Letter from the readers n°20 – racing pigeons
Remi POLLEZ from Brakel asks us a question about the Lugol. What are the properties of this product. How is it used in pigeons?
Lugol is an old disinfectant based on iodine, a powerful oxidant. Lugol is made up of 50 grams of iodine and 100 grams of potassium iodide for one liter of water. This solution can be given one tablespoon per liter of drinking water. It is an intestinal antiseptic. One can also add a teaspoon of Lugol to a cup of milk and slightly heat the mixture until the brown color disappears. This forms iodized casein. This product has an action on the thyroid gland which, among other things, stimulates the metabolism.
In modern pigeon medicine, these outdated products are no longer used.
A pigeon fancier has been using Ronidazole against trichomoniasis for more than 10 years. Young pigeons catch trichomoniasis faster and faster and cures with this product have less and less effect (resistance?). It has been said that it is possible that less resistance is transmitted through the genes. What do you think? Should the dose be increased or should another product be used?
The resistance of the trichomoniasis germ can increase vis-à-vis Ronidazole if the dose is too low and if the duration of treatment is too short. The strongest germs survive a badly administered cure and therefore have the possibility of multiplying in the absence of weak germs which have been killed. Thus, a resistant strain is created by the misuse of an antibiotic or a therapeutic substance such as Ronidazole. It is therefore not the resistance of the pigeon which is reduced but the resistance of the germ which is increased. We can almost speak of a kind of (natural) selection or the law of the fittest in the world of pathogenic germs.
The resistance of the pigeon vis-à-vis the disease or the importance of the immunity that a pigeon has vis-à-vis a determined germ is not easy to quantify. Some pigeons have never had a tricho problem, others are constantly re-contaminated. How this innate resistance or immunity is passed on to offspring is a lucrative business in pigeon breeding. There are many genetic factors responsible for the importance of immunity in an individual. In the plant kingdom, it is possible to create, using genetic techniques, varieties resistant to diseases for which patents have been taken out. In breeding, creating disease-resistant breeds is therefore the most advanced form of preventive medicine, but we are still far from all this in the pigeon sport.
To avoid the resistance of the germs, it is therefore necessary to administer the maximum therapeutic dose and this for a maximum duration so that all the germs are killed.
Regular use of another product to treat a specific disease is also advisable. Germs should not be given the slightest possibility of building up (via a mutation) a resistance to the therapeutic remedy. A nice theory, but in practice it is much more difficult. In human medicine, there are bacteria so resistant that even the strongest remedies are no longer active. Consider therefore that the pigeons are not weaker but that the germs are stronger. A cure against trichomoniasis, of about ten days, well administered and at a maximum dose will avoid a lot of misery.
A fancier from Malta whose pigeons are sometimes transported at sea to the place of release for more than fifteen hours asks us if there is a way to prevent seasickness during transport?
We have no experience with pigeons regarding seasickness. I can name a few products against this disease: they are antihistamines: difenhydramine, difenhydranate, promethazine, cyclizine, chlorcyclizine and meclozine. These products cause drowsiness and sometimes vision problems.
However, we do not know the action of all these products in pigeons. For dogs and cats, they are used against travel sickness.
Doc. Vet. L. Mathys
If the dosage is too low and if the duration of the cure is too short, the resistance of the trichomoniasis germ to the therapeutic substance Ronidazole may increase. The strongest germs survive an ineffective cure and have the opportunity to multiply. A resistant strain is therefore created when a therapeutic substance such as Ronidazole is misused. The same goes for antibiotics.
Some pigeons have never had a tricho problem, others are constantly re-contaminated.
[ Source:Article edited by Dr. Vet. L. Mathys – PIGEON RIT Magazine]
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