Lice!

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by SniperGoose, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. SniperGoose

    SniperGoose Songster

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    So I got a rescued racing homer pigeon the other week, and today I was handing him as normal when I got home from work and I felt something crawling on me. It was two long, thin bugs. I googled, and sure enough, they're feather lice. They look exactly like this:
    https://c8.alamy.com/comp/BC8FKC/duck-feather-lice-anatoecus-on-a-feather-BC8FKC.jpg
    I HATE dealing with any types of mites/lice on birds, after a mite infestation in the house a few years back due to a wild bird nest on our porch... But that's a story for another day lol.

    Obviously I freaked, and began googling how to treat this. I didn't have much in terms of treatment at home, but I did have some Permethrin. I read this thread here:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/permethrin-use-on-pigeons.1233476/
    And seen that it was ok for them! So with the directions from there, I mixed up a Permethrin dip for him (In a bucket of 4L of warm water, 70-80ML of Permethrin, mixed with Palmolive dish soap) . I dipped him in (except for his head), and held him there maybe 20 seconds max. I took him out, rinsed him slightly, then began blowdrying him. Didn't get him 100% dry, but got him a lot dryer than he was. I then wiped down his cage completely with some permethrin on my rag, and changed the papers in his cage. He seems a bit shook up from the ordeal, and I can't say I blame him. He stumbles a bit when he walks, but that may be due to stress from that sudden chain of events? I'm giving him some time to relax and calm down. He seems to be alert like normal, which is good.

    Good news is that it appears to have worked a bit. Finding dead lice on him already. I know i'll have to do some other round of treatment later on for any eggs that hatch, and I really don't want to dip him in permethrin again, since I know that was super stressful for him. Any other ways to treat feather lice on pigeons??

    I also have my original pigeon, Percy, and I'm not sure if she has any or not. I haven't SEEN any on her yet, but there's always that possibility. They aren't in the same cage, but I'd like to get her treated too just in case!
     
  2. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Songster

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    I also had bird mites in the house a while back, I feel your pain.
    Fortunately the feather louse like the ones pictured feed on the feathers themselves rather than blood and can't really survive off the pigeon. I think your treatment was perfect, I'd treat the other bird as well as a preventative.

    There's a lot of products available for getting rid of lice. I know some folks who add borax to the bath water as a preventative. I give mine montly drops behind the neck which keep them hitchiker free.
    https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Columbicola_columbae/
     
    jak2002003, biophiliac, CCUK and 3 others like this.
  3. SniperGoose

    SniperGoose Songster

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    That makes me feel better, thank you!
    Though I am worried about him since he hasn't eaten much at all since I treated him, and hasn't pooped at all since then. I usually feed them again when I get home from work, but I treated him right away before feeding him, and that's probably why he hasn't pooed yet. He's still a little wobbly, like almost front-heavy when he walks sometimes. I'm hoping he shakes this off :(
     
  4. SniperGoose

    SniperGoose Songster

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    Uncovered his cage a little bit ago after I woke up, and he's still alive! I see he pooed a few times overnight too. After a few minutes with the light in the room on, he started preening himself, which he had no interest in doing yesterday after his dip. So I'd say that's a good sign. I'm hoping he eats today while I'm at work. He's still wobbly when he walks though, so I'm not sure what that's about, but again I'm hoping that goes away.
     
    biophiliac and Qwerty3159 like this.
  5. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Songster

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    If you could take a video of it someone more experienced might have an idea as to whats up. He might just be stressed from the ordeal.
     
    biophiliac and SniperGoose like this.
  6. SniperGoose

    SniperGoose Songster

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    Actually, when I got home from work today, I went to check on him and seen he isn't wobbly at all anymore. He's also eating now too, but isn't crazy about their new food I got them, so that may be why he isn't eating his normal amount :rolleyes: Still not himself completely, but I'm thinking he's going to be ok!
     
    cavemanrich and biophiliac like this.

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