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Maggie-NC Maggie-NC is offline
Posted 6th October 2006, 12:28 PM
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I talked with the pathologist, awhile ago. Tests have come back NEGATIVE for: Chlamydia, Microplasma, Aspergillosis, Bacteria. They are still waiting for the PMV-1 and West Nile reports. He said it may be viral in nature and we may never know the reason they died. I have been in daily contact with our vet so I'm waiting now to hear from her on these latest results.

We moved all of them back to the aviary yesterday afternoon. All seem ok but this morning we brought the "oops" baby, Comet, in because he could barely fly and was staying on the ground. He is in the laundry room and has pecked a little at the seed but only a little. One wing is drooping some and I hope he simply hit a perch the wrong way. He is about 3 months old and had done really well in the garage with the others.

We're no further than we were except (cross fingers) they're still alive.
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Birdmom4ever Birdmom4ever is offline
Posted 6th October 2006, 01:47 PM
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Oh Maggie, that's discouraging. It's so much easier when it's some recognizable bacterial infection you know how to treat. I'm praying your pigeons will recover and that no one else gets sick. It does seem at least somewhat encouraging that you haven't had a new case in awhile.
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Reti Reti is offline
Posted 6th October 2006, 02:26 PM
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I wish it was something we kenew how to treat.
I hope Comet is better already.

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maryjane maryjane is offline
Posted 6th October 2006, 02:40 PM
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I'm sorry you couldn't get a definite answer about the cause. I hope Comet is doing better and is 100% soon.
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pdpbison pdpbison is offline
Posted 6th October 2006, 05:09 PM
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Hi Maggie,

So sorry...

I suppose a Viral pneumonia of some kind would be an elusive one to determine clinically, without a necropsy.

Just super cleaning, as you did...and good general nutrition and special immune builders/support, as you are doing, s about all a boy or girl can do...

I suppose, double and triple check their Seed and if any hint of doubts there, toss it and get new...

Is about all I can think of for summary review on this.

If any neighbors had been spraying anything...and chemical sources or fires near by the winds could have sent your way...certainly such things can compromise them to where some otherwise background or incidental infection/virus/bacteria/mold thing can get an upper hand...

Best wishes...!

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Maggie-NC Maggie-NC is offline
Posted 7th October 2006, 08:16 AM
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Thank you all. Comet seems to be ok, but we're keeping him in for a few more days just to be sure.

Phil, the first one that died, Simon, has been necropsied and they're still working on tissue but most of the bacteria-like diseases have been eliminated. Interesting that you mentioned the fumes/smoke, etc. because the pathologist asked me the same thing yesterday. There is a vacant field next to our house but I don't think anything has been sprayed and there have been no fires.

Some of you may have heard on the news about the huge chemical fire in Apex, NC Thursday night. It was really bad and thousands of people are just now being allowed back to their homes because the fire has burned itself out. If this had happened last week I would have concerns about that being the problem for our birds since we live only 10 or so miles from this town. The chemical cloud was dispersed by rain so it had no chance to spread our way.
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Skyeking Skyeking is offline
Posted 7th October 2006, 09:41 AM
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Hi Maggie,

I hope Comet continues to improve and all your birds are better.

I heard about that nasty fire, what a blessing the rain came when it did.

The thing that I worry about with my birds is ventilation for those who sit on the floor. Respiratory issues are quite a big deal for pigeons. I don't know if you have any floor-sitters, but I always think they are exposed to all the dust and anything else gravity brings down on them. We are adding new cubbies and renovating the old ones, so we can get these birds off the floor. We have plenty of perches, but it seems they all want cubbies. There is plenty of ventilation around the roof, but not on the ground/floor.

Anyway, I'm hard pressed to get the added/renovation going once the new cubbies for Jasper, Gracie and my single hens are installed.

I usually catch the few that sit on the ground and give them garlic caps once a week, actually I give garlic capsules to all and any birds I can catch.

Maggie-NC Maggie-NC is offline
Posted 14th October 2006, 12:01 PM
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Necropsy results

We received the Pathologist's report yesterday and to tell the truth, it doesn't tell us much more than we already knew. This is what he said:

"NECROPSY: External examination of the bird did not reveal external parasites or lesions. The bird had a good muscle mass. Internally, the liver was darker than normal and its surface had a slightly rough appearance. Both lungs were reddish in color, appeared markedly edematous, and had whitish areas. Other organs/tissues appeared normal. Samples of the liver and of one lung were collected for bacterial isolation. Samples of different organs were collected for histopathologic examination.

HISTOPATHOLOGY: Sections of brain, lung, trachea, liver, kidney, spleen, intestine and pancreas were examined. LUNG: Fibrin and mixed inflammatory cells, including macrophages, are present in the lumens of some parabronchi and atria, which their epithelial lining show hypertrophy. The walls of parabronchi and atria are edematous and infiltrated by mononuclear inflammatory cells. Air capillaries appeared to contain edema fluid. In one section, there are two granulomas with multinucleated giant cells. The pleura and air sacs are expanded by edema and mononuclear cell infiltrates. LIVER: Throughout the section and particularly around blood vessels, there are multifocal cellular aggregates of lympocytes, macrophages and plasma. Some of the aggregates evolve into granulomas containing variable number of multinucleated giant cells. The smooth muscle layer of blood vessels are markedly thickened. KIDNEY: There are occasional small collections of mononuclear cells. OTHER ORGANS/TISSUES: The appearance was within normal limits.

BACTERIOLOGY: Liver and lung aerobic cultures did not yield a bacterial growth. Result of Mycoplasma culture is pending.

VIROLOGY: The liver and lung samples were negative by an immunoassay test for Chlamydophila (Chlamydia).

COMMENTS: Culture of a lung sample for Mycoplasma is in progress. A follow-up report will be submitted if a Mycoplasma is isolated. The cause of death of the bird was damage to the lung by an undetermined causative agent. The lesions in the lungs would explain the respiratory distress, which the bird showed before death. I have consulted other avian pathologists at the College of Veterinary Medicine, NC State University, and we wll believe that there is a possibility that the lesions in the lungs of the bird were caused by an undetermined protozoal parasite. Some protozoal parasites can cause damage to the lung, and these parasites are not always easily visualized in histologic tissue sections. If another bird dies, I recommend submitting it to the laboratory for examination."

I am taking a copy of the report to our vet next week so she can explain it to me.
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Larry_Cologne Larry_Cologne is offline
Posted 14th October 2006, 01:24 PM
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re necropsy reports


So sorry to hear of your lossses. My heart goes out to you.

I was reading this thread and had just subscribed to it when your latest post with the pathologist's report popped up. Cyro51's mention of Piglet developing a sort of whooping cough last year had pricked my ears up, becase Wieteke occasionally whoops or honks, or however you may describe it.

I don't want to "educate" you, since you may know more than I do, but someone may find this interesting.

I don't want to stick my neck out too far, but I seem to recall that

a protozoan is a microorganism that can be seen under the microscope; we saw some under the microscope years ago in biology class, so larger than bacteria and viruses. I actually saw some of them move around, from a jar of of creek water I brought to the lab. Always wanted to own a nice (expensive) microscope since then, but my world would probably have shrunk to the limits (width) of my elbows. As it is now, I sit too much at my new computer.

okay, I might as well do some homework, here's the Wikipedia link;


Edema is a simple term to describe a condition of excess water collecting in the tissues or cavities of the body.

(I had a small amount of water collecting in my lungs a few yeasr ago, as shown by an X-ray and a CT (computer tomogram), kept on my feet, but inhaled antibiotics ciprofloxin and tobramycin, just in case).


Link to pulmonary edema:

Pulmonary edema is swelling and/or fluid accumulation in the lungs. It leads to impaired gas exchange and may cause respiratory failure. It is due to either failure of the heart to remove fluid from the lung circulation ("cardiogenic pulmonary edema"), or due to a direct insult to the lung parenchyma ("noncardiogenic pulmonary edema").[1] Treatment depends on the cause, but focuses on maximizing respiratory function and removing the cause.

Signs and symptoms

Symptoms of pulmonary edema include difficulty breathing, coughing up blood, excessive sweating, anxiety and pale skin. If left untreated, it can lead to coma and even death, generally due to its main complication of hypoxia.

If pulmonary edema has been developing gradually, symptoms of fluid overload may be elicited. These include nocturia (frequent urination at night), ankle edema (swelling of the legs, generally of the "pitting" variety), orthopnea (inability to lie down flat due to breathlessness) and paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea (episodes of severe sudden breathlessness at night).


Pulmonary edema is generally suspected due to findings in the medical history, such as previous cardiovascular disease, and physical examination: end-inspiratory crackles (sounds heard at the end of a deep breath) on auscultation (listening to the breathing through a stethoscope) are characteristic for pulmonary edema. The presence of a third heart sound (S3) is predictive of cardiogenic pulmonary edema.

Blood tests are generally performed for electrolytes (sodium, potassium) and markers of renal function (creatinine, urea). Liver enzymes, inflammatory markers (usually C-reactive protein) and a complete blood count as well as coagulation studies (PT, aPTT) are typically requested. B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is available in many hospitals, especially in the US, sometimes even as a point-of-care test. Low levels of BNP (<100 pg/ml) make a cardiac cause very unlikely.

The diagnosis is confirmed on X-ray of the lungs, which shows increased fluid in the alveolar walls. Kerley B lines, increased vascular filling, pleural effusions, upper lobe diversion (increased blood flow to the higher parts of the lung) may be indicative of cardiogenic pulmonary edema, while patchy alveolar infiltrates with air bronchograms are more indicative of noncardiogenic edema.

Low oxygen saturation and disturbed arterial blood gas readings may strengthen the diagnosis and provide grounds for various forms of treatment. If urgent echocardiography is available, this may strengthen the diagnosis, as well as identify valvular heart disease. In rare occasions, insertion of a Swan-Ganz catheter may be required to distinguish between the two main forms of pulmonary edema.


Pulmonary edema is either due to direct damage to the tissue or as a result of inadequate functioning of the heart or circulatory system.

Cardiogenic causes:

Congestive heart failure
Severe heart attack with left ventricular failure
Severe arrhythmias (tachycardia/fast heartbeat or bradycardia/slow heartbeat)
Hypertensive crisis
Pericardial effusion with tamponade
Fluid overload, e.g. from kidney failure

Non-cardiogenic causes

This form is contiguous with ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome):
Inhalation of toxic gases
Multiple blood transfusions
Severe infection
Pulmonary contusion, i.e. high-energy trauma
Multitrauma, e.g. severe car accident
Neurogenic, e.g. subarachnoid hemorrhage
Aspiration, e.g. gastric fluid or in case of drowning
Certain types of medication
Upper airway obstruction
Reexpansion, i.e. postpneumonectomy or large volume thoracentesis
Reperfusion injury, i.e. postpulmonary thromboendartectomy or lung transplantation
Ascent to high altitude occasionally causes high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE)


Focus is initially on maintaining adequate oxygenation. This may happen with high-flow oxygen, noninvasive ventilation (either continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or variable positive airway pressure (VPAP) or mechanical ventilation in extreme cases.

When circulatory causes have led to pulmonary edema, treatment with intravenous nitrates (glyceryl trinitrate), and loop diuretics, such as furosemide or bumetanide, is the mainstay of therapy. These improve both preload and afterload, and aid in improving cardiac function.

There are no causal therapies for direct tissue damage; removal of the causes (e.g. treating an infection) is the most important measure.


So, it seems they suspect an unknown parasite in the lungs caused the damage which led to death.


This article is about human pneumonia. To read about pneumonia in animals, please see pneumonia (non-human).
Classifications and external resources
ICD-10 J12., J13., J14., J15., J16., J17., J18., P23.
ICD-9 480-486, 770.0
DiseasesDB 10166
MeSH C08.381.677
Pneumonia is an illness of the lungs and respiratory system in which the alveoli (microscopic air-filled sacs of the lung responsible for absorbing oxygen from the atmosphere) become inflamed and flooded with fluid. Pneumonia can result from a variety of causes, including infection with bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. Pneumonia may also occur from chemical or physical injury to the lungs, or indirectly due to another medical illness, such as lung cancer or alcohol abuse.

Typical symptoms associated with pneumonia include cough, chest pain, fever, and difficulty breathing. Diagnostic tools include x-rays and examination of the sputum. Treatment depends on the cause of pneumonia; bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics.

Pneumonia is a common illness, occurs in all age groups, and is a leading cause of death among the elderly and people who are chronically ill. Vaccines to prevent certain types of pneumonia are available. The prognosis for an individual depends on the type of pneumonia, the appropriate treatment, any complications, and the person's underlying health.


Pneumonia (non-human)

Pneumonia is an illness which can result from a variety of causes, including infection with bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. Pneumonia can occur in any animal with lungs, including mammals, birds, and reptiles.

Symptoms associated with pneumonia include fever, fast or difficult breathing, nasal discharge, and decreased activity. Different animal species have distinct lung anatomy and physiology and are thus affected by pneumonia differently. Differences in anatomy, immune systems, diet, and behavior also affects the particular microorganisms commonly causing pneumonia. Diagnostic tools include physical examination, testing of the sputum, and x-ray investigation. Treatment depends on the cause of pneumonia; bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics.


Gotta go now.


Last edited by Larry_Cologne; 14th October 2006 at 01:29 PM..
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Reti Reti is offline
Posted 14th October 2006, 05:14 PM
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Great info, Larry. Thanks for posting it.

Maggie-NC Maggie-NC is offline
Posted 15th October 2006, 07:22 AM
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Larry, thank you so very much for all the information you compiled for me. That was a great deal of research and I appreciate it. I am going to take some time today to go through all of it. Friday, when I got the letter, I did google "protozoal parasites in lungs of birds" and found a few sites. One of them caught my attention and they talked about exposure to opossum droppings and cockroach droppings. Opossums can't get into the aviary but roaches can go just about anywhere they want to so that aspect has me worried a lot. I hope to know more when I talk to my vet tomorrow.

Again, thank you. You are always so helpful to all of us.
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Reti Reti is offline
Posted 15th October 2006, 08:25 AM
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Maggie, that rings a bell, now that you mentioned it.
I've seen a few cases of sarcocystis in the clinic, where the birds get sick from cokcroach droppings. I've seen a couple of cases where this happened and it is fatal many times.
Something to think about.

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Skyeking Skyeking is offline
Posted 15th October 2006, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Lady Tarheel
I did google "protozoal parasites in lungs of birds" and found a few sites. One of them caught my attention and they talked about exposure to opossum droppings and cockroach droppings. Opossums can't get into the aviary but roaches can go just about anywhere they want to so that aspect has me worried a lot. I hope to know more when I talk to my vet tomorrow.
Hi Maggie,

I didn't respond to your last thread, because I wanted time to look up protozoal parasites myself. THANK YOU for doing so, as I myself have often wondered how to keep them pests out of the coop.

Reti, thank you for confiming that.

I know the only way to deter cockroaches is with spray, but I don't like using any pesticides in my coop, other then the perethrin one, which is harmless to pigeons. I do use diatomacious earth and sprinkle that around, as roaches and other insects don't like it at all. You want to use it spraringly in the cracks around the perimeter to keep roaches out, as it easily loses its effectiveness when wet, and it is just a powder.

Maggie-NC Maggie-NC is offline
Posted 15th October 2006, 11:02 AM
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Reti, you have the right name for the disease that I found - Sarcocytosis. This is the site:

Treesa, Thank you for your post. I have never used the diatomacious earth but remembered seeing it recently either in Foy's or Global's catalog and wondered if that would help. We definitely don't want to spray anything in the aviary particularly since we're closing them up now at night with the temps being in the 30's.

I know everyone has them in their yard but I had never thought about them getting in the aviary until this came up. We have a bird feeder fairly close to the aviary and they may eat the seed around it and migrate to the aviary. I didn't even know they ate seed until recently. We also have been putting seed on the sidewalk at the back door. A week or so ago, Lewis mentioned seeing several roaches on the sidewalk at the seed so we immediately stopped using that area. We plan to relocate the bird feeder to another area away from the aviary.

I may (& probably am) barking up the wrong tree but everything seems to fit even to the sudden death. I plan to order the diatomacious earth tomorrow. Do you think we could use seven dust around the aviaries too?
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pdpbison pdpbison is offline
Posted 18th October 2006, 02:34 PM
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Hi Maggie, all,

Cockroaches will reliably drown themselves in any small dish of Beer.

I also have always had Cockroaches here, and possibly they can be implicated in my own recent pnuemonia-like problem with Squeak-a-Bug, who was healthy, and got ill here.

I have been thinking hard to get a small breed of Chicken or Quail to eat the Roaches, and sent out feelers locally to see if I might find a youngster one to raise here so they would be comfortable in these surrounds, and help out with that task.

When I raised some hatchling Quail here long ago, they LOVED hunting the Roaches and ate every one they could get.

Roaches and Mice are more or less ambient Creatures around here, in this broader area I mean, and any moisture or possible food sources will encourage them to forrage and roam of course.

I do not have many roaches here, but there are some and I had not thought of them as potentially dangerous for the Birds.


Boric Acid will kill Roaches, and it can be put in areas calculated to effect them but which the Birds will not get into.

Beer-in-a-dish likewise, if one just covers it in a way so the Roaches can get in but the Birds can not...

Old time Roack Traps were like larger Ink Wells, with a sort of slick funnel top, and a wider opening...and in the bottom of them one put a little Molassas or Sorgum syrup. The Roaches climb up, slide down in, and get trapped. Later, or now and then, one washes out the whole in hot Water and starts again. These were typically Pottery items in their day.

Good luck Maggie!

Las Vegas
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avian vet, avian vets, bacterial infection, beak open, cod liver, cod liver oil, heating pad, hydrogen peroxide, pigeon rescue, respiratory infection

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