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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last week I uncovered my budgies and saw that Pickpocket's one wing was a bit droopy. So I caught her, lifted up her wing, and discovered this!



I rushed her to my Avian Vet and they took a swab of the pus under her wing. It came back inconclusive as all they could really find were swollen skin cells (which is normal considering the amount of damage she has under her wing).

She was prescribed some pain medicine and Doxyvet (a broad-spectrum antibiotic) for a week. She didn't show any improvement so I took her back yesterday for a recheck.

We decided that having a biopsy preformed would be the best bet.

Pickpocket survived the anesthetics and I picked her up this morning. She is eating and pooping well although she looks very miserable. :(



(The blood on her wing is from the surgery, not from the original wound.)

Now my question...

What caused this skin infection!?

I have triple checked their cage. There is nothing there she could have scratched her wing on. It is highly unlikely that the other budgies attacked her under her wing and left her feet and head alone. I even checked the entire room for rat droppings to see if a rodent would have attacked her during the night (even though we have never had a rodent problem).

My Avian Vet said it almost looks as if a cat or dog grabbed her wing. However, this is definitely not the case. The budgies are in their own room and the door is kept closed and locked at all times. Besides, Chompie (my dog) is 11 years old and sleeps for 90% of the day. He is very slow (arthritis) and has never been allowed in the budgie room.

I'm hoping the biopsy and blood tests provide me with an answer. In the mean time, do any of you have any suggestions on what might have happened to Pickpocket?
 

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I am as bewildered as you are. Poor Pickpocket. I hope you find out soon. You are to be commended for doing all you have done.
 

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I'm really not sure what caused it - it could have been Pickpocket picking her skin, was irritated in an area, and opened it up, and it got worse from there? :confused: I hope things go well with the vet, and I'm so sorry this happened! :hug:
 

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That so awful! Poor birdy!

I have no idea- could she have plucked the wing maybe?

It just doesn't make sense. I wish I could help more.

I hope she's okay. :hug:
 

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Hi Kelsey.

It's possible her wing went through the bars then twisted into a semi open position and may have caused a slight tear under the wing which got infected. But as you said it could have been a rat or a mouse, more likely a rat. I have seen them grab a bird a try to pull it through the bars by the wing or leg. With rats droppings are not necessarily around. We have had a bad rat problem down here after all the rain we have had, rotten things come up the storm water drains from the creek about 1 km away. That combined with the humidity and they are rampant.

It still could have been my first suggestion and got infected because of the hot steamy weather we have been having. My youngest dog Monster (yeah I know she got the name for a good reason) has just gotten over an abscess on her rear near her hip. No idea how she got it could have been just a slight scratch that got an infection and the heat and moisture did the rest. Being a long hair it made the problem worse as it made the heat worse and covered up the sore area. I noticed she was worrying at it and when I checked found the abscess coming to a head. She burst it in a couple of days and a course of Clavulox cleared it up nicely. Hair is now starting to grow over the area again.

Hope you find the cause and it clears up soon.
 

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Wow, poor budgie! :(
Thats horrible.. I don't know what could have caused it!
 

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Oh my! That looks terrible! Poor Pickpocket... I can just imagine how uncomfortable she must be. I hope she gets well soon. :(
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for the kind words! :hugs:

I am expecting the biopsy results by Friday, so will keep everyone updated.

Someone on another forum mentioned that it might be PBFD. What do you guys think? Is this a possibility? It is freaking me out quite a bit because that means ALL my parrots at home are at risk! Almost all of them are under 2 years old and that is when it is most contagious to other birds (or so I’ve read). :(

I know what you mean about rat attacks on birds Kate! The floods have flushed out all the rats at the sanctuary I volunteer at and they have somehow managed to get into a few aviaries. It is definitely not a nice way for a bird to die. :( There are rat traps and poison set out for them but they are cunning little things.

Once again, thank you for all the suggestions and support! Will keep everyone updated as I hear more.
 

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I don't think it's PBFD... that's an odd spot to show symptoms - isn't it usually the feathers around the face and the beak that show the first signs? Plus, it usually attacks young birds, older birds are more resistant to it, and can even overcome it on their own.

Here's some more info on PBFD:

Symptoms include irreversible loss of feathers, shedding of developing feathers, development of abnormal feathers, new pinched feathers, and loss of powder down. Other possible symptoms include overgrown or abnormal beak, symmetrical lesions on the beak and occasionally nails.
Immunosuppression, rapid weight
loss, and depression are also possible in later stages of the disease.

It says in the later stages:
Secondary viral, fungal, bacterial or parasitic infections often occurs as a result of diminished immunity caused by a PBFD viral infection.

So if she had PBFD, I think you would have seen other signs by now... her overall beak/feather condition looks great, I think, so I would get her tested, but not stress over it :thumbsup: Here's the article I referenced about PBFD http://www.avianbiotech.com/Diseases/PBFD.htm
 

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I agree with Jenny. Definitely not PBFD which does not affect budgies the same way it affects Cockies. In budgies it usually only affects the flight and tail feathers, hence we get runners.
 

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Poor birdie, whenever I hear about something under the wing that involves plucked feathers, I think of giardia. Mabey she could of plucked herself and some how got an infection to set in her feather follicles :confused: or mabey it could be a feather cyst http://www.avianweb.com/feathercysts.html that got out of hand. Of course these are just guesses. I hope she gets better soon :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you all for putting my mind at ease about the PBFD! I was so worried that my other Budgies, Lorikeets and Plum-head were now at risk!

Thank you for that link Storm! I'm off to research Giardia and feather cysts now!
 

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We are all anxious for you and your birds and hope to know soon what the vet can tell you.
 

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Have the biopsy results come back yet? Any improvement? I hope Pickpocket is feeling better and on the mend...
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok, the results are in and it is bad news. :(

Pickpocket has Polyfolliculitis, a condition that is not too common in budgies. It is way more common in Lovebirds.

For those that do not know, Polyfolliculitis is when two or more feathers try to grow out of the one follicle. With Pickpocket this happened under her wing and it ruptured, causing the the skin to become inflamed and very itchy. As a result she started plucking under her wing.

We are going to try an experimental drug often used in dogs and cats who suffer from ingrown hair. Of course, there will be a risk with using this drug on a bird, but it is either this or not doing much else at all.

My Avian Vet was upfront with me and notified me of the risks involved. She also let me know that long term it is likely that Pickpocket's condition will deteriorate and that there is only so much that can be done. The problem lies that there is no known definite cause for Polyfolliculitis, so treatment is difficult to prescribe.

If any of you have any experience with Polyfolliculitis I would love to hear from you.

I'm leaving now to go pick up the medicine.
 

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Oh dear... I'm so sorry to hear that! I've heard of it, but haven't heard much about treatment, other than what it does to a bird... :frown: I hope she responds well to the medication! Sounds like the best option available for her...
 

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Oh, I'm so sorry. I had no idea it was so bad. :( I've never heard of that disease, its so awful. Sounds painful for the poor girl too.

Poor bird, I really hope she recovers well. I wish I could help more.
 

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How terrible! Poor girl :( I had not heard of that disease before. I hope the medication helps and Pickpocket does well on it :hug:
 
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