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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 28552
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I think she has mites; scaly feet, scaly around eyes and

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i think she has mites; scaly feet, scaly around eyes and beak
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. There are all sorts of infestations the bird can pick up. I'll have you talk to the Veterinarian who'll sort out what is wrong and help you decide what to do about it. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: snowflake; she's almost 7
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about snowflake?
Customer: nope she just has the scaly look and is constantly biting herself; thought it was dry feet but then when it is now on her face, and beak, we got concerned
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Do we need to treat the 2 other birds in the cage with her (they do not show any signs at this time). How do we treat the cage.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
We can't find a local vet who treats birds or who will take new patients.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. Which type of bird is Snowflake, please? If the scaly leg and face mite (Cnemidocoptes) is present, ivermectin or moxidectin* is used at 0.1 mg/lb topically, orally or parenterally, repeated every two weeks until the crusts disappear (usually three treatments are required. Topical creams and liquids (e.g. mineral oil) are often not effective as the whole bird must be treated. All of your birds need to be treated. These mites spend their entire life on the birds but it would be reasonable to mechanical cleanse their case with soap and water. Can you upload a photo(s) of Snowflake to our conversation? You can use the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (if you can see that icon) or you can use an external app such as


Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I just uploaded pics. She is a parakeet. Can u Pls prescribe?

Thank you! ***** You don't need a prescription for moxidectin. See the link I provided or you should be able to find this product in a pet store. (We're not allowed to prescribe through this venue in any event.)

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I saw a mite spray in petsmart. Is that what you're talking about? It's a spray. How do I treat her eyes and cere?

No, avoid ineffective sprays. The moxidectin can be added to your birds' water. When they drink they treat themselves without your needing to handle them. Here's the link as a print screen:

or here:

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
OK. So when I get it how often do I add it to their water? What if she doesn't drink the water?

Follow the instructions on the label: "Dilute at the rate of 5 mls (one measuring teaspoon) to 1 liter of drinking water and make available to the birds for 24 hours." If they won't drink the water, here's a product containing moxidectin that you can apply directly to their skin:

Remember, all of your birds need to be treated!

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
OK. Tx. What about the cage

My posts mustn't be reaching you. I posted "These mites spend their entire life on the birds but it would be reasonable to mechanical cleanse their cage with soap and water (in case a a few stray mites fall off into the cage.).

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Great. Will order what u recommended. Tx

Sounds good. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Will do. I ordered the 2 medications (one to put in the water and the other to apply directly to face, cere, and feet). Once we receive them and i start administering, i will clean the cage. I will come back here to give you an update. Thanks for your help and advice, i really appreciate it.

Sorry for the delay. I've been watching the debate. You're quite welcome. I'll watch for your next post.

Dr. Michael Salkin and 2 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi. I just got the medicine for the birds. Like you said, the directions call for 5 ml of medicine in 1 liter of water. The 1 liter of water is a lot since we only really only put a few Tbsp of water in a small dish and change it every day. How do you recommend we do this for the 3 birds?
Also, is this a treatment for just 24 hours and that's it? Or is this a continued treatment in their water for a certain amount of time?
Thanks so much!

The water treatment is for 24 hours only. 1 mL (1/5 measuring teaspoon) of medicine in 200 ml of water is the same dilution. Discard the unused portion and make up a fresh solution in 2 weeks and again 2 weeks later.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Ok. Great. Will do. How long will it take before we see results with her? Also, I had ordered the topical that you recommended as well. When would i be using that?

The topical can be reserved if you don't see a positive response to water therapy. Don't use the two products concurrently. You should see progressive improvement as time passes - nothing abrupt. After the third treatment you should have a normal looking bird(s).

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
i should use the topical during the 2 weeks after the 24 hour treatment? Or just wait to see if there is a response after 2 weeks?

No. Don't use the topical unless you don't have a normal looking bird(s) after three water treatments.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Great. Thanks so much! Wish us luck!

Good luck!

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