Oral Canker (Avian Trichomonosis) is caused by a protozoan parasite (trichomonas gallinae) commonly found in pigeons and doves.
- Yellow cheese-like plaques on the roof of the mouth, inside the beak and sometimes spreading to the oesophagus (Figure 1).
- Birds may have difficulty swallowing.
- Food and water intake may drop.
- Lethargy and weight loss may be noticed.
- Birds may have difficulty closing their beaks (Figure 2).
- The Trichomonas protozoa is extremely common in wild pigeons and doves with 80-90% being carriers.
- Pigeons feeding or drinking from hen feeders easily spreads the parasite.
- Isolate the bird and provide easy access to food and water.
- You will need to seek veterinary advice for an appropriate treatment.
- Home remedies include:
- Garlic extract – 200mg/kg body weight daily.
- Apple Cider vinegar in drinking water may help (15ml per 4 litres monthly).
- Do not allow hens to drink from the same water source as pigeons and doves, this is the main way that Trichomonas is spread.
- Restrict wild bird access to feeding areas.
- Routinely clean feeders and drinkers.
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