What Is Avian Botulism?

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Avian botulism is a paralytic disease that has become a major cause of mortality in wild-birds. What causes avian botulism?
  • The bacteria -- clostridium botulinum, produce a toxin.
  • Then the fish ingest and get infected.
  • Fish-eating birds are poisoned by eating fish that contain the toxin.
  • When animals or men eat the maggots from the carcass of an infected animal, avian botulism continues to spread.
In addition to birds, humans and pets also have the risk of botulism when:
  • eating improperly canned or stored foods
  • eating infected fish, birds or maggots
Signs and symptoms of avian botulism in animals
  • Paralysis –unusual behaviour in animals. For example, water birds often drown becsuse they can’t hold their head up. Some birds show poor posture with one or both wings dragged.
  • Dead fish - infected fish may flounder and have trouble staying right-side up. Finally, they usually die quickly.
When harvesting fish or waterfowl, people should dispose of them if they are sick or acting abnormally. What’s more, we should prevent pets from eating potentially infected fish, birds or maggots.   Keywords: avian botulism
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