Avian - Disease


Diseases in Aves

  • can be pathogenic or non-pathogenic
  • pathogenic
    • bacteria - single-celled prokaryotic organisms
      • mycoplasmosis, E. Coli, Colstridium, Chlamydophilosis, Avian Tuberculosis, Salmonellosis, Psittacosis, Botulism
    • fungi - multicellular eukaryotic organisms
      • aspergillosis, candidiasis, moniliasis, oidiomycosis, candida albicans infection (sour crop/thrush)
    • virus - non-living, protein shells with Nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) contents
      • avian bornavirus, avian influenza, Newcastle's disease, circovirus, avian polyomavirus, candidiasis, herpes viruses
  • non-pathogenic disease mostly caused by poor animal husbandry
    • generally caused by poor welfare/neglect/incompetence
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Health Checking Birds

  • eyes
  • beak
  • skin and feathers
  • behaviour
  • weight
  • feet, claws, and talons
  • cloaca
    • diarrhoea is a symptom of digestive problems
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  • single-celled organisms
  • can often release toxins that cause ill health
  • generally cause long lasting infections or disease
  • relatively easy to treat since the discovery of antibiotics
  • e.g., yersinia, E. Coli, Salmonella, Psittacosis
  • Mycoplasmosis/P.P.I.O.
    • primarily pathogens of cattle which produce a disease known as pleuropneumonia
      • identical organisms affect poultry, turkeys, gamebirds, pigeons and cage birds
    • transmitted by inhalation of infected water droplets in the air
    • overcrowding encourages transmission
    • younger birds are more susceptible, as well as older birds
    • can spread from parent to egg or parent to nestling
    • symptoms: naval and ocular discharge, rattly sounding respiratory system, depression, reduced appetite, weight loss, sneezing, partial closure of one or both eyes
    • treatment: often unsuccessful, disease often not confirmed until after death, sometimes responds to antibiotics
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  • not technically living, require a host cell to reproduce
  • difficult to treat
  • preventable by vaccination
  • examples: small pox, avian influenza, newcastle’s disease, marek’s disease
  • Avian Influenza
    • Zoonotic and notifiable disease.
    • Caused by poor quarantine procedures, high stocking densities, access to wild birds or their faeces to enclosures
    • Can be prevented with vaccinations (not economically viable), and good biosecurity measures.
    • Symptoms: haemorrhaging of the skin, nasal discharge, swollen or discoloured comb
    •  all birds are affected
    • no real treatment, but good hygiene can help prevent it
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  • a group which mushroom belong to
  • secrete digestive enzymes which damages tissue
  • tend to grow in moist places (respiratory system, crop)
  • reproduce by producing very hardy spores.
  • examples: aspergillosis, sour crop, athlete’s foot
  • Sour Crop/Thrush
    • Most frequently caused by attacks to the crop
    • Can be induced by prolonged use of antibiotics in drinking water, stale food, or general poor hygiene.
      • Antibiotics in the water can kill off beneficial bacteria in the body.
    • Overcrowding, especially in particularly wet enclosures, can cause it.
    • Prevention: regular worming, apple cider vinegar
    • birds may look bedraggled inappearance, patches of whitish dead epithelial material in the mouth, lesions can affect breathing, occasionally loose droppings or regurgitation
    • affects turkeys, parrots, gamebirds, pigeons
    • can be treated with fungicidal drugs (if fungal sour crop, sour crop can be bacterial)
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  • ectoparasites
    • scaly face/scaly leg
    •  louse
    • tick
    • fleas
    • mites
  • endoparasites
    • roundworm
    • threadworms
    • tapeworms
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Anthroponosis vs. Zoonosis

  • Anthroponosis – disease sourced from humans then spread to another animal species
  • Zoonosis – diseases  sourced from a non-human animal and spread to humans
  • sometimes these terms are used interchangeably, however formally it is to do with which species is the reservoir of the disease.
  • Anthrozoonosis – refers to specific individual infections of a disease (animal to human)
  • Zooanthroponosis – to do with specific infections of a disease (human to animal)
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