4 Things Bird Owners Need To Know About Air Sac Mites
Pet birds can develop a wide variety of health problems, so you need to be aware of all the things that can go wrong with your pets. One potential problem that can affect birds such as canaries or finches is an infestation of air sac mites. Here are four things that bird owners need to know about air sac mites.
What are air sac mites?
Air sac mites, known as sternostoma tracheacolum, are parasitic mites that live in the respiratory tract of many types of birds. These mites are very tiny and burrow into the nasal passages as well as the structures within the lungs, where they feed on blood. Air sac mites can cause many health problems for their hosts, including death.
How do birds get air sac mites?
Air sac mites are spread from bird to bird through direct contact. To get sick, your bird needs to be kept in close proximity to a bird that already has air sac mites. Your bird may have contracted the mites in the pet store and was already infected when you brought it home. Your birds can also get sick if you introduce new birds to your flock.
What are the symptoms of air sac mites?
The symptoms of air sac mite infestations vary based on how bad the infestation is. If your bird only has a mild infestation, they may have no symptoms at all. If the lot of the mites are present, symptoms can be quite severe. Here are some of the symptoms you may notice if your bird has a heavy infestation:
- Unusual, high-pitched noises;
- Sneezing or coughing;
- Excessive saliva production and drooling;
- Bobbing of the tail.
If your bird is very sick, their symptoms may get worse if they are put in a stressful situation. Examples of stressful situations include handling your bird to care for them, taking them to the vet, or trying to get them to exercise. If your bird is sick, use as much care as possible to keep them from getting stressed out.
How do vets treat this condition?
Like other parasitic infections, air sac mite infestations are treated with ivermectin. This drug is widely used by veterinarians to treat parasites. It can be given either orally or by injection. If you're told to give the medication orally, make sure to follow the dosage instructions exactly, because this medication is incredibly toxic if too much is used.
If you think your bird has air sac mites, take them to a veterinarian immediately.
For information about pet care, talk to a business like Canine Center.