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General Health Care Remember to use common sense and consult with an avian veterinarian.

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Old 10-13-2017, 05:17 PM
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Budgies: Ju, Rumi, Lara, Trixie, Rainy, Comet, Alex, Starlight, and Poppy; Parrotlet: Noah; Peach-faced lovebird: Rosie
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Exclamation Weird Kākāriki Disease >_>

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Okay, so I know I haven't been on in a while. Sorry about that. Anyways, it looks like the mash is what's causing the budgies' tummy troubles. Poor Samantha's feeling horrible from the stuff, so no more mash!

Anyways, onto the infamous kākāriki duo. We're still having ongoing issues with them, due to malnutrition, emaciation, muscle atrophy, get the idea. They've put on weight and are getting fresh veggies, sunflower seeds, nuts, and Nekton-S.

Anyways, shortly after bringing them home, I noticed their moulted feathers looked weird. Like, the quills were fat, yellow, waxy looking, and had nasty little barbs on the ends, where they anchor to the skin. It's not PBFD or anything like that, but it's freaking weird. There's even blood on the tip. Anyways, showed them to Dr. Yee, and she'd never seen anything like it before. She said it could possibly be due to malnutrition, but considering Tiki seems to be the one with these weird feathers, I thought it was unlikely as his choanal papillae were nice and spiky. Oh, and it's only his body feathers that are affected, not his tail feathers or flight feathers.

Anyways, I couldn't find any info on these strange feathers, until I finally managed to put the right keywords into Google. I'm the keyword master, but it turned out I was casting too wide of a net. Turned out I had to type "kākāriki feather". I guess I buried the lead. Anyways, it turns out that he might have this weird, extremely picky feather mite that only likes kākāriki (or, they're the only members of the parrot family that this mite uses as a host). That's weird, you're probably thinking. Well, kākāriki are strange little birds from a strange little island who eat strange things and nest in strange places and like cold weather and like to chew up kanuka, manuka, and berries, then smear them all over their feathers (anting).

Anyways, the only information we've got on this mite is in German (don't even ask). Basically, it's only people who don't speak English, French, or Spanish who keep these birds. The only reason I found out what the problem likely is is because a short blurb was translated from German into English. The mites are called Neocnemidocoptes mites. They suck the fluid out of the developing feather while it's just a little blood feather, and when the feather fully develops, the quill has hyperkeratosis as a result.

Here's some links:
Kakariki - Paradise, Ern?hrung, Haltung, Krankheiten, Futterpflanzen, von Ziegensittichen, Springsittichen, Laufsittichen

Die Informations-Plattform für Ziegensittich- und Springsittichhalter ? Thema anzeigen - Neocnemidocoptes-Milben ?

Moderators, I know you don't like it when people post stuff from other forums, and I get that, but the information concerning this parasite is only found on German bird forums. Nowhere else can you find this information. This is a widespread problem with kākāriki, with hundreds of birds suffering from this nasty parasite. However, despite numerous vet visits and testing, they are left untreated because non-German and non-New Zealand vets have never heard of this, and it doesn't appear in any English literature. So, unless you do searches in various languages using just the right keywords, most captive kākāriki will be left to suffer. Kākāriki are known for being light moulters (most people don't even realize their birds have moulted), however, with certain birds, when they moult, they're left with bald patches all over their bodies. Kākāriki are cold-climate birds, and when they drop most of their feathers at once (like budgies do), they can die from exposure. Odds are, these "extreme moulters" suffer from Neocnemidocoptes mites, however, this unnatural moulting has been accepted as "normal" because vets have been unable to identify the problem. These feather mites are not like other mites, so the symptoms are overlooked or misinterpreted by vets (except if you're from Germany). Furthermore, these mites are microscopic and may or may not live within feather follicles. Ivermectin is a good treatment for this parasitic infection.

I'll be collecting fresh feathers from Tiki and will be bringing them to Dr. Morris for analysis on Tuesday.

Ooh! German medical journal!

Last edited by Teddscau; 10-13-2017 at 05:24 PM.
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