Avian Infectious Diseases

Chapter 169 Avian Infectious Diseases


Aspergillosis is an infectious but not contagious disease of pet and wild birds that is caused by the ubiquitous soil saprophyte Aspergillus. Infection generally occurs via inhalation of spores, resulting in primary lesions in the thoracic and abdominal air sacs and in the large airways (syrinx). Dissemination to other organ systems often occurs. Two forms of the disease, acute and chronic, commonly are seen.

Clinical Signs

Chronic Form

The onset is insidious, and signs vary depending on the location of the infection.

Respiratory System

Signs depend on the area affected. Respiratory signs will only occur if lesions impede airflow, for example, aspergillus granuloma formation in the syrinx, air sac thickening, and exudate accumulation in the air sacs.



Treatment is most successful with early lesions confined to the nares or syrinx and when aggressive treatment is instituted early. A combination of topical treatment such as tracheal injection, sinus flush or nebulization (depending on the site of infection), systemic treatment, and debridement are usually necessary for successful outcome. Treatment is prolonged, requiring weeks to months of outpatient therapy. Continue treatment until clinicopathologic changes normalize and radiographic and endoscopic lesions resolve.

Antifungal Agents

Supportive Care

Fluid therapy, forced alimentation (see Chapter 168), and a warm environment are required for debilitated birds.


Avian chlamydiosis is known as psittacosis when occurring in psittacine species and ornithosis when occurring in passerine species. The incidence in pet birds is high and is reportedly 15% to 30% of those tested.

Clinical Signs




Tetracyclines are the most effective antibiotics against Chlamydophila.

Doxycycline (Vibramycin, Pfizer) is the drug of choice for treatment of Chlamydophila. It is available in an oral (suspension, solution, or capsules) or IV form in the United States. The IV form should not be injected IM or SC.

Aug 27, 2016 | Posted by in SMALL ANIMAL | Comments Off on Avian Infectious Diseases

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