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The air sac mite is classified to the phylum “Arthropoda”. The name arthropod is derived  from the Greek (artho-, joint+podos, food), because it is an invertebrate animal with an external skeleton, a segmented body and jointed appendages. To the phylum “Arthropoda” belongs insects, spiders (arachnids), ticks and also mites. The air-sac mite is alike other mites a very bloodsucking parasite, lives mainly in the air sacs and also trachea, bronchi and lungs of birds. An infection with air-sac mites is an common disease mainly in canaries and finches. Many ways can lead to an infection of air-sac mites. Air-sac mites has been found in water, food and on perches. Also an infection with free living air-sac mites in the breeding environment is possible and a danger. Once crawls onto the head of a bird, they will enter the trachea, move to the lungs and lay eggs, eggs hatch to become nymphs and then adults. Females of air-sac mites move to the air-sacs, nasal cavity and trachea, while the males remain in the lungs to mature. The life cycle may be completed within 6 days. Other transmission paths are direct from the nasal cavity of an infected bird to the nasal cavity of a recipient bird via the external nostrils of each bird. Also parents birds can be transmitter when feeding their chicks. Strict cleanliness is one way to protect an infection with air-sac mites. Birds with a good immune system can be carriers and not be affected directly by the air sac mites. That’s why one bird in a flock shows sign of an infection with air-sac mites and the others not. Support your birds with a good balanced nutrition and renew daily the food and water. BLACK MINERAL FOR BIRDS added to the drinking water is a also a protector. “Black Mineral for Birds” helps on a natural way to prevent also an infection of many bacteria, fungal or alge grow in the water. To identify an infection with air-sac mites is not easy, because the symptoms (such as open mouth breathing, beak wiping, wheezing, clicking sounds, stain on feathers around nostrils, sneezing, coughing, tail bobbing, nasal discharge) can also indicate other diseases, in particular infections of the respiratory tract caused by bacteria or fungi. A wrong treatment can harm or kill your bird.

What are Air-sac Mites?

NOTE: All articles about bird diseases and medications are used only for general information and not for a self-prescribe medication. Please do not self-prescribe medication for your birds without talking to your vet first, because the wrong drug given to the bird can kill!  Also drug doses and formulations can change all the time, and everyinformation that is current now may not be applicable in the future. A veterinary should be consulted in any case.
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W. Hagelberg's zoologischer Hand-Atlas              
was published between 1879-1881. The second part (Part B) includes the part AVES. It’s a collection of 285 rare bird illustrations read more>