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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 2800
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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My budgie has always had problems with his feet he

Resolved Question:

My budgie has always had problems with his feet he continually lifts them off the perch, I now see he has a small growth on one of them there also seems to be swelling round his nose, he constantly preens himself especially his head, he is only 6 months old, I suspect he has some sort of mite, he still eats his seeds and sings but am becoming concerned if this is not treated, would appreciate if you could advise if there is a spray or something I could buy. Unfortunately I do not handle the bird and there are no bird experts in this area to advise me.  I should also add that he is continually picking at the foot with the growth

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Dr. Jo :

Hello,

Dr. Jo :

My name is***** I will do my best to help you with your questions about your budgie. I'm so sorry you're having trouble, but look forward to the opportunity to discuss this with you more. If you return online and are still interested in discussing this with me, please type in what you want to say and click REPLY.

Dr. Jo :

I'll be back and forth between my desk and the exam room seeing patients, but I will be notified of your reply via email.

Customer:

I'm sorry but I cannot see the answer to my query. Do you require more info before giving a diagnosis? I

Dr. Jo :

Hello,

Dr. Jo :

I'm back online now, but I see you are not. You asked if I require more information before giving a diagnosis. Having more information from you can help me provide more specific information about your situation, but I must emphasize I am completely unable to provide a diagnosis over the internet. Diagnosing requires a hands-on physical examination and the necessary lab tests. What I *CAN* do is provide you with information.

Dr. Jo :

As I read your description of your budgie's behavior, there are some things you list that could be normal behavior.

Dr. Jo :

Continually lifting one foot or the other off the perch is something that many birds do under completely normal circumstances, for example.

Dr. Jo :

Normal, healthy birds will also spend anywhere from 25-50% of their awake time preening.

Dr. Jo :

Mites are not as common on pet budgies as often thought. Many times people will confuse the high level of attention a budgie will pay to preening with an abnormal situation like mites. If a budgie has mites, his skin and feathers will not remain normal looking. He will end up having bald patches and/or scaly and rough patches of skin.

Dr. Jo :

Here is a link to some pictures of birds with mites.

Dr. Jo :

http://budgerigarsforum.proboards.com/thread/690/scaly-face-leg

Dr. Jo :

http://talkbudgies.com/your-budgies-health/75918-feet-diseases.html

Dr. Jo :

I tried to pick examples above that show abnormalities on both the face (near the nose) and the feet, like you've described with your bird.

Dr. Jo :

To diagnose mites, we take small samples of the crusty skin around the sores and mix it with mineral oil. Then we look at it under a microscope and can actually see the mites and/or their eggs.

Dr. Jo :

Here is a link to what they look like:

Dr. Jo :

http://azeah.com/birds/scaly-skin

Dr. Jo :

When I diagnose a bird with mites, it's important to address the whole flock when determining treatment.

Dr. Jo :

The most effective way to treat mites is with Ivermectin.

Dr. Jo :

It's important for me to emphasize that the safest, cheapest, and most effective way to treat a bird who has mites is with the care, supervision, and recommendation of a veterinarian.

Dr. Jo :

I understand that there are no bird experts in your area. I'm so sorry, but your little guy will need medical care - if not for this problem, but at some point. You will need to have a plan for this and a way to get him to the care he needs. Your local veterinarians should be able to tell you where your closest avian veterinarians are located.

Dr. Jo :

I can advise you about the existence and effectiveness of over-the-counter treatments that are available and marketed for treatment of mites, but unfortunately it would be impossible for me to make accurate predictions of if they would be safe or effective for you to use on your bird. That simply cannot be done online. This website is great for providing information, but it is not a substitute for medical care.

Dr. Jo :

Here is a link to a website that accurately discusses mites in great detail. As you can see, an infestation with Knemidokoptes mites is commonly called "scaly face" or "scaly leg".

Dr. Jo :

http://beautyofbirds.com/scalymitetreatment.html

Dr. Jo :

After a quick look on Amazon searching under "Scaly Face Mite Treatment for birds" I see a couple of products.

Dr. Jo :

I don't like this one, because it contains pyrethrins and those can be unsafe.

Dr. Jo :

http://www.amazon.com/JohnsonS-Johnsons-Scaly-Lotion-15Ml/dp/B00393LCKW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417028599&sr=8-1&keywords=scaly+face+mite+treatment+for+birds

Dr. Jo :

But this one at least contains the right active ingredient (Ivermectin).

Dr. Jo :

http://www.amazon.com/Beaphar-Anti-parasite-Treatment-Canary-Budgie/dp/B00NY7NIC8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1417028599&sr=8-2&keywords=scaly+face+mite+treatment+for+birds

Dr. Jo :

Again, I emphasize that I cannot diagnose or prescribe online. I am here, however, to provide you with as much information as I can.

Dr. Jo :

My computer is indicating you are now online. Is this accurate?

Customer:

After reading your response re mites, I don't think that can be the cause as his feathers are ok. I understand that budgies preen themselves but he seems to do it more than is normal and I can only describe his action with his feet as if you were standing on something hot and lifting up one foot then the other, had lots of birds over the years, never seen one do that. There is something there seems to be a white scaly lump at top of his foot, he picks at it and seems to be starting on the other one now, but he is quite alert. I will look at the websites you have listed.

Dr. Jo :

I have seen birds with mites who have had normal feathers. An early or mild infestation will just create a few bumps on the skin.

Dr. Jo :

I hope you find the websites helpful. Please let me know what questions you have after reading them.

Dr. Jo :

I can't emphasize enough the best plan to find out what is causing your bird to do these things or if he is healthy is to have him examined by an experienced and qualified veterinarian, even if you have to take him somewhere else to do that. The fact remains he will need veterinary care throughout his life.

Customer:

yes

Dr. Jo :

I want to let you know I'll be offline most of the rest of the day because I have to travel. I will, however, check my email again as soon as I am able so can address the questions you'll have after looking at the articles.

Dr. Jo :

I believe I have one more good source. One moment.

Dr. Jo :

http://lafeber.com/pet-birds/your-birds-health/

Dr. Jo :

The above link is a good page on general bird health care and common problems, as well as information about how to travel with your bird.

Dr. Jo :

You can trust absolutely everything on the Lafeber website.

Customer:

I've looked at various websites, there are a few products available at Amazon, one popular one seems to be Scatt unfortunately I do not handle my budgie so I can not rub anything on to his feet. I may get the J&J vitamin drops to put in his water, that would do no harm would it? Following your response to this question I will then end this query, thank you.

Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 2800
Experience: DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
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