Air Sac Mite Infection in Birds

By PetMD Editorial on Jul. 1, 2008

Birds suffer from lung and airway disorders, which can be caused by a variety of respiratory parasites. One such parasitic infection in birds is caused by air sac mites, which affects the entire respiratory tract. The parasites can be present all the way from the nose of the infected bird to the tiny air sacs in the lungs.

Canaries and Gouldian finches are two types of birds that commonly suffer from air sac mites.

Symptoms and Types

The symptoms of birds with air sac mites are dependent on the severity of the parasitic infection. Birds with a mild infection may not have any signs at all. Those with a severe infection, however, may display such symptoms as:

  • Breathing problems (including making whistling and clicking sounds)
  • Open mouth breathing
  • Bobbing of the tail
  • Excessive salivation

Exercise, stress or excessive handling of a bird can also make the symptoms worse. At times, a severe air sac mite infection can lead to the bird's death.


You need to get your bird examined by the veterinarian for proper diagnosis. If air sac mites are found to be the cause, anti-parasitic medicine will be administered to the bird orally or by injection. If treated early, your bird should recover from the infection.

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