Common Pigeon Diseases

Common Pigeon Diseases

Here we can see, “Common Pigeon Diseases”

Pigeons are a surprising number of people’s favourite pets. They are short-legged, stout-bodied birds that may be found practically anywhere globally, both in the wild and in our houses, together with doves. We look after our dogs’ every need, including treating them for various ailments. Breathing issues, diarrhoea, and even death are possible signs of these disorders.

Common Pigeon Diseases

  • Canker
  • Lice
  • Flies
  • Coccidia
  • Worms
  • Hexamita
  • Mites
  • Chlamydia
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Mycoplasma


Canker is caused by a protozoan, a tiny creature that causes respiratory issues.

It’s a sickness that spreads quickly from bird to bird, but it can’t survive outside of a bird for more than a few minutes. Pigeons spread canker to other pigeons via sharing water bowls, billing with other adult pigeons, and feeding crop milk to young pigeons ( a semi-solid, crumbly excretion high in fat and protein).

Canker is caused by an organism that lives in the crop, throat, bile duct, cloaca, proventriculus, and other regions of the digestive tract of pigeons. Canker nodules can also be detected on the navel of a nestling pigeon or in the sinuses of pigeons. Canker symptoms vary based on where it affects the body, but because it most typically affects the throat, most pigeons will have breathing problems owing to nodules on the tonsils. Other canker symptoms include diarrhoea, weight loss, tiredness, bleeding from the mouth and cloaca, and apparent nodules and respiratory problems. If the disease is not treated, the symptoms will develop, and canker can lead to death.

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Canker lesions resemble other illnesses (such as an abscess), but it exclusively affects sections of the pigeon’s body connected to or near the digestive tract. This indicates that a lesion on a wing is almost certainly not a canker. The organism can also be spotted in the faeces under a microscope. Canker in your pigeon can be treated with medication given by your veterinarian. Your veterinarian may need to remove the nodule in some cases surgically.


Like many other animals, Pigeons can carry a variety of worms in their digestive tract. In competitive pigeons, roundworms, tapeworms, and hairworms proliferate and reside in the digestive tract, causing diarrhoea, weakness, increased susceptibility to other infections, and performance difficulties. Worms can sometimes be seen in pigeon faeces, but their eggs are often discovered through a microscopic inspection of the droppings.

Pigeons obtain worms by eating insects and inhaling contaminated droppings from other birds, therefore, preventing your pigeon from acquiring worms. Regular microscopic examinations of your pigeon’s droppings are recommended to check for these parasites. Treatment consists of medication that can be added to the water or given orally in a syringe, just like other pigeon treatments.


Coccidia is an intestinal protozoan that causes diarrhoea, loss of food absorption, weakness, lethargy, and weight loss in pigeons and other animals, similar to worms. Coccidia is quickly passed from pigeon to pigeon when they eat infected droppings, and it’s common in modest, manageable amounts in most pigeon lofts. When a pigeon performs typically, and a minor quantity of coccidia is discovered, it is frequently left alone.

Because coccidia is a minute organism that cannot be seen without a microscope, regular faecal checks by your veterinarian are required to ensure that your pigeon does not have an abundance of the parasite. Even though modest doses of the protozoan are okay, your pigeon should be treated for coccidia if they have loose droppings (the most common symptom of coccidia) or other symptoms.


This organism is present in the digestive tract of pigeons and is quite similar to the protozoan that causes canker in pigeons. Hexamita is not as dangerous to most pigeons as canker, but it is suggested that a bird diagnosed with it be treated. Due to its similar appearance, the organism can be discovered microscopically in faeces and is frequently misdiagnosed with canker. It can cause vomiting, weight loss, and bloody diarrhoea if it overpopulates your pigeon’s intestinal tract, although it usually passes unnoticed in ordinary pigeons.

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Lice, Mites and Flies

External parasites like lice, mites, and flies can make life difficult for your pet pigeon. These pesky pests can not only irritate and bite your pigeon, but they can also cause more severe injury, such as blood loss or disease transmission. External parasites appear scaly on your pigeon’s unfeathered parts, microscopic holes in the feather shafts, and itching birds. Medicated sprays are often used on an infected pigeon, depending on the type of parasite.

Respiratory Infections

Apart from canker, respiratory illnesses are arguably the most feared problem pigeon owners face. Infections of the lungs are exceptionally infectious. Infected birds are particularly vulnerable when stressed, old, or young.

Respiratory diseases make it difficult for a bird to breathe and fly, resulting in competing pigeons’ reduced activity and inferior performance. A pigeon with a respiratory infection will open its mouth to breathe, exert more effort when breathing, sit fluffed up with its eyes closed, not eat, and eventually die if left untreated.

Fungi, viruses, bacteria, and mites are just some things that might cause a respiratory infection in pigeons. Infections of the lungs, air sacs, sinuses, and other areas of the respiratory tract are all possible. If your pigeon has a respiratory infection, there may be visible discharge from the nares, inside the mouth, or choana, or you may hear them sneeze and cough. To eradicate a respiratory infection, aggressive treatment is required, which includes taking your pigeon to the veterinarian when you notice respiratory symptoms, cleaning the environment, treating underlying parasites that may have predisposed your pigeon to become ill, determining the cause of the infection, and medicating your pigeon.


There are a variety of chlamydia strains in pigeons, and some birds do not show symptoms. However, if your pigeon is agitated, the illness may flare-up.

Birds with chlamydia symptoms can be treated with antiviral medications, but the disease cannot be cured. In pigeons with chlamydia, respiratory infections produced by the virus are the primary concern, so they are routinely treated symptomatically while ensuring their habitat is optimum (avoid dampness, fluctuating temperatures, etc.).

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Mycoplasma can infect pigeons’ respiratory tracts and cause respiratory illnesses. Because the symptoms of mycoplasma infection are similar to those of chlamydia and other respiratory infections, you may notice nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing, and other symptoms depending on which section of the respiratory tract is affected.

Again, stress is the principal cause of mycoplasma symptoms in pigeons. Keeping your pigeon healthy requires maintaining a clean, stress-free, optimum environment for your bird.

User Questions

What is the best way to care for a sick pigeon?

Sick birds should first be warmed, then rehydrated, and finally given food. Don’t squirt water into the bird’s beak if he won’t drink independently. Warmth and seclusion are the first and most vital aspects to ensure before the pigeon is transferred to the rehabbers if the bird is in a critical state.

What virus kills pigeons?

Pigeon rotavirus is a highly contagious and lethal disease that affects pigeons. The virus was initially discovered in racing pigeons in Western Australia a year ago. It has since spread to the eastern states, inflicting substantial pain and killing thousands of racing and domestic pigeons.

How does a sick pigeon appear?

The following symptoms indicate that an animal is ill or injured: Silent and dull, with closed eyes and fluffed feathers (the bird appears “puffed up”). It could have a visible wound, respiratory issues, a drooping wing, or be lame or unable to stand.

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What is the pigeon virus?

Avian paramyxovirus type 1 in pigeons (PPMV1) is a viral infection that can spread quickly and cause significant pigeon illness and mortality rates. It is found in most nations. In August 2011, the first Australian detection was made in Victoria.

Pigeons should not be fed the following items.

To keep a pigeon’s diet healthy, you must mimic the grain consumption they would eat in the wild. Avoid meals such as bread, cheese, and meats generally allocated for people. Pigeons in the wild eat non-fibre foods, primarily grains and nuts.


I hope you found this helpful guide. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the form below.


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