The most common type of salmonella infection that is seen in birds is categorized as Subgenus 1. Additionally, when it is about pigeons, the Salmonella Paratyphoid in Pigeons is due to Salmonella serovar Typhimurium bacterial infection.
Usually, intermingling with wild or feral pigeons can cause infection in your flock of pigeons as wild birds serve as reservoirs of the bacteria.
However, weak pigeons have a higher chance of getting sick and spreading the infection through contaminated food and water, direct interaction of birds in the loft.
What Is Salmonella Paratyphoid in Pigeons?
Salmonella is a disease that is believed to be transmitted from wild birds and rodents, which is true o a great extent. But the main cause of this disease is contaminated food and water. It’s a hygiene issue that causes Salmonella.
Pigeons also inhale Salmonella infection through the dust. It can also contaminate their food and water and make your bird fall sick eventually.
You can see the symptoms in your birds. As you know, Salmonella is the result of a bacteria called Salmonella serovar Typhimurium bacteria. It attacks the pigeon’s gastrointestinal tract. The bird becomes the carrier of the disease and infects the flock.
What Are the Symptoms of Salmonella Infection in Pigeons?
Though the infected pigeons will be ‘fluffed up’ which is a sign of a sick bird, here are other symptoms that you need to watch out for:
- Yellow-green colored feces
- Excessive thirst
- Damage to kidney, liver, spleen
- Conjunctivitis in the eyes
It has been seen that during the molting period of pigeons, some older pigeons get weak and waste away, while there are nestlings that start dying. That is one of the signs of a salmonella paratyphoid outbreak in the loft.
What Is the Cause of Salmonella Paratyphoid In Pigeons?
There are multiple ways that the salmonella infection spreads. To start with, pigeons come in contact with other critters like rats and rodents. The bacterial infection can be picked from the feces of these rodents which can contaminate the feed and water of your pigeons.
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Additionally, it can be transmitted from the infected pigeon to the egg and the infected hatched chicks may spread it further within the flock. Flies and insects are harbingers of bacterial infection. That is why it is important to keep changing the seeds and water frequently while hygienic conditions need to be maintained at all times in the loft.
It has been seen that salmonella bacteria can remain active without the host and can be inhaled by the pigeon through the dust.
Usually, the salmonella paratyphoid in pigeons is transmitted quickly to many birds when they flock at the feeding stations. Overcrowding and stress in the aviaries can lead to an outbreak of the salmonella infection especially if the birds are weak or poor hygiene is maintained.
How Is Salmonella in Pigeons Diagnosed?
Though the symptoms of salmonella in pigeons mimic the symptoms that are found with other illnesses, it is important to consult with an avian veterinarian for a confirmed diagnosis.
A general lethargy, fluffed-up feathers, disinterest inactivity, or food along diarrhea is a sure-shot way of identifying that there is something amiss. In severe cases, the birds start having seizures and that shows the potent strength of the bacterial infection.
The avian veterinarian will examine the pigeon/s, discuss the signs and symptoms and run some tests in the laboratory. Though salmonella is treatable it depends upon the age, condition, and overall health of the pigeons that will determine its recovery. It takes time but if the infection is very less, the pigeons will recover.
How Is Salmonella in Pigeons Treated?
Though there are diverse strains of salmonella, proper identification of the infection is important. Though lab test results come in a couple of days, the vet will start the pigeons on antibiotics. When the tests confirm salmonella, specific medication starts. Natural Treatment for Salmonella in Pigeons is possible.
The pigeons need to be treated for 10 days on antibiotics and then the full course of B-Chol has to be given for 7 days. Muta seeds and Colombine Tea for 8 days will ensure that the infection is cleared.
Additionally, access to fresh feed and clean water is required to prevent malnutrition and dehydration. Another way of reducing the chances of the spread of infection is by vaccinating the pigeons.
Is it possible for humans to contract salmonella from pigeons?
Yes, it can. Usually ‘food poisoning’ or Salmonellosis is traced to sparrows, pigeons, and other small birds. Their feces contain bacterial infection which when dry is sucked through the vents for air conditioners especially in restaurant kitchens and food processing plants. Though chances are low of contracting such a disease, the possibility is there.
Salmonella is contagious, and if you are not careful, you can also get the infection. Take the following precautions to be safe-
- Always wash your hands properly with soap and water after touching the bird or cleaning around them.
- Avoid feeding infected birds with your hands.
- Do not touch yourself without washing your hands.
- If you touch a wild bird, always wear gloves.
Prevention of Salmonella
There are ways in which you can keep your pigeons from getting Salmonella paratyphoid. The ways are-
- Keep their nest and loft clean and dry.
- Always keep their food and water in clean plates and bowls.
- Wash their dishes regularly with water and 10% bleach concentrate.
- Make a big and airy loft, and do not put in too many pigeons in one loft.
- Don’t allow too many birds to eat and drink from the same bowls.
- Keep an infected pigeon in isolation and clean their surroundings more often.
- Keep pet birds away from wild ones.
What to Do If Your Pigeon Dies of Salmonella?
If your pigeon dies of Salmonella, you can ask your local officials about how to dispose of the body. If you have a piece of land, you can think about burying them, but the burial place should be deep.
If the officials guide you in any specific way, dispose of the bird in that manner. You can also pack them in a plastic bag and throw away the body. You can also throw them into your regular trash if it is allowed. Remember to wear gloves while dealing with a dead pigeon, especially an infectious bird.