Worming & Treating for Lice & Mites

Worming a pet bird


I often have pet bird owners asking me this question and I always say don’t treat anything unless it has been diagnosed by an avian veterinarian. Pet birds aren’t like pet cats and dogs that need to be wormed every 3 months and consistently treated for fleas. Cats and dogs need to be wormed and de-fleaed regularly because they are outside, mixing with other animals that could pass on parasite problems to them. Whereas, your pet bird who doesn’t come into contact with wild birds or other birds with suspect health, is unlikely to pick up parasites.

Over-the-counter wormers are often outdated drugs that worms have become resistant to. Some of them taste so bitter, that the bird resists drinking until the next day when the worming mixture is thrown out and replaced with fresh water. When wormers are put into drinking water, it is impossible to give the bird a measured dose. The best way to check if your bird has worms is to get its faeces tested by your avian veterinarian. If worms are diagnosed, the correct dose of wormer according to the bird’s weight, can be administered via a crop tube. If your bird has a heavy infestation of worms, simply using a wormer can be very dangerous. Dead worms can cause blockages in the narrow intestines of your bird. Often paraffin oil has to be crop tubed to help the dead worms pass from your bird’s gastro-intestinal system. Your veterinarian will also be able to give you advice on how to prevent re-infestation.

In the same vein, unless your bird has been diagnosed with lice or mites, don’t treat it with mite or lice spray. Many pet bird owners don’t understand the need for their pet to groom and keep its feathers in good order. They confuse the grooming process with an animal itching or scratching as a result of an irritation. Consequently they unnecessarily spray the bird with insecticidal mite sprays. Constant exposure to toxins in the form of mite and lice sprays can be fatal to your bird. If your bird has mites or lice, you will be the first to know. You will see them crawling amongst the bird’s feathers and they will also crawl over you. Birds should only be sprayed for mites and lice once they have been diagnosed by a qualified avian veterinarian.

Most avian veterinarians see more pet birds with problems caused by over-the-counter parasite treatments than they see birds that actually have parasite infestations. If you suspect that your bird has a parasite problem see your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and correct treatment. There are many different types of mites and lice and intestinal parasites and many different types of drugs to treat these problems. The important thing is to get an accurate diagnosis combined with the correct treatment and advice on prevention. This will eliminate any problem and prevent the re-appearance of the pests.


How do pet birds get worms?

Worms in pet birds are usually contracted by eating contaminated food, or drinking contaminated water. Some common symptoms of worm infestation include weight loss, lethargy, decreased appetite, and diarrhoea. If you suspect your bird has worms, take them to the vet for a diagnosis and treatment plan. There are many effective worming treatments available for birds. Your bird vet will likely recommend a specific worming treatment based on the type of worm your bird has and the severity of the infestation.

What are some signs that my pet bird needs to be wormed?

There are a few signs that may indicate that your pet bird needs to be wormed. If your bird is losing weight or appearing lethargic, these could be potential signs that something is wrong and searching online for an exotic pet veterinarian near me may be needed. Another sign that your bird may need to be wormed is if it has increased appetite but is not gaining weight. This may be due to the fact that the worms are stealing nutrients from your bird’s food before it has a chance to digest them. Finally, if you notice your bird scratching more than usual or see any worms in its droppings, these are also indicators that it is time for a deworming treatment.

What are the benefits of worming my pet bird?

There are several benefits to worming your pet bird. For one, it can help to prevent them from becoming infected with parasites. Additionally, worming your pet bird can also help to improve its overall health and well-being. And lastly, worming your bird can help to reduce the risk of it spreading parasites to other birds or animals.

What are the risks of not worming my pet bird?

There are a few risks to not worming your pet bird. The most common is that the bird will become infected with parasites, which can make them very sick. If left untreated, these infections can be fatal. Another risk is that the bird will pass the parasites on to other birds in their environment, including wild birds. This can cause problems for the entire ecosystem. Finally, if you have other pets in the house, they can also become infected with the parasites if they come into contact with your bird.

How often should my pet bird be wormed?

There are a few things to consider when deciding how often to worm your pet bird. The type of bird, its environment, and its health are all factors that play a role in how often you should worm your pet.

For healthy birds that live in clean environments, experts recommend worming every 6 to 12 months. If your bird lives in a less than clean environment or is immunocompromised, you may need to worm more frequently. Some experts recommend worming every 3 to 4 months for these birds.

If your bird is showing any signs of illness, it is important to take them to an avian vet for a check-up. Your vet will be able to determine if your bird needs to be wormed and how often they should be wormed based on their individual health needs.

How can I tell if my pet bird has mites or lice?

Mites and lice are tiny parasitic insects that can infest your pet bird’s feathers and skin. These pests are most commonly found in outdoor birds, but can also be found in indoor birds. If your pet bird has mites or lice you will see them crawling over their feathers and they will also crawl onto you. They can make your bird’s skin very itchy and irritated and cause your bird to lose its feathers, so you should get them to a vet for the proper treatment as soon as possible. Don’t attempt to treat your bird with lice and mite sprays without first consulting with an avian vet because these treatments can be toxic to your bird.

What are the symptoms of mites or lice?

Mites are tiny parasites that live on the skin of birds. These pests can cause a variety of problems for birds, including skin irritation, anaemia, and even death. If you suspect your bird has mites or lice, it’s important to take them to an avian veterinarian for treatment as soon as possible. Left untreated, these parasites can cause serious health problems for your feathered friend.

What should I do if my pet bird has mites or lice?

If your pet bird has mites or lice, it’s important to treat them right away. If left untreated, mites and lice can cause your bird a lot of discomfort and may even make them sick. In severe cases, untreated mites and lice can even kill your bird. If you think your pet bird has mites or lice, take them to the vet right away so they can be treated by a professional.

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  1. I have one horse, who I rotate pastures with cows. She is showing no signs of parasite infestations. How often, if at all, do I need to worm her?

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