Pigeon Diseases

Due to their diet or the water they drink, these birds can have diseases that can be transmitted not only to each other, but also to humans.
Pigeon diseases

They are defined as rats with wings and also as a symbol of peace. Pigeons are loved or hated birds, without much compromise. Considered pests in many cities, they are accused of transmitting various diseases to humans. But this time we want to focus on the diseases that only affect them.

Main diseases affecting pigeons

Like many animals,  columbids  can be affected by viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites  and can also suffer from various non-infectious diseases.

If you are dealing with pigeon-raised animals, in many cases, various medications can be administered to treat them. However, prevention is essential, through vaccines, vitamins and medication, and also through the maintenance of proper hygiene.

Some of the typical diseases of pigeons:


It is estimated that up to 80% of adult pigeons coexist in equilibrium with the protozoan causing this parasitic disease. But in pigeons or animals with low defenses, it can be fatal.

Individuals affected by trichomoniasis show the following signs:

  • Apathy
  • bristly plumage
  • slimy diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • intense thirst
  • slimming
  • breathing difficulties

The disease can be acquired through ingestion of contaminated water or because birds eat food vomited by infected pigeons. The contagion occurs through the food regurgitated by these birds, which can also contaminate the  nest  and, thus, infect the chicks. Parasites can also affect the internal organs in a generalized way.

urban pigeons


It is an infection with a high mortality rate. Affected individuals start drinking more water and eating less. They lose weight a lot and feces are thin. As the days go by, animals begin to develop nervous disorders. Between them:

  • Uncontrolled movements of the body and balance problems  (walking and falling, turning or walking backwards)
  • Difficulty pecking the grains, the optic nerve is affected (in some cases, it will be necessary to feed the animal with a syringe)
  • Torticollis
  • Convulsions
  • Paralysis of wings and legs

The disease is transmitted through direct contact with infected birds, through ocular, respiratory and digestive secretions. The contagion can also occur indirectly, through the remains of  feathers, food, water or contact of pigeons with contaminated places.

Salmonellosis (Paratyphosis)

This bacterial infection of the intestine mainly affects pigeons and young birds, causing premature death. But pigeons that heal can become carriers and transmit the disease through the shell of the eggs they lay when they reach adulthood. Affected specimens may have:

  • Stool with a viscous and greenish consistency
  • Lubricated Cloaca
  • slimming
  • short breath
  • general weakness
  • fallen wings

sick pigeon

Organs such as the liver, kidney and spleen can be affected. It also attacks the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of balance, paralysis and stiff neck. It is transmitted through food and water or through the inhalation of contaminated dust. And, if the contact with the human is very close, it can infect him.

Respiratory infection

Among the diseases that pigeons suffer is also respiratory infection, which is very common between autumn and early spring. It is an acute infection that  is linked to factors such as cold, humidity, overcrowding and the stress caused by fights. And also due to the lack of vitamin A. It produces:

  • sneezing
  • A watery  runny nose (runny nose) that becomes sticky and purulent
  • Difficulty breathing, the animal will keep its  beak open

In some cases, there is tearing in both eyes, accompanied by swelling of the tear sacs. Specimens that are cured become carriers and transmit the infection to other pigeons.

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