Posted on

Young Bird Sickness

This is a condition affecting Pigeons and Doves that has had devastating effects in wildlife centres around the UK over the last 2 – 3 years, particularly during the Autumn months. It is a combined sickness consisting of both virus and bacteria and is transmitted by air, dust and contact between birds. Symptoms are varied but often involve lethargy, fluffed up appearance, crop stasis, green/yellow faeces and vomiting.

Sadly, symptoms do not always precede sudden death and the problem with any condition involving a virus is that there is no treatment.

When the bird contracts the virus it weakens their liver and immune system allowing the secondary bacterial, fungal and protozoal infections to take hold, so all that can be done is to treat the secondary infections and boost the immunity of the bird so that it can fight the viral infection itself.

This is our current hospital treatment plan to try and save as many YBS birds as we can:-

  1. Isolate all incoming young Pigeons and Doves on arrival, especially in the Autumn months, ie September, October and November.
  1. Any birds with symptoms described above should be immediately treated with a broad spectrum antibiotic (Baytril, Marbocyl or Synulox as per the dose rates in our download), plus given a Spartrix tablet an Anti-Coccidia tablet and they should be wormed.
  1. A new product Harkers Wonder Pigeon has been released which improves the intestinal health of the pigeon by a selective non – pH dependant anti-bacterial effect and can be added to any drinking water and/or to any liquid food being tubed into the crop. Available here – Wonder Pigeon
  1. Hygiene is of paramount importance. Clean cages using veterinary disinfectant such as F10, Safe4 or Anigene.
  1. Carry out regular faecal sampling or ask a vet to help and continue to treat anything found in them.