Common Health Problems

The seven most common health problems with our pigeons are: 
Paratyphoid, Paramyxovirus, Canker, Cocci, Worms, Adeno-Coli Syndrome and Ornithosis.

Paratyphoid can be caused by un-sanitary conditions and the contamination of the feed by rodents. It can also occur when introducing new pigeons into the loft without checking first to see if they are healthy. Before putting new pigeons into the loft, isolate and observe them for 5 days and put them on preventative medication. 

 Symptoms  Products for Prevention and Cure
Loss of condition and weight Furaltadone & Colistine (DAC)
Green slimy droppings Trimethoprim-Sulfa (DAC)
Swelling of the leg and wing joints  Parastop (DeWeerd)
Infertile eggs
Twisted neck (uncommon)
One eye blindness (uncommon)


To prevent Paramyxovirus (PMV) from coming into your loft it is recommended that all birds are vaccinated at least once a year. Young birds should be vaccinated at 4 to 8 weeks of age, but not later that 4 weeks before the young bird race season. Re-vaccinate all birds 4 weeks before racing season. Once a pigeon has PMV these is very little you can do, vaccinating at this point will not do any good. We reccomend that those pigeons that have the disease are treated with La-Sota, that has shown some success. This can be done individually by putting a drop in each eye for three days, or putting it in the drinking water for flock treatment. *NOTE: if a visible PMV problem occurs, you may try the following remedy. This was recommended by several of the leading pigeon veterinarians in Holland and Belgium. Vaccinate the effected pigeon 3x in one week, with PMV-1 killed virus vaccine, 0.5cc per shot in the neck, on Sunday, Wednesday, and Sunday. After treatment, keep pigeon isolated for an additional week to make sure all symptoms are gone. Remember that the bird will always remain a carrier.

 Symptoms  Products for Prevention or Cure
Loss of weight PMV1 Vaccine
Watery green slimy droppings LaSota
Twisting of neck and head


Canker (Trichomoniasis)

 Symptoms Products for Cure

Yellow cheesy substance, generally

seen in the mouth, however only 10%

of Canker is external with 90% of it being

internal. It is caused by a flagellate, living

on the mucous membranes of the throat and the 

crop. Creates bad smell from the throat.

Ronidazole (Ridzol) (DAC)

Metronidazole (Flagyl) (DAC)

B.S. (DeWeerd)

Multi-Mix (Global)


Cocci (Coccidiosis)

 Symptoms Products for Cure
Loss of weight Multi-Mix (Global)
Slimy dark green droppings Dacoxine 4-in-1 (DAC)
Lethargic Trimethoprim/Sulfa (DAC)
Poor flying


The cause of Worms is generally un-sanitary loft conditions or letting the pigeons peck around on the ground. They will maintain their appetite as the worms consume most nutrition in the pigeons system.

 Symptoms Products for Cure
Loss of condition Multi-mix (Global)
Loss of weight Combi-worm  (ALL worms) (Global)
Bad droppings Belga-Wormac (Hair and Roundworms) (DeWeerd)
Wormmix (Hair and Roundworms) (DAC)


Over 50% of of young birds have problems with the Ornithosis complex. Loss of desire to fly, loss of pigeons in the race and poor results, both with old and young birds. 

 Symptoms  Products for Cure
Lack of condition Respiratory Plus (Global)
Nasal secretions 1+1 Cure (DAC)
Decreased desire to fly Spiradac (DAC)
Scratching the head and beak Tylosine (DAC)
Swollen eye lids and wet eyes Belga-Fox (DeWeerd)
Sneezing, rattling and coughing Orni-Special (DeWeerd)
Discolored wattles Ornithosis 3 (DeWeerd)
Slime in the throat


In the last 10 years Adeno-Coli Syndrome has been the biggest problem in young birds from 6-9 months of age. Up to 70% can be infected and show the symptoms. The disease is a combination of an Adeno-Virus, which opens the way for the suddenly aggressive E-Coli bacteria, often a Circo Virus is also involved. The same symptoms can be seen in Paramyxovirus, however in that case pigeons drink more and may have some central nervous problems, like twisting of the head. Although there is no known cure for Adeno and Circo Virus several of the products listed below have proven somewhat effective. 

 Symptoms Products for Cure
Decreased appetite Belg-Amco (DeWeerd)

Clear watery droppings with

small fecal matter in center.

4-in-1 Mix (DeWeerd)

Cobel (DeWeerd)


Dacoxine (DAC)

Rapid weight loss

*To prevent dehydration it is 

recommended that Belgasol is used 

in combination with the 4-in-1 Mix


Although the below listed problem is not common, it can occur when certain conditions are right, it should not be overlooked as it is generally done.

When problems occur in the loft the first thing a fancier looks for is signs of the more common problems like Canker, Cocci, Worms, Paratyphoid, Respiratory, Ornithosis, Adeno Virus or E-Coli. Many will quickly grab for a medication and do what we call "blind" medicating for these diseases in a very short time. This can cause a condition called Candida, which is a mould and yeast infection of the crop and the intestines 

 Symptoms Products for Cure
Loss of condition Glostatin (Global)
No desire to fly around loft
Poor performance in races
Losses in training and races