DTI001 18_10_17

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Has canary pox killed off my stud of Fifes?

Brian Keenan does not think canary pox has caused the deaths of R.H.’s Fife canaries

THIS is my second season keeping and breeding Fife canaries. I also keep zebra and Bengalesefinches. After a reasonable breeding season, I settled down to allow the canaries to moult. Then my birds contracted what I now believe to be canary pox.

When I started to lose birds, I treated them first with Coxoid then with Ivermectin. None of these worked and research I carried out online pointed to a virus known as canary pox. As far as I am aware, there is no known cure. I’ve lost two thirds of my stock. The birds are now receiving colliodial silver in their water and at present I haven’t lost any more this week. My problem now is that I have read that some of the survivingbirds may be carriers. I’d like to know:

■ Will it transfer to any young they have next season?
■ Can I show any of these birds at a later date without endangering other birds?
■ If I restock, will the new stock become infected?
■ As a last resort, if I have to dispose of the remaining birds, how do I stop it happening again? People in the trade and in my club don’t know the answers.

The finches I keep with the canaries have not been affected. R.H., via email. Brian Keenan, chairman of Liverpool & District YCC, replies: It is extremely unlikely that you have encountered canary pox in your birdroom in the UK, as it’s almost unheard of here.

You would’ve had to import some birds for canary pox to take hold in your birdroom. It is very virulent, so it would wipe out your entire flock within a very short period.

The fact that this has not happened again points to something else. Canary pox can be guarded against quite easily, and many serious Continental breeders usuallyinoculate against the disease, usingthe wing butt area before the bird moults. The treatment is obtainable from vets.

You do not include sufficient information to provide an opinion of the nature of the disease afflicting your birds. It may well be beyond the point when your birds can be helped, but you should not delay any further and visit a qualified avian veterinarian for professional help and advice.

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