Posted by William on March 4, 2011
My parakeet has a fungus or something growing on his beak and around his eyes. It seems to be spreading. What should I do?
Several things can cause proliferative lesions on pet parakeets. But in my experience the most common cause of such lesions on the face are Knemidokoptes mites, commonly called scaley face or leg mites. The typical Knemidokoptes mite infestation appears as thickened, crusty, honeycomb-type lesions around the bird’s beak, eyes, cere (the enlarged area at the base of the bill), and feet. Another possible culprit: Myialges mites, which can cause crusting and flaking on parakeets, usually at the top of the bird’s head.
A microscopic exam of scrapings from the affected region will usually determine if either of these mites have caused your parakeet’s condition. If left untended, these easily treatable conditions can cause permanent deformities in the affected tissues, or even death. For example, the beak can become so misshapen over time that your parakeet will not be able to eat. See your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Other less common causes of beak lesions in solitary pet parakeets include some of the following conditions. Nutritional problems such as a vitamin A deficiency, which is common in birds that have an all-seed diet, can cause thickened lesions around the face and feet. Feather molting can sometimes cause white flakes on the skin. Feather cysts, more common in canaries, could be a cause. Pox viruses, more common in newly acquired birds, often cause respiratory signs in addition to skin lesions. Fungi and bacterial diseases are possible but not likely based on your description of your parakeet’s case.