Cause and Symptoms – Paramyxovirus or PMV-1 is a viral infection unique to pigeons and is extremely contagious, especially in the racing sport where hundreds or thousands of birds are mixed and confined prior to release.
Direct contact or indirect contact through contaminated feed, water or litter can spread the disease. Symptoms include extremely loose, watery droppings, lack of appetite, ruffled feathers poor coordination, and sometimes paralysis of wings and legs. In advanced stages, birds will show “twisted neck” symptoms and many birds will die.
Prevention – Currently in the U.S and Europe, the only effective means of protection is by vaccination with the Maine Biological oil-adjuvant PMV-1 vaccine. Many fanciers are using the LaSota vaccine; thinking that they are protecting their birds, but challenge tests using LaSota vaccine was not effective in producing antibodies for the pigeon PMV-1 virus. While the LaSota vaccine was effective for short duration protection for Newcastle’s disease, this disease is almost non-existent in pigeons and should be differentiated fromPMV-1.