Much to our regret, birds are not exempt from ailments and diseases, in fact, they are as fragile as any human being or other species. If you have a bird like the lovebird as a pet, you should know that they can suffer from some diseases that affect their wings and beaks. Do you know the PBFD virus? In this article we treat the disease, its characteristics, its causes and the way to treat it.

What is the PBFD virus in lovebirds?

Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) is a contagious and deadly viral condition that affects the beak, feathers, and immune system of birds belonging to the Psittacidae family, such as they are the macaws, the parrots, parrots or lovebirds.

It was a disease first recognized in 1975 by Australian veterinarians, where it affected many exotic birds. Although all birds exposed to the virus usually end up dying, some are known to only develop a mild infection and eventually recover.

What are the birds at risk of PBFD?

More than 40 species of Psittacidae are known to have suffered from this virus, but it is mainly found in parrots, cockatoos, lovebirds, parakeets, African gray parrots and lovebirds. Younger birds are usually more affected, with symptoms of the disease noted in members of some species less than 2 years old.

What is the cause of PBFD?

PBFD is caused by a DNA condition that directly affects cells of the immune system and those found in the bird’s beak and feathers. It is a circovirus, which are some of the smallest microbes known to cause disease. In fact, a very similar virus also attacks pigeons and other birds.

How is the virus that causes PBFD transmitted in lovebirds?

The PBFD virus is very contagious. There are large amounts of this virus, which can be transmitted through the air, in infected feces, crops and feather dust. Specifically, feather dust is very easily dispersed and can contaminate food, making it very easy for a bird such as the lovebird to become infected through the water it drinks, its cage, people’s clothing, etc. Until now, the disease is thought to be contracted through direct inhalation or ingestion of the virus, including that it is transmissible in the uterus, from the bird to the eggs.

Its incubation period, where the bird is exposed and after the virus symptoms develop, can be from 3 to 4 weeks, up to years, depending on the amount of viral load transmitted, the age of the bird and the stage in Let their feathers be found. thus the health of your immune system.

Symptoms of PBFD in lovebirds

The PBFD virus can be found in its acute and conical form. The acute form occurs most frequently in young birds, and may start with symptoms unrelated to the beak or feathers. Usually signs of sadness and depression appear, they regurgitate more than normal, they can develop enteritis or pneumonia, diarrhea, they can even die without showing symptoms in their feathers or beak. But, in cases where the disease does manifest in beaks and feathers, we can find injuries, loose feathers, others bleeding, and general pain in the area.

PBFD in its chronic form, unlike its acute form, usually appears in older birds. The feathers become fragile, they fracture very easily, they suffer hemorrhages, the colors of the feathers fade, deform, curl … As the bird’s follicles are damaged, the bird cannot replace the feathers, losing the primaries, secondary and even those of the tail and the crest. The beak can develop sunken and irregular areas, reaching find necrotic areas inside or deform. Sometimes, nails can also become infected, deformed, or come off.

Mucus may appear in the stool or a green tint. This happens because the liver is sometimes affected. If liver failure occurs it may cause death. Still, birds with chronic PBFD can generally live for years, although their quality of life is seriously impaired.

How to treat PBFD in lovebirds

Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment to cure PBFD. But recovery can be supported with good nutrition, supplemental heat (like an incubator), trimming the spike, and treatment for secondary infections. PBFD disease in lovebirds is progressive, and birds may rarely recover fully.

Do you have a lovebird at home? Do you think I may be suffering from this disease? Do not hesitate any longer and make an appointment at our veterinary hospital; We will carry out the relevant tests on your pet to rule out diseases and take care of their health.