“One eyed cold” or Ornithosis is caused by a bacterial like organism called Chlamydia.
Ornithosis is one of the most common respiratory infections found in pigeons. It is often confused with Mycoplasmosis. Ornithosis causes severe respiratory disease in pigeons and usually starts as a mild inflammation in the one eye. It may progress to severe lung disease and death or may stay as a mild disease suppressing racing performance. It is transmitted via the eggs and may cause early death of babies. It may also cause serious disease in humans.
Ornithosis is difficult to treat and treatment must be continued for at least 10 to 20 days. Doxycycline is still the safest and by far the most effective treatment. It is recommended that all racing pigeons be treated eight weeks before the training tosses for 20 days continuously. Treatment must be repeated in mid season for 10 days. Resistance to treatment is increasing and therefore it is extremely important to use the correct newer high dose treatment regime. Pigeon products containing Doxycycline should contain 5% Doxycycline when used at 5 grams per liter of drinking water. By combining Doxycycline with Bromhexine for the first 5 days the treatment is improved. If its is suspected that pigeons also suffer from Mycoplasmosis combined treatment with Doxycycline and Spiramycin may be done for the first 7 days.