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Discussion Starter #1
I am posting a picture of my pet pigeon Pete. Does anyone know what the weird growths are around his eyes? Yes, he is old. He also has a bald spot on his neck with funky looking skin. Any ideas would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Karyn,
Thanks for responding! I will retake the pix when I get home tonight to get better detail and try to get the new photos posted. My pigeons are just pets but I love them.
Tiff
 

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Hi Karyn,
Thanks for responding! I will retake the pix when I get home tonight to get better detail and try to get the new photos posted. My pigeons are just pets but I love them.
Tiff
So are all of mine as well, and I feel the same way :). We will wait for better photos.

Karyn
 

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Hi Karyn,
I hope you are able to see better in the new photo. It is a close up of Pete's head. Even more so I hope someone knows what this stuff could be and if there is anything I can do. Thanks for trying anyway.
Tiff
 

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Tiff, although I have not had to deal with it myself, this could be a case of scaly face mite, which is a burrowing mite, that burrows into the skin on a bird's face and legs and this type of "scale" you see is the body reaction to this infestation (good photo by the way). Could be a few other things, but this is the first thought that came to my mind, the second patch on the side of his face is by where the ear canal is, so it kind of makes sense this is where mites would burrow as well, here is some information on it:

http://budgiesareawesome.blogspot.com/2011/06/mites-are-monsters-2.html

The treatment is a topical liquid/lotion that contains a medicine to kill the mites, such as Scatt, here's what it looks like and where to get it:

http://www.jedds.com/Detail.bok?category=ALL&keyword=mites&no=957&searchpath=10881311

The active ingredient in Scatt is a drug called Moxidectin and this is what I would recommend an alternative would be Ivermectin, but see if you can get the Scatt.

Might be a good idea to have you vet have a look at him as well.

Karyn
 

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Hi Karyn,
Thanks for checking back. I just got something from Jedds but I will order some Scatt. I hate to say this but I have never had any luck with vets doing anything with birds. Even avian vets. They all want to run $1200.00 worth of tests and then still have no idea what the problem is with the bird. I have had this so many times ( I can truly think of 6 off the top of my head). The first time that happened to me they charged me the $1200.00 (which I paid because I was thinking whatever the bird had at the time would spread to the rest of them). The avian specialist ran a million tests, gave me some injectable Baytril, and said my bird would be fine. She was dead an hour later. And the tests he ran were all inconclusive. I ended up losing two other birds that time, switched vets, more tests, had a necropsy done by the county on one bird and got nowhere. My birds stopped dying when I found a pigeon owner thru a local pet store who gave some meds for my little flock, and recommended some vitamins. One other sick bird recovered and everyone else was fine after that but I lost some real sweethearts due to all that. I had similar experiences since. I have read this forum for years without joining and could see that people here are pigeon folks with a lot of expertise. Your thoughts make a lot of sense. I am anxious to check out the info on the mites. I will post again soon and hopefully help Pete get better soon. Thank you again!
Tiff
 

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Hi Karyn,
Thanks for checking back. I just got something from Jedds but I will order some Scatt. I hate to say this but I have never had any luck with vets doing anything with birds. Even avian vets. They all want to run $1200.00 worth of tests and then still have no idea what the problem is with the bird. I have had this so many times ( I can truly think of 6 off the top of my head). The first time that happened to me they charged me the $1200.00 (which I paid because I was thinking whatever the bird had at the time would spread to the rest of them). The avian specialist ran a million tests, gave me some injectable Baytril, and said my bird would be fine. She was dead an hour later. And the tests he ran were all inconclusive. I ended up losing two other birds that time, switched vets, more tests, had a necropsy done by the county on one bird and got nowhere. My birds stopped dying when I found a pigeon owner thru a local pet store who gave some meds for my little flock, and recommended some vitamins. One other sick bird recovered and everyone else was fine after that but I lost some real sweethearts due to all that. I had similar experiences since. I have read this forum for years without joining and could see that people here are pigeon folks with a lot of expertise. Your thoughts make a lot of sense. I am anxious to check out the info on the mites. I will post again soon and hopefully help Pete get better soon. Thank you again!
Tiff
Tiff, parts of your story sound very familiar to me, as I have been there too. I think many vets are well meaning and there are some that really know their stuff, but it can be hit and miss with them at times. I know from experience how very frustrating this can be, especially when you are spending a ton of money and ending up with dead birds.

While waiting for the Scatt, if Pete where mine, I would probably start early treatment with a caged Bird spray, with Pyrethrins as the active ingredient, such as the one below:

http://www.petsupplies.com/item/8-in-1-mite-and-lice-spray-8oz/521004/

This is a very safe to use spray directly on a bird, spray his body, under wing area and legs. If it is mites, we might as well get a head start knocking down what we can.

Do you have any other meds on hand?

Karyn
 

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Hi tiff. I agree with you on the vet part. To many people here reccommend getting the bird to a vet asap. They dont understand that not everyone has money to do that. A lot of us are struggling to make ends meet the way it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
8 in1 Spray

Hi Karyn,

Thanks for the suggestion on the spray. I have been thinking about what I could do for him while waiting for the Scatt. I will pick up some 8 in 1 this morning and probably spray them all. I am blessed to have sweet intelligent pigeons that seem to understand that if I am doing something I must have good reason and they cooperate. I can see how easy it it must be for them to get mites. They live in a good sized aviary that is partially shaded by some large trees. Lots of wild birds live in the trees. The aviary is strong and other birds cannot get in because it is made of finch wire but I cant protect them from everything I guess. I do have some antibiotics and stuff. Baytril, amoxy, terrimycin, metronazidole, 4 in1 and some medpet. I am planning on giving my little group some vitamins in their water to help build them up. Do you think it would be worthwhile to use some 5% sevin dust around the aviary? Any other suggestions you have are greatly appreciated. One other thing that is weird is that I never thought of mites because I have never seen Pete scratch. I would think he isn't even aware of the bald areas but he is probably just very stoic. Poor guy. Thanks again, Karen
 

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Tiff, with the way you describe things, with wild birds that group over your aviary at times, mites may well be the issue here. A couple of more suggestions I would add is to make sure any outside food or water dishes are the covered kind (or sheltered) so any stray wild bird droppings can find their way into them. It may be wise to treat you birds a few times a year for worms using Pyrantel Pamoate, it's a very safe and effective anthelmintic (de-wormer), here's where you can get some, the small bottle will last a few years.

http://www.revivalanimal.com/store/p/2775-Pyrantel-50mg.aspx

You can use the Sevin 5 dust, but what I use is a Permethrin spray. Permethrin is a synthetic form of the active ingredient in the 8 in 1 Spray, Pyrethrins, this way the liquid will get down into all the nooks, creases and crevices where the bad guys hide. Many people also use it as "dip" where they will add a gallon of water to a bucket, then add 1/2oz of Permethrin to the water and dip their birds in this to kill any external pests (kinda' the same thing as sparying with the 8 1n 1, but with more coverage, keeping the head out of the water of course). Here is a link below for it (it is also known by the trade name Permectrin II (2).

http://www.jedds.com/-strse-1668/Permethrin-10-pct--EC/Detail.bok

Glad you have some meds on hand in case they are needed.


Karyn
 

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By the way Tiff, be careful if you decide to "dip" or immerse your bird in water or fluid.
Most birds, except waterfowl, react badly to being immersed in water or even just thoroughly wetted down with water. They often go into a shock like state, immobile, unresponsive and eyes closed, which can last for an hour or more. It is frightening to observe to say the least and I suspect it is one of the reasons that birds which become covered with pollution can not be washed down, unless they are of course water fowl. That group seems to tolerate it best.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi,
Thanks for the comment on dipping. The only experience I have with dipping is back in the day when we it was common to dip your dog for fleas. My dog and I got sick from it once and I decided it was pretty bad stuff. Strangely enough my pigeons have lived around waterfowl most of their lives and consequently have no fear of immersing themselves in water. They don't like to bathe if they don't have 4-5 inch deep water. They can practically swim using their wings; I want to get a video of them doing that because it looks funny and they love it so much. But I wouldn't be comfortable dipping them. Pigeons are really little compared to dogs and I wouldn't want to make them afraid of their baths they love so much. It was good to post your comment as I have noticed there are alot of new pigeon owners who read this stuff and a heads up is always good!
Tiff
 

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Got the Scatt and put it on everyone last night. One thing I learned is that my Pete is a strong boy. After I put the first drop on him he wasn't sure he liked it and decided to struggle. It actually made me glad to see how strong he is. I did do all of my birds. The hard part is I won't have any way to know if it worked since the "scales" on Pete's neck and face will probably never go away and like I said he never did seem to itch or scratch. I will probably retreat them all as soon as the directions allow and keep the aviary treated. Do really old pigeons get any kind of natural growths aroung their eyes or beaks? I have known other people with pigeons but I am not sure any of them were as old as some of my gang is right now (16 and 14 years). Thanks again, Karyn. I will update on my pidgie team. Do you have any pics posted of your birds?
Tiff
 

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Got the Scatt and put it on everyone last night. One thing I learned is that my Pete is a strong boy. After I put the first drop on him he wasn't sure he liked it and decided to struggle. It actually made me glad to see how strong he is. I did do all of my birds. The hard part is I won't have any way to know if it worked since the "scales" on Pete's neck and face will probably never go away and like I said he never did seem to itch or scratch. I will probably retreat them all as soon as the directions allow and keep the aviary treated. Do really old pigeons get any kind of natural growths aroung their eyes or beaks? I have known other people with pigeons but I am not sure any of them were as old as some of my gang is right now (16 and 14 years). Thanks again, Karyn. I will update on my pidgie team. Do you have any pics posted of your birds?
Tiff
Tiff, one of the other treatments for scaly face mites is a product that is contains liquid paraffin, which is essentially mineral oil, I myself would probably get a small bottle of mineral oil and a small brush and paint a bit on the face patch and carefully around the eye crust as well, as a sort of two pronged attack (the liquid smothers them). Mineral oil is a liquid petrolatum and since petrolatum makes up the base of almost all ointments used in the eyes, such as Terramycin, even if a touch of the mineral oil were to get in his eye, there would be no issue with this (careful around the nostrils).

Yes, old birds can have their cere get bigger when they get up there in age, but this is not what is happening here, as they do not develop patches on the face as well, as your bird has.

In time, if we are correct and this is mites, the crust should heal up pretty well, have a look at these two links with before and after photos of a budgie who was badly infected and treated.

http://www.birdboard.com/forum/f21/severe-case-scaly-mites-update-photos-878358.html

http://www.birdboard.com/forum/f21/last-photo-spirit-mite-free-893823.html

These photos were not taken that far apart and I am sure over the months this little guy's face continued to improve.


Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update

I have been "painting" my bird with mineral oil on his bald spot, around his beak and eyes, etc. I looked at the budgie photos. One thing I noticed right away was that (especially when oiled) the stuff on his face does not look like the pix of the budgie in the photos. There are no "crusts". Also, there is absolutely no change in him at all since I started using the mineral oil. I am sticking with it for now because I really do think it is mites or something very similar but will continue to research. I can't imagine what else it could be. I know I can repeat the Scatt I beleive 10 days from the first time and will do that just in case. Just thought those reading this post would like to know if we've had progress.

Tiff
 

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Discussion Starter #17
One more item of note. I found this reference on a vets website and so I think I need to retreat and see where Pete is in 30-40 days.
This addresses treatment with Scatt:
Pour-on or injectable moxidectin (Cydectin—Fort Dodge Animal Health) is also effective and available in 0.5% and 1% preparations, respectively. In one study, one or two topical treatments at 10-day intervals on the neck skin in budgerigars with 0.1 ml of the 10-mg/ml injectable was effective and showed no adverse effects in 30 birds.31 Pruritus disappeared within 10 days after the first treatment, while complete resolution of lesions took about 30 to 40 days, depending on lesion severity.

As I said before Pete doesn't seem to itch but the description of the legions they would get (for a pigeon) sounded just like Pete's. FYI. Will continue to update.
Tiff
 

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Tiff, like you I have been doing some research and reading on this, and so far I have not come across anything that produces anything that looks like what we are seeing in the photo(s) you posted, other than mites, so I think you should stick with the treatment as well.

Make sure with the Scatt that you are getting all of it directly on the skin, I would use a 1cc syringe to do this (there are 2 drops for every 0.10cc). Also, how much did you apply, I had a look at the instructions and the dose is 1 drop for 30g of weight, for 30g-100g 2 drops. Here is a link to Vetafarm for their instructions:

http://www.vetafarm.com/products/SCATT-50mL.html

I would think that in a pigeon weighing 300-400g, I would want to be at about 6 drops.

Here is my reasoning and you can make your own decision. According to Dr. Colin Walker Moxidectin can be given as a single dose to a bird at a rate of 0.50cc (1/2mL) per kilo of body weight, this would be 10 drops a kilo. Now this is for Moxidectin that is most commonly given orally which is at a 2% strength (2mg/mL), which he sells at his clinic. In Scatt, the active ingredient is Moxidectin, but at a strength of 1000ug/mL (1%, or 1mg/mL), so this means that Scatt could be given, based on Dr. Colin's recommendations at 1cc per kilo of body weight, or 2 drops for each 100 grams of body weight, which matches what Vetafarm is saying for Scatt, basically 2 drops per 100g of body weight.

http://www.auspigeonco.com.au/Articles/parasite_poultry.html
http://www.auspigeonco.com.au/order/ordering_Medications.html

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi Karyn,
I found this info which by description sounds like it would look like what Pete has. I included a link to the web site at the end of the passage:

Three mite species are known to infect primarily the feathers in birds: Knemidocoptes gallinae, Knemidocoptes laevis, and Neocnemidocoptes gallinae.
Knemidocoptes gallinae is smaller than K. mutans (the adult female averages 0.3 mm in diameter) and burrows into the basal shafts and feathers on the epidermis of chickens, pigeons, and pheasants. It appears to be more prevalent in the spring and summer. Knemidocoptes gallinae has interrupted dorsal striations, forming raised sculpturing.9
Knemidocoptes laevis is a depluming mite in pigeons, and N. gallinae affects pheasants, chickens, pigeons, and geese.9
In budgerigars, canaries, and other small birds, the mites cause scaly, crusty, gray to tan lesions on unfeathered skin, especially the legs, feet, and around the beak, eyelids, and periocular areas. Mites directly penetrate feather follicles, skin folds, and the epidermis, causing pouchlike cavities and producing secondary pouches, resulting in a honeycombed lesion. Usually, the birds are not noticeably pruritic. In severe cases, the beak, feet, and toes may become malformed. The mites also affect passerines, poultry, and raptors.
Lesions usually start at the commissures of the beak and have a honeycomb appearance. In the early stages, lesions are confined to the cere and the base of the beak (Figures 2A & 2B).

Taxonomically, knemidocoptic dermatitis in birds can be compared to sarcoptic dermatitis (mange) in mammals, but most birds lack the classic intense pruritus seen in animals with scabies.

http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/vetmed/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=392958&pageID=1&sk=&date=

It also specifically says most birds lack the intense itching which is true of Pete. As for the amount, I will probably go with 6 drops next time. Jedd's recommended 2 drops per bird and Pete actually got more than that on him because he was struggling. It actually worried me at first but he is fine so I feel fine about it. One other thing is that on Pete I applied it to the bare area of his neck because it was convenient and I must say on the other birds it is hard to know if both drops actually reached the skin because of the thickness of the feathers and the natural tendancy to repel wetness. Even though I made sure I could see the skin and endevored to put the Scatt directly on it, I don't think it looked like it sunk in every time. Of course none of the other birds have any bald spots but I will still treat everyone just in case. I plan to repeat soon and will use what I have learned hopefully to the advantage of all. Thanks for continuing to follow our saga.
Tiff
 

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Discussion Starter #20
For clarity the part that sounds like Pete is "pouchlike cavities and producing secondary pouches, resulting in a honeycombed lesion". The pouchlike cavities are tiny but this stuff is not easy to describe. Also the "forming raised sculpturing" may be about a different variation of the mite but that sounds like it too. Pete has no problems with his feet (FYI). There was a comment that it is more common in older birds (like Pete). Thanks again,
Tiff
 
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