Simplified Health Program
Courtesy of David E. Marx, DVM
Vaccinate young birds, in summer, about 2 months before races start, for PMV1, pox, and paratyphoid. Vaccinate all birds, before pairing the breeders each winter for PMV1 and paratyphoid. All CBS birds are vaccinated the day of weaning for PMV1.
Treat for worms, coccidiosis, and trichomonas before each flying or breeding season. Telmintic, amprolium and Emtryl (or ronidazole) can be dosed simultaneously. Since Telmintic has been discontinued, a sister drug, Panacur, may be substituted; but is still in the testing phase. Ivomec at 4 drops per pigeon can be substituted as the wormer. Baycox is excellent as a coccidiostat. Flagyl (metronidazole) may be used as the trichomonacide if Emtryl or Ridzol is not available. All CBS birds are given a Flagyl tablet the day of weaning.
Before each race season, in areas where Haemoproteus (pigeon "malaria") is endemic, use an antimalarial drug (primaquine, chloroquine, or quinacrine) for 30 days, then 1-2 days each week during the races to suppress and prevent malarial diseases.
Dust the birds before each season with a permethrin dust (Insectrin GP.) Dust race birds every 2 weeks to help keep pigeon flies, mites and lice controlled.
Use trichomonacide (Emtryl, Flagyl, or Ridzol) for 1-2 days every other week during the race season. Use multivitamins in the water 1 day each week during the race season.
If birds develop respiratory symptoms (ornithose complex) treat with 2 tsp. Aureomycin concentrate (or another tetracycline) and Tylan powder at 1-2 tsp. per gallon for 10 days then one day each week during the race season.
If birds develop other health problems seek competent professional help before randomly beginning antibiotics. Cultures and post-mortem exams can be invaluable in correcting problems before they become too serious.
When possible, have fecal samples examined for parasites 2-3 times per year by a competent professional. Fecal cultures are recommendable before each race season or breeding season.
For any additional information or advice you may speak directly with Dr. Marx at (900)737-MARX.