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Urgent Anybody ever seen this skin condition?

hyacinthlove

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We had a rough winter and our house was very cold so he had a heater next to his cage to keep him from getting too cold, especially at night. When I first found the scabs I thought he had just scratched himself raw from being too dry (believe me, I was sick about it. I did my best to keep him from getting too cold only to dry him out and harm him anyway!). They were mostly on his back, under his wings and on one of his flanks, worst on the right side (which, interestingly, is the side facing AWAY from the heater).

He had been very quiet lately and subdued, which I attributed to the cold, but after seeing his skin I realized he was feeling awful and probably ill. I began applying raw coconut oil to his skin every day and keeping a wet towel hanging over his heater to up the humidity in his cage area (don't trust humidifiers, and the towel gets rotated and washed regularly).

At the recommendation of a veterinarian I switched his diet from mostly macadamias and some fruits/veggies to Roudybush pellets and macs (which I have to soften into mush and combine them to get him to eat the pellets). I have also been adding spirulina and cayenne to his mash.

I am pretty sure that the combination of the cold, a not-ideal diet and dry heat combined to lower his immune system, which is why I am doing everything I can think of to improve it (I also just got some Vetri-DMG yesterday, which I am mixing in with his mush, 13 drops). And I assume that heading into moult doesn't help either. But I can't find anything anywhere about any macaw skin problems that look like this!

He is in perfect feather. Bright blue (he's a hyacinth), no barring. He's not a plucker (which is why it took me so long to notice his skin condition--he looks fine from the outside!). He has no respiratory symptoms, no sneezing (unless he purposefully digs in his nose to sneeze). He perches fine. He is very low energy though, not being mischevious and obnoxious, and is very touchy about being bumped or moved.

I've been keeping him with me in my office as much as possible to keep a better eye on him. He is chilly (it's still pretty cold here) and shivers more than he used to. I attribute that to lowered immunity but his skin also looks a lot more bare than it used to. I don't know if that's because his feathers are sticking together more because of the coconut oil applications or because he has plucked out all his little downy feathers while scratching (I cleaned his cage and cage area thoroughly and there were no feathers, but a lot of dust and fuzz).

I don't believe it is mites, as his itchiness seems worst in the mornings and during the day rather than at night. And there's no crustiness around his nares or legs.

One of the curious things about the scabbing is that there are these large yellow patches that look like calluses. I thought at first they were scabs, but I think he picks those and they turn into scabs. In the places where they appear many of the surrounding feathers also have yellowing around the shafts (normally his feather shafts are a clear whitish color). To me that looks fungal.

The coconut oil definitely helped soothe him, and has even healed a number of his wounds significantly, but the issue isn't going away (in fact, new areas have popped up!) and his feathers are now a greasy, tacky mess. Yesterday I switched from coconut oil to applying colloidal silver to the wounds and calluses, and it seems to be helping.

So has anyone had any experience with this kind of skin issue?

To recap:
- extreme itchiness, but more in the morning/day than at night
- scabbing and bleeding (from scratching/picking)
- low energy (not quite lethargy, but definitely not his normal self)
- no respiratory symptoms
- reduced tolerance to cold
- very sensitive to touch or movement (his skin hurts!)
- wounds responding to coconut oil application but reappearing in new areas
- yellow calluses / thickened skin patches
- slight thickening/yellowing of the feather shafts in the vicinity of calluses
- feathers are beautiful and in good condition, no plucking or feather mutilation

I also just discovered, in all my research trying to figure out what the heck this skin thing is, that he has the beginning stages of bumblefoot! I always thought it was just rub marks from how he sits, but one of them is turning a bit red, so I put some colloidal silver on it (he is not lame, but has been holding it up lately while sitting on his perch and sleeping) and will be scrubbing his perches down this afternoon.

Sorry for the wall of text, I'm trying to be as thorough as possible because I just can't find anything anywhere that seems to match what's going on with him!

And yes, I know the first answer is "you need to take him to a certified avian vet" but if that were a possibility right now I wouldn't be posting in a forum.

Please, if you have any ideas of what this might be, or experience with a similar issue, I would appreciate some insight.

Thank you.

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Hankmacaw

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Your poor guy looks pretty miserable. Is the reason that you can't take him to a vet due to money or distance? I have no idea what is going on with him, but I know you must keep him warm - he is sick.

My vet has made me promise to never give or put cayenne pepper on my bird. It does burn, actually burn, the skin and their insides.

The coconut oil will clog his pores so SSD or Vetericin lotion would be better. He should be bathed very often. https://www.amazon.com/American-Bio...qid=1524351353&sr=8-4&keywords=ssd+cream&th=1 or Amazon.com: vetericyn plus all animal wound & skin care treatment: Pet Supplies

The Vetri-DMG should be given at .5ml morning and night for two weeks then reduced to .25 ml morning and night from then on. It is very effective, but your dosage is too low. It does take several weeks for effects to show.

I'm not super familiar with the dietary needs of Hyacinths, but they do need some vegetables and a very few fruits. You say it is very cold where you live, so I'd guess that the bird is not getting any direct sunshine - not filtered through glass. he needs sunshine to produce D-3 and utilize calcium. He could have a multitude of illnesses, but most likely its a vitamin and mineral deficiency. Is he plucking his feathers?

I hope you can find out what is wrong and start addressing it directly.

 

Hankmacaw

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iamwhoiam

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Poor guy. As per @Hankmacaw regarding Vetericyn you can try Skin and Wound Care or Antimicrobial Hydrogel Exotic Care - Vetericyn Animal Wellness
You can purchase from Amazon. I hope that your Hyacinth will be OK and that you can find out what is causing this and treat it correctly. I realize you commented about not going to the vet right now but if you can somehow get him to one that would be the best thing.
 

camelotshadow

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Hmmmmm...the yellow concerns me & I can't recall why...

Really needs a vet to do a scrap & culture & slide view...could eb fungus could be bacterial could be diet...Too many could be's & your bird needs a answer!

Good to know someone also agrees that hot pepper can burn a birds skin.

He should not be shivering...he could be cold or he could be in pain...



He needs medical care.. A sick bird needs to be kept very warm.
 
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Begone

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We had a rough winter and our house was very cold so he had a heater next to his cage to keep him from getting too cold, especially at night.
He is chilly (it's still pretty cold here) and shivers more than he used to.
don't trust humidifiers,
I don't know if you understand that you have a parrot that needs a warm and humid climate. If you can't provide him what he needs let him go to someone that can.
He had been very quiet lately and subdued, which I attributed to the cold,
- extreme itchiness, but more in the morning/day than at night
- scabbing and bleeding (from scratching/picking)
- low energy (not quite lethargy, but definitely not his normal self)
- reduced tolerance to cold
- very sensitive to touch or movement (his skin hurts!)
- wounds responding to coconut oil application but reappearing in new areas
- yellow calluses / thickened skin patches
- slight thickening/yellowing of the feather shafts in the vicinity of calluses
I can't believe that you not are taken him to the vet. :(
feathers are beautiful and in good condition,
No they are not!
 

Macawnutz

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First I notice, your bird has no downy feathers, yes he is plucking. Second, I'm on my phone still so the photos are not clear. It resembles scabbing to me.

Remove anything greasy, clear baths often, baths promote healing. I have seen the yellow feather bases on my hys. I can't recall if they still have them.. I will look at some molten feathers in a bit. I believe no but I will double check.

You do need a vet. Even if you need to apply for a care credit card. Easy approval process with those and great financing offers.
 

hyacinthlove

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@Hankmacaw and @Macawnutz thank you for your thoughtful replies. You too, @camelotshadow

ou say it is very cold where you live, so I'd guess that the bird is not getting any direct sunshine - not filtered through glass. he needs sunshine to produce D-3 and utilize calcium. He could have a multitude of illnesses, but most likely its a vitamin and mineral deficiency.
I take him out and sit in the sun with him whenever it is sunny/warm enough to do so. The next few days promise to be warmer so I will be spending as much time outside in the sun with him as possible. I did consider diet first, which is why I have started feeding Roudybush.

My vet has made me promise to never give or put cayenne pepper on my bird. It does burn, actually burn, the skin and their insides.
I have heard many mixed reviews about this, but I prefer to err on the side of caution so I will remove it.

The coconut oil will clog his pores so SSD or Vetericin lotion would be better. He should be bathed very often.
I bathe him as much as he will let me. And I was getting concerned about the coconut oil. It did dramatically help a couple of his scabby spots and made him feel much better (he calms down when I apply it) but it stays on his feathers. My main concern was using something that would not be toxic to him. I will look into the Vetericin.

The Vetri-DMG should be given at .5ml morning and night for two weeks then reduced to .25 ml morning and night from then on. It is very effective, but your dosage is too low. It does take several weeks for effects to show.
Thank you for this advice. The directions on the bottle say 1 drop per 100 grams of body weight. Is it ok to give it with food? He takes it fine if I mix it with his mash but I know that squirting it directly in him would be an issue.

First I notice, your bird has no downy feathers, yes he is plucking. Second, I'm on my phone still so the photos are not clear. It resembles scabbing to me.
Yes! That is what I thought. His feathers are sticking together a bit from the coconut oil, making the skin visible on his legs etc, but it still looks like WAY more skin than I'm used to seeing. And yes, some of it is scabbing. But the other stuff, the yellow bits in the photos, are different. They're not bloody like the scabs, though they sit on top of the skin like one. Also, some of the places where they occur, as I said, have some yellowing and thickening of the feather follicles as well, so I'm pretty sure they're not scabs. I think they are forming on his skin and he is picking them and turning them into scabs.

Hmmmmm...the yellow concerns me & I can't recall why...
It does me too. I wish I knew what it was.
 

iamwhoiam

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Xanthomas are fatty tumors that are yellowish-orange. Thickened skin areas, masses.
 

Hankmacaw

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Kiwiscremsong

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Maybe try giving him a bath. It might help the dead skin wash off and/or help it heal?
 

Erikalynnha

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Xanthomas are fatty tumors that are yellowish-orange. Thickened skin areas, masse
^^^^Was just going to suggest this.

Xanthoma: is a mass or thickened area of the skin which is orange-yellow in color and dimpled like an orange. They are clumps of cholesterol combined with lipids (fat).
 

enigma731

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I think the yellow is granulation tissue from wounds that are trying to heal and then being reopened. You really, really do need a vet, at the very least to rule out infection.
 

Garet

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He had been very quiet lately and subdued, which I attributed to the cold, but after seeing his skin I realized he was feeling awful and probably ill. I began applying raw coconut oil to his skin every day and keeping a wet towel hanging over his heater to up the humidity in his cage area (don't trust humidifiers, and the towel gets rotated and washed regularly).
... Why not? We had a night where the oil ran out and I moved all my birds into one room and closed the door with me and my dog in it and they were fine. I routinely run my humidifyer with my bird in my room to prevent me from bleeding out the nose. My birds have had no ill effect. Infact, I find they sleep much better on nights where I have it running. I use the standard cheap-o kind that boils water and releases steam.

Also, if he has bumblefoot, you need to give him better perches.

What city are you in? Maybe someone can direct you to a vet in your area.
 

hyacinthlove

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I am working on getting better perches right now. It was only last night that I found out about the bumblefoot.

As for humidifiers, I have read that they can harbor bacteria that cause respiratory issues and fungal problems and I didn't want to risk that (keeping in mind that the realization about the need for extra humidity in general didn't come along until this issue presented itself). We have been keeping a clean, very wet towel hanging above the space heater near his cage to keep his area warm and humid. It gets re-wet and changed/washed frequently to avoid any fungus or bacterial growth.

I had considered xanthomas too! But the tissue is flat against the skin like a scab or callous, whereas all the images of xanthomas in birds I found seem to be bulbous and protruding. And they don't appear "fatty" but tough, and scab like. Some seem just more like thickened skin. He definitely has no growths or protrusions.

Edit:
And to all of you telling me he needs a vet; believe me I know. I am doing my best to make that happen. In the meantime, I need to do as much as I can to help him. I posted here in hopes that someone might be able to tell me something useful I might not be able to find easily researching online. I appreciate those who are giving me constructive advice without all of the judgmental backlash. To you all, thank you.
 
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Garet

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As for humidifiers, I have read that they can harbor bacteria that cause respiratory issues and fungal problems and I didn't want to risk that (keeping in mind that the realization about the need for extra humidity in general didn't come along until this issue presented itself). We have been keeping a clean, very wet towel hanging above the space heater near his cage to keep his area warm and humid. It gets re-wet and changed/washed frequently to avoid any fungus or bacterial growth.
I haven't had any issues with that myself. All it really takes is cleaning out your humidifier. Like I said, the one I have boils the water to the point where it kills most bacteria, and all I have to do is wash it out and we're good to go.
 

Macawnutz

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I think the yellow is granulation tissue from wounds that are trying to heal and then being reopened.

This is my thought too.

I use a humidifier, I add a few drops of F10 to the water to keep things clean. Increased baths, increased humidity,



 

aooratrix

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I have never seen that. I appreciate that you want to help him, but I'm not sure that a home remedy will help this bird.
 
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