Trichomoniasis is a disease caused by a microscopic protozoa called trichomonas and they are usually found in the crop, mouth, pharynx or trachea and sometimes in the lungs and liver. It is transmitted by direct mouth to mouth contact between two birds or in contaminated water and food and is most common in budgerigars as well as pigeons.
The clinical signs of Trichomoniasis are:
- Vomiting and regurgitation
- Weight loss with increased appetite – birds often crush and powder the seed as they are unable to swallow.
- White plaques and/or cheesy material in the crop and trachea
- Being “fluffed up”
- Green diarrhoea
- Laboured breathing
- Poor growth in young birds
Birds become severely emaciated and even if treated may still die. To make matters worse, some birds can be carriers and show no signs even after several years of infection.
Birds can be treated with Ronidazole (Ronnivet-S) in the water for seven days. It has a wide safety margin. The cage should also be cleaned thoroughly daily and then disinfected. Quarantine all new birds is best practice.
Breeders often routinely treat against Trichomoniasis.