Adeno-coli syndrome

There are a number of diseases during the season that are a serious threat to the health of the birds.
We are referring here to the Adeno-coli syndrome and the Ornithosis complex.

Adeno-coli syndrome

In this "syndrome" two pathogens are of interest. First the Adenovirus and also the E. coli bacterium.
We refer ,when we talk about this syndrome ,on the disease that occurs especially in young birds. Just about a year old.
Older birds are hardly affected by this disease.
The clinical signs occur when the youngsters are exposed to stress conditions.
But also under other stressful conditions such as overcrowding in the cages, etc. outbreaks can occur.

The symptoms are well known. Excessive drinking, poor appetite, vomiting and watery diarrhea are the most obvious symptoms. The condition is rapidly getting worse and there is weight loss. The disease spreads rapidly in a loft. Within 48 hours, all the young birds are sick. A pure infection of this type of so-called Classic adenovirosis recover within a week. If no complicating conditions come into play. One can think in particular of the E. coli bacteria.

And since that is very often the case therefore often is spoken about the so-called Adeno-Coli Syndrome.
Precisely because contamination with E. Coli occurs the disease rapidly aggravates and weakens the birds quickly, they lose weight and get a green foul-smelling dropping. Even death can occur due to the complications caused by the E. coli bacteria.
In severe cases of adenovirus infection, the birds also die as a result of the weakening and damage to the liver. The pigeons with severe damage to the liver usually heal slowly from the Adenovirus. Due to the backlog of flying experience and fitness,the flight performance after recovery is often disappointing.

The adenovirus of the so-called Classical adenovirosis causes a catarrhal enteritis. The virus penetrates the intestinal cells and damages the intestinal wall. The intestinal wall leaks. These are a good breeding ground for bacteria normally present in the intestine, such as E. Coli. This increases the damage to the intestinal wall. And death often occurs due to the complications caused by these bacteria (blood poisoning).
If there arenot any complicating factors than the pigeons recover of Adenovirus infection in a good week.

But what we see in practice? A wide variation in severity of symptoms. In a limited number of cases will recover within a week and the damage is not too bad.
Complication occurs with the E. Coli bacteria the disease processes much more severe and recovery is much slower.
The chances of a Coliform bacteria can cause worsening symptoms again depends on the resistance of the youngsters. Did they also suffer from such an infection with cancer, or Hexamitiasis or Ornithosis, the disease merely expires dramatic.

The Adeno-Coli Syndrome is truly a 'multifactor-disease ".
Other debilitating diseases such as Hexamitiasis, and cancer, stress factors such as basketing, overcrowded pens etc. all play a significant role in the severity of the disease.
It is clear that our attention to the youngsters should focus on optimal maintenance of the resistance of the animals.

The diagnosis is based on clinical signs and the age at which symptoms occur and mainly to the seasonal nature, usually with high certainty. Yet with these phenomena one should also be thinking of diseases as paramyxovirus infection, herpes infection, streptococcosis, Hexamitiasis, Salmonellosis. Certainty that one has to do with the Adenovirus is obtained true checking for embedding cells in the liver and intestinal mucosa.
In the fight against the disease one can not use a preventative vaccination. The adenovirus in pigeons belongs to a different circuit from the Adenovirus used to control the EDS in chickens. This vaccine has been used frequently in pigeons. Our experience is that single inoculation with this vaccine gives no result in the fight against Adenovirus in pigeons.

In Belgian publications mention results with this vaccine if the youngsters were vaccinated several times in succession with this vaccine.
We coud not confirm this yet.

As we know, there are no effective drugs against viral infections. This means that the alleviation should therefore primarily focus on addressing the secondary bacterial infections, the loft hygiëne and stress prevention and increasing the resistance of the youngsters.

Control secondary bacterial infections

With the adenovirosis coli complex we have mainly to do with E.coli in the secondary bacterial infections. This bacterium occurs in about 97% of the intestines of pigeons. The bacteria can be considered more or less as normal intestinal inhabitant. However, due to the changes caused by the Adeno virus infection in the intestine the bacteria can suddenly multiply. The toxins that this bacterium produces can damage the intestine through the intestinal wall and pass through a blood poisoning. At that stage, usually no help is to offer to the pigeon. Most do not survive this stage.
It is therefore essential that the strong multiplication of coli bacteria is prevented. Some agents have a reasonable effect. Baytril (enrofloxacin) works well but does not deserve preference because of the impact this has on bone growth.
In some cases it may be useful to contain the E. coli population by providing a cure after spawning. Because under these circumstances, the stress sometimes causes a stronger increase in the occurrence of coli bacteria. Especially when there is overcrowding.
But it would be considered to take preventive measures . Indeed, it is preferable not to use antibiotics excessively. The good bacteria also suffer.

Loft Hygiëne

Hygiëne is always important.
Of course it is important to ensure that no diffusion occurs through drinking pots and bowls. As far as that hygiene is not enough. However, excessive hygiene, on the other hand, lead to youngsters with too few "teething problems" making sufficient and acquire immunity to diseases difficult.
In practice this will not happen so easily. My experience is that the average pigeon fancier knows what he / she is doing.

Prevention of stress

This is obviously very important. Stress is often the "trigger" that causes latent (hidden) infections manifest themselves.
Of course not all stress is to avoid . The youngsters will be basketed anyhow.
But stress that occurs due to overcrowding is usually to avoid. . Besides being stressful, it often causes an outbreak of E.coli infection in a loft.
Stress in itself reduces the resistance. Reduced resistance increases the risk of infection. Drug treatment may be necessary. But this can also cause deterioration of the condition.
And so one can end up in a circle.

Increase the natural resistance

I believe that this should be the base for addressing this problem. Indeed, the use of drugs should be considered as a necessary evil.
Hygiene is not negligible and the other hand is not too extreme one already contributes to an increase in resistance by decreasing the infection pressure. If we also avoid stress so the pigeon is also more likely to increase its resistance.
Making sure that the intestinal flora of (young) birds increases, one stimulates the resistance as shown again and again. By improving the intestinal flora the harmful intestinal bacteria get less opportunity to multiply explosively. Since in this case the Coli bacteria has less chance to multiply, the youngsters quickly recover of this infection.
This method works very limited if the infection has struck in full.
In these cases, usually one is forced to resort to drugs such as previously mentioned.

For a good general resistance it is important for the pigeon to have a good digestion. If one can ensure that the birds maintain a good intestinal flora,one is on the right track. It's obviously that a pigeon with a good intestinal flora will never be ill. But the fact is that these birds because of their better resistance more easily can overcome the infections .
A pigeon with a healthy intestinal flora has a better feed utilization. The vitamin metabolism is better. The uptake of nutrients will be facilitated. In short, the bird can easily get in shape.
And lately, it is more and more clear that a healthy intestinal flora makes a contribution toa difficult development of harmful bacteria.
In this way, infections with these bacteria are generally less serious.

By souring the drinking water of the pigeons with sour apple vinegar, phyto-vitality, Herba etc. makes it easier for the good gut bacteria to multiply.
This way you can make a valuable contribution to a healthy intestinal flora.

One must be careful that the acidity is not so low that even the good gut bacteria have difficulty to get to develop well.

The tests we did last year with the improved version of the Phyto-vitality showed that this natural approach can actually help improve the condition of the pigeons and the rising of the form.
Our phyto-vitality is beeing used for many years by many fanciers. A small two years ago we started with a number of experiments in which we added five resistance enhancing herbs to our phyto-vitality. And also we added the famous ginseng. This root has a stimulating effect on the body.

About vitamins and resistance has already been written a lot. I would like to provide a question mark behind the old saying that a dove absorbs enough vitamins from his food. I of course agree that a pigeon under normal circumstances absorbs enough vitamins and nutrients from a good diet may include good health.

But here's the rub as well. Indeed, pigeon racing is sport. And that requires more from the body than under normal circumstances. The chain of health and resistance is as strong as its weakest link. One can give the best possible care if a relative or absolute shortage of essential building blocks exists the health will collapse as a house build of cards.

My opinion is that once more is demanded of the pigeons they will be better off if they regularly get a good vitamin preparation administered. Either on the food or by drinking water. This extra vitamin-gift optimizes the enzyme systems in the body.
Farvisol has proved its value in practice. This is a vitamin preparation containing high levels of vitamins and trace elements.

Some rules for a good resistance and a good base for getting them in a good shape.

1. Avoid stress. Important in this is to prevent overcrowding.

2. Through a good basic hygiene ensure that the infection pressure of the major pigeon diseases remains low.
3. Optimizing the enzyme systems by providing quality food and good vitamins.
4. Improve metabolism by making sure that the intestinal flora is in optimum condition.
As said you can contribute through regular acidified drinking water supply.
(Apple Cider Vinegar, Phytovitaliteit, resistance drink)
5. Regular monitoring of manure and throat of the pigeons on parasitic infections.