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Close-up of a very distended proventriculus, demonstrating how thin the wall becomes, as seeds can be seen through it.


Radiograph of a normal parrot showing the normal ‘hour-glass’ shape of the heart/liver/ proventriculus cluster. In PDD this shadow would be massively distended, with the proventriculus filling the grey air-sac space to the right of the liver in this picture.


suspected, but recent (2008) work in the USA and Germany has now confirmed the Avian Bornavirus to be involved, and the name has been changed yet again to Avian Bornavirus Disease (ABD). Julia started by telling us the major


problems with this devastating infection: that it does not produce clinical signs in all birds, and the incubation period is very long – several months, or even years. Thus many infected birds can be undetected carriers of this virus, and a ticking time-bomb in a valuable collection.


18 BIRD SCENE


Add to this the fact that current diagnostic tests are not always reliable, with false positive and false negative results, and one can understand the problem this virus poses to parrot keepers and avian veterinarians. Bornaviruses have been recognised in sheep and horses already, and the variety affecting birds was named Avian Bornavirus. They have been found in canaries, geese, swans, finches and monal pheasants, but with no clinical signs in these species. Eight different genotypes have been identified in parrot species. Its probable origin was Bolivia, but it is now judged to be prevalent worldwide. One European study sampled over 1400 parrots from 215 different collections, using swabs from throat and vent, as well as blood samples, and nearly 23% showed positive for Parrot Bornavirus, although very few showed clinical signs.


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