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Re: Polyoma question/Michael L.

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

    >> 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
    > age
    >> and I want them to be as "protected" as they can be when they
    > leave
    >> 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
    > they
    >> carry it.
    >> I don't know if this helps or not, but it's all I know on the
    >> subject.
    >> Michael L

    Michael, thank you for your in depth response. It did clear up many items for me. Let me ask
    you this. Can an adult, otherwise healthy bird be a carrier of polyoma, not actually sick but
    able to transfer the virus to a baby bird?