E. coli bacteria can manifest in any part of a pigeon's body. Symptoms can be diverse. Young will often die in the nest.
Adult symptoms can include thirst, lack of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. The condition worsens and leads to loss of weight. Sometimes the droppings will have a foul odor. Occasionally some birds may have nasal discharges and respiratory problems associated with this disease.
The disease spreads over the loft rapidly, within 48 hours all loft pigeons could be infected.
A broad based antibiotic should be started immediately after taking a sample for analysis. Once the results of the bacteriological examination and the antibiogram become available a change of treatment may be necessary (possibly to chloramphenicol-N or ampicillin-t).
Severly infected birds may requier injections along with oral medication. Two or three drops of Pepto Bismol can be administered three times per day in cases of severe diarrea.