Article Text

Avian Practice
Diagnosis and management of viral diseases in psittacine birds
  1. Simon Girling

    Simon Girling graduated from Glasgow in 1994. After a brief spell in small animal practice in Plymouth and mixed practice in Carlisle, he moved to Edinburgh where he runs a first opinion and referral service for exotic animals. He is currently a council member and honorary treasurer of the British Veterinary Zoological Society, as well as a trustee and honorary treasurer of the Zebra Foundation, a charitable organisation funding veterinary education in zoological medicine. He holds an RCVS certificate and diploma in zoological medicine and is an RCVS Specialist in Zoo Animal and Wildlife Medicine.


AVIAN species are susceptible to a wide range of viral diseases. With the increasing trade in psittacine species worldwide, more and more of these viruses are making their way to the shores of the UK. Practitioners are therefore more likely to be confronted with new avian viruses, a worrying thought considering the recent outbreak in the USA of West Nile virus, the main host of which is avian species. This article describes the viruses that may be encountered in birds in practice and highlights the species commonly affected. In each case, it outlines the clinical signs produced, and discusses how the virus spreads and how it might be diagnosed. It suggests control measures and, where available, methods of treatment which may be instituted in the event of an outbreak. The viruses are considered in order of decreasing incidence.

Statistics from

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.