Ornithosis occurs in 2 forms:
The acute form can be recognized in young pigeons from: wheezing noises, uni- or bilateral conjunctivitis and muco-aqueous enteritis with diarrhoea.
The chronic form is more often found in adult birds, which, however, show few or no signs of the disease. Pigeons that have recovered are a dangerous source of infection for young pigeons and for humans due to their latent shedding of the pathogen.
Recognition of the disease:
The disease can be demonstrated in dead pigeons by microscopic examination of a smear or impression ("klatsch") preparation of spleen, liver, conjunctiva or air sac that has first been stained using the method according to Stamp. In live birds, the pathogen is demonstrated in feces, via a sink dab from the cloaca, or alternatively by serological identification of specific antibodies.
Upon appearance of the symptoms described, treatment with 4 in 1 should be started immediately. Treat the entire flock rather than individual birds.
Cull severely affected pigeons before beginning the treatment as it is unlikely that they can be cured.