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Ask The Vet: theme questions (paratyphoid)

Every four weeks on a Saturday, we will select some very interesting questions and answers concerning a certain topic (disease, medicine, etc.) and publish them on our homepage. Today's topic is paratyphoid.

What is the difference between paramyxo, salmonella and parathyphoid?

Paramyxo is a viral infection. The symptoms are bad droppings (watery) and sometimes nervous symptoms. You can vaccinate against it (colombovac, nobilis). Salmonella and paratyphoid are the same sickness. Paratyphoid is caused by salmonella. It’s a bacterial infection and antibiotics work against paratyphoid. You can also vaccinate against salmonella.
(Vincent Schroeder)

I wanted to treat all of my pigeons for Paratyphoid, as a few of my stock pigeons were showing signs of this last year whilst breeding. I have read various articles re treatment programs, i.e. treat with Baytril for 14 days followed by vaccination. My questions are:
1. Do you treat after the moult or can you treat now, i.e. with two flights left to go?
2. If I were to use Baytril 10%, what would the dosage be, i.e. how many ML of Baytril to a litre of water? I would be grateful for your advice, as if I am to treat I want to do it properly. As you probably know it is very difficult to get advice here in the UK.

First of all, I want to say that I try to avoid giving any medicine during the moulting period. There are some products which can cause some marks on the feathers, other products almost none, but if not necessary, don't use any medicine at that time. On the other hand I also try to avoid medicine a month before breeding starts, because some products can also cause some problems regarding the fertility etc... So, when possible, try to treat when the pigeons are finished molting, and minimum 1 month before the breeding period starts. In your case, when it is only breeding pigeons that you want to treat, the moulting period is not so important as for racers. If you see problems, or saw problems that can be linked to paratyphoid, you can give them antibiotics for 10 -14 days, like enrofloxacine, or trimethoprim + sulfamides,.. Afterwords you can vaccinate with a vaccine that is commercialised or with an auto vaccine, when they could find paratyphoid. If you use Baytril 10 % (which is one of the best at this moment especially to treat possible carriers) you need to give 2 cc per liter water. BUT: during winter time they don't drink that much anymore, that is why the dosage should be higher, or you put the medicine over the food. This last thing is not so easy as it is difficult to mix it in a proper way!!! That is why I always advise not to give 2 cc per liter, but 2 cc per 20 pigeons, so if they drink only 0.75 liter water, do 2 cc per 0.75 l water and not per liter.
(Pascal Lanneau)

For the past few years I have experienced problems with Salmonella in my loft. Last year I followed a treatment and vaccination program. This year I've decided to vaccinate my young birds as soon as possible (8 weeks old) with Chevivac S without treatment before vaccination. The side effects are extremely watery droppings and weight loss (10 days after vaccination). Will the birds recover?

This is indeed a problem that occurs more with the live paratyphoid vaccines but can also occur with dead vaccines. It means that the birds were already infected with Salmonella before the vaccination. The live vaccines are already a serious immunity challenge on their own. If there is a virulent Salmonella present, it can result in serious side-effects, in other words it is an outbreak of the disease itself. That is why if you vaccinate with live vaccines you should certainly do a 10 to 14 day antibiotic treatment before vaccination. But also with dead vaccines a treatment is indicated when there are problems with paratyphoid. Certainly the first vaccination is absolutely necessary. For the booster vaccinations the treatment is not always necessary. With dead vaccines you can do the injection also during the antibiotic treatment.
I doubt these pigeons will be able to become normal healthy pigeons and be able to perform on the level they were genetically able to.
(Ruben Lanckriet)

How long does the vaccine for paratyphus/salmonella last, I normally use Parastop/parakil for 14 days in the water, are there any side effects from the vaccine? My son uses it on poultry but they have a short life.

The paratyphus vaccine registrated here in Belgium (colombovac Paratyphus) lasts for 6 months. An autovaccine (vaccine made of salmonella isolated on the loft itself by the laboratories of Ghent University) lasts for one year. In both cases it is advisable to do two inoculations the first time the birds are vaccinated. This means one first inoculation (primer) and a booster one month later. The primer should be a dead vaccine (f.e. colombovac paratyphus).
(Ruben Lanckriet)

Why shouldn't you give the paramyxo vaccination and paratyphus vaccination at the same time?

It is not advisable because when they are both injected in the neck there is a much greater possibility of ulcerations in the neck. This also depends on the kind of vaccines. There have been some better results with one vaccine in the neck and one in the leg, but this is not the most advised place to inject the bird.
(Ruben Lanckriet)

Do you think it is now important to vaccinate young birds against paratyphoid to give them a good start. if so, what do you recommend I do because I have no experience of doing this?

It could help to vaccinate young birds especially if you have problems with the disease. If you do, you have to vaccinate twice with one month in between. That gives the best protection. You can use a commercial dead vaccine like colombovac Paratyfus.
(Ruben Lanckriet)

I vaccinated my pigeons on November 25-08, for Paramyxovirus 1 and Salmonella Typhimurium Bacterin and that ‘s when all my problems started, now it`s December 9-08. When I was vaccinating the pigeons, as I was putting the birds back in the loft and I found a 2000 male pigeon dead in the basket, I just thought that I might`ve hit a nerve, now a couple of day`s later I found about 4 hens and a male that could not fly up to the lower perches, the strange thing is that 2 of the hens a 98 and a 99 are both sisters of the 2000 male, now the 08 male is a son of the 98 hen and the 07 and the 08 are grand daughters of the 98 hen so I though that it was something to do with the bloodline. Now a couple of day`s later I started noticing some watering droppings green and yellow, I thought that they had paratyphoid (Salmonella) infection, so I started treating with enrofloxyn on December 4-08, now it`s December 9-08 and althought I have seen some improvemente there is not a major improvemente, as the 98 and 99 hen have lost a lot of weight and the 99 hen was eating very little as of today, and the droppings in most of the sections have gotten a lot worst. The pigeons have no lumps on the wings or the legs as I handle them all and the research that I did on the internet at the ALBERTA CLASSIC web-site mention that if it is paratyphoid that there should be some lumps on the wings or legs. Also I came up with the conclusion that it might be Streptococcus gallolyticus as per the research that I did it sounds that the symptoms that my pigeons have are more simular to the ones discribed on the articule that I read of the Streptococcus. Thank you very much, any information that you can share with me as to my problem would be much appreciated as I am very frustraded and I feel if I don`t resolve this problem soon I am risking losing these old pigeons that are very valuable to me.

Before you vaccinate against Salmonella you must be sure there is no Salmonella on your loft. You can give a blind cure against Salmonella before the vaccination. Better is to send the droppings (gathered during 5 days) to a laboratory. They will do a bacterial culture. If this test is negative you may vaccinate.When you have carriers on your loft and you vaccinate against Salmonella you can have some serious vaccination reactions. I don’t advise to give paramyxovaccination and paratyphusvaccination at the same time. Pigeons with Salmonella don’t always have lumps on the wings or legs. Symptoms of streptococcosis in pigeons are often quite similar to the symptoms of paratyphus. The best you can do is to contact a pigeon veterinarian. He can check if your pigeons are affected with streptococcosis. Streptococci bacteria are not sensitive to enrofloxacin. Amoxicillin or ampicillin are first choice for treating this disease. Ask your veterinarian to check also for worms. They also can be responsible for loosing weight and for problems with the droppings.
(Johan Van der Cruyssen)

Would you please advise me what would your preffered vaccine be for paratyphoid: live vaccine or dead vaccine. When using dead vaccine do the birds have to be injected 2 times?

Concerning the vaccination of paratyphus you can use 2 types of vaccines : - dead vaccine : f.e. Colombovac Paratyfus and here you have to vaccinate the first times 2 x with 3 weeks between the 2 injections. - live vaccine : f.e. Zoosal T ( from Germany ) and here you have to vaccinate only 1 x For both of the vaccinations I prefer to give them first a treatment with an antibiotic for 10 days and then afterwards give them the vaccination. Both types ( when they are correctly used ) work good.
(Wim Boddaert)

Please can you explain, if you think a treatment for paratyphoid is a must, if so what would you use and also how many days for this treatment as I don't fancy injecting the birds for this. Is a treatment with medicine in the water good enough?

A lot depends on every individual situation. If there has been a diagnosis of paratyphoid, treatment in the water is neccesary for 14 days. The birds have to be vaccinated through injection afterwards though as antibiotic treatment can't eliminate all of the paratyphoid in the body of carriërs.
In my humble opinion antibiotic treatment without any immunisation (vaccination) is of little use.
(Ruben Lanckriet)


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