How to Prevent and Treat Young Bird Disease - Sponsored by Medpet

By Dr. Rob Conradie, Medpet (PTY) LTD. 

Prevention and Treatment of Young Bird Disease

We are hearing of cases of young bird disease but the peak YBD season would be in the next few months when we start training and especially when the birds start mixing in the transporters.

With there being no vaccine available against any of these viruses, except for Rota virus, we have to use preventative measures.

"Remember that prevention is better than cure"

Medpet has the following products that are used:

1. Liquorice powder

The role that this product has, in the prevention and treatment of YBD, has been underestimated.
It is listed in the Pharmacopoeia as an immunomodulatory herbal remedy that has been widely used in many countries over a long period of time.
A very energetic researcher has found 3908 scientific papers that have been written on the various uses of this product.
98% gave positive feedback on one or more of the therapeutic effects claimed.

  • It is antibacterial and antiviral.
  • It stimulates immunity by increasing Immunoglobulins and increasing
  • Lysozyme activity. Lysozymes disrupt metabolism of bacteria, viruses and fungi.
  • It is anti-inflammatory.
  • It is a liver protectant and detoxifier.
  • It is a growth promoting agent. This is an indication of the benefits it has to the whole system. This therapeutic effect would make it suitable for use during the breeding season.
  • It acts synergistically with Beta Glucan, found in Entero-Plus and Intestum, to promote gut health.
  • When given before and after vaccinations, the response to vaccination is better. This has been proved scientifically by measuring antibody titres and comparing with a control group that did not receive Liquorice.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Prof. Tomasz Stenzel. He is the author of many publications on immune stimulation. He was enthusiastic about the favourable results he had with Liquorice and Beta Glucan and the treatment of viruses with these products. During his trials with Beta Glucan , he in fact used Medimune tablets. Medpet introduced Liquorice powder on the strength of the favourable findings he found with the liquorice he used. The dosage Medpet use in their Liquorice powder is on his recommendations.


2. Probiotics (Entero-Plus and Intestum)

Both products contain Beta Glucan which activates lymphoid tissue to produce antibodies and T-white cells, called killer cells, that act directly on cells infected by viruses. 
The probiotic fraction of both these products is well known for their role in keeping the gut healthy. 70% of a pigeon’s immunity is derived from the lymphoid tissue associated with the intestine. A healthy intestine results in a healthy immune system. many publications on immune stimulation. He was enthusiastic about the Liquorice powder is on his recommendations. The healthy immune system that results from the probiotic fraction plus the effect of the Beta Glucan make these products invaluable in the prevention and treatment of YBD.
Additional benefit will be gained by mixing or alternating one of these two products with Liquorice powder.


3. Medimune tablets and powder (now called Medimune Forte) (Available on Special Order)


Again, we have the benefit of Beta Glucan plus all the benefits of vit C and natural products in the form of the extracts of Grape Seed and Grapefruit seed.



4. Viroban (Available on Special Order)




Massive doses of Vit E and C are well known as immune boosters.




How do we use these products in the prevention and treatment of YBD?

There is no fixed protocol when using these products. No program is written in stone. 

We must use products with…

  • Beta Glucan (Entero-Plus, Intestum and Medimune)
  • Probiotics (Entero-Plus and Intestum)
  • Liquorice – purely because of its unique properties and its synergistic effect with probiotics
  • Vitamin C and E (Viroban)

With combinations of these products, you would have made use of most of the scientifically proven products available to us.

All the products discussed above can be used in different ways and in different combinations.

Suggested combinations (only as examples)

  1. Entero-Plus or Intestum on day 1, 
     Liquorice on day 2.
     Medimune Forte or tabs on day 3. Skip a few days and repeat the sequence.
  2. Entero-Plus or Intestum for 2 to 3 days.
    No medication for 2 to 3 days,
    Liquorice for 2 -3 days.
    No medication for 2 -3 days.
    Medimune Forte for 2 to 3 days. The sequence would then be repeated.
  3. Liquorice and Entero-Plus can be used on the same day.
    Liquorice and Medimune can be used 2 to 3 days later.
    Sequence can be repeated indefinitely.
  4. During an active outbreak the prevention protocol can be intensified and Viroban can be added to treatment protocol.


REMEMBER to vaccinate against Paramyxo at 3 weeks of age and again at 7 weeks of age using Nobilis Paramyxo
Vaccinating against Paramyxo does boost the general immunity of the pigeon. This would be an additional aid in the prevention of YBD.
We often recommend Paramyxo vaccination as an aid in the treatment of outbreaks of YBD.

Where response to treatment given is poor use…

  • Antibiotics:  Mediprim/Medicox combo or Avivet would be the best to use.
  • Canker treatment: Meditrich tabs here would be the most practical to use.
    This allows the treatment in the water and food to be continued.
  • Liquorice and Probiotics should prevent Candida from becoming a problem but if it were to be found use Medistatin - for 3 to 5 days. 


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