Salmonellosis and Mycoplasmosis - The most common pigeon diseases

Salmonellosis and mycoplasmosis are some serious diseases that occur in pigeons. They appear because of the improper care of pigeons, a large number of pigeon in a small loft, micro-climate conditions, introduction in the loft of new pigeons without any treatment being done before, lack of prophylactic treatment (such as vaccinations) etc.

Salmonellosis (Paratyphoid)

As I know, Salmonellosis is the most common pigeon disease. Salmonellosis is caused by Salmonella Typhimurium, Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Cholerae Suis. Salmonellosis is also called by many breeders of pigeons, Salmonella. The disease is transmitted from parents to young pigeons and it can also be transmitted from sick pigeons by contamination of water or food with pigeon's excrements. Rodents, cockroaches and also humans can transmitted the Salmonella but this situations don't occur so often.

High rate of mortality in the fist day of pigeon chicks life is a sign that your pigeons have been infected with Salmonella. Salmonella progresses very slowly at adult pigeons. As symptoms we have to mention: diarrhea, anorexia, polydipsia etc. Pigeons start loosing weight and inflammations of joints start appear. These inflammations, untreated, can lead to arthritis or even paralysis. In some cases, pigeons avoid flying, get tired very fast, limp etc. Spleen and liver grow in size and nodules in the pigeons internal organs can occur.

Diagnosis is based on laboratory tests. The Salmonella is isolated from the liver, spleen and intestine. Laboratory tests avoid a wrong treatment and of course, it can avoid confusions.

For treatment, there are a number of medicines that can be administrated. I will mention Enrofloxarom, Enrocol, Flumequinorom, Lincospectrom, Doxycycline etc. (The medicine you administrate to contaminated pigeons deppends much on the area you are in; contact a local vet for analysis and medicine subscription). Preventive vaccination is the best way to avoid any kind of problems. Also, vitamin administration can avoid many diseases.

There is another form of Salmonellosis caused by Salmonella Gallinarum Pulorum. It is transmited to young pigeons through egg and it is very similar to the previous disease. The infected pigeons are apathetic, they have ruffled feathers, diarrhea, weakness and the pigeons are very anemic. Mortality is very high and the treatment is very similar to the treatment of Paratyphoid.


Mycoplasmosis is another common pigeon disease, a disease that can remain unnoticed until the appearance of favorable factors (such as stress, vaccinations, laying, flights, transportation on long distances, pollution, high humidity, cold etc). The affected pigeons have a noisy breading, snoring, and they have a bilateral nasal secretion, then purulent.

Pigeons feel depressed, weak, pectoral muscles are reduced in volume, they avoid flying, but mortality has a low rate. Usually mortality occurs when Mycoplasmosis is acombined with other pathogens (E. Coli, Chlamydia, etc).

When a pigeon is supra-infected with another pathogen, a large amount of mucus appears in the respiratory tract in all.

The disease is transmitted through egg to the young pigeons and through nasal secretions, contaminated food, water, dust and crop milk from infected birds. Once the disease is found (through laboratory analysis), the treatment lasts for about a week. Pigeons are administrated Tylavet, Enrofloxarom, Avian Protect, Doxicyclina or Oxitetracyclina. Again, the medicine used in treatment differs from country to country. However, the effect is similar and the virus should be defeated.