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Old Thursday 1st February 2007, 12:04   #1
hebog
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Disease?

Used my scope today to look at the birds feeding. Some chaffies have problems with thei'r leggs, the legs are twice normal thickness and look as if they have been dunked in concrete or porrige which has then dried to a white scab. No other symptoms and they seem healthy enough. I am aware of scally leg in cage birds and it's not that.I have about 30 feeding along with about 30 greenies which seem to be clear.
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Old Thursday 1st February 2007, 17:46   #2
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I think the following info from the BTO website may answer your question:

"Another cause of warty growths is the Fringilla papillomavirus which affects Chaffinches and Bramblings. These growths may vary in size from small nodules to larger warts that engulf the whole leg. The warts develop slowly over a long period and affected individuals may otherwise appear quite healthy. Some individuals may become lame or lose affected digits."


http://www.bto.org/gbw/hygiene/diseases/warts.htm

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Old Thursday 1st February 2007, 19:29   #3
hebog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jodd
I think the following info from the BTO website may answer your question:

"Another cause of warty growths is the Fringilla papillomavirus which affects Chaffinches and Bramblings. These growths may vary in size from small nodules to larger warts that engulf the whole leg. The warts develop slowly over a long period and affected individuals may otherwise appear quite healthy. Some individuals may become lame or lose affected digits."


http://www.bto.org/gbw/hygiene/diseases/warts.htm

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That seems to fit the bill perfectly, chaffies only greenies clean.Must say i have never seen it before in 40 years. Some have it on one leg only, only about 6 in a flock of 30 or so.
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Old Friday 2nd February 2007, 11:22   #4
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Yes, it could be bird pox (the papilloma virus mentioned), although it often affects the face and head too, particularly around the eyes and bill. Some recover, many don't.

Having said that, perhaps your flocks of chaffs have been feeding in some sludgy farm waste somewhere, and it's dried on the legs?

Scaly leg, as you probably know, is caused by a mite and is very rare in wild birds.
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Old Friday 2nd February 2007, 14:06   #5
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Interestingly this same problem has been discussed in another forum a year ago.

http://forums.rspb.org.uk/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=365
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Old Friday 2nd February 2007, 18:21   #6
hebog
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Originally Posted by Poecile
Yes, it could be bird pox (the papilloma virus mentioned), although it often affects the face and head too, particularly around the eyes and bill. Some recover, many don't.

Having said that, perhaps your flocks of chaffs have been feeding in some sludgy farm waste somewhere, and it's dried on the legs?

Scaly leg, as you probably know, is caused by a mite and is very rare in wild birds.
Is this papilloma contagious? Deadly? A coment from theRSPB would be good.
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Old Friday 2nd February 2007, 19:33   #7
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If you download this report you will also see photos of Chaffs with the papilloma disease. Let us know whether this is what you saw with your Chaffs. At least it would confirm or eliminate one possibility.
www.cazv.cz/2003/VM6_03/4-Literak.pdf
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Old Friday 2nd February 2007, 19:42   #8
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Having read quickly through the report it states that papilloma is found in a number of species, but appears that it is not transmitted from one species to another (though not confirmed). They also state that they do not know how the virus is transmitted. They then go on to say that birds have been observed with the disease for up to 2 years.
It is certainly not just a problem with UK Chaffinches as this report is from the Czech Republic.
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Old Friday 2nd February 2007, 20:14   #9
hebog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eaton
If you download this report you will also see photos of Chaffs with the papilloma disease. Let us know whether this is what you saw with your Chaffs. At least it would confirm or eliminate one possibility.
www.cazv.cz/2003/VM6_03/4-Literak.pdf
No, absolutly nothing like it. best description is like they have walked in wet cement which has dried to a white crust on the leg right up to the thigh, beak and eyes are clear.
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Old Friday 2nd February 2007, 22:49   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hebog
Is this papilloma contagious? Deadly? A coment from theRSPB would be good.
It's extremely contagious, just like human papilloma viruses (herpes, cold sores, warts etc). Even the accommodation used to house ailing bird can infect new birds a year later. You have to destory all utensils.

It is very debilitating, and often causes death, but there hasn't been an awful lot of research into in the wild, so nobody really knows. The fact that we don't see many warts birds suggests that they mostly die, however.

The RSPB, incidently, are not an authority on avian dieases. You're best off contacting specific research labs at eg UCL or Defra, as RSPB do not do any real research in this area.
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Old Saturday 3rd February 2007, 17:14   #11
hebog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poecile
It's extremely contagious, just like human papilloma viruses (herpes, cold sores, warts etc). Even the accommodation used to house ailing bird can infect new birds a year later. You have to destory all utensils.

It is very debilitating, and often causes death, but there hasn't been an awful lot of research into in the wild, so nobody really knows. The fact that we don't see many warts birds suggests that they mostly die, however.

The RSPB, incidently, are not an authority on avian dieases. You're best off contacting specific research labs at eg UCL or Defra, as RSPB do not do any real research in this area.
Thanks for the info, but it seems we have a far more serious problem on our hands now.
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