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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22463
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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budgie scaly face

Customer Question

budgie scaly face
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 years ago.

Hello, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today

If your bird is showing crusting of the beak, there are a few issues to consider (ie scaly face mites, Vitamin A deficiency, crusting from nasal discharge secondary to respiratory disease, etc). That said, if you are positive that she is on a balanced diet and have no respiratory signs (since you have not mention any), then we'd need to be concerned that you might be seeing the start of a infestation with scaly face mites (Knemidokoptes pilae).

Knemidokoptes is a contagious entity, so you may want to isolate this bird from any others. You also want to keep all cages meticulously clean (ie spray the cages out with a garden hose to clear out any hiding mites, dispose of any bedding, wash toys) These mites can be hard to see (they look like pepper grains), so you want to make sure you are using strict hygiene to prevent any spread to other birds you may have in the house.

In regards XXXXX XXXXX treatment approach, this does depend heavily on how severe the signs are at this stage and how extensive the crusting is. Mild cases that are only affecting the beak can often be treated by applying liquid paraffin to the region (to suffocate the mites). We usually apply this with a cotton bud twice daily for 2-4weeks.

If the bird has lesion extending near the eye (which is a difficult area to treat topically) or is not handlable, there is concern he might ingest the paraffin (which can cause diarrhea), or the lesions are extensive/severe; then that is a sign to get your vet involved immediately. As I am sure you can appreciate, when mites drill into beak tissue, we can see severe deformation and destruction (even loss) of the beak. Your vet will be able to treat the bird directly and by injection with Iv0ermectin to tackle all the mites that might be lurking. This is usually given weekly until the problem has settled.

Overall, you will need to review your diet (add some leafy greens if there is any concern about Vitamin A deficiency) and make sure you can rule out respiratory disease in this bird. Otherwise isolation and strict hygiene are key; along with the aforementioned treatments. And remember that we need to be pro-active and aggressive with our treatment. Therefore, if you treat and think you aren't seeing improvement or this bird is quite seriously affected, then do visit your vet sooner rather then later to give the beak (and thus your bird) the best chance of getting back to normal.

If you don't have a specialist avian vet, you can check where you can find one at near you at, Avian web (LINK) or Birdsnway (LINK).

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

Dr. B.


Remember that if you have any lingering questions or concerns, please reply so that we may continue our conversation. I will be happy to work with your further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek. Please remember to rate my answer when you are satisfied (with4-5 stars or a happy face) so that I may receive credit for my assistance. Thank you & have a great day. : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 years ago.
Hi again,

I have been notified that you have posted a reply. Yet there appears to be none to be seen. Therefore, if possible, please repost your further queries and I will answer them once they are visible.

Look forward to hearing back from you,
Dr. B.