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Re: Polyoma question/ to Fran

Posted by Debbie on 2/25/06
(14) Comments

    If I get a chance when Dr. Scott Macdonald (vet) comes to our town
    again I will ask him his advice on this. I havent heard of it too
    much until this year and with only this one person. This breeder has
    bought so many birds from so many different places and started
    raising/hand feeding lots and lots of babies so something was due to
    happen but this is my own opinion. I just got over worried I guess
    but its good to check into different things once in a while just to
    make sure.

    On 2/24/06, Michael L wrote:
    > On 2/24/06, Fran wrote:
    >> Michael, what is your opinion on vaccinating pet birds? My
    > previous avian vet and
    >> current one differ 180 degrees on this issue. Previous vet said
    > vaccine was not necessary
    >> for pet birds in a non-breeding home. Said the vaccine could pose
    > more risk than
    >> necessary, mainly by adverse reaction at injection site.
    >> On the opposite side, my current avian vet (both of these are
    > Avian certified and tops in
    >> their field) feels EVERY bird should be vaccinated. He feels that
    > an owner could bring the
    >> virus in on their clothes or shoes after visiting babies in a pet
    > store, etc. He even goes
    >> so far as to not board birds if not vaccinated. I am on the
    > fence. I have thought I may
    >> need to go ahead and get my birds vaccinated in case I need to
    > board them. What are
    >> your general thoughts on this issue?
    > Fran,
    > I can understand your dilemma concerning vaccinating, but maybe
    > this will lend more clarity on the issue.
    > I don't know if you're aware or not, but Polyoma is usually a
    > disease that primarily affects newly weaned birds or very young
    > birds. It is not a virus that attacks healthy, adult birds as a
    > rule as their immune systems are more resistant. Certainly there
    > can be exceptions, let's say, for immunocompromised, or very old
    > birds, but this is a rarity.
    > My avian vet was not recommending, nor in favor of doing it. He
    > felt that preventative measures were sufficient rather than
    > vaccinating chicks. The jury is still out on whether or not this
    > vaccine is 100 percent effective, although the manufacturer will
    > tell you that it is.
    > While he wasn't encouraging it, he did order in for me the vaccine
    > so that I could vaccinate my baby birds.
    > I did investigate what side effects there might be when doing this
    > and basically came up with little that I would consider major
    > concerns. At the injection site, the serum gathers and forms a
    > small "bubble or ball" under the skin. This dissipates within
    > minutes of giving the vaccine. Possible there is a chance that it
    > wouldn't, but I've not encountered that. Also, the vaccine is
    > a "killed" or inactive vaccine so it doesn't contain live Polyoma
    > virus so that risk is eliminated.
    > The reason I decided to do it was that I do have exposure to other
    > people's birds when I go to a pet store, bird fair or some other
    > place that birds may be present.
    > I do practice sensible hygiene when I come home and will remove my
    > clothing in the basement and take a quick shower to lessen the
    > chances of me bringing anything home to my flock, not just Polyoma.
    > Also, when my baby birds go to new homes, they do so at a young
    > and I want them to be as "protected" as they can be when they
    > me. I know how I operate in my own home, but can't attest to
    > someone else's situation.
    > My adult birds are not vaccinated, but all have been tested. And
    > this doesn't guarantee anything, as some birds will not test
    > positive if they are not actively shedding a virus even though
    > carry it.
    > I don't know if this helps or not, but it's all I know on the
    > subject.
    > Michael L