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Trichomoniasis is a disease that is transmitted between birds through direct contact and therefore can spread relatively easily. This disease has a number of symptoms that may be noticed and recognized in your bird such as weight loss and dull appearance. However, it is important to recognize that your bird may present without symptoms and then suddenly appear to be ill.
Trichomoniasis can mimic many other conditions that result in similar signs of sickness; however, one characteristic of this disease is the lesions that will present on your bird’s crop and esophagus. There are certain times of the year that the disease is more prevalent (late summer and early fall).
Trichomoniasis is a disease caused by the protozoa trichomonas gallinae. This condition is highly contagious among birds, but does not travel to other animals or humans. The condition may result in a sudden onset of symptoms in your bird without warning.
The following symptoms are commonly identified with trichomoniasis:
The cause of trichomoniasis can be broken down into the ways it is transferred amongst birds and the time of year it is when it occurs.
Diagnosis of this disease will need to be done by your veterinarian. It will be important to share with your veterinarian any symptoms listed above that you noticed in your bird and for how long. It will also be important to discuss with your veterinarian how your bird may have come into contact with this disease.
Diagnosis will be done via physical exam as your veterinarian will be able to notice the lesions that are characteristic of the disease (yellow-white and can even take on a cheese like texture) in your bird’s mouth, esophagus and crop. Once the lesions have been identified, your veterinarian may want to test any discharge your bird may have in his beak, samples from the lesions, or from the cheesy material in his mouth/throat. This material will be examined under a microscope to identify the parasite.
When it comes to treatment options, there are a few medications that can be administered to your bird to help treat the trichomoniasis. These antiprotozoal medications are as follows:
If your bird’s symptoms are caught in time his prognosis is good. However, this condition can be fatal with no visible or noticeable signs to indicate there was a problem. Getting your bird to the veterinarian as soon as you notice any symptoms will only help result in a better outcome.
To prevent further infection, it is important to keep your bird’s cage or living environment clean of any possible contamination. It will also be important to keep his water and food dishes cleaned out regularly and free of droppings. Lastly, ensuring that infected birds are treated and not introduced back into the environment if there are other birds that are susceptible will help to stop further infection.
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Sudden onset of symptoms. No lesions in mouth that are typical of this illness. Drooping wings. Excessive drooling and regurgitation of food and water. Open mouth breathing progressing to laboured breathing.
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