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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone

We have a crisis in our "keeper" aviary. Most of the birds are moulting now so it has not been unusual to see them puffed out some. Yesterday morning, everyone was fed and watered as usual. Lewis went for his walk, came back home and checked the aviaries. He brought Ringo in because he was breathing heavily, open mouthed, puffed out badly. He went back to the aviary and brought in Simon who was doing the same thing. Simon is my very best buddy and I took her from him and held her. She started convulsing and Lewis took her back and she died within a minute or so. Right now, I'm not even thinking about the loss of Simon because of trying to do something for the others.

We immediately took her body to the lab and the pathologist called later that afternoon and said her "lungs" were badly infected and he would have to send off tissue to see what had caused this. He advised us to put all in the aviary on Baytril. I called our vet who said the same thing. So, we brought all 31 or so in and gave them Baytril yesterday afternoon. Most of them appear to be ok although 1 or 2 are puffed out some.

Ringo is holding on although I don't see how. He is puffed out twice his size and his sides visually move in and out. He is on a heating pad.

Last Sunday, Boss Hog, who is a white homing pigeon, had similar symptoms and we brought him in and put him on a heating pad in a quiet room and I gave him one dose of Baytril. Monday morning we took him to the vet. She examined him and said he had concussion (though we don't know how that could be) and gave a steroid shot. He seemed to improve slightly but I put him back on Baytril on Tuesday. His stool is extremely watery. He remains in the dining room.

The odd thing about whatever this is, is the birds continue to eat pretty good but there has been a weight loss for the 3 that appear to have it. All birds were treated in August for both worms and coccidiosis and then had a round of Probios afterwards.

I just don't know what is going on but we're trying to hang in there. Although the other birds in the other 2 aviaries are special, the ones we call our "keepers" were extra special and we love them very much.

Please remember us in your thoughts and prayers.
 

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Oh, Maggie,
Hoping the best for you and your pigeons. Hope the Baytril takes care of the problem and birds regain health, quickly.
Daryl
 

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I'm so sorry for your losses, Maggie. :( It sounds like an outbreak of respiratory infection. It can happen when they are vulnerable from moulting. I've found Doxy-T to be the most effective for flock treatment of respiratory infections. It's made by the Australian Pigeon Company and you can get it from Jedd's. I have used Baytril on individual pigeons, the injectible type for severe cases. When we had an outbreak last year, the pigeons would seem fine one day and the next would be breathing heavily, beak open, and making gurgling sounds as they breathed. I nearly lost one of my fantail hens. I brought her inside, kept her on warmth and injected her with Baytril for five days. She didn't improve until Day 3.

Hopefully you will get more info on the exact cause from the necropsy. Are they going to run sensitivities on the bacteria present?
 

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I am so sorry Maggie, it is a situation which we all dread and you are fighting an invisible enemy while coping with your tragic losses. Every rescued pigeon is so special.

Karen had a similar outbreak in her aviary, I think it was last summer. The vet put the pigeons on aureomycin, it stopped the deaths even though it didn't turn out to be ornithosis. They never established what had caused it.

I hope that your vet can find out what the problem is quickly, you have better diagnostic services in the US than we have here.

Sending positive thoughts.

Cynthia
 

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Don't know if you could tell your vet to do an impression smear of the lungs and spleen (of Ringo) and check for Chlamydiophyla by staining. There are several stains that can show it up (Gimenez, Macchiavello's, Diff-Quik) but I'd get them on the Doxycycline anyhow. Doxycycline and Aureomycin are very similar (in the same family), by the way.

Pidgey
 

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Maggie,

I'm so sorry to hear about Ringo and Simon. I hope the necropsy will give you a better idea of what is going on.

I have heard using the aureomycin concentrate with Tylan is very effective with respiratory infections.

I also am sending most positive thoughts and prayers that the outbreak has been stopped by the Baytril, as it sounds like it has helped.

I would also give them a drop of cod liver oil on their seed, as it is a wonderful anti-infectant and vital to lung tissue repair and immunity. Alfalfa tabs are also a good source of vitamin A, and more. A garlic capsule a day, Reishi, & Neem would also be a wonderful anti-infectant. ...And of course a round of good avian multi-vitamin mineral, and amino acid supplement I would highly recommend.
 

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I am SO sorry to hear of this outbreak and the resultant deaths of your beloved birds!

I can only offer my MOST COMFORTING AND HEALING THOUGHTS AND HUGS to you and Lewis!

Hopefully, you will get some results back FAST!

I will watching for POSITIVE updates!
 

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On the Tylan, if you can get the injectible version and get that mixed with DMSO (DiMethylSulfOxide) and delivered by nebulization, it can get an early kick on susceptible respiratory infections. Your vet should have all the stuff to do that and it's been done with pigeons (and other birds, of course) before.

Pidgey
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Our vet was supposed to call back this morning because I kept thinking of Brad's Henny and wondered if Baytril was the right medicine to use since the pathologist had specifically mentioned pneumonia. I asked one of her assistant's to ask her about this before she left at noon. I didn't hear back.

Right now about the only thing we can do is keep them on Baytril until Monday. We were getting very low on that but our rehabber friend gave us 3 more 20 ml bottles so that should see us through for a few days.

I just don't know how in the world something like this could break out. We work so hard to keep them well cared for and the aviaries clean. I didn't know a respiratory infection could take them so fast. Simon had been her usual sweet self earlier in the week, all over me, and then to die that fast. Ringo's death was very bad for him before the end. He seemed to suffer a great deal and it was almost a relief when he did pass.

Thank all of you so much. Sharing this makes it easier to bear although losing Simon is one of the worst things to happen to me personally. Although Frosty is our main bird, Simon was all mine.
 

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Crossed fingers through the rest of the weekend. Things like this usually come unexpected and hit hard and fast. I wish there was a way you could find some kind of Tetracycline and start dosing them with it.

Pidgey
 

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Oh Maggie, I'm just in tears reading your post. I'm so very sorry!! What a horrible tragedy. I will pray and hope for the others to be okay. I'm sending you a big hug. I really hope everyone else is okay.
 

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I just don't know how in the world something like this could break out. We work so hard to keep them well cared for and the aviaries clean.
When Piglet developed a sort of whooping cough last year the vet said that there were free floating bacteria in the atmosphere that could infect pigeons at random. He warned us that Piglet could develop and abscess on his windpipe that could kill him in seconds. Fortunately Piglet survived, but that made me aware that however meticulous we are we can't protect our pigeons from everythin.:(

Cynthia
 

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Maggie,

I'm so very sorry that this is happening. I'm sure every loss is hard to take, but it's got to be that much harder when when the birds are your special pals. And particularly maddening when you know that you've done your best and more to provide a healthy environment and ~still~ a terrible thing like this happens.

My heart goes out to you.........and best wishes that the rest will get well.

Linda
 

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Maggie, I am so sorry for your losses. This is so terrible when you don't know what you're dealing with.
We all dread situations like this.
You probably have something airborne going on which entered your aviaries from outside.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. I pray you won't have any more losses.

Reti
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Based on the preliminary report by the pathologist of a respiratory infection, I was wondering if this would be contagious from one bird to another. We have never dealt with anything like this before so I just don't know. We have them in separate cages in the garage except we did put the pairs together to eliminate additional stress.

Will the Baytril carry them through until we can get Tetracycline or whatever the vet tells me Monday is the best. Also, it will probably be mid-week before the lab results come back with a definitive answer which could change everything.

Boss Hog who came down with it early last week appears to be doing pretty good but his poop is so watery that I'm really concerned about that. The vet that we took him to Monday is the one near our home - not the one I go to most often. I knew when she said he had a concussion that we were in trouble.

Pidgey, we had already buried Ringo when I read your post but in any event the vet had already left for the weekend. I really hate not being able to bury my Simon in the yard but we had to find out what is going on.
 

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Oh Maggie,

I am truly sorry to hear about your loss, I can only imagine how devastated you must feel.

If it's any help, here are are a few links confirming that that tetracyclines, such as Doxycycline may be given in combination with a Floroquinalone, such as Cipro (Baytril) or a macrolide, such as Azithromycin.

http://www.immed.org/reports/treatment_considerations/ChlamydialTreat-01.3.8.htm

http://tinyurl.com/qf4q8

One of the links shows that this combination for Chlamydia as a recommended treatment, as Pidgey seems to be hinting at Chlamydia if I am not mistaken.

This link does show that Cipro (Baytril) does has effect alone on Chlamydia, although a weaker one. I agree it would be great if you could somehow get your hands on some Doxy, or any tetracycline, and get your birds started on both.

http://tinyurl.com/jqyr6

My thoughts and prayers are with you,

Ron
 

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Maggie,

Besides what I already listed, and what I PM'd you, I also have this Herba Air Spray among my arsenal of natural goodies. I use it in the coop once a week or once a month depending on the mosquitos and air quality, but it has a positive effect on bronchial tubes, colds, sinusitis, bronchitis, mucus, etc. and builds up resistence. I like using it when the humidity is down and the air is dry. I spray it in the coop at night, but you can also put it in their water.

I really use it sparingly, because it costs alot. I like it and it smells nice.

http://www.globalpigeon.com/gps.php?action=showprod&id=14
 

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It's my understanding that respiratory infections in pigeons are highly contagious. That has been my experience, although whatever strain we had last summer was apparently not as deadly as the one you're dealing with. It sure spread fast, though.

It's also my understanding that respiratory infections in pigeons are often, though not always, caused by a combination of Chlamydia and Mycoplasma. I think that's why Doxy-T is so effective, because it combines doxycycline and Tylan (tylosin) to kill both organisms. In my pigeons it was more effective than Baytril in knocking the infection. Once I put the whole flock on it the outbreak stopped and we didn't have any more new cases.
 
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