do birds need to be vaccinated

Who Needs To Be Vaccinated?

Nemetz states that some of the birds most prone to polyoma are younger ones, such as macaws and caiques. However, to reiterate, this does not imply that you must vaccinate your bird.

“If [your bird] going to be exposed to a lot of birds who have unknown health benefits, then vaccinate,” advises Hess. However, she added, “It’s not like they’re going to get polyoma if your bird is sitting in your house.” ”.

Basically: If you’e going to board your bird, vaccinate. After you test your bird for polyoma, of course. (And flee if the facility where your bird will be boarded doesn’t advise polyoma vaccinations or even testing!)

Vaccines & Pet Birds

We are often asked about vaccinating our parrots. And the answer is, well, maybe. There aren’t many vaccines available, and the ones that are have mostly disappeared from the market. The only vaccine available is the polyomavirus vaccine. So what should we do?.

Our parrots were once primarily hand-reared chicks and occasionally adults, and they were frequently dying from polyomavirus. The illness would severely harm the nestlings in budgies between the ages of 10 and 25 days. Although larger parrots are not usually sick, they are susceptible to avian polyomavirus (APV) infection. Certain species—particularly caiques—are prone to disease more than others, and some hardly ever show symptoms of illness.

APV-disease occurs at different ages in different species. In conures, birds younger than six weeks of age usually die. Macaws and Eclectus parrots typically pass away at eight weeks or less. When this occurs, the majority, if not all, of the lost nestlings are being hand-fed. Hand-fed infected chicks appear healthy, exhibit very few premonitory signs, and then pass away unexpectedly Because secretory antibodies are transferred, disease rarely strikes chicks raised in nest boxes and fed by their parents. When symptoms do appear, they may appear up to 24 hours before death. In the hours before death, watchful owners may notice delayed crop emptying, weakness, a generalized pallor, or bruises beneath the skin. Yellow discoloration of the urates is another rare observation. Typical necropsy findings include enlarged liver and spleen, as well as generalized pallor with subcutaneous and subserosal hemorrhages. Less frequently, there may be pericardial effusion surrounding the heart and/or abdominal fluid ascites.

Infection versus Disease

It is now clear that illness and infection are not the same thing, especially when it comes to this virus. Although many birds can contract the virus, adult birds rarely become ill from it. They produce antibodies, sensitized B and T cells, and an immune response that gets rid of the viral infection and keeps disease from spreading. Those that do show disease often are immunosuppressed. The caique species is an exception, as adult birds may become ill. The type of bird afflicted, its age, and whether or not it is immunosuppressed all influence whether or not a disease will manifest. Even if they do not become sick, infected birds continue to replicate the virus within their bodies and temporarily excrete the virus in their droppings. Once more, the age and species of the bird at the time of infection determine how long the virus sheds. Certain hand-fed, partially immune-competent birds may experience a brief illness that they eventually recover from. These birds frequently carry the viral infection for extended periods of time, which allows them to spread the infection to unsuspecting people.

Infected birds that show no symptoms of illness will turn viremic and may start secreting the virus through their cloaca and possibly their oral mucosa. Rarely, viremia lasts for months. Fecal shedding can endure up to 16 weeks, although it usually ends much sooner in adult birds and nestlings that contract the infection later in life.

A commercial vaccine is available for polyomavirus. Certain avian veterinarians advise vaccinating birds beginning at age 21 days and again every two weeks. They then heed the advice that the parrot should have the vaccination every year. Certain avian patients administered this vaccination may experience enduring edema at the injection site, typically the subcutaneous tissue situated above the caudal pectoral muscles. It will take a few weeks to several months for these lesions to fully disappear. These injection sites may also occasionally result in dermal tumors. Another issue with the vaccine is that, according to science, when it was given to young parrots who had not previously been exposed to the virus, it did not produce titers in one study. Blood samples were taken on several occasions, including two weeks following the second booster. None of the naïve individuals produced detectable antibody titers. A one-year-old sun conure that survived a polyomavirus outbreak had antibodies found in him. Before being vaccinated, this bird had detectable titers, and they remained constant throughout the investigation. It was unclear whether the vaccine would shield the naive parrots from the virus if they were exposed to it because none of them produced any antibody titers.

Other avian veterinarians have decided against vaccinating parrots against polyomavirus due to these reasons. Effective vaccinations to prevent our feathered friends from contracting diseases caused by these organisms have not yet been developed, despite the fact that there are other infectious diseases that can seriously harm them.


Do birds need to go to the vet?

Many bird owners are surprised to learn that all pets, including their birds, need an initial visit by an avian veterinarian and at least an annual checkup. In fact, many veterinarians recommend checkups at least twice a year, to allow for early detection and treatment of potentially life-threatening diseases.

Do doves need vaccines?

Veterinary checkups help prevent disease and will aid in the maintenance of a long-lasting, healthy relationship between you and your bird. Vaccinations against paramyxovirus and Salmonella paratyphoid are highly recommended.

Why do birds not have a regular vaccination schedule?

Vaccines were used more back when birds were still being imported into the United States, Nemetz said. However, veterinarians no longer need to vaccinate for two main reasons: birds stopped being imported when the Wild Bird Importation Act of 1992 passed in the United Stats, along with the diseases being eradicated.

What is the reason for bird vaccination?

Commercial poultry (farms with greater than 5,000 birds) are almost universally vaccinated against a variety of diseases. Preventative vaccinations have resulted in increased health and improved production efficiency in the poultry industry.