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Trichomoniasis In Budgerigars

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Trichomoniasis in Budgerigars

Contributed by Sally O'Dwyer

Last Updated Thursday, 14 February 2008

 

Trichomoniasis in Budgerigars

By Sally O' Dwyer

 

In my experience with Budgerigars (Parakeets), I have occasionally had to go toe-to-toe

with the nasty disease Trichomoniasis. Actually, Trichomoniasis is the most common protozoal disease in all of

aviculture. The bad news is that this disease is somewhat species specific, and it is a significant problem in

Budgerigars. The good news is that it is easily treated. Avian Trichomoniasis is caused by a microscopic parasite,

Trichomonas gallinae, a single-celled protozoan. This parasite has a whip-like tail and fin on its back, which allows it

swim in a circular motion. Upon entering the Budgie through the mouth, the parasite buries itself into the lining of the

esophagus-- anywhere from the back of the tongue down through the crop almost to the gizzard. Yellowish lesions

(ulcers or cankers) appear where the parasite has buried itself in the esophageal lining. The Trichomonads multiply

rapidly by simple division and as a result, the lesions grow in size and number. As the disease progresses, the lesions

develop into large, firm masses that can cause nasty blockages. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal.

Trichomoniasis is also known as Canker, Frounce or Diptheria. This

disease is not just a problem among Budgerigars, but also in pigeons, doves, quail, falcons, hawks, turkeys, chickens,

various finches, the Java sparrow, and even canaries. In the wild, Trichomoniasis is endemic among doves and pigeons.

Birds of prey are thought to contract the disease by eating infected doves and pigeons. According to Michigan’s

Department of Natural Resources, in the wild there are strains of Trichomoniasis which do not cause disease as well as

highly virulent strains that circulate in flocks causing disease and death. The severity of the disease depends on the

susceptibility of the bird and the virulence of the strain. Transmission of Trichomoniasis probably occurs between birds

by direct beak to beak contact. Indirect transmission via drinking water probably also occurs. The most tell-tale sign that

you have a budgie afflicted with Trichomoniasis is the bird will vomit and sneeze. When vomiting, the bird looks like it is

regurgitating food as if it were preparing to feed a mate or chick. If you walk in your aviary and hear sneezing, beware!!

Track down that sneeze and watch that bird. Budgies with Trichomoniasis will often look dirty above their cere, where

they have flicked mucous while sneezing or vomiting. The vomit may be a mucusy liquid of whole seed. If you suspect a

bird of having Trichomoniasis, isolate it in a separate cage. Place paper (white works best) in the tray below. After

several hours, check the paper and you will be able to see what the bird has been vomiting. Vomit might also be on the

walls of your aviary. You will probably also notice your bird rubbing its face on the perches. As the disease progresses,

the bird will sit listlessly, puffed-up on the perch. The bird is beginning to starve and will become extremely emaciated.

This happens because the esophagus is blocked and the bird cannot get food down. Sometimes birds will just sit in the

food bowl, hungry, but unable to eat. Birds can also suffocate if the lesions cause a blockage of the trachea. There are

number of medications used to treat Trichomoniasis. These include Dimetridazole, Metronidazole, Ronidazole, and

Carnidazole. They are all effective against the parasite and can be purchased from Foy's Pigeon Supply, (877)

355-7727. As long as the bird can still drink, the drug can be administered through drinking water. These drugs are

water soluble and water stable. Directions usually are to treat for 5 to 7 days. Usually, affected birds will respond

quickly......but don't forget to finish the prescription. Also, make sure that during the treatment, all water

sources are medicated. You do need to watch your birds to make sure that they do not quit drinking while you are

medicating them. The medications taste bitter and the birds do not like them. I have found that birds that are severely

affected by the disease may need to be tube fed the medicine mixed with a bit water. Some of these drugs are rather

toxic, so be careful not to overdose your birds. Symptoms of overdose are loss of balance and death. Recovery from

mild attacks of Trichomoniasis produces immunity to more virulent strains. Resistance to the drugs named above is

common, and you may wish to rotate the type of medication you use to treat Trichomoniasis. I personally switch

between Ronidazole 10% and Metronidazole, and this has worked well for me. Ronidazole is reportedly the safest to

use on budgies and can be used any stage of the breeding cycle. There are some companies that sell Ronidazole 6%

(one product is called Ronivet), but I have not found the 6% to be strong enough against these pesky parasites and

have ended up having to re-treat the birds. The most important point to note is that if one of your birds shows symptoms

of Trichomoniasis, you must assume that the rest of your birds have been infected and treat the ENTIRE flock. All of

your birds must be treated at the same time. Many of your birds may harbor the parasite but not show symptoms. To

prevent an outbreak of Trichamoniasis in your aviary, quarantine all new birds. Many, if not most, Budgies have been

exposed at one time or another to the disease. For the most part, they will not show any symptoms. However, if they

become stressed, for example by a move to your aviary, their natural immunity will be lowered, possibly allowing the

disease to surface and the bird to become infectious. You may wish to treat all incoming birds with one of the

medications mentioned above. Because Trichanomads are persistent, treatment needs to be part of your aviary

management plan. Many budgie breeders treat their flock at least twice a year to prevent outbreaks. It is probably a

wise idea to treat birds before the breeding season. Foy’s Pigeon Supply recommends that breeders disinfect

drinking water with Nolvasan or Oxine for a week to prevent another outbreak after treating birds for the disease. They

also recommend following all treatments with a Probotic. Trichanomads are very sensitive to drying, so let bowls and

equipment dry well after cleaning. Regularly disinfect food and water sources with 10% bleach solution, and make sure

that wild birds cannot infect your birds. Practice good hygiene, particularly with water bowls and wet food, which can

harbor the parasite. To keep your birds happy and free of Trichamoniasis, avoid overcrowding and other types of stress

to your birds.

 

 

Author of this article kindly gave us permission to use it here on BBC after me asking for us to use it.

 

 

Sally's website http://members.cox.net/jmodwyer/

Edited by KAZ

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Hi all anyone have the correct measure for turbosole (correct me if im wrong) is it one teaspoon of turbosole to 2lts of water (cant raise my vet in W.A.) label has fallen of its container c CHEERS TAZ D

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Hi all anyone have the correct measure for turbosole (correct me if im wrong) is it one teaspoon of turbosole to 2lts of water (cant raise my vet in W.A.) label has fallen of its container c CHEERS TAZ D

 

Turbosole for Canker

 

Give 1 teaspoon (1gram) into 2 Liters of water for 5 days.

 

Refer to page 43-46 of the Budgerigar Medicine Book by Rob Marshall

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RENEE with thanks dont have the book as my vet is my daughter in law who lives in your neck of the woods but was unavailable today Cheers and Thanks TAZ D

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Hi all anyone have the correct measure for turbosole (correct me if im wrong) is it one teaspoon of turbosole to 2lts of water (cant raise my vet in W.A.) label has fallen of its container c CHEERS TAZ D

 

Turbosole for Canker

 

Give 1 teaspoon (1gram) into 2 Liters of water for 5 days.

 

Refer to page 43-46 of the Budgerigar Medicine Book by Rob Marshall

 

 

The average teaspoon is usually more than one gram....is turbosole lighter than most meds ?

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Hi all anyone have the correct measure for turbosole (correct me if im wrong) is it one teaspoon of turbosole to 2lts of water (cant raise my vet in W.A.) label has fallen of its container c CHEERS TAZ D

 

Turbosole for Canker

 

Give 1 teaspoon (1gram) into 2 Liters of water for 5 days.

 

Refer to page 43-46 of the Budgerigar Medicine Book by Rob Marshall

 

 

The average teaspoon is usually more than one gram....is turbosole lighter than most meds ?

 

Its one Teaspoon, which is 4grams to 2 litres of water.

 

Also who is Sally O'Dwyer ?

Edited by Matt Welchman

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The average teaspoon is usually more than one gram....is turbosole lighter than most meds ?

 

When you buy meds from Rob Marshall he supplies 1 and 5 gram teaspoons. smile.gif

 

Turbosole for Canker

 

Give 1 teaspoon (1gram) into 2 Liters of water for 5 days.

 

Refer to page 43-46 of the Budgerigar Medicine Book by Rob Marshall

 

Its one Teaspoon, which is 4grams to 2 litres of water.

 

No Matt, I believe you are mistaken. The turbosole jar comes with a white 1 gram teaspoon.

 

If indeed the dosis was 4 grams per 2 liters then the instructions would be 4 teaspoons per 2 Liters. But it is not.

 

Here is what is says in the online book regarding Canker -

 

Trichomoniasis (Canker) Outbreak

An immediate emergency response is required when canker (Trichomoniasis) is suspected as the cause of deaths in a crowded young bird flight (refer to Chapter 30 pages 392-395 & figure 30k: "The Budgerigar" book).

 

Exact Instructions for Canker Outbreak
Individual Bird Treatment
  1. Isolate and treat all sick birds in heated hospital cage(s).
  2. Premix 1 level teaspoon of Turbosole into 4 litre of warm water and use this water to prepare the Emergency Rescue Formula as per normal Emergency First Aid instructions (refer to Chapter 19 pages 243 figure 19b: "The Budgerigar" book).
  3. Updated Emergency Rescue Formula Ingredients: This recipe is enough for 4 birds. Adjust the quantities accordingly for greater numbers of birds.
    • 5 teaspoons ER powder
    • 2 drops Quik-gel
    • 10 mls of warmed Turbosole Working Solution made from mixing 1 level teaspoon (3 grams) of Turbosole into 2 litre of hot water.
    • 1 crushed Cank-R-tab dissolved into 1nl of water.
[*]Crop feed each sick bird 2-3mls of this Emergency Rescue Formula each 8 hours for 3 days or until they are eating well. Birds that fail to respond within 72 hours will not recover sufficiently to breed again.
 
Flock Treatment
[*]Add Turbosole (1 teaspoon per 4 litre) and Quick-gel (1mls per litre) into the drinking water of the sick birds in the hospital cage and also into the drinking water of all flights. Make this up fresh daily for 5 days. Follow a full Breeding Health Programme for 6 weeks using KD as an acid water cleanser (see Chapter 31 pages 403: "The Budgerigar" book).[*]Expect more birds in the flights to become sick over the next 2 days and remove these to the hospital cage for treatment.[*]Disinfect water containers using KD each day for 1 week then weekly for 3 months.[*]Move recovered sick birds to holding cages for observation. They should stay here for 3 weeks before returning to flights. Here they must receive Turbobooster E-powder and F-vite to dry seed mix daily and Turbosole for three consecutive days (followed by Quik-gel (2ml/500ml) for 3 days) each week for 3 weeks. All other birds in the flights should receive a similar treatment but they start one month after the first course of treatment.[*]Follow-up treatments using Turbosole (1teaspoon into 4 litres) are required to prevent reinfections and should be given when canker outbreaks are more likely to occur. Critical months for canker outbreaks are January and August. Prevention starts by administering a 5 day long course of Turbosole each 3 months to coincide with January and August treatments.
Edited by renee

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The average teaspoon is usually more than one gram....is turbosole lighter than most meds ?

 

When you buy meds from Rob Marshall he supplies 1 and 5 gram teaspoons. smile.gif

 

Turbosole for Canker

 

Give 1 teaspoon (1gram) into 2 Liters of water for 5 days.

 

Refer to page 43-46 of the Budgerigar Medicine Book by Rob Marshall

 

Its one Teaspoon, which is 4grams to 2 litres of water.

 

No Matt, I believe you are mistaken. The turbosole jar comes with a white 1 gram teaspoon.

 

If indeed the dosis was 4 grams per 2 liters then the instructions would be 4 teaspoons per 2 Liters. But it is not.

 

Here is what is says in the online book regarding Canker -

 

Trichomoniasis (Canker) Outbreak

An immediate emergency response is required when canker (Trichomoniasis) is suspected as the cause of deaths in a crowded young bird flight (refer to Chapter 30 pages 392-395 & figure 30k: "The Budgerigar" book).

 

Exact Instructions for Canker Outbreak
Individual Bird Treatment
  1. Isolate and treat all sick birds in heated hospital cage(s).
  2. Premix 1 level teaspoon of Turbosole into 4 litre of warm water and use this water to prepare the Emergency Rescue Formula as per normal Emergency First Aid instructions (refer to Chapter 19 pages 243 figure 19b: "The Budgerigar" book).
  3. Updated Emergency Rescue Formula Ingredients: This recipe is enough for 4 birds. Adjust the quantities accordingly for greater numbers of birds.
    • 5 teaspoons ER powder
    • 2 drops Quik-gel
    • 10 mls of warmed Turbosole Working Solution made from mixing 1 level teaspoon (3 grams) of Turbosole into 2 litre of hot water.
    • 1 crushed Cank-R-tab dissolved into 1nl of water.
Crop feed each sick bird 2-3mls of this Emergency Rescue Formula each 8 hours for 3 days or until they are eating well. Birds that fail to respond within 72 hours will not recover sufficiently to breed again.
 
Flock Treatment
<LI>Add Turbosole (1 teaspoon per 4 litre) and Quick-gel (1mls per litre) into the drinking water of the sick birds in the hospital cage and also into the drinking water of all flights. Make this up fresh daily for 5 days. Follow a full Breeding Health Programme for 6 weeks using KD as an acid water cleanser (see Chapter 31 pages 403: "The Budgerigar" book).<LI>Expect more birds in the flights to become sick over the next 2 days and remove these to the hospital cage for treatment.<LI>Disinfect water containers using KD each day for 1 week then weekly for 3 months.<LI>Move recovered sick birds to holding cages for observation. They should stay here for 3 weeks before returning to flights. Here they must receive Turbobooster E-powder and F-vite to dry seed mix daily and Turbosole for three consecutive days (followed by Quik-gel (2ml/500ml) for 3 days) each week for 3 weeks. All other birds in the flights should receive a similar treatment but they start one month after the first course of treatment.<LI>Follow-up treatments using Turbosole (1teaspoon into 4 litres) are required to prevent reinfections and should be given when canker outbreaks are more likely to occur. Critical months for canker outbreaks are January and August. Prevention starts by administering a 5 day long course of Turbosole each 3 months to coincide with January and August treatments.

 

 

Well I just got it out of the fridge and it says Budgies and parrots, 4 grams to 2 litres , I think you need to check the spoon sizes.

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Well I just got it out of the fridge and it says Budgies and parrots, 4 grams to 2 litres , I think you need to check the spoon sizes.

 

Yeah I just noticed that. laugh.gif

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Hello All,

This is my first post to this forum.

Thank you all for you comments and helpful information.

 

I took my budgie to a local Avian Vet today who diagnosed Trichomonasis (Canker)

 

Turbosole jar (active constituent: 100mg/g Ronidazole) provided by the vet says:

 

Directions for use:

Mix 3 grams in 2 litres of water.

Enclosed level measure = 3 grams

a fresh solution should be mixed daily and provided in clean drinking vessel.

remove all other sources of drinking water

20141014_005642_1.jpg20141014_011146_1.jpg

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