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Viral diseases of birds are widespread and can appear on the farm at any time. One of these diseases is smallpox. This disease exists in 2 forms and causes great harm to the livestock. Consider the causes, symptoms of smallpox in pigeons, diagnostic methods, therapy with drugs and folk methods, prevention of the disease at home.
Causes of the disease
With smallpox, the skin and mucous membranes of pigeons are affected. The infection is very contagious, the disease is acute and chronic, in both cases, birds become carriers of the virus. It is mainly young animals who are sick, adult birds are virus carriers. Smallpox virus is transmitted through nasal discharge, droppings, remains on the surface of feeders and drinkers, various equipment, can be transmitted through the air, by blood-sucking insects (much less often than through secretions from the body). Cases of the disease are more often recorded during the warm season.
Often pigeons fall ill with smallpox, which live in a dovecote, in which they are rarely cleaned, ventilated, and do not maintain the temperature and humidity regime. Eating food unbalanced in nutrients and mineral elements, being in a cold and damp room leads to a weakening of the birds' immunity and subsequent illness. The virus can enter the body of pigeons through minor damage.
The main symptoms and forms of the disease
Smallpox in pigeons is initially asymptomatic, this period lasts up to 2 months in the warm season and up to 4 months in the cold. Then symptoms appear, which differ depending on what form the disease has taken.
It can be identified by the appearance of red ulcers on the skin around the beak, ears, in the corners of the mouth, turning into purulent growths of a dirty yellow color. In severe form, smallpox affects not only the skin and mucous membranes, but also the internal organs, which ends with the death of the bird. If the mucous membrane of the eyes is affected, pigeons may have photophobia, tears flow, the eyes turn red and inflamed. Growths form in the corners of the eyes. Pigeons become drowsy, eat little, their wings sag, feathers are ruffled.
With this form of smallpox in pigeons, the nasal mucosa is affected, growths appear in the nose, larynx and goiter. First, these are spots of white or yellow color, then they turn into a film. Because of this, it becomes difficult for birds to breathe, they wheeze, hold an open beak, and cannot eat and drink normally. Smallpox in diphtheria is often chronic.
With this form, pigeons show symptoms of both forms at the same time. It proceeds heavily, often leading to the death of the bird. If at least one external sign of smallpox appears or the behavior of the pigeon changes, you must immediately send the diseased individual to quarantine and begin therapy.
How is the disease diagnosed
When smallpox is in its early stages, its symptoms can be confused with signs of other infections, so before starting treatment, you need to establish which disease you have to deal with. The diagnosis is made in a veterinary laboratory by analyzing biological material taken from a sick bird.
How to treat smallpox in pigeons
Sick pigeons are kept separately while treatment is underway. Those in whom smallpox is in a severe stage are killed and burned, since only fire destroys the virus completely. All still healthy people are soldered with a solution of potassium permanganate (1 in 1000), 3-5% solution of "Furacilin" or "Iodinil". The house is carefully cleaned and disinfected.
The drugs are given orally and external damage is treated. The duration of treatment is 5-9 days. Antibiotics are injected into the muscles of the chest, under the skin of the back of the head, or dissolved in water and syringed to each bird. To destroy the smallpox virus, tetracycline is used in the form of tablets and ointments. The tablets are diluted in water in a ratio of 1 to 4, the solution is instilled into the beak and eyes 3 times a day. The powder is mixed with bread and given to pigeons - to destroy the virus in the organs.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
Do not exceed the daily dose of tetracycline for young animals - 50 ml. External growths are lubricated with tetracycline ointment for 5-8 days.
Another drug - "Tilan" - is given to pigeons in a proportion of 0.5 g per 1 liter of drinking water. No more than 40-50 ml should fall on 1 pigeon per day, if the bird does not drink itself, it is instilled into its beak from a pipette. Tilan destroys the virus not only on the skin, but also in the internal organs. Treatment period - 5 days, maximum - 8.
"Enrofloxacin" is diluted in water at the rate of 5 ml per 10 liters, the solution is poured into a drinking bowl and given to sick birds for 6 days in a row. Contraindications to the use of this antibiotic are kidney disease. After a course of antibiotic therapy, pigeons are given probiotics and vitamins.
With improvised means
Traditional medicine for the treatment of smallpox in pigeons offers a tincture of onions, garlic and rose hips with honey. Cooking recipe: 2 heads of garlic, 1 unpeeled onion, chop finely, add 2 tbsp. l. rosehip berries, 1 tbsp. honey. Pour everything into 0.5 liters of alcohol, leave for 2 weeks. Add 1 tsp to 1 liter of drinking water. You can make an infusion of needles, soak it for a day and give the infusion to the pigeons to drink.
Vaccination helps to avoid the disease, it is carried out to young animals when they reach 6-10 weeks. The vaccine is injected into the membrane on the wings. During the month, there may be inflammation in this place. A month later, they are vaccinated again. Then the vaccination is repeated annually. Sick pigeons are not vaccinated.
As a preventive measure, you need to treat the poultry house with a 2% solution of sodium hydroxide or formalin, lime with copper sulfate. Regularly clean and wash feeders, drinkers, once a month, burn perches, floors and walls, inventory with a blowtorch.
Ventilate the room, make sure that it is not damp, hot or, conversely, cold. Keep new pigeons in quarantine for 2-4 weeks.
Smallpox in pigeons is treatable, but not neglected. Preventive measures can save livestock from infection, but if this happens, treatment should be started immediately. Antibiotics and folk tinctures will restore health to pigeons and prolong their life.