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 SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...

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Irene
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Posts : 132
Join date : 2010-05-01
Age : 46
Location : Venice, Italy

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PostSubject: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeTue Jan 24, 2012 4:03 pm

Dear friends,

happy new year to all of you and your beloved birds! I wish it could be a happy year for my own pigeons too, but I fear that they may not survive for long... Those of you who have read my old posts will know what I'm talking about... In summer my pigeons started to die, one after another, and they still continue to die... Although I have sought the help of avian vets, no one has managed to diagnose the disease that is killing my poor birds...

In summer I brought 2 of my dead pigeons to a special institute for a necropsy, but the results were surprisingly negative!! No virus, bacteria, protozoa or worms were found... The only thing that the necropsy revealed was that both of my birds had digestive problems and swelled liver but the causes remain a mystery! I also brought samples of the droppings of ALL my birds for an analysis but the results were also negative!!

The vet said that the results of the necropsy were negative probably because I had kept the bodies of the birds in the fridge in low temperatures before bringing them to the institute and the low temperatures had killed all the germs that were in them and so they could not be detected... Unfortunately the 'Istituto Profilattico' where necropsies are performed is very far from where I live, there is no bus going there (it is in an isolated place in the countryside) and I don't have a car so I cannot bring any more bodies to them... (The first time I had given the 2 bodies to the vet who made me a favor and took them to the institute herself by her car but she said that she does not normally do that... so I cannot ask her again).

The vet suspects that my birds have got 'New Castle's disease' and they are all going to die, so she thinks that it is useless trying to save them! However two of my birds recovered completely and 2 are still fighting with the illness, resisting quite well (they have been ill for months but they are still alive!).

They present different symptoms... but I could divide them into two categories: (1) neurological symptoms such as: twisting of head, stargazing, spastic movements, balance problems or lameness, nervousness or disorientation (2) digestive problems: swollen crop, birds stretching their neck and shaking their crop as it they have difficulty passing the food from the crop to the stomach, vomiting, emaciation, and sometimes cough. The birds that present neurological symptoms do not manifest digestive problems and those that have digestive problems do not have neurological symptoms. Of the 7 birds that have died so far, 5 were females and 2 males, perhaps because the females are weaker. The birds with the neurological symptoms are more resistant and none of them has died so far. However those that present digestive problems die in 2-5 days and they don't respond either to antibiotics or to Flagyl (for Canker)... They seem fine, they eat and drink normally and then one day all of a sudden they start vomiting, their crop swells up and they become weaker and weaker until they die. I try all sorts of things in order to save them but nothing seems to work: I keep them on a hot pad, I give them water with a syringe and I hand feed them defrosted peas or wholemeal bread, I give them Gentalyn in the morning (I used to give them Baytril or Vefloxa but the necropsy showed that my birds were resistant to that category of antibiotics... and the vet suggested me giving them Gentalyn 0,5ml) and Flagyl at night, but without any effect... In fact, I don't know if they can digest the medicines I give them...

As for the birds with the neurological symptoms, my dove Comis recovered completely only with vitamins (but he had very light symptoms), but Lignos has been suffering for many months now... I gave him antibiotics for 10 days (as the vet had suggested me) and he improved a little but when I stopped, he became worse in a few weeks! Then I gave him another cycle of antibiotics for almost 3 weeks and I hand-fed him every day (although he could also eat by himself) and he recovered completely(!) but some weeks later he started having neurological symptoms again and his condition worsened very fast! Now his head makes uncontrollable movements every few seconds, however he is in a good mood, he is lively, he is eating, drinking, cooing to attract females and he behaves like a healthy bird! The vet suggested me to give him a third cycle of Gentalyn for one month or more and I wish it may work, although I'm afraid that it may just ruin his kidneys and liver and harm him instead of healing him and I'm very-very worried... Kirki also became ill with neurological problems but unlike Lignos who is lively, she seems miserable and she has difficulty flying... She has also became lame!! On Christmas day I lost my beloved Othyssia, a very tamed young female, who fell ill very suddenly with vomiting and digestive problems... I tried hard to save her but without success... Today I lost Dakry, a very special pigeon that I had rescued... She used to come to my window with her companion every day for years, she was one of the most faithful pigeons I ever had and when I moved house I took her with me... I'm so sad for losing her and her poor companion is left alone... He is looking for her and he is very stressed, but he will never see her again... It all seems so unfair... She also had digestive problems like Othyssia... I noticed that in her droppings (which were just green diarrhea, very watery and quite slimy) there were tiny dark dots like pepper and tiny long thin particles (the size of about 1/10 of an eyelash) and I'm wondering whether she had worms and internal parasites... However the analysis of my birds droppings had not revealed any parasites... so I don't know what to believe... I told that to the vet and she just repeated to me: 'All your birds are going to die, there is no hope! Even if you give them medicines for worms, nothing will change! Don't waste your time!' and she said that this is 'a lost case' and she cannot do anything for me anymore! I called other vets, but as soon as I tell them that my birds have a serious infectious disease, they don't even want to deal with me...! They just say that they can't help me, without even examining my birds!! I ask them at least to try to make a diagnosis of the disease but they just tell me that they don't know what it is...! If it is 'New Castle's disease' (as my vet suspects) which is fatal, how did Comis and Ikaros recovered completely and Lignos improved with antibiotics? Now my vet is uncertain and she says that it may be a 'bacterial disease'... but still nobody can tell me what it is and what are the right medicines for my birds... Right now you are my only hope!! Please, can you give me your advise, like you did in the past? You had saved Comis and I thank God that he is still fine (I gave him Halimah as his companion and they are in love and very happy together) but now he is in danger again and not only he but all my birds...! Does any of you can understand what is this disease...? Is it ONE disease or TWO different ones? What should I do? I have built new cages for my birds with drawers for newspapers to keep them clean, and I have put some of my birds in different rooms to protect them, but my vet says that it is all useless and that the germs can be carried around being attached to my clothes and shoes and through the air. So I keep changing shoes and clothes and washing my hands a hundred times a day, but I wish there was something more I could do to save the lives of my poor innocent 'babies'... Any suggestions?

By the way, if they cannot digest the medicines I give them, could I give them to them with an injection? Can injections be given to birds or are they too dangerous?

Many greetings and a big hug,
Irene

Poor Dakry at the window of my old house...
SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Dakry_10
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Teresa
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Teresa

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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeTue Jan 24, 2012 5:37 pm

Your vet is a tiresome pain in the neck!!!! It seems that she's never heard of any other disease except Newcastle's! Good on you not giving up!

There may be more than one thing going on there, but salmonella could feasibly cause all of the symptoms that you described. Note, especially, that if Lignos improved with antibiotics that points to a bacterial, rather than viral infection.
However, you've been giving your pigeons antibiotics and that's not working as it should, so we have to consider the third possible cause for diarrhoea, emaciation, neurological disturbances and even sudden death: a worm infestation. Do you know how much your pigeons weigh? Have you felt their chest to see if the keel feels prominent?
Some worms can lodge in the major organs and make the pigeons very ill -- if the brain is affected, they'll show the same symptoms as PMV patients, if it's the digestive system they cause diarrhoea, and then go through the walls and infect other organs. A severe infestation of the liver will cause bright green poops, but the liver can heal with time, whilst other organs do not.
Lung worms and gizzard worms both can cause sudden death on a pigeon that appeared normal. There's nothing that can be done against gizzard worms, but Ivermectin can kill the others (except tapeworm, but if your pigeons had that you would have known, they're enormous!), though I understand that for lung worms the Ivermectin should be injected and may not be 100% effective.

What to do? I'd worm them all, and quick! If it doesn't help, which I doubt, at least it won't make things worse.
Considering your vet is unwilling to help you, this is what you can do: try to get a bottle of IVOMEC (injectable Ivermectin for cows) in any pharmacy that sells animal meds. You can give that orally to pigeons, maximum dose 2 drops in the beak for an adult, 1 for a squeaker.
If you can't find it, or they won't sell it to you without a prescription, PM me your address and I'll send some over to you straight away.

I'm still fairly sure that canker is also involved, in spite of the lack of evidence. A very few strains are resistant to Flayl, and one has proved resistant to everything -- I hope your pigeons are not unlucky enough to have that one. Canker organisms survive for very little time outside of the carrier's body, or after the pigeon's death, and once they stop moving they are extremely difficult to detect, so often they don't show up on fecal tests, much less on necropsies, especially necropsies like the ones they sent you... Oh no I read it time and time again, and you're right, not a single clue, they even mentioned testing an organ without saying which one.

Anyway, enough talk from me... find out about the Ivomec, and message me, either here or on Facebook.
Good luck! Fingers crossed
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeWed Jan 25, 2012 5:36 pm

Any news, Irene? Fingers crossed
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Irene
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Posts : 132
Join date : 2010-05-01
Age : 46
Location : Venice, Italy

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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeThu Jan 26, 2012 3:28 am

Dear Teresa,

thank you so much for your message and your help! I read your message very carefully and I agree with everything you wrote. Yesterday I went to the biggest pharmacy of Venice to ask if they had IVOMEC, and they said that they can order it and give it to me the next day but I need to have a prescription from the vet which I don't have... So today I'm going to the vet (not that incompetent one who thinks that I should let my birds die and not 'waste' my time on them... but another one... She is also ignorant but at least she is more polite and more willing to help, so I hope she can give me the prescription immediately). Thank you so much for offering to send me the medicine yourself, that's so kind of you and I'm really moved, but it would probably take many days to arrive here because the Italian post services are terrible...! (My mother sent me a Christmas card in November and I got it in January, can you believe it?!) so it will be much faster ordering the medicine at the pharmacy.

Poor Kirki is very week, she cannot fly anymore but fortunately she is still eating and drinking... I noticed that three of my other birds, Ikaros (who was ill in summer with a constant cough and respiratory problems but recovered completely with Flagyl and Vefloxa), Thethalos and Mikroola ('Tiny') are too quiet and stay all the time in their box-nests, so I have started to worry about them too... The good thing is that the weather has started to improve so I'm going to bring them out on the balcony in the mornings to get some sunlight, it may help them get better (because during the winter the sun does not enter in their room and I'm afraid that they may also have a deficiency of vitamin D and Calcium) and I'm going to give them multivitamins and Calcium pills as well...

Ok, I must make a move and go to the vet to get the prescription before I go to work... I hope you have a wonderful day and thank you once again for your precious advice!

Love, Irene
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeThu Jan 26, 2012 7:34 pm

I hope the vet will give you the prescription! Fingers crossed I've also heard that the Italian postal services are frightfully slow, so that would certainly be the fastest way to get hold of the med.

If you don't have calcium supplements for your pigeons in the house, please don't forget that it needs to be calcium + vitamin D3, as ordinary vitamin D is not absorbed by birds. Calcivet is very good, that's the one I use!

Good luck for tomorrow! SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... 983488
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Irene
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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeSat Feb 04, 2012 4:24 am

Hi Teresa,

I went to another vet (the one that is kinder) but unfortunately she didn't give me the prescription because she said that she is not sure if my birds have worms and she cannot give me medicines without first making a diagnosis... I gave her a container with the droppings of my birds for an examination and I had to wait for a few days to get the results, but the vet told me that she didn't manage to examine them because the droppings were stuck on the pieces of newspaper (which I had put in the container) so she asked me to bring her new droppings, which I should put directly into the plastic container...

She also told me to give my birds Baytril and Flagyl until we discover if they really have worms and give them something more... She said that Ivermectin is mainly for external parasites and lung parasites and that if she discovers that my birds have worms, she may give me a different medicine, according to what kind of worm infestation they may have...

Meanwhile Lignos and Kirki are making incredible progress with Baytril!!!! Kirki, who had light neurological symptoms, was miserable, lame and couldn't fly anymore, has recovered completely!!! It's unbelievable!! The other vet (who was supposed to be an 'expert' on birds) had asked me to give them Gentalyn instead of Baytril (because she insisted that Gentalyn was more effective) but she was wrong!! Baytril is working miracles on Kirki!!! I'm so happy for her and I hope she never has a relapse! I have been giving her Baytril for 10 days now, should I continue, I'm not sure, what do you think?

As for Lignos, he is also making amazing progress with Baytril!! He had severe neurological symptoms, but they have almost disappeared and when they come, they are much less intense than before!! Lignos seemed to be a hopeless case, he was in a terrible condition for many months, but now he is recovering very fast!! I can't believe my eyes and I'm so happy for both Lignos and Kirki!!!

So it seems that the other vet, who thought that they had New Castle's disease or PMV, was wrong and I'm so glad for that... It seems more likely that they have Selmonella or another bacterial disease and I hope that they may overcome it completely with the right medicines!!

I will let you know the results of the feces analysis as soon as I get them, which will show clearly if my birds actually have worms and if they need treatment for that too! Let's see...

A big hug,
Irene
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NiteOwl
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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeSat Feb 04, 2012 9:06 pm

Hard to believe that you cannot get a simple wormer, without first finding worms in their droppings. That's ludicrous. Everyone knows that worms don't always show up in the droppings, even if they have them. And odd that your vet doesn't know that Ivermectin does treat for worms. Don't people around there treat their birds for worms now and then without having to prove that they have them first?
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeMon Feb 06, 2012 8:18 pm

How frustrating about the wormer!!!! Oh no Yes, Ivermectin is good for external parasites (but only the blood-sucking ones) and lung worms -- but also roundworms and threadworms!!! Take our word for it, I could show you photos of the dead ones my birds passed after treatment last year!
Maybe you should just PM me your address -- however slow your postal services are, it may get there before your vet gives you a prescription... Oh brother

Jay is absolutely right, worm eggs don't always show up on poops, and live worms even less, unless the infestation is so severe they fill up the intestines!!! But anyway it's usual for birds to be wormed twice a year, like any other companion animal!

Be careful with your vet's recommendations in terms of wormers... for some reason, some vets still insist in prescribing Panacur (Fenbendazole) or related wormers. Don't give your pigeons that, never! Those meds are toxic to pigeons and can kill them!

I'm so happy to hear that your pigeons are improving with the Baytril! SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... 142829 SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... 116281 It really is an excellent antibiotic, and one of the few I trust! IF they have Salmonella, the treatment can take some time (I had one patient who needed antibiotics for a few weeks before the Salmonella disappeared completely), but I don't usually give them Baytril for more than 10 days, unless the vet says otherwise. After the 10 days, I give them probiotics and vitamins for 2 days and then start another course of antibiotics if necessary.

What about the Flagyl? You said the vet prescribed that, so are they taking it too? How long for, and how much did the vet say you should give them? The course is usually 7 days, unless you have proof that they still have canker, and then the treatment needs to continue until the canker disappears.
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Irene
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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeWed Feb 15, 2012 1:19 pm

Dear Teresa and 'Niteowl',

thank you a lot for your messages. I'm sorry for not managing to reply earlier, I have been very busy and stressed recently. Teresa, thank you for warning me not to give my birds Panacur, I believe you and I trust you, and I'll never give them that toxic medicine... 'Niteowl', you are right, worms are not always shown up in the droppings. In fact, the results of the last fecal examination of my sick birds in August did not reveal anything at all (although my birds were so sick that they were dying!), no worms, parasites, viruses or bacteria were found!! But it may be that the vet did not examine the droppings well, because the vets here are so incompetent... as you have also understood...

As for my birds, here is the latest news: I gave Kirki Baytril for 13 days and then I stopped. Her condition improved very much and she started flying again, but she is still weak and I noticed that she still doesn't have good control of her head and she cannot always walk or fly straight... As for Lignos, I gave him Baytril for 16 days and he became more lively but unfortunately his neurological symptoms are still there... He seemed to improve while he was taking the antibiotics but maybe it was only my impression because now he seems to be the same as he was before, so I'm not sure if he really made any progress... In the end, I don't know what to suppose... It may be that they actually suffer from PMV, unless they have worms in the brain...

Teresa, I would be very happy if you could help me by sending me Ivermectin, as you had suggested! It may take many days to arrive but fortunately my birds are not in a critical condition right now, so I hope they can survive until they get their medicine. Tell me how much it costs and I'll send you the money. I will send you my address in Venice in a private message on Facebook. Thank you so much for your help, it's really invaluable!!

When Dakry died a few weeks ago, I noticed that she was extremely skinny (although she was eating well) and her bones stuck out very much, so I suspect that she might have had worms... Dakry was one of the feral pigeons I had saved and since she was living in nature before I adopted her, it would not be a surprise if she had worms... Othyssia, who died a few days before Dakry was her daughter, so she may have got the infection from her... Likewise, Margarita (who died in summer) was the daughter of Selini (who also died, a few days after Margarita) and Comis (who became ill with very light neurological symptoms but recovered only with vitamins). Margarita, Selini and Othyssia were also emaciated when they died although they used to eat more than well (they were always very greedy!) Lignos is also very skinny (in fact his name Lignos means 'Skinny' in Greek), he was like that from the beginning. He is one of the feral pigeons I rescued, and Hercules (who was the first who died in summer) was also a rescued feral... In a few words, it seems very likely that some of my birds have worms and passed them to others, or it maybe that all of them have them... When I get the medicine, I'll treat all of them to make sure they are free from worms.

Another unpleasant thing that happened these days is that Mikroola ('Tiny') also started showing signs of illness... I noticed that she had extremely watery diarrhea, so watery that all the newspapers of her cage were wet! She drinks a lot of water and is always thirsty... I started giving Baytril to her too (today is the 9th day) and she has stopped having diarrhea, which is a good sign! Fortunately she doesn't show any other symptoms but I'm watching her carefully these days... Mikroola is the 'wife' of Tenoros (who had PMV symptoms last year but recovered completely with antibiotics). When they both appeared to be healthy, they gave birth to Orpheas and Evrithiki, who were both deformed and disabled and died when they were very young. Tenoros and Mikroola still seem to be 'fine', but the diarrhea di Mikroola looks very suspicious... Let's hope the antibiotics work on Mikroola as they had worked on Tenoros last year! I'll let you know how the situation evolves...

P.S. Do you think I should give Kirki and Lignos another cycle of Baytril? I still haven't given them Flagyl because I didn't want to give them all the medicines at once, afraid that they may harm their liver and kidneys..I had given Flagyl to Lignos in summer, so I'm not sure if I should give it to him again... What would you advice me to do? Lignos has taken too many medicines during the last months (I have treated him with Baytril, Vefloxa, Flagyl and Gentalyn for many weeks) and I'm worried for him... A friend of mine who has also rescued many pigeons (some of which have PMV) told me that it's better to leave Lignos in peace and give him only vitamins. She also suggested putting apple vinegar in his water to clean his intestines... What is your opinion?

SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... 983488 Irene

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Matilda
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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeWed Feb 15, 2012 4:40 pm

Honey girl... I don't know why you won't give your pigeons the canker medicine at the same time you give the antibiotic. They need it. The rest of us do that all the time and our birds don't die or get liver damage and so why should it be different for you birds?
By being overly cautious,you are putting their lives in jeopardy. I admire your gentle heart so very much and I'm so frustrated with you at the same time. Do you really think some of us would take the time to write out what works, from our years of experience, because we have nothing better to do?
You ask us over and over what to do and we tell you and then watch while you don't take the experienced advise.
Your way hasn't worked. Give our way a try for the pigeon's sake. I think God keeps bringing you back to us, giving you another opportunity to listen.

I think Lignos needs probiotic to restore the natural flora in his gut. I don't think vitamins are enough.
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Irene
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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeWed Feb 15, 2012 5:11 pm

Charis!!!

I'm so glad to get a message from you!! I'm going to give Flagyl to my birds as well as the other antibiotics, I was just thinking to give it to them after Baytril so as not to overwhelm them with medicines... But if you think that it's better to give them all the medicines together, I'll do so! I also followed your advice in the past, didn't I...? Thanks to you I had managed to save little Comis who was close to die and was literally resurrected with your help! I always remember it and I'm very grateful to you for that and I take your advice very seriously! Don't worry, I'll do my best to save my poor babies, you know how much I love them! So, what probiotic shall I give to Lignos and Kirki? Shall I give them Nystatin? Is that a probiotic? Shall I give them another cycle of Baytril or not? Shall I start giving them Flagyl now, how much, and for how many days? I'm waiting for your instructions and you know that I won't ignore them! If I wanted to follow my own way or the advice of the vets, I wouldn't be here writing to you late at night...

SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... 983488 Irene
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Matilda
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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeWed Feb 15, 2012 5:30 pm

If they are recently finished with their baytril treatment, just give them flagyl. If they are taking baytril now, add flagyl to the treatment schedule. So baytril in the morning, flagyl at night and with either, you can also give nystatin.

Baytril dose = 10mg, 1 time daily for 10 days
flagyl dose = 40-50 mg, 1 time daily for 5-7 days
nystatin dose = 0.6 cc, 1 time a day for the entire time you are treating with baytril.

Nystatin is not the same thing as a probiotic but it does help restore the natural flora. If you have a store that sells health products for humans, look for a human probiotic. The ones that work can be found in the refrigerated section and are in capsules that can be taken apart and mixed in the water. The other option, would be to ask if the vet has some
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeSat Mar 24, 2012 9:12 am

Hi Irene,

Just thought I'd check, did you get the meds?
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeTue Apr 03, 2012 5:49 pm

THE KILLER DISEASE WAS THE LETHAL ADENOVIRUS TYPE 2!

My grateful thanks to Myriam (LaPalomaTriste) for pointing out that the symptoms of this disease were identical to an outbreak of Adenovirosis type 2 that decimated her dove loft.
I have spent hours researching this, and the more I read the more it became apparent that this was indeed what killed all those pigeons.

There were signs of other infectious agents (bacteria and protozoa) but those were not the killers. There are two main types of Adenovirus, and both often trigger a severe case of E-coli, the only infectious agent identified in the necropsies. THERE IS NO CURE FOR THIS VIRUS, and fatalities can be as high as 100%. If the bird's immune system was already compromised by another virus (PMV or Circovirus), he wouldn't have stood a chance.
In most cases, the disease is brought in by visiting ferals, especially during the summer months. Overcrowding, poor hygiene and the lack of quarentine can make the disease spread like wildfire, killing all the birds in a loft.

So, Irene, your vet was almost 100% right when she pointed the finger at a virus (although the wrong one), when she said the ferals brought it in, and when she said your pigeons were most likely all going to die.
And so were you when you refused to believe it was just bacteria, protozoans and parasites, and when you claimed that however hard you tried you couldn't save them.
So let me be the first to apologise to you and to your vet. Treating the pigeons against protozoa (canker or hexamitia) and bacteria (including Salmonella/Paratyphus and E-coli) is still recommended by veterinarians, and may save the lives of some, but it wouldn't have saved them all... Very sad


Look at this question-and-answer session regarding the kind of symptoms your pigeons had:

Quote :
"Pigeons vomit , no appetite, lameness and then die."

Dr. Ruben Lanckriet -- As possible diseases I'm thinking of paratyphus, trichomoniasis and adenovirus. There is a big chance the birds are also infected with circovirus and therefore lack the immunity to cope with diseases. Let your birds be examined by an avian vet to get a correct diagnosis.
Adenovirus causes damage to the liver and intestines. The liver and intestinal inflammation causes diarrhoea. The hepatitis also causes the vomiting and the not digesting of food, and and yellowish urine (droppings with yellow watery urine). In a lot of cases other agents such as E. coli (a bacteria) or hexamita (protozoan) take advantage of the situation and cause more intestinal inflammation and diarrhoea. Mortality can be 100%.
There is no treatment against the adenovirus although pigeons vaccinated for paratyphus are less susceptible to the disease.
You can treat for the secundary infections (treatment for E. coli and hexamita) after clinical examination of the birds and exclusion of other possible infections. If the antibiotics do not help, it could be wise to do an antibiogram of the E. coli as there is a tremendous antibiotic resistance rate in E. coli. At the same time it is wise to give light digestible food.
It is very important you get the bird into quarantine and desinfect the lofts completely.

"My pigeons have a problem with vomiting. Whenever they eat any food they vomit so they got very weak, then started dying and their droppings are green-white."

Dr. Ruben Lanckriet -- The symptoms you are describing are indicative of an adenovirus type I problem complexed with E. coli or hexamita, if the birds you are talking about are of young age. It could be wise to treat your birds for this disease (antibiotics) in accordance with your veterinarian and let the birds be examined to exclude other causes that could complex the problem. If the problems are occurring with older pigeons, there could be a problem with adenovirus type II, candida, herpes and/or trichomoniasis.


And this in an article by Dr. H.J.M. de Weerd, the first to identify the type 2 virus, taken from
http://www.belgicadeweerd.nl/bdwchinese/ziektes.htm

Quote :
Adenovirus infections have been described worldwide in numerous avian species. The pathogenicity of the viruses is usually low and their precise role in clinical disease is often not clear. Most Adenoviruses are regarded as complicating organisms in diseases primarily induced by other agents or as a component of a multi factorial problem. A few Adenoviruses, however, can be considered “exceptions” that are highly and primarily pathogenic, for example: egg drop syndrome (EDS) virus, quail bronchitis virus, haemorrhagic enteritis virus and pigeon Adenoviruses. Pigeon Adenoviruses are responsible for two distinct disease entities, both causing serious harm to the pigeon population.

The most common and well-known type of the disease is caused by Adenovirus type I. We have known these problems for over twenty years. One or two young birds that start to vomit and become ill with less appetite and green droppings. It was never a big problem and only occurred in a few lofts. Occasionally a pigeon would die. We believe that this Adenovirus type I only triggered a serious E-Coli infection.
For this reason we speak of Adeno-Coli syndrome.

However, in the past 5-10 years the problem has increased and changed in symptoms. Nowadays we see many, many lofts in Western Europe where there are big problems with young birds, especially in April, May, June, July and August. We see a high morbidity (degree of being infected), up to 90% of the young pigeons.
Symptoms: less appetite, vomiting, green slime or yellowish droppings, birds get skinny. They really look ill and may die after a couple of days.
The diagnosis in a laboratory is sometimes difficult to make. The Adenovirus itself is hard to find but E-Coli bacteria are mostly present. But the symptoms are so specific that an experienced pigeon veterinarian or a smart fancier knows what is going on!!
The problem with the E-Coli bacteria is that they are normally present and helpful for the organism. They are normally located in the intestines of healthy pigeons. All of a sudden they can turn into pathogenic Coli.
We may see different cases of the disease in the loft. A pigeon can die from a combination of Adeno and Coli but also from a pathogenic Coli, especially in case of septicaemie, then the pigeons will die very acutely. The classical Adenovirus (type I) infections only occurs in pigeons under the age of one year.

To make things more complicated we have had since the summer 1991 a very aggressive variant of the classical Adenovirus. We call it Adenovirus type II.
I was the first to describe this dramatic disease, not knowing then that it was a different type from the classical Adenovirus.
I was confronted with many lofts in South West of Holland with the following very typical symptoms -- normal healthy looking pigeons, mostly old birds, would all of a sudden eat less. Only drink a little water. Start trying to vomit and produce yellow, not slime, only yellow plaques without dropping structure. The birds die mostly the next day heavily breathing as if they had a bad lung disease.
However, they die of septicaemie due to a massive liver infection and destruction of the liver. I saw thousands of such cases and sent in pigeons to the best clinic in the world for laboratory research in pigeons: the university of Gent in Belgium. They found out, after 1 ½ year, that this was a variant of the classical Adenovirus and called it type II.

In the meantime, type II is still present but never again as massive and destructive as I saw it in 1991. Nowadays it complicates also the different forms of Adenocoli. When we see the symptoms as described, we have the following possibilities:

A Adenovirus type I
B Adenovirus type I plus E-Coli bacteria
C Pahtogenic E-Coli bacteria
D Adenovirus type II.


We also see complications with other bacteria such as streptococcen, staphylococcen and others. In cases A, B and C we will have tremendous good results with specific antibiotic combinations. In case D we will have no success at all with any therapy.
At the Gent university they are trying to make a vaccine out this specific virus of pigeons, but it will take a couple of years to have a vaccine ready.
It is a pity that probiotica and acids to lower the PH of the drinking water, do not prevent the incidence of the disease. Birds that have overcome the disease may be good flyers in the future. We have a lot of such examples!
Important is a quick diagnose and as soon as possible an effective treatment.

Dr. H.J.M. de Weerd
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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeWed Apr 04, 2012 5:20 am

Hi Teresa,

Really sad to read about Myriam and Irene's birds :( It is devastating to lose so many birds to this horrid disease.

I had been suspecting Adenovirus to be the culprit which claimed many youngsters in my apartment as well. I am not very sure though.

The symptoms were in all of them were the same:

Most were juvenile birds,
They were found fluffed up, unable to fly and looked weak.
Upon inspection, there were no signs of any canker growth, any secretion.
Some seemed to have breathing difficulties.
Nearly all had slow moving crop.
Droppings were watery and green white.
The birds would all die within a week to 10 days from the onset of the disease.
Metrodinazol / Enro didn't seem to have any effect on them.

Do you think this could also be adenovirus? But none of them vomited.

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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeWed Apr 04, 2012 5:31 am

Matilda wrote:
If they are recently finished with their baytril treatment, just give them flagyl. If they are taking baytril now, add flagyl to the treatment schedule. So baytril in the morning, flagyl at night and with either, you can also give nystatin.

Baytril dose = 10mg, 1 time daily for 10 days
flagyl dose = 40-50 mg, 1 time daily for 5-7 days
nystatin dose = 0.6 cc, 1 time a day for the entire time you are treating with baytril.

Nystatin is not the same thing as a probiotic but it does help restore the natural flora. If you have a store that sells health products for humans, look for a human probiotic. The ones that work can be found in the refrigerated section and are in capsules that can be taken apart and mixed in the water. The other option, would be to ask if the vet has some

I think i should make a sticky out of this. I keep searching for the right dose everytime i desperately need it SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... 310554
Thank you Charis xx
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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeWed Apr 04, 2012 3:18 pm

Dear friends,

first of all, I would like to thank all of you who tried to help my poor birds with your suggestions and advice! I'm sorry I didn't reply earlier to your comments but unfortunately during the last weeks I have also had health problems myself and I ended up in hospital having an operation... I'm still recuperating but I'm getting better everyday. I'm grateful to my father who took care of my animals while I was in hospital, so my absence didn't cause them any more problems...

I'm really glad to tell you that they all fine now and even the ones that were ill with neurological symptoms (Lignos and Kirki) have finally recovered! They still make strange head movements sometimes, especially when they are nervous or scared, but it doesn't seem to annoy them and most of the time they are fine and seem normal!

I did give them the medicines that Charis suggested and perhaps they helped them recover faster! Thank you so much Charis for your expert and valuable advice!

Dear Teresa, I did receive your parcel with the probiotic, thank you so much!! You are a real angel and I'm very grateful to you for your help! But unfortunately I didn't receive the medicine for worms, had you also sent that to me? If yes, it was probably lost, what a pity!

I'm really glad that you and Miriam found out what the killer disease of my pigeons was! The description of Adenovirus Type II seems to match perfectly with the dramatic situation of my poor birds... They did have all the symptoms of the disease! What a horrible disease...!! I was scared of PMV and Selmonella but this disease is far worse than them!! I really pray and hope that it won't show itself again this spring!! Last year I left the windows of my pigeons' loft open all the time and many wild birds came in every day, so I'm sure that they were the ones that transmitted the disease to my poor birds... Now I'm afraid to open the windows... I'll have to fix a net on them, but will it keep the virus away if the wild birds still fly over the windows trying to get in...?

Dear Teresa, you don't have to apologize to me for anything! It was really hard to diagnose the disease of my birds because they had so many different symptoms! In fact, there were two different diseases in my loft: PMV or Selmonella (but probably PMV because it lasted for a very long time!) that caused neurological symptoms and the Adenovirus that caused vomiting and killed my poor babies in 1-7 days! Fortunately all of my birds which got PMV have recovered, but the ones that got Adenovirus died without exceptions! At least now I have peace in me because I know that there was nothing I could have done to save them... The previous months I felt very guilty and angry with myself because I thought that my birds died because of my own failures and that it was all my fault! I still feel very sad for losing my beloved babies, they were all very special to me... but I hope that their innocent souls still live in heaven... Now I must concentrate on the ones that are still alive and do my best to protect them from a potential new hit of the terrible disease...

Last year, my birds lived in small cages, but now they have spacious and clean cages that I constructed for them myself, and instead of having wood-pellets on their floors (which turned to dust and transmitted viruses and bacteria easily...) they have drawers with newspapers and a net over them that does not allow my birds to walk on their droppings or to eat fallen seeds contaminated by the dirt... However, I'm a little worried about the dust that is in the loft in corners, behind or under the cages or on the ceiling, which are difficult to reach and to clean... Is there any way to disinfect the loft thoroughly? Any suggestions? I have heard that Ultraviolet lamps and certain sprays can kill germs, is that true?

SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... 983488 Irene



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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeWed Apr 04, 2012 5:01 pm

Quote :
Dear Teresa, I did receive your parcel with the probiotic, thank you so much!! You are a real angel and I'm very grateful to you for your help! But unfortunately I didn't receive the medicine for worms, had you also sent that to me? If yes, it was probably lost, what a pity!

LOL, the Ivermectin is inside the probiotic container, I hid it too well, it seems! SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... 46723
It's in a vial, wrapped in plastic, inside the probiotic. As it was fragile that was the best way to cushion in and stop it from leaking, and it was hidden because liquids sent through the post, especially meds, could end up being confiscated at customs.
I sent you a message about that, but I think it was on Facebook, so you probably missed it while you were ill.
I hope you're feeling much better now! Feeling great

I'm glad your pigeons are no longer sick. Those who survive one virus disease become more resistant against that virus, and apparently against other viruses as well. That may explain why those who had PMV symptoms survived, whilst the strong, healthy ones died suddenly. And I suspect that the Adenovirus may have been the cause of death of two of my favourite ferals, Gallahad and Cinnabar, who were perfectly fine one day and dead the next. I'll be on the lookout for the symptoms.

I think you're right about using mesh screens to avoid contact between your pigeons and the ferals. If possible, choose one with a mesh small enough to stop the pigeon flies getting in, as they bite infected pigeons and then infect the next one they bite. I'm using custom made alluminium-framed mesh panels in the veranda. They're the same dimensions as the original sliding window panels and I can exchange them very easily.
The virus can be airborne, but unless the cages are very close to the mesh that shouldn't be a major problem.

As for loft disinfection, if you can't take the pigeons out for a few hours and disinfect the loft with diluted bleach, then try wiping/spraying the surfaces etc with diluted apple cider vinegar -- it's harmless to your pigeons, and it also discourages bacteria and protozoans. This can be done even with the pigeons in the loft -- they will grumble a bit at the intrusion, but that's all! Laughing
For hard to reach places I use all sorts: old toothbrushes, bottle cleaners, long wooden sticks with a rag wrapped round the end, it's really a case of trying and seeing what can get the job done.

If you can, give them pine needles for nesting material. Pigeons love them, and they have insecticidal properties, discouraging most bugs and parasites, and they are less prone to mould than straw or anything else.

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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeFri Apr 13, 2012 5:04 pm

Dear Teresa,

you will surely laugh if I tell you that I thought the Ivermectin was just a 'well-wrapped stick' that you had put inside the probiotic to 'block its opening better and prevent the dust from flying out'...! It is so small and narrow that I could never imagine it was a medicine...!! I remembered that you had told me in your email on Facebook that you had put it together with the probiotic, but I thought they were together in the same parcel, not in the same container, ha ha... I'm really glad that I did not throw the 'wrapped stick' away but I left it in the piobiotic for 'protection'...! Happy

Fortunately both me and my birds are alright now and I was really happy to read in your message that the birds who recover from PMV become more resistant to other diseases as well! Let's hope they will continue to be well! But I'm so sorry you lost Gallahad and Cinnabar, poor babies... I know exactly how you feel and my heart is with you... What a terrible disease that nasty Adenovirus is...!! I hope it never comes in our lofts again!!

I am still thinking how to resolve the problem of the open windows, because they are very close to the cages and even if I fix mesh screens on them, as you suggested, the airborne viruses will still be able to infect my poor birds... I read on the internet that some dove breeders use an 'ozonisator' (a little device producing ozone) which is said to kill bacteria and viruses and to purify the air... It costs around 80 euro and I'm thinking to buy it, but I don't know whether it will be effective or just a waste of money and whether it is safe or dangerous for health... Have you heard anything about it?

Thank you for your suggestions about how to disinfect the room of my pigeons well... I found your ideas very good and practical!

As for the nesting material, the last months I'm giving them newspaper stripes instead of hay. Unfortunately I can't find pine needles, but I'm glad I have found a substitute for hay (which attracted insects, smelled badly and flew in the air very easily...) Now the cages are much cleaner!

Many greetings from Venice! SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... 983488
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PostSubject: Re: SOS! A mysterious fatal disease...   SOS! A mysterious fatal disease... Icon_minitimeThu Apr 19, 2012 6:43 pm

I'm glad you found the camouflaged Ivermectin, Irene! Laughing I'm not sure about the capacity of it, but there must be at least 3 ml of it in there, and believe me it will last a while, as one treatment for an adult pigeon is only 2 drops (0.08 ml). If you find either dead mites or dead worms after that, repeat the treatment 12 days later to take care of any eggs that were present.

I can't advise you on the ozonisator device, as I don't have one and I'm not familiar with them. Perhaps someone on Facebook might know?

The newspaper strips will work very well, at least until the pigeons start taking them away to build their nests, lol! At least mine do! Laughing
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