Avian Polyomavirus

Avian polyomavirus is one of the most significant viral diseases of pet birds. The virus has been found to infect many species of psittacine birds (parrots) and is widespread throughout most countries of the world where psittacine birds are raised. It is a relatively common cause of acute death in young birds less than 16 weeks of age where infected birds can die without showing any signs or illness or die shortly after demonstrating depression, lack of feeding reflex, crop slowdown, feather abnormalities and/or hemorrhages (bleeding) beneath the skin. In adult birds, polyomavirus can cause lethargy, lack of appetite, regurgitation, diarrhea, dehydration and sometimes death, but in general the disease is not as severe when it infects mature birds. Macaws, Eclectus, Lovebirds, Caiques and Conures are particularly susceptible.

Symptoms

To start with, the virus can cause chicks to die in their eggs before hatching. Once a chick has been born, they'll often appear fine for a few weeks, before suddenly dropping dead, as their internal organs fail. But, because the internal organs are being attacked, there are some symptoms which can show up:
  • Bloated belly
  • Bleeding under the skin
  • Diarrhea / watery droppings
  • Loss of appetite / weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Full crop, but unable to digest food
  • Poor/deformed feather growth
And although the condition isn't always fatal for adult psittacines, it might cause them some problems:
  • Recurring bacterial and fungal infections
  • Poor feather formation
  • May appear to recover, then die months later from kidney failure

Simply Science offers DNA PCR test to detect the PBFD virus. Results will be provided within 3 to 5 working days.

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