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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23765
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a silkie cockerel which had quite a lot of lice when

Customer Question

hi I have a silkie cockerel which had quite a lot of lice when I bought him. I put some red mite and lice powder on him and he seems to be clear but just after that one of his eyes was closed shut and I could see little parasites crawling on his face. I washed his eye with cooled boiling water and after his eye always had some bubbly substance in it. I also tried to put some powder on his face (avoiding eyes and nose) but they are still there. He is eating and drinking but he just sits around most the time and doesn't seem interested in anything. I don't really know what to do?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.
Can you clarify for me if these little parasites are the lice you mentioned or are you seeing mites? Lice are easily seen with the naked eye and are yellowish in color and flat-bodied. They move fast in comparison to mites. Ivermectin is commonly used as a lice treatment with anecdotal reports of success. The 1% cattle injectable solution can be dosed at 0.1 ml by mouth per bird weekly for 5 weeks. The northern fowl mite is the most common of the mites and can also be addressed with ivermectin. Chickens using dust boxes filled with either sand, diatomaceous earth, kaolin clay, or sulfur showed a reduction in ectoparasites by a whopping 80-100% after one week. Ectoparasite populations recovered when dust boxes containing diatomaceous earth or kaolin clay were removed; however, sulfur provided a residual effect up to 9 months post removal. Provision of dust boxes may be a simple and effective method of ectoparasite control for backyard flocks.I'm concerned that he's so lethargic. This can occur when heavily parasitized but also with any number of disorders in chickens. Bubbly eyes can indicat the conjunctivitis associated with both chicen coryza (Haemophilus paragallinarum) and avian mycoplasmosis. Are you seeing any respiratory signs - sneezing, nasal discharge, swollen sinuses, e.g. - at this time?

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