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Your Cockatiels Health Ask questions about your cockatiels health here.

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  #1  
Old 03-18-2017, 05:15 PM
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Default Sedatives

Have you ever given sedatives to your tiel?
Last year the vet suggested either sedatives or a brace for the plucking problem (we had excluded an illness due to what I told her, namely that he is very healthy, hyperactive and that the problem has been going on for a long time, so it is obviously behavioural). I know that a brace would be a torture for my boy, so I am very reluctant to select that option.
Unfortunately the problem got a bit worse lately and I am worried. His health is a good as ever, but I wouldn't like the plucking problem to get even worse now.
He will be 8 in August and is extremely active and lively, probably like a youngster.
Would a sedative help? Or would he become a coach potato?
I love him so much and want the very best for him.
Thanks for your opinion!
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:57 AM
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It really depends on the bird. There aren't any other alternates to sedatives? I feel like that's an extreme measure.
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  #3  
Old 03-20-2017, 05:25 PM
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The only alternative she mentioned was a brace around his neck, but I know for sure it would drive him crazy... I have also tried a spray that has a bitter taste and should discourage plucking but it doesn't take notice (he doesn't like the spray, but he doesn't seem to mind the bitter taste...
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Old 03-21-2017, 04:16 PM
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What about trying a soft collar, like a fleece e-collar? They are a lot more comfortable than a brace or a hard collar, but they still keep them from being able to pluck. I really don't like giving birds sedatives or narcotics, not so much because it will "turn him into a couch potato", which it will, trust me, but because it is do dangerous due to their sensitive respiratory systems.

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Old 03-22-2017, 04:06 PM
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I had made one last year, but he tore it off in about 20 secs. It had velcro and I assume he is too strong and determined for velcro...
I also saw a really pretty one in the USA, but it had velcro too. While the collar was not very expensive (about $25), postage to Australia was over $30, which is a bit expensive for something so small. without knowing if he is going to tear it off...
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:08 PM
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Have you considered something like chamomile tea? It has sedative effects but is generally considered to be mild. You'd need to do some research on it to find out whether it might suit your needs.
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Old 03-23-2017, 01:51 AM
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What specific sedative did your vet have in mind? We really need that information to talk about effectiveness and side effects intelligently. You can view part of an avian medicine book published in 2015 at https://books.google.com/books?id=LK...ots%22&f=false

It talks about psychoactive drugs starting at the bottom of page 219. It starts talking about specific drugs at the bottom of page 221, breaking them into five categories where the first one and possibly the second one seem like they would be the most relevant. There are a number of different types within each category, and they probably have different levels of effectiveness and side effects. If we have the name of a specific drug we can research it to see how good or bad it looks.

Edited to add: they start talking about feather destructive behavior on page 226 and get into treatment on page 231. In terms of drugs, they suggest antihistamines (which seems to be a common treatment for plucking problems), and on page 233 they mention other drugs that can be used.

I'm not sure exactly why antihistamines would be helpful. Birds can have allergies just like humans can, and antihistamines would be useful if the plucking was caused by an undiagnosed allergy. I don't know whether there are other reasons that antihistamines might help.
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Old 03-23-2017, 06:27 PM
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Yes, I could try chamomile tea. Maybe one bag for 1 liter of water? I guess it must be more diluted than for humans.

The vet didn't mention any specific sedatives because I was still observing his behaviour and trying other options. She just said if nothing else works we can try either sedatives or a brace.

I think antihistamines could indeed be an option too. He might be a bit itchy because I have a small USB fan connected to my computer and he likes to jump in front of it and enjoy the breeze, sometimes spreading his wings.

Thanks for the link to the book!
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
I have a small USB fan connected to my computer and he likes to jump in front of it and enjoy the breeze, sometimes spreading his wings.
Or maybe he just likes to pretend that he's soaring like an eagle!
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:49 PM
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Antihistamines are sometimes used to treat anxiety in humans because of the sedating side effects. They're not effective for everyone, but they can be a good option for people who are unable to tolerate SSRIs.

There is some good evidence for using SSRIs in birds to treat plucking, like they'd be used to treat compulsive behavior in humans. Personally if I was going to consider psych meds for one of my birds, I'd want either a tricyclic antidepressant (like amitriptyline) or one of the SSRIs that's proven beneficial for OCD in people (like sertraline). I haven't done this for my plucker yet, but I am seriously considering it.
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