Common Pigeon Diseases
Pigeons and doves are becoming increasingly popular pets, with their unique personalities and quirky habits making them ideal companions for many. These small, stout-bodied birds are found everywhere in the world, from parks to our homes. They have a wide range of characteristics that make them a great choice for those looking for an interesting pet that is easy to care for. As pets, it’s very important to care for their needs including their health, common diseases, and how to treat them effectively. Many symptoms we can notice such as breathing problems, diarrhea, or even death. Several common pigeon diseases are explained and detailed in this article.
Pigeons’ common diseases:
Pigeons are vulnerable to a wide variety of diseases and infections. For example:
Canker is a highly contagious disease that affects birds, caused by the microscopic protozoan organism. This disease can cause a range of respiratory symptoms in birds and is easily spread from one bird to another. Fortunately, the organism is unable to survive outside of its host for long, meaning that it does not pose any risk to humans or other animals. Pigeons are highly susceptible to spreading canker through contact with other pigeons, especially when they share water bowls, exhibit billing, or feed young pigeons crop milk. This can have dire consequences for the health and well-being of affected birds.
The microorganism that causes Canker can reside in the pigeon’s bile duct, crop, throat, proventriculus, or any other part of the digestive system. Nodules are a common issue among nestling pigeons and can be seen on the navel or in the sinuses. t is important to recognize these symptoms early so that treatment can begin as soon as possible to prevent further health complications.
Symptoms will vary from one pigeon to another depending on the part of the body nodules are found. It is most commonly observed in the throat area, where nodules may form on the tonsils and cause difficulty in breathing. Other signs of canker include changes to vocalization, sneezing, coughing, weight loss, and reduced appetite. In some cases, birds may even develop abscesses or tumors due to this condition.
Canker lesions can usually be distinguished from other kinds of infections, such as abscesses, as they are typically restricted to areas that are closely related to the pigeon’s digestive tract. For instance, a lesion on the wing would show this is not an instance of a canker.
Coccidia is a microscopic protozoan that can cause serious gastrointestinal issues in pigeons and other animals. Symptoms such as diarrhea, nutrient malabsorption, weakness, lethargy, and weight loss are common with Coccidia infection. Left untreated, the infection can be fatal. Fortunately, with proper diagnosis and treatment, most birds will make a full recovery.
In some cases, if a pigeon is displaying its typical behavior and the presence of a small amount of coccidia has been detected, it may not require any treatment. At the same time, if your pigeon presents with coccidial loose droppings (which is a typical sign of the illness) or any other related indications, then they must be given medical treatment.
It is a protozoan that is very similar to the organism that causes canker in pigeons. It is usually found in the digestive tract of pigeons and can cause several health issues if left untreated. It’s not as serious as canker but it still must be treated as soon as the bird is diagnosed with it.
Microscopic examination of fecal matter has revealed the presence of this particular organism, however, it can often be mistaken for a canker because of its similarities in appearance.
When present in excess, this organism can cause the pigeon to experience vomiting, weight loss, and bloody diarrhea. However, it generally goes unnoticed in healthy pigeons
It is not uncommon for pigeons to contract a variety of parasites that inhabit their intestinal tracts. These include roundworms, tapeworms, and hairworms. Each one of them can lead to diarrhea, fatigue, an increased risk of contracting other illnesses, and adversely affect the performance of racing pigeons. Pigeons often become infected with worms when they consume insects and fecal matter of other birds. Consequently, this makes it very challenging to protect them against these parasites.
To ensure your pigeon is free from parasites it is highly recommended to carry out regular microscopic examinations of their droppings. The treatment process requires special medication which can be added to the water or given orally using a syringe. This medication is similar to other medicines used for pigeons.
Chlamydia is quite common in pigeons and many show no symptoms at all. However, when the bird’s stress levels increase, the virus may become more active and cause problems.
It is not possible to cure an infected bird from chlamydia, but medications can be administered to birds who display symptoms to reduce the severity. Moreover, respiratory infections are the main issue with pigeons suffering from chlamydia, and thus, it is important to ensure that their living environment is suitable and that they receive symptomatic treatment.
Pigeon Respiratory Infections
Other than cankers, respiratory infections are the most depressing type of challenge that pigeon owners have to face. Respiratory illnesses are highly contagious. Young, old, and stressed birds are especially vulnerable to such infections.
Respiratory infections impair a bird’s ability to both breathe and fly, reducing its energy levels and performance. If the infection is not addressed, the pigeon may demonstrate further symptoms. For example, we can notice open-mouth breathing, increased exertion when breathing, sitting fluffed up with closed eyes, and stopping eating. Unfortunately, it would die in a few days.
In conclusion, any bird owner must be aware of the common infections, disorders, and symptoms. Early precise diagnosis is indispensable to successfully treat pigeons and all pet birds. Hence, it’s very crucial to learn some fundamentals about common illnesses and infections that affect birds.
How do you treat pigeon disease?
Veterinary care for birds with infections includes testing for the bacteria, administering antibiotics via food, water, or injections, and providing stress relief. In addition to this, their surroundings should be effectively disinfected.
What antibiotics are safe for birds?
Many specialists consider Doxycycline as the recommended form of treatment. It is administered orally or through injections over 45 days.
Can birds take human medicine?
We must never give any medication to pet birds unless it’s prescribed by a veterinarian. Many medicines could be safe for humans but fatal for birds even if it is given in small amounts.