Beware Summer Trich

No, the title to this blog is not a mis type.  It is not trick…but trich, sometimes known as canker that we are talking about. This disease can spread rapidly through a bird population. The following information is also in our newsletter – Bird Tracks – and was written by Nancy, the Director of East Valley Wildlife.

Doves and pigeons are susceptible to a disease called Trichomoniasis (Trich) or “canker”.  It affects the sinuses, mouth, throat, esophagus, and crop causing a growth that looks like cottage cheese.  If caught early, a medication called Spartrex will stop and dry up these cankers and the bird can recover.  If left untreated, the canker will block the mouth and throat and the bird is unable to eat.

Trich is spread through the saliva and fecal matter.  Parent birds with trich will pass it on to the babies.  If an infected bird drinks from a water source or spits out a seed it cannot swallow, the organism is passed on to other birds.

          A bird with trich will stop eating and become emaciated.  In later stages, the bird will be unable to close it’s mouth and slimy drool may be visible. 

          With flocks of wild pigeons or doves, it is difficult to control trich in a backyard setting.  Keeping water sources such as birdbaths cleaned daily and washed with bleach can help.  If you are able to catch a downed bird, bring it to a rehabber for treatment.

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