Candida are colonies of single, oval cells which bud and in some circumstances develop into chains or hyphae. They most frequently attack the epithelium of the crop. The infection can be induced by prolonged use of antibiotics, such as the tetracyclines, in the drinking water. NYSTATIN or MYCOSTATIN (different brand names) are mainly used today. Some breeders have found that one tablespoon of Epson Salts in a cup of drinking water for 2 or 3 days does the trick but only in mild cases. For more information of digestive problems including crop problems see the Digestive System and scroll down to read "THE OESOPHAGUS & CROP".

CLINICAL SIGNS: The chief signs of infection of the alimentary tract are unthriftiness, listlessness and a bedraggled appearance, young birds being most prone to the disease. Patches of raised, whitish, dead epithelial material are occasionally seen in the mouth and these can easily be scraped off the mucous membrane. In this situation the lesions may affect the breathing. The crop and oesophagus are the main sites of the lesions. Less frequently, the epithelium of the proventriculus is affected and sometimes the yeasts are found in the intestinal tract. Occasionally regurgitation of food and loose droppings may occur. Diarrhoea is more likely to result from some concurrent gut infection and vomiting is more likely to be associated with unsuitable food, gut obstruction or bacterial, parasitic infestation of the alimentary tract. Pox infection may be confused with candidiasis in pigeons, but laboratory identification of the fungus will clinch the diagnosis.

TREATMENT AND PREVENTION: Prevention is largely a matter of good hygiene and management. Stale food, dirty premises, overcrowding and allowing water to slop over food or litter, all contribute to the build-up of an epidemic in young stock. In well-kept premises, however, the infection should never be a serious worry. Few treatments have appreciable effect, although powdered nystatin, or mycostatin by mouth or copper sulphate in the drinking water or Epson salts have sometimes appeared to be effective. Dimetridazole also appears helpful especially in pigeons, probably because it prevents secondary infection by trichomonads. It is possible that certain nutritional deficiencies, especially of the vitamin B complex, may be predisposing causes of the disease.

The yeast or sour crop infection (fungus disease) can usually be caused by stale/moldy food, dirty premises, overcrowding and allowing water to slop over food or litter. Unsanitary housing conditions is the main cause of this disease and cleanliness is the main preventative. Birds with this disease usually look sick and listlessness and diarrhea is often present. Moldy growths in corners of cages and under drinking containers should not be tolerated. This disease can be introduced by already infected birds or moldy foods. It is possible that lack of the vitamin B complex may be predisposing causes of these diseases but has not been fully proven.

E-Mail: berniehansen@sympatico.ca



Hamilton & District Budgerigar Society Inc.