Avian Cholera

Submitted by Richard Wolfe on 10/9/05 at 12:10 AM. ( )

For your reading enjoyment,...
I found this in my references from the stack of Fish Disease Courses I took in college.
Taken from the Manual of Common Wildlife Diseases:(1981)
Avian cholera is a contagious pathogenic disease of most wild and domestic birds caused by the bacteria PASTURELLA MULTOCIDA. Avian cholera was first confirmed in the USA in 1944 and has been a major waterfowl mortality factory since. To date, only three enzootic avian cholera area exists in the world---the Muleshore National Wildlife Refuge in Texas, North Central California and the rainwater basin in Nebraska. Colorado has experienced only a few small outbreaks of avian cholera.

Sudden large winter die-offs of waterfowl in good body condition associated with necropsy findings of pinpoint hemorrhages in the heart adipose (fatty) tissue and multiple small white focal necrosis in the liver (dead tissues) are suggestive of avian cholera. When such conditions are observed, laboratory personnel should be notified immediately.

Transmission of avian cholera in the wild is unkown, however, both inhalation and ingestion have been suggested. It is generally agreed that there are carrier birds. Rodents and other birds----such as hawks, crows, gulls,etc have also been implicated.

The use of drugs to control avian cholera in wild waterfowl is generally considered futile. When outbreaks of avian cholera occur every means possible should be employed to stem its spread. CARCASS MUST BE COLLECTED AND BURNED DAILY.
Probably the best defense against avian cholera is the early detection, diagnosis and cleanup of the problem.

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