Mew mites live in the skin of the budgie and also lay their eggs there.
Budgies can already bring these from the breeder, as they can stay on the bird for years without any symptoms. In healthy budgies, the mites are prevented from reproducing by the body’s own defences.
Only when the budgie’s defences are weakened, e.g. due to stress, malnutrition or illness, can the mites multiply unhindered and the first symptoms of a mange mite infestation appear.
In budgies, mange mites cause what is known as facial mange.
Spongy growths form in the area of the waxy skin, in which small holes drilled by the mites can be seen.
Furthermore, one can also find “feeding marks” and drill holes on the beak horn, which makes it look somehow “scratched”.
In later stages, i.e. when facial mange is left untreated, beak deformities or abnormal beak growth occur and the mange mite infestation may spread to the rack, feet and also to the cloaca.
In the early stages, microscopic examination may still be necessary. In the advanced stage, the clinical picture is so obvious that no further diagnosis is necessary.
The common method would be treatment by a“spot-on” twice every 10 days. The active ingredient “ivermectin” (1:10) is dripped onto the skin of the budgie’s neck. The active ingredient is absorbed through the skin and kills the mites from the inside. The second treatment then kills any mites that have hatched subsequently.
Home remedies and also remedies from the pet store are strongly discouraged, as they are usually ineffective against mange mites and can even harm the birds (e.g. sprays).
After the treatment of a mange mite infestation, it is still essential to look for the cause of the weakened immune system and then take appropriate measures.