Endoparasites (worms)

Cause:
The most common worm infestations in pigeons are Roundworm, Hairworm, Tapeworm and Lungworm.

Symptoms:
Hairworms are blood sucking worms that cause enteritis and severe anemia in babies. In adult birds they will severely affect racing and breeding performance by causing mild anemia. Roundworms cause stunted growth and emaciation in babies. When found in large numbers they may obstruct the intestines and cause death. They will negatively affect racing and breeding performance in adults. Lungworms cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms and affect racing performance negatively. Pigeons may gape and even sneeze when infested. Tapeworms may cause general mild weakness and poor growth in babies. Severe infestation in adults will affect performance and is an indication of poor husbandry.     

Diagnosis:
Faecal flotation (testing for worm eggs under the microscope) will reveal the Hairworm, Roundworm and Lungworm eggs. Visual inspection of droppings will reveal the typical small pinhead grey pink Tapeworm packets (proglotids).

Hairworm egg
Roundworm egg
Lungworm egg
Tapeworm

Treatment:
Treat every 8 weeks with a pigeon specific broad spectrum combination dewormer containing Pyrantel, Febantal, Levamisole, Ivermectin and Praziquantel. Alternate products to prevent resistance. (Do not use sheep and cattle products).