Choosing the Right Vet for Your Pet

4 Things Bird Owners Need To Know About Exotic Newcastle Disease

Exotic Newcastle disease, also known as viscerotropic velogenic Newcastle disease, is a serious viral disease that affects most bird species. Here are four things you need to know about exotic Newcastle disease.

How do birds contract the virus?

The virus responsible for exotic Newcastle disease spreads in many ways. Birds can get sick through direct contact with infected birds, but the virus can also spread through the air, through food and water that are contaminated with feces, or through contaminated surfaces, like cages or toys.  

What are the symptoms of exotic Newcastle disease?

Exotic Newcastle disease can lead to symptoms like depression, weight loss, bright yellow-green diarrhea, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). In more severe cases, the wings and legs become paralyzed.

Can it be treated?

Exotic Newcastle disease can't be cured. Symptomatic treatments are possible, but since the disease is incurable, these treatments generally aren't advised. Since this disease poses a major threat to both the poultry industry and to other peoples' pet birds, infected birds need to be euthanized and then cremated, as do any other birds that came into contact with the infected bird. Afterward, your vet will need to report the disease to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

How can you protect your birds?

Since this disease can't be cured, it's very important to protect your birds from the infection. To keep your birds from getting this disease, quarantine any new pet birds that you bring home. They should be quarantined for at least 60 days, and if they aren't showing any symptoms after this quarantine period, you can introduce them to your other birds.

Most outbreaks of this disease are linked to birds that are smuggled into the United States from Central America, so by avoiding these smuggled birds, you can keep your pets safe. When purchasing new birds, make sure to always choose reputable breeders and pet stores, and avoid buying from breeders who are offering a large number of birds or very low prices. Reputable suppliers can also provide certification that their birds are either legally imported or bred in the United States.

You should also keep visitors away from your birds, especially visitors who have their own pet birds or who raise chickens or other poultry. It's also important to avoid touching other people's birds, as you could bring exotic Newcastle disease home to your own pets.

Exotic Newcastle disease is untreatable, so prevention is key. If you need more advice about keeping your birds safe, talk to your veterinarian or a professional like those at Honolulu Pet Clinic LLC The.