21 Sunday July 2019
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Avian Pox:

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Cause:

Raptor pox is a disease caused by a virus belonging to the avipox group. Mosquitoes are common mechanical vectors or transmitters of this disease.

Avian pox is transmitted when a mosquito feeds on an infected bird that has viremia or pox virus circulating in its blood, or when a mosquito feeds on virus-laden secretions seeping from a pox lesion and then feeds on another bird that is susceptible to that strain of virus.

Clinical disease:

The course of the disease is influenced by the virulence of the strain, the mode of infection and the resistance of the bird.

Avian pox has two disease forms. The most common form is cutaneous and it consists of warty nodules that develop on the featherless parts of the bird (feet and eyelids, the commissures of the mouth and the cere will be affected).

This form of the disease is usually self-limiting; the lesions regress and leave minor
scars. However, these nodules can become enlarged and clustered ,thus causing sight and breathing impairment and feeding difficulty .

Secondary bacterial and other infections are common with this form of the disease, and these infections can contribute to bird mortality. Birds that survive the cutaneous form of poxvirus are often left with permanent scars.

Abnormal talons lacking keratin sheaths can result from infections involving the base of the claw. Scar tissue involving the palpebrae and periorbital skin can cause eyelid constrictions or closure of the palpebral fissure, impairing vision.

The internal form of disease is referred to as wet pox and it is primarily a problem of young chickens and turkeys and is rarely seen in raptors.. This diphtheritic form appears as moist, necrotic lesions on the mucus membranes of the mouth and upper digestive and respiratory tracts.

Birds affected in this way are in danger of asphyxiation if these pseudomembranous deposits expand to obstruct the airways.

Treatment:

The viral infection itself cannot be treated. Supportive care including broad spectrum antibacterial and antifungal therapy will help prevent or treat any secondary skin infection.

Topical treatment of pox lesion with different products as iodo, merthiolate tincture, acid salicylic are used. Also the utilization of thermic coagulation of early pox lesion and supplementation with vitamin a to promote epithelial regeneration may be helpful.

Prevention:

A varied and nutritional complete diet will do much to keep birds healthy and immunologically strong, improving their ability to resist infection and disease.

If a bird begins to show clinical sings of avian pox, it should be immediately separated from uninfected birds. Secure insect netting for aviaries and breeding chamber is especially important during mosquito season.

Vaccination is the best form to prevent avianpox disease, but falcon pox continues to be a problem, especially in Arab countries.