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Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 505
Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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Long story short, my uncle was at home depot and rescued a

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Long story short, my uncle was at home depot and rescued a hurt finch. He nursed it back to health after it was indeed in poor condition. After a couple days he got better and my uncle passed by and asked if I wanted to keep it. It was then that I noticed he had what  seemed to be bruises....dark stuff on its legs. I looked into it and I'm 95% sure its scaly leg mites. Most likely the beginning stages of it.  I have a cockatiel who has not been near this bird at all but I'm wondering if scaly leg mites is contagious at all. Also any other possible contagious things being that the bird was out in poor condition and if so what can I do to help prevent this from affecting my cockatiel (cleaning the area of the hurt finch etc.) Please help thanks! Eric.

Hi there,

How nice of you and your uncle to care for this bird! If it is scaly leg mites, then yes, it is contagious to your bird. It can be treated by soaking the legs and feet in warm salt water and coating them with vasoline to suffocate the mites daily for at least two weeks, but severe cases may need ivermectin administered by a vet. You should also clean the cage thoroughly.

There are a variety of contagious viruses and bacteria that new birds can give to pet birds. In general, making sure the new bird has had no symptoms of illness for 30 days before putting them together is the best way to protect your pet. Alternatively, you could release the finch once it is healthy if it was a wild bird before your uncle got it (pet finches may not have the skills to survive).

I hope this is helpful. If so, please rate me positively and dont hesitate to let me know how i can help further.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much for your answer. I have informed my uncle of what you have told me and he will gladly help the little bird nurse back to health. He has taken it back to his home. After seeing that the pet finch with possible leg mites we decided to not keep it for the safety of my cockatiel.

Also to somewhat address your putting them together my cockatiel was no where near the finch at all. The finch was brought in a cage and stood in that cage the entire time in one spot in the house and that was the table in the living room. My cockatiels cage is upstairs. I have cleaned the spot where the finch's cage was numerous times just to try and make sure my cockatiel is in no harm of any virus and bacteria since we do let my tiel to fly around.
Obviously that is just standard procedure to kill germs but any other advice to try and make sure my pet is any danger.

I will also happily rate you once you reply to this. Thank you so much for your help.

I'm glad I could help. Most viruses and bacteria don't survive in the environment very well, especially on household surfaces that tend to be hard and smooth (like your table) with no place to hide. The biggest concern is close contact where things can spread from bird to bird, either through the air or through close contact. Since you've cleaned and the birds were never near each other, your cockatiel should be safe. Good job not putting them together right away!
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