Bleeding Feathers - Is This an Emergency? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-14-2002, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
 
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Bleeding Feathers - Is This an Emergency?

You look in on your bird one day and notice a large patch of blood on his side and under his wing. After briefly examining your bird, you find that the bleeding is coming from a broken wing feather. This is a potentially serious problem.

Bleeding feathers are usually pin feathers on the wing (a "pin" feather is a young, new feather that is still developing). As the pin feathers develop, the shaft of the feather fills with blood. Trauma or viral infections can cause cracks or fractures in the sheath and bleeding occurs. A feather is similar to a fingernail. If a crack occurs, it will not heal. The injured feather needs to be removed. If not removed, the bird may pick at the injured feather, dislodging a clot and causing additional bleeding. In serious cases, severe blood loss can occur from a blood feather, resulting in significant illness and even possibly death.

Wing feathers are most commonly affected with blood feathers. To stop the bleeding, the feather needs to be completely removed. With the wing fully extended, grasp the quill of the feather as high as possible above the crack with forceps or a tweezers. Since the feather is attached to the covering of the wing bone, firmly grasp the bone of the wing and gently pull the feather out of the follicle. If some hemorrhage occurs, apply pressure to the follicle. Do not use clotting powders in the feather follicles. The blood on the bird can be removed with warm water.

After removal of the cracked feather, place your bird in a dark quiet location. Contact your veterinarian for further advice. If you do not feel comfortable removing the broken feather, veterinary care is recommended.

By Pet Place Staff

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-14-2002, 12:42 PM
KatPaws74
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Yes, this could be very serious. I once had a red-rumped parakeet who died of a broken blood feather. It happened one night when we did not had the electricity power (for some reason )...he got spooked and started flying all over the cage. I lightened the flash light and he calmed down but in the dark I didn't saw that his feather broke and that he was bleeding. I found him the next morning dead. Pore little one
 
post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-02-2002, 11:11 AM
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I thought you were ASKING about blood feathers at first and nearly panicked - luckily I read on before responding.

Just want to make sure everyone knows that the blood feathers are not usually easy to pull out; you have to be very careful not to break it further up on the feather; and you are not going to have a patient who is going to sit there and go "Oh, this is for my own good so I will sit patiently while they rip my feathers out one by one".

Cockatiels are especially prone to "night frights" and I have checked on a bird in the a.m. to find blood spattered about the wall and cage but no apparent damage to the bird. From what I have read, no one is quite sure what causes them to do this but it can mean trouble.

Please don't hesitate to go to the vet if you are the least bit unsure about doing it yourself. It is hard to know you are going to inflict pain on the pet you love and sometimes it is better to be the "rescuer" than it is to be the one who does the deed!

Critter

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-02-2002, 12:40 PM
 
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Luckily I haven't had problems with blood feathers in a while *knocking furiously on wood* When I first got my senegal he was such a little clutz and one day he decided to get spooked out by papertowels. I have had to deal with many a broken blood feathers but now I am a pro and can deal with the crisis much better!
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