Tampa Animal and Bird Hospital

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Should birds get vaccinations?

Q: Should birds get vaccinations?  I’ve read some research about how polyoma typically attacks only baby birds and immunocompromised birds.  That it is unnecessary if not possibly harmful to give polyoma vaccines to healthy adult birds.  Your opinion?

A: You are correct that adult, healthy birds rarely die from infection with polyoma virus.  They may show signs of lethargy, but they are generally able to fight off the disease.  Disease and death may occur in adult birds that are co-infected with other viruses, particularly Beak and Feather Disease Virus (circovirus).

It is very important that breeding birds and young chicks be protected against polyomavirus through appropriate vaccination.  There is little risk to the routine use of the vaccine in adult pet birds; however I do not generally recommend it’s use.  The most important part of the healthcare of our pet birds is routine (every 6-12 month) physical exams and appropriate labwork.  Dr Peter Helmer is our board certified avian doctor and would be happy to see you and your pet.  You can call anytime at 813 885 4477.

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