LUBARP: Vomiting

The Liverpool University Budgerigar Ailment Research Project, sponsored by the Lancashire, Cheshire and North Wales including the Isle of Man Budgerigar Society, was started in 1984 and ran for 8 years.

1985-6 was the year of vomiting budgies. Birds actually being sick or or trying to vomit were noticed by a number of fanciers as being a common problem. As with ‘going light’ the fancy came up trumps and provided large numbers of birds for post-mortem investigation. This showed that affected birds had a disease of the oesophagus (gullet) and crop which were inflamed and partly obstructed and that this was producing the symptoms.

After a number of false leads this disease was found to be due to a minute parasite called Trichomonas gallinae. A number of treatments were already available for this condition in pigeons and one of these in particular (Emtryl soluble) was adapted to budgerigars and was shown to be highly effective in curing this condition and eliminating the disease from studs.

The only major problem was that some fanciers would just not believe that the minute amount of the drug needed was enough and as a result they massively overdosed. More than one fancier almost wiped out their entire stud due to the toxic effects of very large doses. The moral of this is always use in accordance with the vet’s instructions or follow the manufacturer’s information to the letter.

Original text Copyright 1986, Dr John R Baker

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