Animals

You want your parakeet to continue singing, fight the mites that lurk

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Olivia Hoover | Chief Editor E-mail

Like many other types of pets, parakeets are prone to mites. There are three main types of mites that parrots usually find: red mites, scaly mites and feather mites. These types of mites can cause skin and feather irritation, scaly growths and restlessness, such as excessive grooming, or lethargy, depending on the type of mites. The fight against a mite infection can be a challenge, but through diligent cleaning and drug treatments, mites can be eradicated.

Bring your bird to a veterinarian if you suspect it has mites. Avian veterinarians can more easily determine that the health problem facing your bird is mites and not another medical condition. A veterinarian can also determine the exact type of mites, and may be able to prescribe a medical treatment for your parakeet.

Clean the parakeet cage completely. Scrub each part of the cage, including the bars and bottom, with hot water. Clean any hangers, bowls, toys or other decorations with hot water too.

Use a bird mite eradicator, as a spray treatment, in the cage and everything in it. Although these mite sprays are designed to treat the bird itself, they can also help eliminate pest infestations in the parakeet's habitat. Spray every part of the cage, including corners or cracks where mites can hide. Aerosols for bird mites can be purchased at pet stores.

Clean the area around the parakeet's cage, including the walls, floor and furniture near the cage. If the mites migrated to these areas, they will simply return.

Treat the parakeet with a mite medicine or specific spray for the type of mites your bird thinks it has. Flaky mites, one of the most common types of mites, are best treated with a product that contains moxidectin. Red mites can be treated with products containing carbaryl. Feather mites can be treated with an all-purpose mite spray. If your parakeet has been diagnosed with an internal mite, an internal pesticide can usually be used. Try using non-toxic medications or recommended by a veterinarian. Prevent the medication from entering the bird's eyes or nostrils.

Rub the olive oil in the areas of the parakeet that have been affected by the mites. Olive oil can help stifle mites, and can also sometimes relieve itching or irritation of the bird's skin. Avoid getting oil near the nostrils or the bird's eyes. Use this treatment only on the body or legs of the parakeet.

How to cure mites in parakeets? With treatment strokes?

What to buy to know how to eliminate the mites of the parakeets?

Well, the first question what you have to ask yourself is:

How to know if my parakeet has mites? How to detect scabies mites in Australian parakeets? How to eliminate mites in Australian parakeets?

Because they can produce scabies mites like any other animal, in our blog we will see what to do when a parakeet has mites and how to remove those parasites.

How to know if my parakeet has mites?

It is very rare that mites in parakeets cause alterations in the general state of health of parakeets, the most common is that it affects the beak and feathers.

However, sometimes there may be respiratory problems, caused by a mite that affects the trachea. In these cases, you can see difficult breathing, with your mouth open.

In addition, although less frequent, some of these mites can affect the feathers, causing itching.

The disease caused by the knemidocoptes mite is commonly called "scaly face", due to the appearance of the face of sick animals.

In the affected parakeets, the area of ​​the beak and the nostrils (the respiratory orifices) are filled with scabs, which are visible in sight.

Kneemidocoptic mange is also called "scabiosis of the beak and legs", they are covered by scabs similar to those of the face.

These scabs are due to a hyperkeratosis process, that is, a thickening of the outer layer of the skin, caused by the mite.

Even if you have doubts, the most effective thing is to take the veterinarian to confirm if your parakeet has mites or scabies.

How to remove scabies mites in the parakeet ,? With a spray?

Formerly one of those home remedies that rolled around was that if your parakeet had mites you would give it with paraffin oil that or failing that with olive oil. To be able to apply it, a cotton was used, for example, an ear stick.

Although it was a home remedy, it seemed that at first when the phases were not too advanced, it was quite relieved although it eventually returned. The most effective treatment is one with an acaricidal spray or an antiparasitic pipette that we can find in any veterinary shop to help our beloved animal.

How to kill mites in parakeets?

The first thing you should do is separate the animal from which you have suspicions of the rest of your exotic birds so you don't know. Become an infestation of knemidokoptes pillar.

I would also recommend pulmosan that has the active substance in invermectin. It comes in drops and two drops are applied to the skin that is on the neck of the AVE. Not in the feathers. If it is a small bird then a drop.

To prevent you too. I would treat the rest of your little birds just in case

The methods and remedies, homemade or not, that you use to eliminate the scabies mites from your birds, are personal matters, but we will recommend the most effective ones.

Salmonella

There are several species of salmonella, especially Salmonella typhimunum, which can cause diseases and death to birds like parakeets. These salmonellosis are among the more serious bacterial diseases and that more losses occur among birds.

The sources of infection they are often infected water and feed for salmonellae, as well as especially protein-rich feed, such as fish and meat meal, ground bones and shrimp.

Salmonella can also be transmitted by eggs and eggshells that are not properly sterilized. These germs also multiply on the water surface of dirty water troughs.

This infectious disease is very often transmitted by wild birds, which perch in the vicinity or on outdoor avians not covered. The danger of transmission of this infection also exists if there is presence of rats and mice.

Excreted germs can also seriously endanger people. The pathological symptoms of salmonellosis in budgies They are relatively uncharacteristic.

Weakness, ruffled plumage and diarrhea, as well as swelling in the joints and turns of the head indicate an infection. But in many cases several birds of the same group are affected, so that the epidemic character of this disease is clearly seen.

Birds that survive the disease can become permanent carriers. If a salmonellosis is suspected, the veterinarian should be consulted immediately.

By analysis of the droppings the germ can be isolated. Since birds do not constantly excrete germs, it is necessary to repeat the analysis of excrement several times.

Tuberculosis

Sick birds eliminate in large quantities the tuberculosis germ Avian along with feces, germ that remains active for a long time. Not sufficiently sterilized egg shells may also be affected by the germ.

This germ, which can survive for years abroad, ingested through food, but also breathing contaminated air can cause infection. It is possible to transmit the bird to man and vice versa.

Tuberculosis is an insidious disease, which sometimes lasts for months, and that results in progressive thinning. Until shortly before death the birds have hardly any visible symptoms.

Tuberculous nodules can form in the internal organs that, in part, can lead to paralysis in the corresponding limbs.

In pulmonary tuberculosis and air sacs, respiratory disorders can be observed. When it is the digestive system that is affected, as is more frequent, there is diarrhea. In addition, bone tuberculosis and forms of the skin may also appear.

It is enough difficult to establish a diagnosis, which will only be final by examining the dead bird.

If the disease is suspected, an informed diagnosis can be obtained by examining the bird along with a radiology that, however, only shows the major nodules.

It is very difficult, if not impossible, to adopt preventive measures, due to the long course of this disease. A treatment It is also usually useless and, due to the possibility of transmission of the germ to man, should not be carried out.

Psittacosis

Psittacosis is a disease that parakeets and other birds that have no specific symptoms can suffer. It is also commonly known as the "parrot disease". Birds may have signs of respiratory or eye infection such as sneezing, sinusitis, conjunctivitis or nasal secretions.

They can also suffer from greenish or yellowish diarrhea, or simply thinning or unjustified dejection, or in extreme cases the sudden death of the parakeet that seemed healthy.

It should be noted that these described symptoms may also be due to other diseases.

Psittacosis causes the parakeet's defenses to decrease, so it facilitates that other diseases also appear simultaneously that make it difficult to identify symptoms of psittacosis.

In some cases, there are cases of domestic birds that carry the disease of psittacosis for months without presenting any symptoms. But after a period of stress, they develop suddenly.

The psittacosis treatment It can be done through injectable drugs or orally for a minimum of 50 days. Another alternative is to feed it only with medicated feed for this condition. The administration of medicines in water is not effective.

In any case, The veterinarian will be the specialist who will decide the best option, as well as the calendar of reviews and checks necessary to track the health of the parakeet.

It should also be noted that an animal cured of this infectious disease is not exempt from suffering it again.

In psittacids, psittacosis presents very nonspecific symptomsThat is, the clinical manifestations do not show differences with the infections caused by other germs. Frequently, the most obvious are respiratory disorders (rhinitis, dyspnea, breathing noises).

Some sick birds may also have disorders of the central nervous system, which are manifested by seizures and paralysis. Almost all birds do not eat food during the acute phase of the disease, they bristle the plumage (are embolate) and are apathetic.

The infection, both in man and in birds, takes place primarily by inhalation of dust. In the acute phase of the disease, the birds eliminate large amounts of these germs in the feces.

These excrements, once dry, are lifted by the flight of animals and man and birds become infected by breathing this infectious dust.

However, the germ of psittacosis is not only reintroduced with imported birds, but many of the native offspring are also infected.

Psittacosis is a must communication, that is, that both breeders and amateurs must inform the official veterinarian of any suspicion of this disease.

Newcastle disease (pseudopeste avian)

The virus causing the Newcastle disease It first appeared in the Southeast Asian region. Later it was introduced in Europe, from where the extension took place all over the world. The transmission of the disease is possible both by birds and by man.

Budgies sick with avian pseudopeste (Newcastle disease) may have strange neck turns

Almost all sick birds die after only 6-9 days. Between the symptoms of avian pseudopeste diarrhea, nasal and ocular flow, coordinated movements, paralysis, neck twists and dyspnea are observed.

Since the danger of infection is very high, almost all the birds of the same group die in a short time. Only possible make the diagnosis definitive by verifying the presence of the virus in the organs of dead specimens.

Papovavirus

Papovavirus causes a disease in budgerigar chicks They are still in the nest. This virus is tiny and unwrapped, but extremely resistant. Therefore, it remains active for a long time in the enclosure of birds or in the aviary, as well as in cages and accessories.

Survives for several hours at temperatures above 56 ° C. Is impossible to annihilate it with the current means of disinfection.

To disinfect products that contain as active ingredient "iodoforo" or a combination of several aldehydes are recommended. If iodoforos are used, a treatment with calcium substances should not take place simultaneously, as their effectiveness would be counteracted. It is necessary to foresee an action time of at least two hours.

However, in the breeding grounds or in aviaries that do not allow such treatment, the equipment and walls can be singed with the flame of a welder.

When doing so you have to be careful, especially if it is plastic or wood accessories. This virus is transmitted to other birds and is extremely contagious..

Sick chicks that are in the nest present as symptom the swollen belly and severe manifestations of desiccation (especially visible on the legs and feet that appear to be shrunken or wrinkled), as well as dirt in the cloacal region, which is less due to excrement than to whitish urine.

When compared with healthy chicks of the same age, growth can also be seen delayed body feathers and the rectrices, as well as lack or malformation of the down. A specific treatment of sick birds is not possible.

Since the virus is transmitted with the hands of a nesting box to the other, it also makes no sense to strengthen the sick chicks with vitamin preparations. Nor is there still an adequate vaccine.

When this disease appears it is recommended to interrupt the breeding for 3 to 4 months, in this way the number of highly sensitive birds is reduced and the multiplication of the virus is restricted.

In this way, breeding pairs can form antibodies, which are transmitted to the chicks through the egg, thus protecting them against the disease. During this period a weekly cleaning and disinfection is recommended. It is not scientifically proven that there is a relationship between papovavirus and the appearance of the French molt (see later in this post).

Swelling of the mucosa of the crop

This disease is common in parakeets and parrots that have ingested feed or water soiled with feces. The causes may be infections by bacterial agents (trichomonas, fungi), caustic burns, poisoning, occlusions or fermentation processes in the crop, as well as ingestion of water that is too cold (frost) or I think it is too hot.

Mucosal infections caused by fungi and / or trichomonas, which can also occur in a healthy bird, can cause inflammation when their defenses are weakened.

It is rare that this disease is transmitted to the other birds housed in the same aviary or cage, unless it is a couple that feeds on each other, thus transmitting the germs.

The swelling of the mucosa of the crop manifests itself with symptoms With reduced intake, apathy and bristling of the plumage, the nutritional status is gradually degrading.

Patients often strive to swallow, moving their neck and swish as if pumping, vomit pimples and a grayish white filamentous mucus. Due to head shaking the feathers of the area of ​​the crop are usually very sticky. Without treatment these birds often end up dying.

Endoparasites

The cause of the endoparasite infestation You have to look for it, first and foremost, in the accommodation conditions. Budgies housed individually in a cage are almost never affected.

In the case of birds housed in outdoor aviaries, an infestation may appear due to Capillaria or by ascites, especially if the aviaries are not covered and the feces of wild birds fall inside.

An endoparasite infestation it doesn't necessarily have to be deadly, the parasite takes advantage of its host. Guest and parasite are accommodated to each other finding themselves in a very fragile "equilibrium situation".

Airbag mites

In the parakeets these mites are quite rare. Alterations appear in the air sacs, bulging whitish foci and, on the mucosa of the air sacs, bronchial tubes and trachea, fine dark spots that, under the microscope, prove to be the mites.

As a general rule, in the parakeets infested by these parasites, symptoms such as sudden movements of the head, together with respiratory disorders, insistent cough, sneezing, and efforts to swallow can appear.

Also known in some places by the common name of earthworms. As a rule, Ascarids are only found in wavy parakeets when they are housed with other parakeets or parrots in an area or fenced off free flight. Ascarid eggs are surrounded by a waxy layer, so they are insensitive and resistant to a series of disinfectants.

What annihilates them more easily is dryness and sunlight. Although an ascarid infestation cannot be ruled out, scrupulous cleaning greatly reduces your risk.

Given the the parakeets are usually infested because of other birds, especially for the excrements of other psittacids, community accommodation is not recommended.

The clinical picture of a ascites infestation is nonspecific. Between his symptom Thinning, lack of appetite and sudden death may occur, especially when the infestation is in the region of the small intestine and an intestinal occlusion occurs.

Since the parakeet's ascites do not always eliminate eggs, a single stool analysis to diagnose the ascites is insignificant. However, ascarid infestation can be safely diagnosed by dissecting dead birds.

The treatment for ascites It can be done with a product against ascites that the parakeets tolerate well. After administering the vermifuge, the parakeets should be housed in a separate cage, the floor of which is covered with cardboard or paper.

It has to be changed twice a day and burn it. At the same time it is necessary to carry out a thorough cleaning of the aviaries (if necessary flaming them). At 3 weeks the cure should be repeated with the vermifuge.

Capillaria

The parakeet Capillaria infestation housed in community with other birds represents a much greater problem than the appearance of ascarids. As in the ascarid, the development of the Capillaria takes place directly, that is, without an intermediate host. The resistance of Capillaria eggs is lower than that of ascarids. The bird is infected by ingesting eggs of these vermes with the embryo already formed.

The main place of the infestation is the small intestine, but Capillaria can also appear in the crop or in the large intestine. The mucosa of the affected areas may be inflamed, and sometimes there is also a mucous diarrhea.

A chronic thinning and apathy are considered pathological symptoms. The safest way to confirm Capillaria infestation is to carry out a parasitological analysis of the excrement.

Medication treatment It can be quite difficult, if they are to be administered by a probe through the crop, which can cause irritation of the mucosa with the resulting vomiting.

In Central Europe, this parasitic intestinal disease has not yet been demonstrated in parakeets.

Scabies Plow

The mange in the parakeet, both the legs and the beak, is caused by a mite: the mange plow. A characteristic of the cutaneous alterations produced by scabies is the so-called "scaly face", with gray or white scars or scabs of scaly aspect, in which the holes drilled by the parasite become visible.

budgie with scabies

These alterations appear in the area of ​​the eyelids or wax, at the angles of the beak, in the area of ​​the cloaca or the uropygeal gland and in the legs and feet. This can cause the legs to swell in such a way that the ring has to be removed.

Frequently, The first symptoms are the appearance of holes in the area of ​​the upper peak, near the wax. The mites produce a dilation as a bag that, in advanced cases, can destroy the skin forming like honeycombs. The body reacts to this by increasing the corneal layer of the skin.

As a rule, this mite only attacks young parakeets. In an exam, the youngest parakeet was 3 months, approximately 30%, half a year and 50%, 1-2 years, the rest was distributed between 3 to 6 years.

The declaration of this disease depends on various factors, for example, on deficient parakeet defenses due to poor maintenance conditions, overloads or stress, infections or other diseases.

The mites of the sama can be present for years in the parakeet without making them visible, that is, without causing disease. That explains why parakeets that have been housed alone for years may suddenly become ill. It is assumed that birds may have already been infested with chicks in the nest through food.

The transmission of sama to birds Healthy is not possible just like that. Scabies can be treated with dimethyl diphenylene disulfite ("Odylen" from Bayer). This product is applied repeatedly (at least 3) on the affected parts with the help of a small brush or a cotton swab.

In order to help the defenses and the healing it is recommended to administer during the treatment with "Odylen" a vitamin preparation in the drinking water.

Red mite

After the scabies plow, the red mite is one of the most frequent ectoparasites of the parakeet. This mite, in addition to poultry, also attacks wild birds, as well as avian or cage birds. Other domestic animals and man also run the risk of becoming infected. Thus, red mites were found as the cause of a skin rash in man.

Microscopic image of a red mite

Many times, red mite infestation is not noticeable until the chronic bleeding causes anemia, which is linked to a weakening. Above all birds housed in aviaries are infested by this mite, but their presence in solitary birds was also demonstrated.

It is difficult to recognize an infestation because the mites frequently only go to the birds at night, during the day they hide in the cracks of the cage and the hangers, or in the vicinity of the cage.

In the case of the birds that are incubating, the mites also remain during the day in the nesting box. Although the infestation is minimal, the constant bleeding is fatal to the parakeet chicks that still remain in the nest.

These fast-moving mites are dyed red when they have sucked blood. The color varies according to intake and digestion: from red, going through dark red or blackish brown to grayish white. Red mite infestation is treated by contact insecticides.

Must spray the cage, aviary, nesting box and all accessories with these insecticides or immerse them in them. The use of "Mafu-Strips" has also proven effective. However, we must ensure that the dose corresponds to the size of the enclosure indicated in the package, an overdose can damage the parakeets.

Malophages are another class of ectoparasites which, however, they are rare in the parakeet. They feed on the skin scales and destroy the feathers. Budgies housed individually hardly suffer infestation: but sick birds suffer more frequently than healthy birds.

Malophages that run through their skin make the bird uneasy, and the infestation becomes visible by the gnawed parts of the feathers. By examining the plumage in detail, the phagophages can be observed. To combat these parasites it is also effective to hang a "Mafu-Strip" in the breeding grounds.

Feather Mite

We must also mention feather mites, which are relatively rare, which they lodge mostly in the blood-filled canyons of the large growing feathers, causing them to break.

Frequently, these mites are not detected and may be the cause, more often than is believed, of adult parakeets losing large feathers to much of them. Apparently, there is no remedy against these mites.

Tumors play an important role in budgies, especially between 2 and 6 years old. Thus, in the clinic of adornment and wild birds, the suspicion of tumor could be manifested in 32.2% of the cases during the examinations of 1203 wavy parakeets.

Bulk suspected of being a tumor in this Australian parakeet

Compared to other parakeets and parrots, it is striking frequent appearance of tumors in budgies. As a result of the tests performed, it was found that the tumors are found mainly in the liver, kidneys, sexual organs and subcutaneous tumors (lipomas).

From the veterinarian's point of view, lipomas (fat tumors), which usually appear in the form of marked lumps on the chest, they are diagnosed simply and safely and can be definitively eliminated by surgery.

If the parakeets have unilateral lameness, this indicates the existence of a tumor in the abdominal cavity. If the parakeet, in addition to the initial lameness - it may happen that one foot is completely numb - it also suffers from whitish diarrhea and vomiting, a renal tumor must be suspected.

This suspicion increases if the parakeets in question are between 4 and 6 years old. As parakeet tumor symptoms, in the advanced stage it can be recognized by the bristling plumage and thinning, despite a normal intake.

The so-called "hand kissing position" of a foot is typical of renal tumors, the most frequent in parakeets, which are paralyzed with a leg.

Skin diseases

Also known as the EMA syndrome. In the parakeets and in the inseparable ones (Lovebird) is a skin disorder whose symptoms are the same in both. The literature states, in part or briefly, that the clinical picture is manifested in the parakeets, especially in the armpits, that is, under the wings.

Bird affected by skin and feather problems

In approximately 90% of cases, parakeets are affected by lower side of the wings on both sides and on both sides. The feathered area of ​​the affected skin parts is often sticky with blood or covered with scabs.

It is common to find traces of blood in the upper beak in the affected birds or it can be observed how the bird pecks strongly the affected skin areas. In these cases, extensive tissue losses are often checked at the points in question.

Frequently, in the center of the diseased skin areas a crack appears that reaches the muscles with the lips of the wound presenting a bloody crust. When analyzing the causes, 7 different species of germs were isolated together.

The most frequent were staphylococci and molds. But these germs were not considered the actual cause of this disease. The transmission from one bird to another could not be verified.

Aspergillosis (caused by mold Aspergillus spp.)

Aspergillosis is usually caused by the Aspergillus jumigatus, but also by other species such as Aspergillus flavus Y Aspergillus niger. These fungi are widespread in the outside world and can affect all bird species.

Left: bird egg infected by Aspergillosis. Right: microscopic image of mohoo Aspergillus spp.

Poor hygiene, excessive occupation of aviaries and flight areas, heat, humidity and spoiled feed favor the onset of this disease.

The chicks can already be infected if the eggshell is contaminated by Aspergillus. Also, when placing the substrate or bed for aviaries, breeding boxes and nesting boxes, we must monitor the presence of molds, paying attention, for example, to a moldy smell.

In chicks, aspergillosis usually occurs acutely, in adult birds it often becomes chronic. First of all the respiratory organs are affected, from where the infection can invade other organs, in most cases alterations in the lung and in the air sacs are checked.

The clinical picture is undetermined and atypical, and symptoms of a general disease of different degrees may prevail. In advanced cases respiratory disorders appear. Due to the toxic effect of Aspergillus, sudden death can occur, which, however, only occurs after a long illness, which leads to weakness and thinning.

Candidiasis - oidiomycosis

This disease is caused by Candida albicans, more rarely by other ascomycetes. El germen causante existe en las mucosas de las aves sanas, pero sólo origina la enfermedad cuando las defensas están disminuidas.

En tal caso hay alteraciones en la parte superior del tracto digestivo, en la boca, en el esófago y, sobre todo, en el buche. Esta enfermedad es bastante frecuente en los periquitos. Se aprecian placas amarillentas que, a diferencia de las lesiones de la tricomoniasis, se pueden desprender fácilmente y no producen hemorragias.

El germen se ingiere frecuentemente con la comida. La aparición de esta enfermedad se ve favorecida por influjos medioambientales estresantes, por una alimentación deficiente, por un aporte insuficiente de vitamina A y por la administración de antibióticos prolongada.

The clinical picture es, al principio, de naturaleza general con una ingesta disminuida. Con frecuencia, las aves regurgitan el contenido del buche y vomitan. A menudo, el buche parece muy lleno e hinchado.

También pueden aparecer diarrea y dificultades respiratorias. Se obtiene un diagnóstico claro con el cultivo de estos hongos, procedentes de la boca o del buche, y su examen microscópico.

Muda francesa

En la mayoría de crías de periquitos aparece un número variable de polluelos que, aproximadamente en el momento en que han de abandonar el nido, pierden varias o todas las rémiges, cosa que les incapacita para volar. Puedes obtener más información sobre el estado de las plumas en cómo cuidar un periquito.

Entonces permanecen sentados en el suelo y se mueven a saltitos o corriendo, por lo que los criadores les dan el nombre de periquitos “corredores” y o “trepadores”. Este fenómeno apareció en el sur de Francia poco tiempo después de las primeras importaciones de periquitos procedentes de Australia, por lo que recibe el nombre de “muda francesa”.

También se han visto repetidamente ejemplares silvestres jóvenes así, sin rémiges, en las regiones australianas.

Los aficionados discuten sobre las distintas causas de esta enfermedad. Sin embargo, hasta el momento no hay ningún procedimiento que evite la aparición de pájaros “corredores”. Se considera que se pueden excluir claramente parásitos y alteraciones cutáneas como los causantes de esta enfermedad.

Se continúa discutiendo acerca de un complejo de causas en las que el metabolismo desempeña un importante papel. Una posible causa de la muda francesa estriba en el pienso que los padres dan a los polluelos durante los primeros días.

Cuando aparecen “corredores” parece ser que éstos presentan un déficit de proteínas. Sin embargo, la muda francesa no siempre afecta a toda la nidada, sino con frecuencia sólo a algunos polluelos.

Al aumentar el número de puestas consecutivas, aumenta también el número de periquitos “corredores”. El volumen de sangre, el valor hematócrito, el número de eritrocitos, la proteína sérica y la médula ósea de los “corredores” se diferencian de los de los pájaros jóvenes normales.

Una parte de los “corredores” no tarda en emplumar nuevamente y por completo, después de la primera muda ya no se puede observar que antes habían padecido la enfermedad. También se discute si el papovavirus no será el causante de esta enfermedad.

Arrancado de plumas y picaje o pterofagia

Un trastorno especial de la conducta en los periquitos es el arrancado de plumas o el picaje. Los pájaros se arrancan plumas, las mordisquean o las comen. También pueden morder las plumas de tal manera que en la piel quede un muñón. Es probable que esta conducta anormal esté producida por causas múltiples. Es difícil tratar esta enfermedad y un tratamiento sólo tiene éxito en contados casos.

Se aconseja examinar los métodos de alimentación, y el pienso debe ser lo más variado posible (puedes ver nuestro artículo qué comen los periquitos). Este trastorno también puede estar causado por influencias medioambientales, por ejemplo, una temperatura, humedad o iluminación incorrectas, así como la carencia de posibilidades de baño.

El picaje puede estar causado igualmente por una falta de ocupación (aburrimiento), por soledad, por carencia de compañero y por adiposidad.

Canibalismo

El picaje o pterofagia puede conducir, en ocasiones, al canibalismo. Las aves que presentan zonas sangrantes en la piel se deben mantener aisladas hasta la curación. Se deberían eliminar las plumas rotas o mordidas, a fin de que el pájaro no se entretenga con ellas.

Una forma especial de canibalismo es la muerte de los polluelos causada por uno de los progenitores. Siempre se considera que se debe a un nuevo deseo de incubar por parte de los padres, pero no se puede excluir la falta de experiencia de las parejas reproductoras jóvenes.

Enfermedades por carencia de vitaminas

The necesidades vitamínicas pueden varían mucho en las diferentes especies de periquitos, así como en cada uno de los individuos. Sus variaciones dependen de las condiciones internas y externas del pájaro, trabajos y sobrecargas, tales como la cría, las exposiciones, la muda, el crecimiento y las enfermedades aumentan las necesidades de vitaminas.

A déficit crónico de vitaminas, o incluso una avitaminosis, se pueden evitar con una alimentación sana y equilibrada. Un deficiente aporte vitamínico conduce a una disminución de la vitalidad y de las defensas frente a las influencias medioambientales, favoreciendo de esta manera la aparición de enfermedades.

Por otra parte, un pequeño déficit de vitaminas puede limitar la capacidad reproductora y la fertilidad. Una alimentación integral protege al ave contra estos daños.

Si durante los meses de invierno no se pueden aportar suficientes vitaminas, hay que administrarles algún preparado vitamínico. Éstos se encuentran en forma de polvos o de solución. Sin embargo, cuando se administran vitaminas adicionales también se puede dar un exceso, por ejemplo, una sobredosis de vitamina A y de vitamina D puede dañar al ave.

El cuerpo del pájaro elabora suficientes vitaminas a partir de las provitaminas, sin que se llegue a ninguna sobredosificación. También pueden aparecer enfermedades carenciales si el organismo no puede asimilar las vitaminas a partir del intestino, por más que el animal reciba una alimentación rica en vitaminas y sana.

Esta circunstancia puede darse cuando existen enfermedades intestinales y trastornos metabólicos. Algunas vitaminas son formadas en el intestino por microorganismos, de manera que el pájaro no ha de ingerirías con su comida.

Cuando se administran medicamentos, en especial antibióticos, los microorganismos productores de vitaminas pueden resultar dañados o eliminados, lo que puede causar un déficit vitamínico.

Si hay que administrar medicamentos a dosis elevadas durante largo tiempo es aconsejable darles al mismo tiempo un preparado polivitamínico.

Muchas vitaminas son muy sensibles a las influencias medioambientales, como el oxígeno o la luz, que pueden “destruirlas”. Por eso no es importante qué cantidad de vitaminas había en un pienso o en un preparado vitamínico, sino qué cantidad ingiere realmente el pájaro.

Las vitaminas son incluidas, como elementos integrales, en los sistemas enzimáticos. Si el organismo no tiene suficiente cantidad de una vitamina determinada, el sistema enzimático correspondiente no puede funcionar, o sólo parcialmente. De ello se derivan entonces las manifestaciones carenciales.

A continuación se describen las vitaminas más importantes para los periquitos. Se indican también las posibles manifestaciones de su carencia:

Vitamina A (retinol)

Esta vitamina, que necesitan todos los pájaros, recibe el nombre de protector epitelial, vitamina del crecimiento o vitamina antiinfecciosa, y es ingerida en forma de provitamina (caroteno) con la fruta o los productos lácteos. Las semillas secas sólo contienen poca cantidad de caroteno.

En cuanto a los síntomas, si existe un déficit de vitamina A aparecen lesiones en las mucosas de los órganos respiratorios, digestivos y reproductores, así como en los ojos. La producción de mucosidad está disminuida, por lo que también disminuye la resistencia de las mucosas contra la penetración de organismos patógenos.

Como consecuencia de ello, pueden aparecer trastornos en las vías respiratorias superiores o resfriados. Si hay un déficit de vitamina A puede resultar más difícil superar estas enfermedades.

Las necesidades de vitamina A aumentan al aumentar el contenido proteínico del pienso. El desarrollo de los embriones depende fuertemente del contenido en vitamina A de la yema del huevo. En los jóvenes el déficit de vitamina A puede causar trastornos en los movimientos.

En los adultos, causa malos resultados reproductores, pocos huevos, aumento del porcentaje de huevos estériles, resultados poco satisfactorios en la eclosión de los mismos, es decir, muerte de los embriones en el huevo.

Además, pueden aparecer igualmente trastornos en el plumaje. Debido a que el epitelio renal está afectado, y como consecuencia de ello hay un nivel de ácido úrico excesivamente alto, al parecer también puede aparecer gota.

Las pequeñas manifestaciones carenciales se pueden solucionar rápidamente administrando dosis de vitamina A. Un buen suministro puede reforzar la protección frente a las infecciones. En los animales jóvenes una sobredosis de vitamina A conlleva malformaciones esqueléticas y una osificación demasiado rápida, siendo también posible la caída de plumas.

Vitamina D (calciferol)

Las aves en crecimiento sólo pueden desarrollar correctamente los huesos si disponen de suficiente vitamina D. La cantidad necesaria de esta vitamina depende del contenido de calcio y fósforo del pienso.

Si no hay bastante de estos dos minerales o, si la relación calcio-fósforo no es la correcta, el organismo necesita más vitamina D, la cual es de suma importancia para el ave a causa de sus efectos antirraquíticos.

La vitamina D favorece la retención de calcio y fósforo en el cuerpo, además, también colabora en la regulación del nivel de minerales en la sangre.

Un déficit de vitamina D puede hacer que los huevos tengan la cáscara demasiado blanda o demasiado delgada, con lo que la hembra puede sufrir de retención del huevo.

Si el aporte de vitamina D es insuficiente y, al mismo tiempo, la relación calcio-fósforo es desfavorable, pueden aparecer trastornos de calcificación ósea. En las aves que están creciendo ello puede conducir al raquitismo o, en el caso de ejemplares adultos, a descalcificación ósea.

Ésta se puede manifestar por trastornos al andar, patas deformadas, articulaciones engrosadas, la columna vertebral y la quilla torcidas, y retardo en el crecimiento. Cuando hay un déficit el pico también puede ser demasiado blando o estar deformado y no poseer la suficiente dureza para coger el alimento.

La secreción de la glándula uropígca posee vitamina D, que el ave ingiere cuando se limpia el plumaje. La provitamina se ingiere con el alimento (huevos, leche, cereales, grasas) y es resorbida por la pared intestinal, siendo transportada a las partes implumes de la piel.

Allí, gracias a la luz solar, el dehidrocolesterol es transformado en vitamina D. Debido a la falta de irradiación solar, los pájaros que se mantienen en el interior necesitan mayor cantidad de vitamina D que sus congéneres alojados en pajareras o aviarios al aire libre.

Si se les da regularmente comida verde se puede prevenir un déficit de vitamina D. Las sobredosis de esta vitamina pueden causar calcificaciones patológicas en los tejidos.

Vitamina E (tocoferol)

Las aves necesitan más vitamina E que los mamíferos. Esta vitamina se encuentra en las plantas verdes, en los gérmenes de cereales y en los de los frutos oleaginosos (cáñamo, girasol, etc.). Las necesidades de vitamina E también dependen de la cantidad de ácidos grasos insaturados presentes en la comida.

Sí se les da a las aves harina de pescado grasa, suplementos grasos o aceite de hígado de bacalao, aumenta su necesidad de vitamina E. Esta vitamina se halla en todas las plantas verdes, especialmente en las simientes germinadas, de esta manera, las aves que pueden comer regularmente pienso germinado no suelen sufrir de síntomas carenciales.

Si aparecen síntomas carenciales, éstos se manifiestan en las aves jóvenes por un plumaje erizado y debilidad, así como por apoyar la cabeza en el suelo, parálisis, etc. Además, producen movimientos descoordinados, como retorcimientos de la cabeza, tumbos, temblores, etc.

La causa de estos síntomas estriba en alteraciones en el cerebelo (hemorragias) y en la musculatura. En los adultos disminuye la sexualidad y los resultados de la reproducción. El desarrollo de los embriones se puede ver afectado, lo que conlleva la muerte dentro del huevo o que los polluelos no se puedan desarrollar.

Cuando se administra aceite de hígado de bacalao como aporte de vitamina A, hay que ir con cuidado, ya que si se almacena largo tiempo, la influencia de la luz y del oxígeno puede llevar a la formación de peróxidos, al destruir los ácidos grasos poliinsaturados. Estos peróxidos destruyen la vitamina E y pueden causar una hipovitaminosis E.

Vitamina K (filóquinona)

Esta vitamina colabora en la formación de protrombina en el hígado, que influye en el tiempo de coagulación. Los piensos corrientes la contienen y también existen diversos microorganismos que la elaboran en el intestino.

Cuando se administran medicamentos, sobre todo antibióticos, pueden aparecer alteraciones en la composición de la flora intestinal, que den como resultado un déficit de vitamina K.

También aparece este déficit a causa de tratamientos prolongados con sulfonamidas, de lesiones hepáticas, carencia absoluta de grasas en el pienso, así como por la constante administración de preparados a base de carbón.

El déficit de vitamina K se manifiesta por debilidad y palidez de los pájaros, así como por trastornos en la coagulación de la sangre junto a una mayor tendencia a las hemorragias.

Vitamina B1 (tiamina o aneurina)

El déficit de vitamina B1 causa una disminución en la ingesta y afecta la digestión, también causa debilidad general, convulsiones, doblado de la cabeza hacia atrás y parálisis en las patas. Incluso cuando el déficit es mínimo, los periquitos ya no pueden agarrarse bien con sus dedos, de manera que se encuentran inseguros sobre la percha.

Cuando el déficit es más importante, estiran las patas rígidamente, manteniendo los dedos agarrotados y cerrados. Si todavía no hay lesiones permanentes del sistema nervioso, suele darse una rápida mejoría tras administrarles vitamina B1.

Vitamina B12 (danocobalamina)

Esta vitamina se encuentra en el pescado, la leche, el queso y la levadura, además, es elaborada por microorganismos en el intestino. Independientemente de eso, hay que procurar un aporte suficiente de vitamina B12 en el pienso, por ejemplo, añadiendo proteínas animales o administrando un preparado a base de vitamina B12.

Cuando existe un déficit aparecen trastornos en el crecimiento, emplumado deficiente, aumento de la mortandad y muerte de los embriones durante la incubación. Las aves toleran perfectamente que se les dé un preparado a base del complejo B, sobre todo durante las enfermedades hay que reforzar al organismo mediante la administración de este complejo.

Biotina (vitamina H)

La biotina es necesaria para evitar la perosis, así como para unas buenas condiciones de nacimiento para los embriones. Cuando hay un déficit pueden aparecer lesiones cutáneas en los párpados, en los ángulos del pico y en las patas. La biotina también es formada, en ciertas cantidades, en el intestino por microorganismos.

La colina evita sedimentos patológicos de grasa en el hígado, por lo que también es importante para la prevención de la perosis. La colina se encuentra en proteínas animales, en el pienso en grano sólo existe en cantidades pequeñas.

Un déficit de ácido fólico produce anemia, dado que hay muy pocos hematíes e insuficiente cantidad de hemoglobina. En caso de carencia puede aparecer una despigmentación del plumaje. Además, el emplumado no se completa bien, el desarrollo de los animales jóvenes es deficiente y hay una mayor mortandad de embriones. El ácido fólico necesario sólo es elaborado en parte en el intestino.

Nota final

Para finalizar las explicaciones sobre las enfermedades y sus posibles causas queremos decir que nos hemos limitado conscientemente a describir la prevención de las enfermedades y no hemos recomendado ningún medicamento o similar.

Deseamos pedir y advertir a todos los criadores y aficionados que no intenten medicar a sus pájaros con cualquier tipo de remedio, sino que, cuando aparece un síntoma patológico consulten enseguida con un veterinario especializado.

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