Bird Diseases

Diseases of Birds

(See also: Farm Diseases – Poultry)

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Here we describe various bird diseases (avian diseases), with reference to acupuncture, herbal treatment, homeopathic treatment, chiropractic manipulation etc., where appropriate. We invite and accept referrals for complimentary and alternative medicine treatments.

see also: Bird Cases

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Herbal Acupuncture Homeopathy Chiropractic Nutrition Natural Holistic

Bird Disease List

Abscesses Air Sac Disease Aspergillosis Avian Influenza Beak and Claw Deformities
Beak and Feather Disease – PBFD Bird Flu Bumble Foot Candidiasis Chlamydia
Diarrhoea E coli Egg-Binding Feather-Pecking Influenza
Mites – Scaly Leg PDD Pining Psittacosis Salmonellosis
Shock Sinusitis Stress Tumours – Cancer Viral Diseases

ABSCESSES

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AIR SAC DISEASE

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ASPERGILLOSIS

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AVIAN INFLUENZA (BIRD FLU)

Avian Influenza is the topic of a .pdf document (click).

The AVMC has offered DEFRA any help it requires (free of charge), regarding clinical research, treatment and prevention of avian influenza with homeopathy. As yet, this offer has not been taken up. Homeopathy should have a lot to offer for both treatment and prevention (prophylaxis).


BEAK AND CLAW DEFORMITIES

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BEAK AND FEATHER DISEASE – PBFD

 

 

Psittacine Beak & Feather Disease (PBFD)

We have seen several cases of PBFD, at the AVMC. It is a viral disease, attacking the bird’s immune system and the beak and feather forming cells.

Although there are records of birds of South American descent having recovered spontaneously, it is usually considered ultimately to be fatal.

Using homeopathy, however, prescribed on an individual patient basis, the cases we have seen have recovered. Numbers are too small to draw firm conclusions but it looks hopeful that homeopathy may be able to deal with this worrying condition.

It is therefore recommended, should your bird be diagnosed with this condition, that you should consult a veterinarian who has homeopathic experience of the disease.


BUMBLE FOOT

 

What is it?

Bumble foot (bumblefoot) is a chronic infection of the foot, usually with a type of Staphylococcus bacterium, often involving the joints and toe-nail beds. It is very painful and debilitating and can, in extreme cases, result in loss of the foot.

How does it arise?

Bumble foot probably comes about as a result of injury to the lower aspect of the foot, possibly from a sharp or abrasive object or from the unsuitable perching facilities (in bird parks). It is rare in birds who have complete freedom.

Can it be cured?

It is very non-responsive, either to antibiotics or surgery. Long-term antibiotics are generally not well tolerated by birds, anyway. This means that the ‘conventional’ prognosis is poor.

In natural medicine, we have the powerful stimulus of homeopathy, working through the bird’s own immune system, that can bring about resolution of this refractory and distressing problem. We are therefore quite optimistic about any patient presented with this problem, although still very respectful of the deeply invasive and stubborn nature of the disease.


CANDIDIASIS

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CHLAMYDIA

What is it?

The disease (Chlamydiosis) is a ‘zoonosis’. In other words, it is transmissible to humans. This mostly occurs when there is a lot of infected dust in an enclosed atmosphere. It also occurs in Enzootic Abortion in sheep and represents an especial risk to pregnant women.

It is quite prevalent in birds and usually results in respiratory disease. The infective agent is Chlamydia psittaci. The disease used to be known as Ornithosis or Psittacosis, since it was mostly seen in psittacine birds (parrots etc.).

Can it be treated?

Bearing in mind the possible hazard to human health, treatment of any ill or infected bird should be in a well-ventilated area.

Antibiotics, such as tetracyclines, can be effective, as long as the bird’s immune system is able to finish the job. Antibiotics can, however, have a deleterious effect on the bird’s digestive system and can be debilitating.

Constitutional and specific homeopathic prescribing can usually stimulate the immune system to fight off the infection, with or without antibiotics. This method has the advantage of no side-effects or debilitating effect on the bird(s).


DIARRHOEA

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E. COLI

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EGG-BINDING

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FEATHER-PECKING

 

It is very distressful to bird and human alike, when feather pecking occurs. A bird can remove every feather from its body, in extreme cases, and can draw blood.

This condition can occur as a result of stress and emotional upset, climatic factors, dietary problems and boredom. An enriched environment and the ability to carry out species-specific social behaviour patterns is a good preventive.

There is a specific condition, Beak & Feather Disease, which is described separately but whose symptoms can overlap.

Fortunately, homeopathy can usually control or even cure this troublesome condition. There are some very stubborn cases, that appear refractory to treatment, but I fear that failure may be down to ‘prescriber error’ on my part, in those cases.

Some of the homeopathic medicines that have proved useful in past cases, depending upon the individual bird, are: Alumina, Arsenicum, Bacillinum, Carcinosin, Graphites, Ignatia, Iodum, Lachesis, Psorinum, Pulsatilla, Sepia, Staphisagria, Stramonium and Sulphur.


MITES

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PDD – PROVENTRICULAR DILATATION DISEASE

The term Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD) has been coined to describe an inflammatory disease of the visceral nervous system of birds. It has mostly been seen in North America and Europe and mostly but not exclusively in psittacines.  It is characterised by the accumulation of lymphocytes and plasma cells, especially in the nerves that supply the muscles of proventriculus, crop, ventriculus and small intestine. Clinical signs include depression, weight loss, regurgitation and there may be passage of undigested seeds in the faeces. The central nervous system can be affected, variously giving rise to ataxia, abnormal head movements, seizures and proprioceptive or motor deficits, in affected birds.

The cause of the disease is uncertain, with autoimmune and viral causes being mooted. The prognosis is not good. We have not had to attend such a bird at the AVMC but we would be very willing to offer advice on possible homeopathic input, for anyone who has the misfortune to encounter the problem.


PINING

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PSITTACOSIS

See Chlamydia


SALMONELLOSIS

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SHOCK

Birds are extremely sensitive creatures, requiring a peaceful existence for comfort. They are very susceptible to shock and stress. Handling and disturbance can be very stressful. Climatic stress can also play a part, if housing and environment are not ideal.

It is important to avoid threats from cats or other predators. Although a cage may afford physical protection, the primaeval fear of a threatening predator is a very stressful stimulus.

Moving house, flooding, fire and other disturbances are stressful to humans. Birds will feel such things even more, especially since their ability to follow their instinct to fly is curtailed. A visit to the vet can be a frightening experience. Birds can go into shock, during or after such crises.

Homeopathic medicines such as Gelsemium, Aconitum, Argentum nitricum, Scutellaria and Passiflora are valuable aids in settling stress. Aconitum is very effective in alleviating the extreme effects of shock and reviving the bird.

Bach Flower remedies are useful in birds. Rescue Remedy is a time-honoured therapy for stress and shock. Vervain is helpful when there is great nervous tension.

Aromatherapy can be used in birds. Lavender is very calmative.


SINUSITIS

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STRESS

See Shock


TUMOURS

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VIRAL DISEASES

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