Pet Birds Infected with Bird / Biting Mites

Pet Bird Suffering from Bird Mites

Shirley has been battling a bird mite infection for some time now, and now would like to share her experience with people who may be faced with the same problem. Below is her input:

I have been battling this with a cockatiel for a few months now. He plucked his back and had big sores. The vet put him on Metroconozole for 10 days once a month. It helped initially. The cockatiel always had black specs on the back, sometimes red, sometimes rashes. At times, I could see long hair red lines under the skin.A complete histopathy came back with severe dermatitis (and a $869.00 vet bill).

I recently also found that my other pet bird, a lovebird, has the same symptoms. The affected areas are the neck and lower back.

Once I was able to pick one of these “dots” up and using specialty glasses (like vets have) and a microscope I was able to take a closer look. These bugs have horrid six legs and I can see the pearl under the skin which are the eggs.

Things that appear to help in eradicating this problem:

Ruth provided the following advice:

I give then a good soaking [a bath, you can spray as well, so long as you are careful, as you could accidentally get it in their eyes and it stings] in 1/2 and 1/2 water and vinegar. They will smell funny for a few days, but it seems to help a lot. I also always use straight vinegar when washing cages, daily. I have only had mites here twice in the past 20 years and both times it was brought in by an outside bird and seemed to spread like wildfire, no matter how long or well they were quarantined. Since I started bathing them in Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) , no more mites, ever. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) works best but white works as well. Wine vinegar will stain light colored feathers, but if ingested after spraying them it is completely harmless.

PLEASE NOTE: HEATED vinegar emits toxic fumes similar to carbon dioxide. Bird owners have lost their pets by adding vinegar to their dishwashing cycle, or used it to clean coffee machines.

Shirley M. in Jacksonville Florida

  • The bird room and aviaries were thoroughly cleaned and are kept meticulously clean. I also am using Damascus earth – the eatable kind – In the foraging areas. My birds live in an inside bird room and also have their own patio totaling 400 feet of bird living area.
  • I add garlic to scrambled eggs and turmeric to the seed mixes that are fed to my birds.
  • I am using the 8 and 1 bug and mite spray, and Nystat msp.
  • To heal the sores, I am using an old- fashioned antibiotic I got from pet store in fish department – penicillin.
  • An avian vet recommended to bathe him in a shampoo used for dogs, namely: SULPH OXY DEX. After shampooing the birds, I have to let the shampoo on for about five minutes before rinsing/ drying the birds It is interesting to note that after applying the Sulph oxy dex shampoo, you can see the bugs literaly jump off the birds.
  • Please note that any treatment options need to be discussed with your vet before implementing them.

In treating my birds with chemicals, I break for a couple of days to give my birds time to rest before going back to the treatments (other than the daily cleaning and the non-toxic treatments, such as garlic and turmeric.

I do take the time and effort to provide my birds with the best possible diet, including fresh veggies and fruit. I bake birdie bread for them and also feed seeds, pellets, millet and tons of other food items from the health food store.

I am winning this war. My birds feel better. The specs are much less, but I have to be diligent every day in my efforts to eradicate them. This method is working, but I am still working on the eggs. So it’s probably a month or two of staying on top of things.

So far I am noticing that my birds stopped picking themselves, sleep better, feel better, and eat more.

This experience is horrible – it’s a nightmare. That is why I am taking the time to type this out for anyone who cares to think beyond “no hope” for this mite problem..

To me there is no such thing as it can’t be cured … I am winning this battle and I will keep you posted on if I win this battle or should I say: when I win it.

So here are some ideas and thoughts and actions to maybe help others.. I am also so open to other thoughts and theories, and your course of action. Thank you.

Mite-infected Furry Pets:

Symptoms of a mite infestation in dogs:

1. Licking their feet ….constantly.
2. Smelling their hair…they start putting their noses deep down into their hair and taking deep breaths.
3. Sneezing……some times 10 times in a row.
4. Hair loss
5. Itching….a feverish, frantic type of itching.
6. Waking up from sound sleep biting at their skin and spinning around.
7. Shaking of the head…walking with head tilted.
8. Scratching even while they sleep.
9. Rubbing their faces on the corners of tables and walls.

The Non-Toxic “Olive Oil” Solution:  One vet recommended a cat owner to follow this protocol to help her infested cat:

Pour some Olive Oil into a spray bottle and spray 2 paper towels (lightly) with it.

Put one paper towel in each hand and then rub the pet with it from head to toe.

Do this once a week until the problem has been resolved.

The cat ower reports that this non-toxic, simple solution worked and that her cat has been mite free for some time.

It appears that the Olive oil makes the fur less attractive to parasites.

Benzoyl peroxide (2.5%) kills any type of bacteria, mite or lice on the skin. Many products are widely available that can be purchased without a prescription, for example one is a common over-the-counter acne medication. Some products (such as cleansers or lotions) may require a prescription.

Check your product package to see if your form of this medication needs to be shaken. It will oxidize the skin so can be a tumor promoter, so long-term use should not be undertaken without the supervision of a health professional. This all being said, few things are as effective as Benzoyl Peroxide in getting rid of these little pests, when rubbed into the affected area.

Benzoyl peroxide is also often the active ingredient in dog mite medications.

Rita’s background and recommendation pertaining to dogs infested with mites / scabies. She herself had two dogs infected years ago and spent over $7,000 on vet treatments without any relief. In the end, the two dogs had to be put down as the vet was unable to help them. She is now considered a “veteran” in fighting the biting mites and without much assistance from the medical community has basically found a way to heal herself using Epsom Salt. She is now helpful in walking people through the process of ridding themselves and their pets from the biting mites. Following she is advising someone with a dog who is infected with biting mites. The news now is that, following the below protocol, the dog has been able to sleep in peace without itching for several weeks now.

The following protocol was followed:

  • Give the dog a quick shower every evening and very slowly pour a pint of water with 1 1/2 cups of Epsom salt over the dog.
  • Let it run down into the ears and work it down into the roots of the hair.
  • Blow dry the dog
  • Get into the shower and salt yourself down to get rid of any mites.
  • As these mites hide in fabric, it’s necessary to soak the dog’s and owner’s bedding, clothing every night.
  • The environment needs to be thoroughly cleaned daily.
  • Products that have been recommended:
    • Cedarcide and Frontline spray (do not use around birds!)

Another dog owner recommended for dogs to be placed on Revolution (prescribed by your vet).

Cats: Get some “Revolution” from a vet or from  Cat owners report this to be effective against mites as well as fleas. Others purchased flea and tick spot for cats at their local Walmarts or other stores. They recommend applying it once and then wait 2 weeks and apply again.

  • Kleen Free – This enzyme-based, chemical free home cleaning product is highly recommended by people who have been fighting bird mites / bed bugs for years and found this to be the solution.

Relevant Web Resources:

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