Merck Manual

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Psychotropic Medications Used for Feather Plucking in Pet Birds

Psychotropic Medications Used for Feather Plucking in Pet Birds

Medicationa

Dosage

Comments

Psychotropic Medications

Amitriptyline

1–5 mg/kg, PO, once to twice daily

Maximal effects may require treatment for several weeks.

Clomipramine

1 mg/kg/day, PO

Effects similar to those of amitriptyline but may be effective in some cases in which amitriptyline is not.

Haloperidol

0.15 mg/kg, PO, once to twice daily for larger birds; 0.2 mg/kg, PO, 2 times a day for smaller species

Serious adverse effects, including anorexia, hepatic dysfunction, and CNS signs have been reported; most often used in cockatoos.

Fluoxetine

2 mg/kg/day, PO, once to twice daily

Effectiveness reported to vary; maximal effects may require treatment for several weeks.

Hormones (GnRH agonists)

Deslorelin acetate

4.7-mg and 9.5-mg implants, SC, dorsal back between scapulas or IM in the breast muscle every 3–6 months as needed

Decreases sexual behavior by negative feedback, reducing production of sex hormones

Leuprolide acetate

300–800 mcg/kg, IM

Decreases sexual behavior by negative feedback, reducing production of sex hormones.

a All are extra-label usages.