday he could not really do, because I guess they were bugging the crap out of him...he has been NICER today too. I will try and find his oil gland tonight and do what I need to do to help him.
His feathers actually look really dry compared to usual. I do not want to bother him too much today. I will let you know how he is doing later. I still see the black lined in his tail feathers, but he is not picking near as much. Are they DEAD in there? I remember you saying something about them picking them off...
As for the oil gland and dry feathers, I have some spray that is supposed to help with replacing some oil into the feathers and help with molting and dry skin and all, can I use that after using the sevin dust or do I need to wait?
 

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I am a certified vet assistant, I would love to look into continuing my education...I want to go into Aviary field...I worked with dogs, cats and other small animals, but I prefer birds :) I learned a lot of basics about bird care... Out of all of my studies...the chapters on aviary medicine was by far the most interesting...go figure, I love them so much.:love:
Thank you for the articles...when I get some ME time I will read them. It is hard to get ME time with 3 children...ages 14, 9, 4 (it seems like I am needed 24/7) LOL
 
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