Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Highly Contagious Virus

As mentioned in the last blog I took poor ill Blanche up to the wildlife aid centre last Saturday. The car park was full - it had been empty the last time I went with Seagull. Fortunately I didn't have to wait and even more fortunately I was able to speak to a very helpful young man on the desk and also the vet on duty (all staff are volunteers).

The vet knew Seagull and discussed Blanche with me. She said that they have Paramyxo virus which is carried by feral pigeons and is highly contagious. I have now found this condition in my dove book - must have overlooked it before - and it says it is not always fatal. However, as one of the symptoms is being unable to fly very well then of course it is pretty well going to be fatal as the dove would get caught and eaten!

At first the vet seem disinclined to take Blanche in - I didn't plead but she changed her mind and did so even though we had discussed the possibility of either me taking her home for Hub3 to despatch or being given an injection at the centre.

The vet said that paramxyo is endemic in the feral pigeon population and not much can be done about it. She suggested that we get rid of any feral doves that start showing the symptoms.* This will be unpleasant but Hub3 is not squeamish about such things.

I am going to see a local vet at a practice nearby and want to discuss how this may affect my own doves - John and Lily - and what can be done about it. The book says they can be vaccinated or vaccine added to drinking water. It would not be easy at all to catch John and Lily. And Francis and Iona I only see occasionally at the afternoon feeding time.

The wildlife aid centre recommended a disinfectant called Trigene and that's something else I will have to try to track down.

I would like both Blanche and Seagull back if they recover, and will pop up to the centre in two weeks to check on their progress.

* watery droppings, unpleasant smell. Birds trembling, shivering, falling over and twisting their necks. Limping and inability to fly.
PS The photo is not of Blanche, but is an old one of Hub3 holding another pure white dove, like Blanche - probably Lily.


Casdok said...

ahhh, i hope they do get better soon.

lampworkbeader said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your poorly doves. I was watching some doves circle a field near our house. They looked so pretty with the evening light on their wings, and I thought of you and how you love your little birds.

Anonymous said...

It must be so downheartening for you when you have spent time looking after and supporting these beautiful creatures only to find they are contracting a virus which is totally out of your control. Take care,
Crystal xx

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Oh Faith - I will keep my fingers crossed for both birds. Having been away I am very behind with blogs. Both Seagull and Blanche are lucky that you are so caring and compassionate.

Important now to vaccinate your own birds against the disease - could this be what killed the babies earlier in the year.

Suffolkmum said...

Sorry to hear about this virus Faith.