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Changes in feathers on Severe Macaw

Brandon_71

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Hi,

My severe macaw has had some changes in his feathering. There is what seems an abnormal amount of feathers are coming in brown. As a little background in him he is around 15 years old, and was on Meloxicam in the last few months due to an injury to his foot. Has anyone seen anything similar to this or know an explanation for this change of feathers?



How his feathers look now...

Dropbox - now.jpg


How they originally looked...

Dropbox - before.jpg


Thanks!
 

Birdbabe

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Has his diet changed? Sometimes brown or black feathers can mean a protein issue. Can you try to feed him scrambled eggs? Or, put some " Knox" unflavored dry gelatin sprinkled on the food? I have two birds on it for years due to arthritis,,when needed, but have never seen this brown feathering
 

Mizzely

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Some medications can be hard on the liver, especially long term. Has the vet done a liver panel?
 

Shezbug

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Hankmacaw

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Meloxicam given over a long period of time can effect the kidneys. I know that chronic liver issues can cause feather coloring, but I have not heard of kidney issues doing that.

It is not uncommon for feathers to turn brown or black as a result of liver disease or damage. If I were you, I'd take my bird in to an avian vet and get a CBC and Chem panel done in him. This will definitely give you any indication of liver or kidney issues (and many other things.)
 

Brandon_71

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Thanks for everyone's inputs here. He has a very good diet of pellets, along with fresh and cooked foods. His diet has not changed, but he injured his foot back in May and he was on Meloxicam for about two weeks due to this. Other than this I don't have any thoughts on what may have changed for him. I took him today to an avian vet and they did a blood workup on him. Hopefully we will have results back in a few days.
 

Brandon_71

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Got some bad news preliminarily from the vet. Rico has extremely elevated white blood cell counts with lymphocytes. The veterinarian is suspecting he has cancer or leukemia. They are going to do some further tests/x-rays to help make a determination of exactly what it is, and get some antibiotics in him to help prevent a secondary infection. I am pretty bummed out. I love this little fellow!
 

Mizzely

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Oh no, I'm sorry :( It is good though that you got him checked out so that you can hopefully get him better again!
 
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