Streptococcus bovis in Pigeons by Racing Pigeon Laboratory Testing

Streptococcal Infection in Pigeons Streptococci can be isolated from pigeons and can be as benign as many of the other common bacteria. It can also cause a severe disease process in pigeons. The streptococcus which is most often found in severe disease is Streptococcus bovis. This organism can cause an acute to hyper-acute syndrome of disease resulting in a fast death.

This bacterium can produce a septicemia, which is an infection which involves the blood, and is dispersed to all areas of the body. Besides septicemia and the severe inflammation of all the internal organs, it can infect the muscles of a pigeon. The bird may show some disuse or lameness of certain muscles as the disease progresses. When the muscle is involved like this it causes a rapid necrosis or death of muscule areas where the bacteria localize.

On postmortem exam the involved muscle appears cooked. The heart muscle and the membrane around the heart are also frequently involved. Also, characteristic foamy, slimy feces is seen frequently, as well as swollen abdomen. By far the most common symptom is just sudden death. It is not a common disease but is not rare either. It is easily diagnosed by culture or histopathology (tissue studies). It usually responds well to amoxicillin therapy if caught in the initial stages