Giardia - This zoonotic, single-celled, intestinal, protozoan
parasite can cause disease in birds, dogs, cats, humans, and other
animals. This parasite exists in two forms, trophozoite and cysts
traphozoite is the active form which moves by means of hair like
structures known as flagella. These trophozoites use a small sucking
disk to attach them selves to the surface of the villi, (finger-like
projections in the small intestines). The second dormant form
is called a cyst. Cysts as well as trophozoites are intermittently
shed in the feces from an infected bird. The environmentally stable
cysts can survive become a source of infection to other hosts.
Trophozoits are unstable outside the host presenting them with
less of an opportunity to infect another host.
all birds are susceptible to Giardia infections most at risk are
cockatiels, budgerigars, lovebirds, and Grey-cheeked parakeets.
Transmission occurs when cysts and or trophozoites are released
in the feces of an infected bird. Asymptomatic birds may intermittently
shed the cysts in their feces serving as a continuos source of
infection for other birds. Transmission occurs when these cysts
and or trophozoites are ingested from food or water contaminate
other possible hosts. Certain insects such as flies and cockroaches
may serve as carriers of the cysts, and transmit from one location
to another.*Giardia from mammals may infect humans, but the zoonotic
potential for avian giardiasis is thought to be relatively low.
A Giardia infection in psittacine birds may be asymptomatic or
the birds may exhibit signs of weight loss, bulky or loose foul-smelling
stools, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, depression, and recurring
Dry skin and feather picking is typical in budgerigars and cockatiels
suffering from Giardiosis.
Using the AloeVera Spray can help with dry skin and feather plucking.
Keep aviary clean and dry. Prevent exposure to contaminated water
(standard chlorine levels in drinking water will not destroy Giardia
cysts, but boiling the water will). And using Sanicleans in the
drinking water can help. And cleaning with Envirocleans.
Prevent overcrowding in the aviary. Isolate and
quarantine all new birds as well as any infected birds.
Ronivet-S - re-treatment may be necessary because re-infection
is fairly common.
Diagnosis of Giardia in live birds is sometimes rather difficult.
However, new technologies are expanding detection limits. Microscopic
examination of fecal material, flotation tests, and trichome staining
are general methods used for identification of trophozoites. Because
of the intermittent shedding of the parasite, multiple samples
must be examined before the bird can be considered uninfected.