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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I have a rehab bird who I strongly suspect has chlamydiosis (pussy eye, now nasal discharge, poor appetite). I took her to the avian vet when I first found her--vet flushed the eye and removed the large plug of pus that was obscuring the entire cornea and told me to put her on doxy for at least a month.

I'm wondering if there's any sort of test I can run at home to try to confirm the diagnosis. I came across a mention of a fecal test online, and Pidgey's mentioned a Diff-Quick test?

Also, as far as the doxy dosage, the IVIS online formulary gives a general avian dose of 25-50mg/kg QD for chlamydiosis; using doxycycline hyclate, apparently the pigeon dose is 55mg/kg BID (doesn't specify chlamydia, though). What I have are Doxyvet-P tablets, which each contain 15 mg doxycycline hydrochloride (which apparently is the same thing as doxy hyclate).

This bird weighs just .18 kg, and I've been dosing one tab QD. Anyone have any opinions on whether I should be dosing BID instead?

Thanks,
Jennifer
 

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Hi Jennifer,

I have no advice on the dosage, but is this Polly, who also had pox and canker? 0.18kg is dangerously low for an adult pigeon, are there any food supplements that you can give her to bring her weight up?

Cynthia
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cynthia,

What a good memory you have! No, Polly was the one who just had pox (she had a lesion above her eye that scratched the surface of her cornea and a subsequent eye infection). I released her a couple of weeks ago.

This is a new bird who I found last Thursday morning (I've named her Isis--easy to remember, eh? Eye/Isis. Mnemonic devices keep me sane).

I could tube feed her, but she is eating on her own, and I hate tubing unless necessary. Her poops are pretty good in number. That weight was from a few days ago; I'll weigh her again tonight and see if she's gained any. Overall, she seems more alert and slightly more energetic than she was initially.

What about coating some of her seeds in olive oil for added fat/calories?

Jennifer
 

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Jennifer,

If this is chlamydia, take every health precaution when handling the bird.

This is Ornithosis, which is the one actual pigeon disease (Psittacososis in Parrots and similar) which is transferable to humans through nasal discharge, saliva, etc. The only one I know of that's proven so, anyway.

John
 

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Hi jenfer,

the definition of hyclate is:monohydrochloride hemiethanolate hemihydrate, HCl-1/2C2H5OH-1/2H2O. Basically another way of getting the drug through the crop with its acid bath, but not different than hydrochloride form.

The forumulary you are using apparently says 55mg/kg BID or twice a day.
The Harrison Lightfoot formulary for doxycycline hydrochloride is 25 mg/kg BID. At a body weight of 180 grams, the Harrison Lightfoot dose is 25x180/1000 or 4.5mg ,twice at day, by mouth or 9mg once a day. Since they give that as the optimum therapeutic dose, you might give it some thought.

Chlamydia is an STD in humans and although there are a number of commercial tests that are available, they would require some collusion with the testing lab to run a test on a pigeon's body fluids. Since it is a bacterium that can not replicate outside of a host cell, it is pretty difficult to spot by microscope and stain.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, all. I've left a message with the vet about the doxy dosage. (Nasal secretions actually seem worse, and I want to make sure she's getting the right dose.)

Rainbows, she's got safflowers in her seed mix; problem is, as I said, she doesn't have much of an appetite.

Trees, good idea on the probiotics. (I usually do that with abx anyway, but she had pretty good flora on her stain, so I didn't start them yet.) I just started using a product called Avi-culture that has avian-specific bacterial strains, so I'm excited about that.

John, I'm being careful with hygiene. (There are a couple other diseases that the CDC talks about as transmissible from pigeons--histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis--although I don't know if there's ever been a documented case of a person contracting these from a bird.)

Jennifer
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The forumulary you are using apparently says 55mg/kg BID or twice a day.
That's the pigeon dosage for doxy hyclate from the IVIS formularly. It seems the Harrison/Lightfoot formulary has the same dose listed (http://www.avianmedicine.net/cam/09_therapeutic_agents.pdf).

The Harrison Lightfoot formulary for doxycycline hydrochloride is 25 mg/kg BID. At a body weight of 180 grams, the Harrison Lightfoot dose is 25x180/1000 or 4.5mg ,twice at day, by mouth or 9mg once a day. Since they give that as the optimum therapeutic dose, you might give it some thought.
Is the book in the link above the same as yours? I'm looking through the link for specific mentions of doxy hydrochloride and not seeing any (I'm not doubting you; just wondering about it).

She's been getting 15 mg/daily, which is above the 25mg/kg dosage. Wonder if I should cut back.

Jennifer
 

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John, I'm being careful with hygiene. (There are a couple other diseases that the CDC talks about as transmissible from pigeons--histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis--although I don't know if there's ever been a documented case of a person contracting these from a bird.)

Jennifer
I believe these are not uncommon in many places in N. America. They are not actually diseases of pigeons, though pigeons will often get the blame to the exclusion of any other 'target'.

Histoplasmosis is an illness which is caused by fungal spores found in certain soils. I did read somewhere that probably millions of Americans have been subject to it without even being aware, having merely got what appeared to be a cold, although it is dangerous to people with compromised immune systems.

The pigeon link is that the fungus grows very well in nitrogen-rich soils, such as may be the case where there are pigeon - or other bird - droppings.

The spores can be carried on feet or feathers to nest sites and, over a long period, can exist amongst droppings which have dried out and turned to dust. That is a hazard to those who may clear out any site where pigeons or other birds have been nesting, through breathing in the contaminated dust.

Of course, the spores can also be carried into homes on shoes, domestic pets' paws or fur, etc.

John
 

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No problem, it pays to be critical.

Page 269 is the dosages for Doxycycline hydrochloride, 270 for Doxycyline Hyclate.

Yes, I would seriously consider decreasing the dosage. More is not necessarily better.
 

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Hi John,

For what it is worth, I caught a pigeon here last month with what I thought was a tar splash on its foot, but turned out to be fungus, I am reasonably certain of the family and species Histoplasmosis. It took about one third of the pigeon's foot before we got it stopped, going right down thorough the skin to the tendons and taking two of them.

Under the microscope this stuff appears like a wad of hair with little bright watery beads evenly spaced along the hairs. It responds to topical antifungals of the same kind that cure athletes foot. It is really nothing to fool with and once in a human lung I can only imagine what it could do.
 

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Hi John,

For what it is worth, I caught a pigeon here last month with what I thought was a tar splash on its foot, but turned out to be fungus, I am reasonably certain of the family and species Histoplasmosis. It took about one third of the pigeon's foot before we got it stopped, going right down thorough the skin to the tendons and taking two of them.

Under the microscope this stuff appears like a wad of hair with little bright watery beads evenly spaced along the hairs. It responds to topical antifungals of the same kind that cure athletes foot. It is really nothing to fool with and once in a human lung I can only imagine what it could do.
Hi Grimaldy,

That sounds horrific. I haven't heard of it actually attacking a bird, but I guess if they get old poop or earth on their feet and it contains the spores, anything could happen.

As I say, most people apparently suffer quite mild symptoms, but it can lead to serious consequences if the immune system is not up to par. I believe the other one Jennifer mentioned can cause meningitis.

Killer fungi indeed, for some.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So, my potential chlamydia patient is doing fairly well. Poops look good, and she's even put on weight. She grunts at me and endearingly twitches her wings right after I've handled her. (I forget what the interpretation of this wing-twitch behavior is--can anyone fill me in?)

But it looks like she might have a sort of abscess right next to the affected eye. The spot is between the eye and the beak, and it's round and raised (easily visualized b/c feathers are gone). When I put pressure on it, it looks like fluid or mucus leaks out into the eye (which I then flush with eye wash before applying Terramycin). She's been getting the topical Terramycin along with systemic doxycycline since I found her 1.5 weeks ago.

Could this be a sinus infection? She also has nasal discharge on the same side periodically.

Will ask the vet if she needs to see her, but in the meantime, I thought I'd ask here for ideas.

Jennifer
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Isis has been doing well--finished her 45-day course of doxy and her eye looks good. She went from weighing 160 grams at outset to now weighing around 320.

But since yesterday, she hasn't been eating. When I came home last night, there were scant droppings. She passed a few more that were just urine/urates, but overnight, there were also seeds. One milo seed plus a few peas. I think she passed them rather than vomited, but I can't be sure. Now I've noticed that she's passing little spots of blood instead of feces. There doesn't seem to be an egg in the cloaca, so she's not bound. I don't know what else could be going on.

Otherwise, she's pretty alert and responsive (twitches her wings when I talk to her, coos a little, preens).

Any ideas? Of course, my regular two vets are both unavailable today. I made an appointment with another vet I've seen, but the earliest I could get in is tonight.

Thanks,
Jennifer
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So, Isis saw the vet yesterday. Nothing significant on Gram stain. There was still a bit of blood in the feces at the vet's office. Vet felt she had enteritis (sterile, I guess); nothing else obviously wrong. She's on Flagyl now and I'll touch base again with vet today, but what I'm currently wondering is if her symptoms could be early PMV symptoms?

She had been doing well for the last 6-7 weeks, and the inappetence came on very suddenly. Her crop now also isn't emptying as quickly as it should (fluid from last night was still in there this morning; went down some after I massaged it). The only thing that has changed is that I have a new rehab bird who I now suspect has PMV. The potential PMV bird and Isis were in the same room (separate cages) for 4-5 days before Isis' symptoms appeared. (I have no idea what the incubation period is for PMV.)

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Jennifer
 

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PMV incubation time

Jennifer,

Lots of good info at the I.V.I.S. web-site. (I registered as a vet's helper).


http://www.ivis.org/proceedings/navc/2006/SAE/554.asp?LA=1

Pigeon Medicine and Surgery
B. Doneley
West Toowoomba Vet Surgery, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia.

NEUROLOGICAL SYSTEM

Paramyxovirus-1 is the causative agent of Newcastle Disease in poultry. In the 1980’s a strain of this virus that appeared to be primarily restricted to pigeons spread from the Middle East into Europe and the UK. It has since spread to Africa, SE Asia and the USA and Canada. It has an incubation period of a few days to a few weeks. In an infected loft new cases can appear for 5-8 weeks after first diagnosed. Affected birds display polydipsia, then watery to haemorrhagic diarrhoea and then neurological signs (head tremor, torticollis, paralysis of wings or legs, and blindness). Respiratory signs are minimal (see above). The mortality rate in adults is low, with birds recovering in about 6 months (although they can have persistent diarrhoea for several months). In young birds malnutrition and renal damage can lead to higher mortality rates. This disease is transmissible to poultry. Vaccination is available and recommended. Racing pigeons in the UK are required to be vaccinated.
------

There is also Diseases of Poultry, Google Book Reviews. Can't quote from it with copy and paste.

With pages on PMV. Pages 88-92. (See page 90 specifically). Avian Paramyxovirses 2-9, by Dennis J. Alexander

http://books.google.com/books?id=oB...X&oi=book_result&resnum=10&ct=result#PPA90,M1

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks, Larry.

Although she seems alert and responsive (still wing twitching when I talk to her and cooing, albeit not as forcefully as usual), I'm quite worried about her. She's not a squeaker, but she seems youngish to me.

I read somewhere here that calcium supplementation helps in PMV cases. Since she's been deprived of grit all this time (she was on doxy), I'm thinking some calcium now won't hurt, so I'll give her some when I get home.

Wish I had been thinking more clearly about the other bird and had kept her far away. If she (other bird) has PMV, it seems like a mild case, or maybe only in the initial stages. (The vet said PMV is only contagious *before* symptoms appear.)

Jennifer
 
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