Canary Pox viruses can infect many species of birds, and each species of bird may have its own unique species of the pox virus
Most commonly, spread by mosquitoes and mites who transmit the virus from an infected bird to a non-infected bird. Canaries that are housed outdoors are more susceptible than those kept inside.
The virus however can also be transmitted after eating infected scabs or inhalation of aerosols.
Canaries that have survived Pox Virus can become carriers and spread the disease when introduced into a Bird Room or Aviary.
There are several distinct symptoms seen in Canaries infected with pox virus.
In the dry or skin forms of the disease, nodular or crusted areas of the non-feathered skin are seen. These lesions often occur around the face and beak and on the legs and feet. Beginning as white or yellow areas they rapidly progress to form crusts.
In the wet or throat form of pox virus, thickened plaques occur in the mouth, throat, or sinuses.
Wet and Dry lesions may occur together.
Other symptoms are weight loss, rapid breathing,listlessness, fluffed up feathers.
Canary pox may present as sudden death or the sudden onset of difficult breathing.
There is no cure for Canary Pox which is fatal about 80% of the time, however if you've kept your birds healthy and if you provide warmth, low stress, and plenty of healthy food during the illness the bird/s just might pull through.
Control of mosquitoes and mites is critical if birds are housed outdoors. Many birds will recover with treatment. Treatment of the crusts using an antibacterial solution is used if a secondary infection is present. Healthy birds can be vaccinated, although this is most typically done for birds living in a flock rather than an isolated household pet. It has been suggested that the use of a probiotic might help. Probiotics are designed to FLOOD your canary's system, with GOOD bacteria or microbes which enables your canary to get the most out of the foods he eats and helps build a strong immune system.
There is a vaccine that will prevent your canary from getting the Pox Virus
POXIMUNE ® C
Canary Pox Vaccine, Modified Live Virus
Poximune C contains modified live canary pox virus. The vaccine is freeze-dried and is accompanied with the sterile diluent for rehydration and wing-web applicators.
Poximune C is recommended for the vaccination of canaries as an aid in the prevention of canary pox. Poximune C is administered by the wing web method to healthy, susceptible canaries at least four weeks old. The vaccine is rehydrated with the accompanying sterile diluent. Using the provided wing-web applicator, each canary receives the dose of 0.01 ml.
Published Joseph Gallea 15th July 2005