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Urgent Panicked - Sudden extreme feather loss

Ephy

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My hubby just sent me a pic of our House Sparrow, and now we are both freaking out.

There is a large bald patch on the top of his head that just appeared. It wasnt there yesterday.

What do we do??? Help!!
 

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enigma731

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Does he have a cagemate?
 

Ephy

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He has always shared the room with our other bird, a ringneck dove. They each have their own cages.
Yesterday we upgraded our doves cage to a 48inch dog crate from a 36inch dog crate.
I wiped it down with a mild bird cleaner...our dove is fine.
The cages are side by side
This cage is the only new thing since yeaterday.
I'm at work and so stressed about it, i cant even concentrate.
 
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enigma731

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When in doubt, it's time for a vet visit.
 

Clueless

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Birdbabe

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Did he bang or rub his head on something?maybe the new cage, which is an intruder , spooked him. Where feathers on the floor or cage bottom? Just watch him, see if hes eating, drinking and acting normal...hope hes ok.
 

Ephy

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Hey

Thanks for all the replies.

Its hard to see my baby look the way he does, but he seems normal. Is eating normally and his poops look the same.
I dont know if he bumped his head, but he was nervous about the cage while we got it setup for our dove. He just stayed out of the room, so I didnt think it would affect him.
Since ive been home, i did a thorough disinfecting of his cage, dishes, toys and perches.
Hes also had a neem tea and calendula bath and drink. Cut up his favourite veggies and some cantaloupe. He loves herbal tea bathing and drinking.
I'll keep a close eye on him, im hoping its just some kind of molt...?
Sadly, because he is a rescued House Sparrow, we risk the possibility of him being taken away (by the vet) from us if we bring him to a vet for checkups. Some kind of vet "law they have to follow.." I've been warned when I attempted to register for a permit to keep him a few years back. I was denied
 

iamwhoiam

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Starling Talk: The Care and Feeding of Injured and Orphaned Starlings
Discussion and information about starlings, sparrows and other wild birds.

Don't know your location but if you live in the US it is not illegal to keep a house sparrow. House sparrows are non-native species.
There are species of sparrows that are native and those are illegal to keep.
Hope your little guy will be OK.
 

Ephy

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IamwhoIam. Thanks for your reply.

We've had our House Sparrow since he was about 5-7 days old and I lived and breathed that website you just linked. It was incredibly helpful.
Our House Sparrow (his name is Kiwi) just turned 5 years old in July.
He imprinted on us greatly when he was young and we knew he could never be released.
He's incredibly smart and amazed us everyday.
We live in Canada and unfortunately there is a grey line where the law states you cant technically keep wild animals, at any capacity unless certified or permitted. Any vet that wants to be mean or feels like they have to do what they think "is best because it is a wild animal" could take him away so easily. Which I can understand from their side. So many people take in wildlife and dont or cant give them the care they need.
Not saying I can either. But I try really hard and stress too much about getting him the things he may need based on our situation and the fact that he doesnt think he is a bird. He thinks he is human, and could never survive out there.
When he does his cute hormonal mating dance, he chirps "I love you, I love you" lol.
He has no clue how to be a House Sparrow. (Our fault for not realizing he would imprint so strongly)

Kiwi got to stay up way past his bedtime (he likes to tell us when its time to go to bed and he has a schedule) but i refused. I kept his cage door open, and he fluttered around very happy and content tonight. I think his bath really helped.
Probably me just over stressing again (i hope)
 
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iamwhoiam

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That's too bad about the legalities. The house sparrow is non-native to Canada, too. Too bad that house sparrows are not on the excluded list like in the US. It is good to be extra cautious because you certainly don't want anyone taking Kiwi away from you.

Starling Talk was extremely helpful for me, too, when I found Spee. Did you post anything there regarding the bald spot? Spee also hatched in July and he celebrated his 11th bird-day this year. I found him when he was about 1-2 days old. No way could he be released: two broken legs which never healed properly and only one functional foot. He can't perch but it hasn't affected his ability to move around and get to where he wants to go. He has slowed down a lot the past year and that is probably due to his age.

Spee can get very chatty and this can last for sometimes up to 2 hours. He talks and says a few words and that's probably because most of my other birds talk.

Spee has a small bald patch on the side of his face and that started several months ago and wasn't an overnight thing like in Kiwi's case. The side of his face rubs against the cage bars or his bowls when he goes to sleep. He generally sleeps in his padded bowl or he squishes himself between his food or water dish and the side of the cage or the side of his padded bowl.

You are not over stressing, just being protective. Continue to monitor. If it gets worse (and I hope it doesn't) maybe someone can recommend a vet who would not have an issue checking him out. What are you feeding him, btw?

It's great that you found Kiwi, took him in, care for him and love him. He sounds wonderful.
 

iamwhoiam

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BTW, please post updates about Kiwi and post some more photos. I :heart: house sparrows.
 

Ephy

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I managed to capture a video of Kiwi during his normal snuggle and nap time with me.
I tried to record his head as clear as I could.
He has been eating fine. Lots of scratching, lots of feathers falling out seems from everywhere.
He had a calendula bath and I sprayed down his cage again with the vet used disinfectant.(F10SC)
I am still very on edge and concerned.

I have more pics but it says my file is too large...
He is my baby and seeing him like this is heart breaking. :(
I feel so helpless.

Thoughts?

His sleepyness and puffed feather fluff you see in the video is what he always has done around this time. He will snuggle, and nap like this for 15mins then wake up, eat etc..my other baby..my dove (My doves name is actually Baby) you can hear him cooing in the back, always desperate for attention.
 

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iamwhoiam

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I am sorry he continues to have feather loss and is scratching a lot. You may have to find a vet who will take a look at him. He could have some type of skin irritation/infection. Do you see any mites? Did you post on Starling Talk about this?
 

Ephy

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No i havent posted anywhere else about this. Its all still very new.
I was suppose to go away for the night this weekend (I am always reluctant and very rarely leave my flock for longer than 8hrs at a time )
I already had it figured out that I would leave just after putting them to bed at their regular bedtime and be back the latest 2 hrs after after their regular wing stretching time but I am so worried and seriously considering cancelling just so I can watch over him
 

Ephy

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I tend to over stress...could I be over stressing???
 

iamwhoiam

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Will he get scared if you cover him? You can put a white towel or sheet over the cage and check if there are any small specks on it in the AM or you can put some white paper towels on the bottom of the cage and do the same. This is a way to check for mites.
I over stress, too, but you are just being a caring and protective parent.
 
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Ephy

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Hey

Quick update. Kiwi is looking good. He has TONS of new feather shoots sprouting from where he lost his feathers. Head and sides of his body.
I have increased his daily veggies, fruit and offer hard boiled eggs and shells.
He wants to takes a bath daily, so I alternate between regular water and calendula tea baths.
I dont know what triggered such a drastic molt, but he seems fine.
I'll be happy when all is feathers have grown in fully
Thanks again for all the help and support. :)
 

iamwhoiam

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That's very good news. Thanks for the update. What do you generally feed him, btw?
 
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