Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD) In Parrots

Formerly known as macaw wasting syndrome, Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD) is a potentially fatal disease which can affect any species of parrot. As a parrot owner, it's important to know and understand the symptoms of PDD. Only then will you be able to provide care for your parrot in the event they contract this dangerous disease. For more information on PDD, keep reading.

PDD was first discovered in 1978 by esteemed bird veterinarian Dr. Hannis L. Stoddard. At the time, the cause of PDD was believed to be from an infectious organism or parasite. In 2008, however, University of California researchers identified the Avian Bornovirus (ABV), which they now believe to be the cause of PDD. If a parrot contracts ABV, unfortunately there's a good chance they will develop PDD.

Although veterinarians and researchers have identified PDD in over 50 different parrot species, some species are more susceptible to this disease than others. Amazon parrots, Macaws, African Greys, cockatoos, Eclectus parrots and conures are at a greater risk for developing PDD. In addition, parrots are more susceptible to PDD between the ages of 2 and 4 years of age.

PDD affects parrots in a few different ways, one of which is an intestinal disorder. Parrots suffering from PDD may stop eating, spit up their food, experience irregular bowel movements, and have exceptionally watery poop. PDD is known to gradually damage the host's intestinal lining, creating a wide variety of unpleasant symptoms for the parrot. Also, some parrots may experience neurological problems associated with PDD as well, such as lethargy, behavioral changes, etc.

Diagnosis of PDD is done through radiographs and tissue samples. If you believe your parrot is suffering from PDD, take them to an avian veterinarian who's familiar with PDD. A radiograph is generally the preferred method of diagnosis simply because it's less invasive than a tissue sample. The Avian Bornovirus, which is now believed to cause PDD, can be identified through fecal and blood tests. Several veterinarians are now testing for the Avian Bornovirus to help diagnose PDD in parrots; however, it's important to note that the presence of the Avian Bornovirus is not a clear indication as to whether or not they parrot is suffering from PDD.

Unfortunately, there's currently no cure for PDD. By identifying the disease early, though, owners and their veterinarians can treat some of the unpleasant symptoms associated with this disease. If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, talk with your veterinarian for a more professional and thorough investigation.

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