Preventative and Curative Medicines


Preventative and Curative Medicines

As a result of the much improved knowledge of pigeons and the medications now available to manage diseases, the good fancier can enjoy a loft free of disease. The common aim is to produce the healthiest and most robust babies possible by the most natural means so that there is no compromise to the youngster’s immune system. In this way, the young birds will be naturally resistant to the illnesses associated with training and racing, and thereby require the minimal amount of medication during the racing season.

Medications are used as little as possible for the healthy loft. It is very difficult for us all to maintain perfect health in the race team during the racing season and it is the good natural resistance developed during the breeding season which helps us defend the flock against illness. It is now common belief that medications are needed during the racing season if perfect form is to be maintained. However, the medications must only be used when needed. The inappropriate use of medications will in fact turn the birds “off” and break their good levels of immunity.

Nowadays, the wise use of medicines is necessary for racing success. The medicines used for racing pigeons nowadays have been researched extensively so that they rarely affect the form of the fit bird and have minimal side effects for the ill bird. The correct choice of medicines is vital if the disease is to be controlled or cured in the quickest possible time. Obviously, the complete recovery of the flock is quickest when the disease is recognised and identified early. The early recognition of the illness minimises needless race bird losses and allows the birds to return to winning ways more quickly.

The “preventative” medicines

It is common knowledge that the healthy race bird is at considerable health risk in the race basket and must be protected from the “race basket” diseases by the prudent use of medicines. Medicines used in this manner are referred to as “preventative” medicines. The tired racing bird is most susceptible to disease from the racing basket and so the best time to treat in a protective manner is soon after the race.

The “preventative” medicines protect the healthy race flock from respiratory disease, without affecting the form or natural resistance of the team. I often ask the fancier to monitor the response of the flock to the “preventative” respiratory medicines so that the best timing is assured. There are a few tricks in identifying when to use and when to stop using the “preventative” medicines for the “resident” health problem. Firstly, look for a loss of form, the most obvious signs of which are dropping changes, no powder down feathers on the droppings, dry feathers and a lazy lower eyelid. In those flocks with a “resident” health problem there will be a positive change in the birds the day after the preventative medicine is given. Look for a very marked “brightening” of the eye, the powder down feathers will return to an improved dropping and the feathers become silky. The process is repeated each week for 2 to 3 weeks then stopped when the positive changes fail to show. Then the preventative medication is no longer used until the early signs of loss of form again return. With this method the fancier himself becomes sole master of the health of the race team. This method of controlling a resident illness takes some time to master but once mastered becomes a very important part of controlling a resident health problem.

The “curative” medicines

When there is a disease outbreak during the race season then “curative” (not preventative) medicines must be used. The first signs of a serious disease requiring a curative medicine are repeatedly poor race results over three weeks or heavy losses over two weeks. The exact nature of the illness must be determined then the appropriate “curative” medicine is used.

“Curative” medicines, by their very name, imply a dose of medicament strong enough to destroy the disease involved. Curative medicines therefore are not given to the healthy flock because they have the side effect of depressing form or affecting fertility etc. They are given only when the birds have an illness or outside the critical times of breeding or racing. They are often used in pre-season race and pre-breeding season health programs. The treatment interval (i.e. the number of days the medicine is given) is longer than that for “preventative” medicines. Preventative or control medicines are given intermittently for 1 or 2 days a week, whereas, the curative medicines are given continuously from 3 days to 45 days.

Preventative and Curative Medicines by Dr. Rob Marshall

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  1. #1 by Alister murray on February 2, 2011 - 8:27 am

    I have to say that I no longer believe in preventative medicine use on a regular basis,except of course wormers.Only natural preventatives such as apple cider vinegar,garlic,probiotic’s.Reason being that,I have found in the past that the more you use these medicines the more dependant the birds become and the intervals shorten between treatments to gain the same responce.This is because we are interfering with the birds immune system by giving these medicines.We have to remember that some of these bacterial infections such as Canker,Coxi,respiratory,E-coli,etc,are bacteria that the healthy bird carries all the time,and a balance of Good bacteria versus bad bacteria is acceptable in the healthy racing pigeon.Stress is the main reason for the balance to shift in favour of the bad bacteria,which in turn leads to the need for medicine.What fanciers should be focusing on is what has caused the stress that has led to the birds getting sick,and changing their management programs or loft enviroment to rectify the problem instead of pouring drugs down the throats of their birds.

    • #2 by Lee Fessenden on February 10, 2011 - 11:00 pm

      I can’t agree more with what you wrote here as The only preventive medication that I use is epson salt in the bath water for cleaning the parasites off the birds and keeping them clean at the same time, the regular use of a vitamin suplement like Red Cell, and finaly the use of vaccinations every other year for old birds and at the age of 5 to 7 weeks for a youn g bird with a repeated shot at the time that the entire flock gets there last shot for PMV-1, and worming. The fancier needs to make sure that the birds are kept clean and healthy but only treat a sickness if it is neccessary.

    • #3 by terry downs on March 4, 2011 - 5:22 pm

      I completely agree, we need to stop giving our birds that junk.

  2. #4 by scottdenholm on January 11, 2011 - 7:42 pm

    on a hot day b4 putting them in the basket they get electrolit in there water and coming back from the race or u can use glucose for a rapid recovery after the flight
    2 weeks b4 the race they get treated for respiratory and coming back from the race
    they get 2 days of canker treatment because some people do not treat there pigeons
    for canker and your pigeons can catch it in the drinking water in the baskets.

  3. #5 by scottdenholm on January 11, 2011 - 7:16 pm

    i put garlic in the drinking water becauses its a powerful natural antibiotic it
    protects the pigeons against the attacks of pathogenic organisms.

    i use medpet 4 in1.for treatment of canker and e.coil,paratyphoid and coccidiosis.
    also i use doxybiotic for bacterial in fections in pigeons

    also medilyte for for my pigeons no as electrolytes

  4. #6 by paul pashley on November 28, 2010 - 12:55 pm

    the main reason we are a dyihg sport is because everybody tries taking money of struggling fanciers why not help them in stead paulpashley36@yahoo.co.uk /blue diamond lofts

  5. #7 by jAxTecH on July 12, 2010 - 3:33 pm

    Thanx for link to Pigeon Vitality..I’ve been looking for a supplement that promotes feather growth while aiding the stress of moulting. This product claims to fit that bill and keeps the birds healthy. I have been using Apple Cider Vinegar in the water daily and Garlic juice 2 days a week. My birds all seem healthy but I think thier feathers could be better..so I’ll try the “Improver” and see how it goes.

  6. #8 by KP on April 5, 2010 - 8:53 pm

    Jeff you sound like sale person!!

  7. #9 by Jeff on April 1, 2010 - 7:12 am

    Hi Beto
    Both products,(Antifungal and Improver) are added to the drinking water, it depends on the time of year as to the amount they get, the off season my birds get a half dose in the water 7 days a week, race season there is a schedule and dosage they recommend.
    Best stuff I’ve ever used to help keep my pigeons healthy

  8. #10 by Beto on April 1, 2010 - 5:12 am

    Hi Jeff.

    Please let me know one thing … how often (1 meal or 2 meals?) do you give the products to your birds, and during how many days in the week (which days)?
    Best regards
    Beto

  9. #11 by mike on March 21, 2010 - 6:55 am

    Hi,I to also use anti fungal & improver from pigeon vitality, finding them both an excellent product,as by keeping the bird’s gut healthy,and boosting the immune system you will find less health problems, there’by less need for antibiotics.
    remember the old saying,prevention is better than cure.enjoy your birds Mike…

  10. #12 by Jeff on January 6, 2010 - 8:43 am

    For the past 3 years I have been using a natural product, and have to say I have had great success with them, it is called Improver and Anti-Fungal, mixed together in the drinking water.
    Since using them, I haven’t had any sickness what so ever, not even a sniffle, I have 3 other club mates using the stuff, we all have moved up on the race sheet as well, our returns have been better then ever, in old and young bird seasons.
    Not wanting to sound like a sales person, but after a year of using the two, I believe in it so much a became a sales person, this way it is available to whom ever whats to use it, no waiting for 3 week shipment.
    Check it out.
    http://www.pigeonvitality.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

  11. #13 by Speaker Bureau on December 31, 2009 - 6:34 am

    I, too, would like to learn more about these Curative medicines. They don’t sound completely safe.

  12. #14 by Raymond Julien on December 30, 2009 - 7:49 am

    I would very mutch like to learn more about The “curative” medicines

  1. Dr. Rob Marshall « Pigeon Racing Pigeons

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