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Injury Spot on Male Finch
Injury Spot on Male Fi  
Dear Jana Connell,

Please forgive my re-sending this question... I neglected to complete all the info previously before accidently hitting "send". Thank you so much for offering this service, especially to those of us who, for whatever reason, can't get to a vet right away. Here is what happened:

The incident:
My 4-year old male zebra finch has been traumatized by an escape from his cage followed by a nasty chase from the house cat. It happened a couple of hours ago. Gigabyte, my finch, didn't "appear" to be badly injured but I'm not a vet and can't tell for sure. He lost a patch of feathers on his back (which must hurt or be very sore) and is now very still in his cage. He won't sing, and hasn't eaten or had any water. He's not socializing with his mate and just stays put on his perch looking a bit puffy and lopsided. When I come by to talk to him -something he always enjoys and responds to-he just winces. I don't believe his wing is broken because I saw him fly from the floor of the cage to his perch, and then again to another perch to get away from his mate pecking at his sore.

My questions: What can I do to help him out and hopefully make him feel better? Should I put anything on his new bald spot where the feathers are missing? (see picture) How do I distinguish the effect of trauma from the effect of physical discomfort? Is there anything in particular --physical or otherwise--I should be watching out for? Do finches get over trauma? I'm not in a position where I can go to an avian vet, and so I want to be as helpful to him as I can... I would be deeply and greatly appreciative for ANY advice you could help out with...

Again, thank you very, very much...
Sincerely, --Royce

Hi Royce,
You know I am not really in a good position to answer this question as I am not a bird expert.
The thing is, it's hard to tell if he is in pain or not. Chickens don't have any nerve endings on their skin so a tear or poke they can't feel, but that doesn't mean that finches are like that.

He should get over the trauma but if he doesn't start eating by tomorrow, call a vet or a pet store.

Other than that, you should re-post this in the Bird Expert area.

I hope he recovers quickly.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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