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Diseases Commonly Suffered by Pigeons (Part II)

Four pigeon diseases have already been discussed in the first instalment of this series of article on the diseases the make pigeons suffer. If you have not read the first instalment yet, check out the article archive at the bottom of this page. In this particular article, we will talk about five other diseases namely: Paratyphoid Salmonellosis, Pigeon Pox, PMV-Paramyxovirus, Adeno Virus and Circo Virus. Most of these diseases are simply named after the kind of virus or bacteria that cause them. Let's start:

1. Paratyphoid-Salmonellosis

Like most pigeon diseases, this one is also caused by a flagellated gram-negative bacterium which is very mobile. The bacterium can float in air and live in water thus it can be transmitted in many different ways. In most cases, this disease is spread through one infected pigeon which has been mixed with the healthy pigeons in a single loft. Thus, it is very important for pigeon keepers to make sure that they screen new birds properly or else, the health of the entire flock would be compromised. Apart from infected pigeons, rodents and cockroaches can also spread the bacterium. It is best if you keep their food and water away from any possible contact with these carrier pests. As much as possible maintain the cleanliness of the loft to avoid the spread of the bacterium in the air. It is also better if you choose younger birds when adding new pigeons to your flock since only adult pigeons carry this bacterium.

An infected bird can be identified through its droppings. The bird's bowel movement will suffer and its droppings would come out wet and slimy. The droppings will also appear green. Because of this, the bird will lose appetite and at the same time, lose weight. Some birds have symptoms which can be as severe as having "twisted necks". In the rare cases when young pigeons become infected with this disease, they would show signs of having difficulty in breathing. In worst cases, young pigeons even die inside the eggs even before they hatch.

To treat this disease, veterinarians use Nolvasan which is a disinfectant. They incorporate this drug to Improver products and introduce the "drug" to the infected birds in a regular schedule. A teaspoon of the disinfectant should be mixed with a gallon of water and the bird will only be given nothing else by treated water and Improver. This method of treatment has been proven to work very effectively.

2. Pigeon Pox

The virus that causes this disease is carried by mosquitoes. Pigeons can be vaccinated to resist this virus but unprotected birds are very much susceptible to it. The virus enters the bird's body through its bloodstream and then in a matter of 5 to 7 days, the bird will start to have wart-like lesions all over its body. The lesions contain puss that is yellowish in color; when pricked, the puss with ooze out along with their blood. This disease is not fatal and the lesions just dry off after sometime. Thus, it is better if the infected birds are simply left alone so that they can heal on their own and not cause any troubles to the other birds in the loft. In order to prevent this disease, the birds need to be vaccinated. However, the vaccine is only 75% reliable so there is a chance that treated birds will still catch the disease. To be sure, the lofts should be kept mosquito free.

3. PMV-Paramyxovirus

Classified as a viral infection, this disease is also known as the PMV-1. It is very common amongst racing pigeons and is very contagious. Infected pigeons can spread the virus that causes this disease both directly and indirectly; sick birds can make the other birds in the loft sick by normal body contact and they can also infect them with the disease through the food that they eat. A bird with PMV-1 will have watery droppings and would lose any desire to eat. This condition can lead to severe weight loss and at the same time it can also make the bird's feathers to fall. In some cases, infected birds will experience paralysis of the legs and of the wings. Some birds would have "twisted necks" which normally lead to death. In order to prevent PMV-1, pigeon owners are advised to submit their birds for vaccination. The most popular vaccine in the United States in in some regions in the Europe the most popular vaccine is called Lasota.

4. Adeno Virus

The disease which results from Adeno virus infection is also called "Adeno Virus"; many other pigeon diseases are named after the kind of viruses that cause them. This particular disease infects birds with weak immune systems. It is subdivided into two types; type 1 Adeno Virus can make the birds vomit and suffer from diarrhea, this type is not fatal; type 2 Adeno Virus is more dangerous because it infect the bird's liver which can lead to death within 2 days after the contraction of the virus. Unfortunately, no vaccine that can best protect birds from the Adeno Virus has been developed yet. Thus, the best way to protect the birds is to keep them healthy by giving them the right food and supplements which can improve their immune systems.

5. Circo Virus

Just like the Adeno Virus, this disease is also named after the kind of virus that causes it. However, this disease affects the birds in a very different way. Circo virus weakens the immune system of infected birds; it affects the birds in the same way that HIV-AIDS affect humans. When the birds have contracted this virus, it then becomes susceptible to many other diseases, most especially those disease that attack birds with weak immune systems like the Adeno Virus. An infected bird will have a dry beak and would have very watery excretions which would appear yellowish. Unfortunately, it is not easy to identify an infected bird while the disease is still in the early stages, thus in most cases, the disease is also brought into attention when it is already in the advanced stage which makes the treatment difficult.
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