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KNEMIDOCOPTIC MANGE (SCALY FACE MITES)

Knemidocoptic mange, a common skin disorder also known as scaly face mites, is caused by spiderlike mites and results in crusty buildup on your bird's face and skin.

Detection

Infected birds may exhibit honeycombed lesions around their eyes, beak, nostrils and legs. Budgerigars may sport scaly faces, and canaries may develop flaky skin on their legs. Mites can cause a fierce itch when they burrow into the skin, so birds may scratch - or they may seem oblivious to the problem. Either way, these pets need prompt veterinary attention. The doctor will perform a skin scraping and check for parasites under a microscope.

Treatment

The avian veterinarian will prescribe two or three weekly injections or topical applications of ivermectin to kill the mites. You'll notice considerable improvement after just a few days, but complete the entire treatment or these pesky parasites will quickly return. Treat all exposed birds at the same time, because these pests can spread to other birds. Over the counter treatments are generally ineffective.

The good news: This condition is easy to diagnose and treat. To ensure a speedy and successful recovery for your pet, consult your avian veterinarian immediately if you suspect infestation.