PBFD, PDD, and Polyoma virus
It is not always possible to know HOW a bird has been infected with one of the “P” diseases (PBFD, PDD, Polyoma virus). As long as pet owners frequent pet stores or take birds to vets, they will NOT be able to completely protect their young birds from these diseases. The potential for transmission of these viral diseases DOES exist when anyone visits a pet store. bird mart, veterinary clinic or a friend with birds!
Pet owners who purchase food from pet stores from open bins, or purchase toys that are not packaged in the manufacturer’s packaging, or purchase spiral boings or perches that they do not properly disinfect before use, are potentially bringing diseases to their birds, especially immature birds. (Disinfection of equipment: Place a washed, cleaned and rinsed item in a solution of 1/2 cup bleach to one gallon of water and soak the item for at least ten minutes. Then rinse well and let air dry and it is ready for use.)
Pet owners may expose their birds to these diseases if they take their birds to pet shops for wing clips where the store staffers do NOT keep the clipping tools in a strong medical disinfectant such as Wavicide (certainly not in a Nolvasan solution!!!), and where staffers do not disinfect the surface on which they place the bird for the wing clip. Pet owners who handle young birds at the pet store and go home and handle their immature pet CAN deliver viral diseases to that bird EVEN IF they have washed their hands…because viral particles can be carried on clothing, hair, shoes, etc. and brought into the home environment.
Regarding veterinary hospitals or clinics. I would definitely recommend that a person with an immature bird (under 2 years of age for medium sized or large parrots), arrange to have the FIRST appointment of the day with a vet. This way they are less likely to go into an exam room that has been visited by a person with a parrot sick with a viral disease which has left some viral particles in that environment, on the vet’s lab coat, or simply floating in the air.
Pet owners who take their immature birds to bird club meetings may be exposing their bird to the three “P” diseases…and also to the fourth “P” disease …psittacosis.
Knowledge of diseases and following appropriate prevention practices is the key to maintaining good health for our birds. Knowledge should be based on scientific facts, not rumors or speculations or guesses. Research the facts about HOW a disease is contracted. Do not assume. Ask questions if you want more information. Ask your vet. Ask your breeder. Do research on the internet. Taking proper preventative measures will make all the difference for your bird’s health and for your peace of mind.