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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, November 18, 2006

Getting rid of bird-worm bugs

By Dr. Marty Becker
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

One parasite that veterinarians still see is Giardia, the same parasite that causes "Beaver Fever" in humans. Giardia is most prevalent in cockatiels, budgerigars, lovebirds and grey-cheeked parakeets. Dr. Greg Harrison an avian practitioner, author and consultant in Lake Worth, Fla., says in Veterinary Product News that of these species, Giardia is most often seen in birds that are inbred, not eating a good diet or are in poor health.

Ascarids or roundworms, and capillary worms or Capillaria, can be a concern with birds especially Rosellas and grass parakeets housed in outdoor aviaries with dirt or concrete floors. "It can be a real challenge to get rid of them," says veterinarian Susan Chubb, staff veterinarian with Parrot Jungle and Gardens in Miami. The eggs are very resistant to environmental factors and common disinfectants and require flame or steam to eliminate them.

Your veterinarian has good advice on how to prevent parasites and several effective drugs to treat them. Who knows maybe the next generation of well-kept birds will be on bottled water, gourmet diets, and disposable flooring.