Pigeon health


16. 12. 2011.
My young birds consuming a lot of water. The crops would be filled with water and air, very puffy. The droppings would be like water. Birds seem very dehydrated.
It seems like an illness caused by adenovirus type I.
Two types of adenovirus cause illness in pigeons, and these are traditionally referred to as type I and type II. Adenovirus type I causes illness only in young pigeons, typically in the first six months of their life - also referred to as young animals’ disease. The epidemic usually has its peak in June.
The viruses infecting the young primarily attack the cells of the intestinal wall, causing watery diarrhoea. (This is genuine diarrhoea, as it comes from the gut, unlike the extensive release of liquid caused by paramyxovirus, which is from the attacked kidneys!) The coli bacterium often makes a secondary attack on the weakened mucous membrane, making the diarrhoea even worse, and changing its consistence. The symptoms may be accompanied by frequent vomiting. The crop is typically stuffed with feed. Prolonged cases lead to weight loss.
The mortality rate is generally high: about 15-30%, but in a flock that is neglected, the rate of death among the young pigeons can be as high as 80-100% because of coli secondary infection!!!

If we experience a suspicious illness in the flock, we should try to identify or rule out the pathogen as quickly as possible, which requires a veterinary examination (including autopsy), but can also include additional laboratory tests.
Antibiotics have no direct effect on adenovirus. However, targeted antibiotic treatment is certainly justified: this therapy has an effect on a secondary attack from coli bacteria, and if we make a good choice of antibiotic, we can expect a very good rate of survival.
Products containing immunoglobulins - IgG, IgA, IgM - can be effective against adenovirus type I. Immunoglobulins are ready-to-use antibodies that we give to the body of the ill bird to support the immune system. With pigeons, they can be very useful in the treatment or prevention of viral diseases, all the more so because the repertoire of effective drugs that can be taken is very limited. This is particularly true of infections and diseases caused by adenovirus type I and circovirus.
We should use them for 7 days for treatment and for 3 days for prevention.
Immunoglobulins also offer a certain level of protection against other infectious diseases. If administering them, however, we should be aware that vaccines given simultaneously or soon after one another can lessen each other’s effectiveness! (For more details see Talaber Zsolt, DVM: Pigeons and their Economical Health Care)
Dimethylglycine (DMG). Because of its distinct immunostimulant effect, it is highly recommended for adenoviral infections. Its dosage is 0.05g per kilogram of body weight, twice a day, administered directly by mouth or mixed in feed. If treatment is prolonged, it needs only to be given once a day from the third week.

The frequency of damage caused by adenoviruses may be much more often than we think. Perhaps they are responsible for much damage that we put down e.g. to paramyxovirus. The illness caused by type I adenovirus can easily be confused with the form of the pigeon PMV infection where the pseudo-diarrhoea dominates over the neurological symptoms. A precise survey of the prevalence of adenovirus in pigeons is one of the tasks still ahead of us.
© Minden jog fenntartva