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Signs of Bird Skin Problems

Signs of bird skin problems can include flaky skin, feather loss that is not due to normal molting, and dull or damaged feathers. Bird skin problems are often caused by external parasites or by nutritional problems. Identifying the problem early, as soon as you notice signs of bird skin problems, is important. Proper diagnosis of the cause is best left to your avian vet, who can help you identify the reasons for the skin problems and recommend solutions. Common types of external bird parasites are different species of mites. These can include red or gray mites, and cere or knemidocoptic mites. Red and gray mites feed on the skin of the bird, and are usually most active at night. This means that night time is when you are most likely to see behaviors like excessive scratching. During the day, however, you may see the results of that nighttime scratching. These signs can include bare patches or areas of inflamed skin. Cere and knemidocoptic mites affect budgies more often than other birds, and burrow into the fleshy past above the bird’s beak (the cere). Signs of infestation by cere mites include small lesions that resemble warts, usually around the beak area. Other affected areas can include the eyelids, legs, feet, and other areas of the face and beak. Red, ulcerated skin, often oozing pus, is a sign of a bird skin problem known as ulcerative dermatitis. This condition can be caused by things like intestinal parasites or a previous wound, and often becomes infected because the bird picks at the itchy lesions. A more common sign of bird skin problems is just the simple scratching that comes with having dry skin. This dry skin can be caused by vitamin deficiencies or dry indoor air, especially during the winter months. If the culprit seems to be a vitamin deficiency, talk to your vet about whether or not your bird needs supplements, or if simply a dietary change is in order. Running a cool mist humidifier and frequently misting your bird with warm water can help reduce the itching and scratching associated with dry skin caused by environmental conditions. Since signs of bird skin problems, such as discolored skin, bare patches, or excessive scratching, can be indications of serious problems, it is important to take your bird to the vet for proper diagnosis. Some of these signs of bird skin problems can be an indication of parasites that need treatment or dietary changes that are in order.

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