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

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Old 02-19-2011, 09:48 AM
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Help with Mites/Tapeworms *NEW INFORMATION ADDED*

So I have been reading my monthly mag again lol!

Not as much information in it as last month, but I have seen a few people ask about mites.

Most of us who have our fids indoors will never have to worry as this is usually for outdoor companions. Nevertheless, I have tucked the article safely away as in the warmer weather, Cal will be outside and during the seasons where these little bugs are at their peak, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they could find their way in.

Red mites are most prominent in Cockatoo's and Cockatiel's as the base of their crest feathers is the perfect spot. All parrots are at risk though as our birds have a high body temperature compared to other outdoor dwellers.

As usual, I will paraphrase from the artice .

Five Essential Tips to prevent red mite infestation:

1) Do not position aviaries under trees.
2) Fully cover the roof of the aviary to prevent wild birds dropping any into your birds home when preening etc. (For this very reason I change out of my coat and wash myself thoroughly after practically climbing the trees to feed the wild birds hah!)
3) Corn on the cob litter which is a popular choice for nesting material is a particular draw for mites.
4) Fully change nest boxes once a week. Remove both parents and place babies somewhere warm. Work as quickly as you can to minimise distress. (The article states that mites are particularly attracted to babies and the nest box. The parents can damage the babies by trying to pluck the parasites out and the babies can suffer aneamia from the blood loss. In such small birds, this can be fatal)
5) The first few days of rain after a long period of drought often triggers the activity of mites.

Each mite can lay up to 2,600 eggs which can hatch in 48hrs. A good test for either babies or adults, is to line the box/cage with white kitchen towel. If mites are present, the towel will have red spots of blood.

To treat mites, a simple pyrethum based anti mite spray is very effective. Spray onto the back of the neck and back. Keep changing the paper until you see no blood. This method can be used on both adults and babies.

To treat woodwork for mites, a pyrethum based powder will eradicate any lingering mites. This can be followed up with a long term preventative such as liquid Ivermectin which can be sprayed or painted on.

With babies who have become aneamic through the infestation will lose skin colour. A single dose of vit B complex is known to almost immediately cure aneamia. This applies to adult aneamic birds also. ( Useful hint, no?)

An adult who has mites will over preen, have bald patches on the face or crest and blood smatterings either on the head area or anywhere there are main arteries close to the surface of the skin such as under the birds wings, legs or ankles. A bird may even struggle to stay upright if a mite has crawled into the birds ear and upsets the balance. (nasty!)

An infestation of mites can cause deadly secondary infections. (This is where it is close to my heart RIP Buster <3) Mites affect the "host" with infections such as internal tapeworm or bacterial disease. This is spread to other occupants in the aviary/home. In the case of BD the bird will quickly show signs of respitory problems and with need antibiotics followed by probiotics to build up the immune system again.

Tapeworms can cause severe intestinal mucosal lesions to a parrots ut and his can severely interfere with the birds ability to convert carotene pigments into functional Vit A and K (vital....) This can cause a dry/flaky beak. If the tapeworm goes unnoticed, can cause the feet and beak to lose colour and become very hot to the touch. The bird at this stage, is becoming more and more aneamic. Foul smelling, watery droppings with a slimy mucous appearance are the first sign a bird is suffering.

The slime is actually the tapeworms that have collapsed flat and died. Once treated by an avian vet, a diet high in Vit A, C and K will quickly help the bird recover from the infestation.

TWO NATURAL CURES FOR TAPEWORM

1) Feeding raw carrots on a daily basis will help prevent tapeworms being able to establish in the first place. It will also rid any TW in the early stages.

2) An effective, safe herbal treatment can be made by boiling 10-15 leaves from a Neem tree in a cup of water. Continue to boil until the mixture has been reduced by half and remove leaves. Add a small pinch of salt to the cooled liquid , stir and offer to the bird first thing in the morning got 7-10days. This Asian cure has no toxic side effects and as a bonus, the infused liquid purifies the blood, stimulates the immune system and detoxifies the liver. Neem leaves are readily available in health food shops.

If these treatments are successful, you will see the bird responding very quickly and expelling massive amounts of the worm in it's droppings. If this is not the case, of course, the bird must be treated by an AV.

If you are still reading - well done! You may wonder why I have bothered to write all of this out when I neither have an aviary or breed birds.

The reasoning is simple. Plenty of people who visit the forum do of course, lol and all of this rings a bell with me.

Cal came from an aviary. She seemed perfectly healthy. She was. However, had she have been in the early stages of mites or tapeworms - how would I know? She was an aviary baby, I could not handle her. I could only see her various sides through the wire.

I feed the wild birds every single day and am clambering around those trees cleaning up poop and scattered food every day.

So? You might say....

The risk is small of me taking anything into Cal, I agree. However, I lost my lovely budgie Buster when I was 16 because the CAT had played with an infested bird while out. The mites did not infest the cat as he was frontlined, but the infection remained in his fur and Buster got respitory disease. Guys, the onslought was SO QUICK that only 24 hrs had passed since the incident and he did not get to the stage of probiotics - he was too far gone to respond to the anti biotics and had to be put to sleep after 3 days of trying with meds.

I sincerely hope that a lot of you have read this. Mites can be carried on anything. Infections of the bacterial nature can be carried on anything.

We all go to pet shops, to bird fairs, to the woods, to feed the birds, pet cats.......

The risk isn't huge, but it's there which is why I will hold onto this information JUST IN CASE.

If this post helps diagnose just one case(maybe in years from now, hey?), however unlikely the reader thinks the probablility is, then it will have been worth typing for the past half hour lol!



EDIT: The very next day after writing out this post, I went out to feed the wild birds and found this in the middle of the path. My phone had no flash and the day was drissly and dark. You can STILL see the shine on this poop. In real life it was so shiny and I believe it was indeed due to tapeworm. I have seen dog poop with tapeworm in it and this was very similar. There was a big clear lump that you can see but looks more browny in the pic. I have posted the attractive picture for you lol! This is why I change my clothes and wash thoroughly before I go play with Cal after sorting the garden. I'm glad the dogs mean the path gets cleaned and slushed daily.

Last edited by Von1983; 02-22-2011 at 03:01 PM. Reason: New Info.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:28 PM
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Re: Help with Mites/Tapeworms

Thank you very much Von, your time and effort to share these articles are deeply appreciated. I and a lot of other people I know are always eager to learn more and more and more.

Very interesting about the carrots! Now I must just get her to eat them raw.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:49 PM
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Re: Help with Mites/Tapeworms

Hie-hie (getting there Linky, look! Lekker ja????)

I know, I don't know how Madam C will get on with raw carrot either! I'm sure if the pieces are small enough we may get away with it, huh?
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:50 PM
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Re: Help with Mites/Tapeworms

I just mentioned mites to someone's post with GCC the other day and here this post come up!
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:37 PM
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Re: Help with Mites/Tapeworms

Thanks so much Von, any info I can learn from is a blessing, as are those like you who take the time to communicate the valuable information.

I always look forward to your posts, I always learn something

As for the carrots, that is one veggie I can get Oliver to eat, i just cut up the baby carrots to about the size of a peanut and put em in his fruit/veggie bowl. I have heard of people using a food processor to grate em up into a pulp almost and feed em the shredded carrots and juice.

My friends mom had a B&G, and used to give him a bowl full of carrot juice, he would drink it fast, and ask for more lol Funny though, he would not touch a raw or cooked carrot

Last edited by vedwed; 02-19-2011 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:22 AM
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Re: Help with Mites/Tapeworms

Thankyou Ved, I am glad that people are finding the information as helpful and interesting as I do.

I don't think we can ever learn too much!

There was a thought provoking article about feeding but it was very long and really, just pointed out that noone has managed to come up with an ideal diet for each species of parrot.

The article writer was sceptical of a completely pellet based diet with just fruit and veg. Apparently, you can give your bird TOO MANY nutrients?!

They are studying this further and are planning to report the outcome. I will be very interested to read it.

The writer pointed out that there are very firm camps with regards to "natural" foods such as nuts and seeds.

I personally feed pellet with a few nuts and seeds as well as a mixed variety (different each day) of fruit and veg. Occasional chicken, egg, popcorn, potato etc....

Cal is in tip top health (my AV's words lol) so it is ok so far. I think the difficulty will come as she gets older. I think that I will have to reasses the diet as we go along. For now she needs a lot of nutrients to grow as she is just a baby.

It is always a minefield with such things. I hope the research will eventually be able to give us a sort of table of "optimum" diet.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:05 AM
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Re: Help with Mites/Tapeworms

Von, thanks the article was so interesting.
I was not aware that eating raw carrots prevent tapeworms
Thank goodness Mishka LOVES RAW CARROTS, now instead of eating them 3 x a week, he will be eating them 7 days a week.

Thanks for sharing, we are never to old to learn.
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:02 PM
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Re: Help with Mites/Tapeworms

All those who were interested in this topic....I thought you might like to see what I found in the garden the very next day.....
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