18 Friday January 2019
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Aspergillosis:

     

 

Aspergillosis is a fungal disease that primarily affects the avian respiratory apparatus, including lungs, air sacs and syrinx and occasionally the CNS.

The causative organism is usually aspergillus fumigatus, although asp. Flavus and asp niger infection also occur.

Aspergillus is an opportunistic infection influenced by environmental hygienic factors and the animal’s resistence to infection.

Clinical signs vary with the extension and location of the infection.

Change in the voice, inability to vocalize or respiratory noises, can be heard when the lesion involves the airways, especially the syrinx, also severe dyspnea can be noted if the lesion is big enough to obstruct the trachea or primary bronchi.

In great number of cases, there are no specific signs, and weigh loss, muscle wasting, anorexia, diarrhea, vomiting, polyuria and depression or lethargy are observed. Green coloration in urates can be seen and hepatomegaly when the liver is involved.

If lungs or air sacs are involved ,depression , dyspnea, tachypnea or exercise intolerance can be seen.

Causes:

Because fungi are ubiquitous and proliferate rapidly in moist and warm condition on suitable organic substrates, keep falcons inside of poor aviary conditions such as those that foster excess humidity or extreme dryness combined with poor ventilation are most likely to result in high concentration of airborne aspergillus spores than can invade and infect a bird’s respiratory system.

Also birds having undergone recent changes in managements, will experience stress related immnunosuppression that increase susceptibility to aspergillus’s.

Prevention:

Aspergillus genus is an opportunistic pathogen, therefore every attempt should be made to reduce predisposing immunosuppressive factors such stress and malnutrition, good management and maintenance of adequate body conditions, even during hunting season, will go far towards minimizing the risk of aspergillus’s in falcons.

To avoid inhalation of a large number of spores, birds should be housed in a well ventilated area.

Treatment:

Treatment of aspergillus’s is always difficult and success is possible only if therapy is instituted early in the disease process.

Advanced cases presenting with emaciation and dyspnea are no longer likely to respond to treatment.

Treatment of aspergillus’s includes the use of one or more systemic antifungal agents.

Also important during treatment are supportive measures designed to strengthen the animal and boost its immune system.

Any underlying stress factors than may have contributed to the development of aspergillus’s should be addressed.