If you are pulling your own hair out wondering “Why Is My Bird Losing Feathers Around His Eyes?”, this post is going to provide some much-needed insight for you.
Feather loss around the eyes can be a serious concern for bird owners. This article will go over some of the most common causes and how to identify, treat, or prevent them!
If your bird is losing feathers around its eyes, specifically, this is a common symptom of many different problems.
The issue can range from mild to serious and may require treatment depending on what caused it in order for your bird’s vision or eye health not to be compromised.
Feather loss, specifically around the eyes, is a common symptom of the below problems:
- Your bird has mites
- Your bird has an eye infection
- Your bird has sustained an injury
- Your bird has an infection
There is no shortage of information when it comes to feather loss, and if you’re not sure where to start, look no further than this article. It will cover all the different types that occur in birds from their eyes down towards tail ends as well any causes or treatments for them!
Your Bird May Have Mites!
Mites are usually found in the most vulnerable areas of your bird’s body, such as under its wings or around its eyes. They can cause them to lose feathers which may lead you to see a loss from these pieces themselves due to infection by external parasites like mite-damaged skin.
Following the damaged skin, there will be increased itching. When trying to scratch at this area of feathers, the bird will also scratch the damaged skin, causing other surfaces to become exposed. While doing so provides temporary relief from pain/suffering; it makes the initial problem far worse.
Maintaining good hygiene both outside AND inside is imperative if one wants their bird happy healthy & parasite-free.
- Eye scratching,
- rubbing, or squinting
- Increased irritation of the area
- Redness or swelling around the eyes
- Inflammation of one or both eyelids
- Pus-like discharge forming crusts over the eyes and/or nostrils.
- Visible mites
How To Treat It
Avian vets are the best place to get mite treatment advice. Your bird will need a topical parasite medication as these are designed for birds and can be applied easily on their bodies with no risk of importing toxins or bacteria into your home living space!
Other things you should do include treating any cage neighbors who may have been exposed, too.
You should also make sure all equipment used during care such as nestboxes, furniture etc., gets thoroughly cleaned before letting out-of-control stray infestations take over again!
What Are The Causes?
Mites are tiny parasites that move from one bird to another by physical contact. They can also mount or enter your feathered friend through food, with the majority coming on grains and seeds – so it’s important to cook or freeze these ingredients before feeding them to your bird!
To reduce the risk of bringing unwanted guests into our home, we recommend freezing all stored feed for a few days at least; this will kill any mite eggs if they’re there waiting in ambush.
Your Bird Has An Eye Infection
Conjunctivitis is an infection to the eye’s conjunctiva and can refer to many different types. Birds often scratch at sore or irritated eyes, causing their feathers to fall out in response as well because they’re trying so hard not to have any more pain!
- Crusty eyes with
- Red, swollen eyes with crust on top
- Eyes that are watery or have a discharge
- Conjunctivitis can be caused by bacteria or fungus, though for birds it’s usually fungal. The most common reason for the infection is due to something coming into contact with the eye.
Your veterinarian will prescribe ophthalmic antibiotics to deal with the infecting fungus/bacteria. They may also suggest topically applying an antifungal agent like neomycin or gentian violet if it’s severe enough, though this solution would need to be applied daily.
Treatment should initially include steps to relieve any pain your bird is suffering because of the infection.
One of the most effective ways you can do this is by applying a warm compress to your bird’s eyes for around 5 minutes per day, with or without giving it some pain relief like Banamine (dosed according to the bodyweight of your bird).
You should also make sure your bird stays well-hydrated if it’s not behaving normally.
Saline is also great for washing out any irritants.
As always, it’s important to be careful what you use on your bird – you wouldn’t want them to ingest anything that could harm them or exacerbate the infection!
Possible Causes Of Bird Eye Infection
Eye infections are usually caused by allergies, trauma, viral infections or parasites.
As stated before; if your bird is also having trouble defecating, you’ll need to look at things like diet and the digestive tract when diagnosing potential causes of their infections because this could be something else entirely!
Other possible causes include but are not limited to;
- Foreign body stuck in the eye
- Various types of bacteria
- Allergies – To anything their body comes into contact with, including human hand/face lotion or soap.
Your Bird Has Sustained An Injury!
If your bird has sustained an eye injury or injury near the eye, this could result in loss of feathers around the eye and head.
You should keep an eye on the injury and check it regularly for signs of infection, although this is rare if you’ve managed to clean and dress the wound properly.
If the injury has been caused by a cat or other predator, ensure your bird is kept in a safe place while it recovers. If the injury is severe, you should bring your bird to a veterinarian immediately, or it could be fatal.
- Watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
- Crusty-looking eye, with or without discharge.
- Loss of feathers around the head and face due to scratching.
In this instance, a saline wash is a great step to take while you’re getting prepared to go to the vets. Depending on the injury, styptic powder may also be needed to control bleeding.
Your bird will need antibiotics if they’ve sustained an injury caused by a predator, especially if the skin is broken or there are pieces of debris stuck in it/around it. If your bird has an open wound, you should keep it clean and apply pain relief medication accordingly. Your veterinarian may also prescribe something to reduce the swelling and pain.
As mentioned above, it could be due to a predator or a number of factors.
The reason for an eye injury tends to be one of the following:
- Dangerous objects in the cage or bad cage conditions
- Household object outside of the cage
- Being attacked by another bird or animal.
Ensure that everything is safe for your bird. Keep them safe. Monitor them closely so they don’t get into trouble. Sometimes injuries happen, but you can do your best to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Your Bird Has A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection will cause irritation and itchiness to the eye. Your bird may have lost feathers around his/her eyes if he has a nasal issue, which could be related to an underlying disorder.
- Consistent sneezing
- Sneezing accompanied by unusual discharges
- Watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
- Loss of appetite
- It can also cause birds to have trouble breathing.
If not treated, a sinus infection can be fatal for birds. If you suspect your bird has a sinus infection, take it to the vet immediately.
The vet will provide a course of antibiotics to treat it.
- Dust or mould in the air.
- Possible respiratory infections.
- Allergies to certain foods or household items.
- Infections caused by respiratory disease, parasites, mold spores, and some types of fungi.
You should be careful because if problems are left untreated, they will get worse. Do not ignore any symptoms that your bird may have. If you are worried, go to a vet who has experience with birds.